Paul Biya is not just the President of Cameroon, but one of the oldest political gurus of his generation in the entire world.
Most foreigners have wondered why the President is still largely supported by die-hard fans who equate him to a deity indispensable to their life.
However, Paul Biya has mastered the art of political hypnotism, which ensures that his compatriots affirmed everything he does and say even when hurting.
Being a Political Scientist of the post-independence Africa, he has mastered the art of political sloganeering involving the copying of slogans elsewhere and pasting in Cameroon.
Biya who has been in power for 36 years would be seeking a seventh term in office in the October 7, 2018 Presidential election. In most cases, this former Seminarian has been banging on political slogan which his cohorts sing it like freshly composed music. In most cases these slogans are borrowed from other countries and polities.
When Paul Biya became President in 1982, his watchword was “rigour and moralisation” under the banner of what became known as the “New Deal.” The term “New Deal” was plagiarised from the 1930s series of reforms put in place by the then American President, Franklin Roosevelt.
When Roosevelt took over power in 1933, America was going through economic crisis which was known as the Great Depression. Roosevelt instituted several reforms which became known as the “New Deal.”
After the dismal performance of Paul Biya’s “New Deal” team, he refined it and brought another slogan to water down the botches of the “deal.” Being an astute Political Scientist with a mastery of the inter-war politicking, Paul Biya revisited Paul Lazersfeld famous book entitled, The People’s Choice
The People’s Choice” was a book published in 1944 by Paul Felix Lazersfeld, sampling the manner in which voters arrived at making a choice following the 1940 Presidential election in the USA. As Biya was seeking a sixth term in 2011, he employed this slogan protruding himself as the candidate of the people.
36 years is much experience and for most civil servants in the Cameroon public service, it is always the parting time and time for a respite from service. Moreover, Paul Biya, at 86 would have been spending his 30th anniversary as a retiree. However, Paul Biya is a Lion man who never sleeps nor retires and banging on his “experience” he turned around and just next door grasped a slogan used by his old time friend, Omar Bongo with whom they share the same huge political appetite for power.
In 1998, the BBC published an article with the slogan of Bongo, “the force of experience” or in French “la force de l’experience.”
Since 1962, Paul Biya has been parading all the corridors of power in Cameroon and as a rare politician, experiencing a perfect ascension which for the past 36 years has kept him at the top most position of the State.
This has given him enough experience in the management of State affairs. However, in Africa the most experience ones live behind and put their advisory wisdom at the service of the people.
By Gerard Tapuka