President Biya Battles For Cameroon’s Soul On Social Media

Yaounde (National Times)-Cameroon’s president Paul Biya has remained active on the social media in the last couple of days churning out messages appealing to the conscience of citizens  for the need to build a strong, united and stable country amid raging crises shaking the entire nation.

The renewed commitment of the president addressing his kith and kin through this medium took an exceptional drive few days after the April 18th resolution of the European Union, EU parliament on the sociopolitical crises affecting the country.

On the 22nd  of April, Biya tweeted that “ I  request you to work relentlessly  and with abnegation so as to be always  deserving of the fatherland and build in peace  a state which is  not a mere juxtaposition of ethnic , religious  or language groups  but a real national community.”.

Then came April 24th, the head of state sustained the steam with another message asserting that “we can build something long-lasting if we put our hearts and minds together. Better still, we can build a strong and prosperous Cameroon, united and dynamic”

On Thursday, the president sent out another tweet expressing his conviction that, a great destiny awaits Cameroon. Biya tweeted that “ I cannot stop expressing conviction that, a great destiny awaits Cameroon… why  are we Cameroonians?…. what makes us proud to be Cameroonians?.. What type of Cameroon do we want for our children”. The head of state questioned.

Early Friday April 26th, the president has maintained the momentum in another tweet stating that, the country needs ‘true national unity’. “Cameroon really needs true national unity. It should not be  the victim of tribalism, nepotism, carelessness and corruption. We must all fight effectively against such ills which easily undermine an entire nation”.

Before these, had also tweeted reminded the citizenry that, Cameroonians have only one fatherland. He urged them in that outing to unite to protect and preserve its unity.

These recurrent appeals from the president come in the wake of renewed upsurge in hate speech and tribal remarks within the public space.  During the hearing of petitions at the constitutional council following the litigations against the presidential elections, tribal utterances surfaced from regime apostles.

Increasingly,  the development is feared to be fast shredding the  beauty of the nation’s once cherished peace and diversity. Cameroon has over 270 tribes with diverse languages. It had been an enviable example of peaceful coexistence and tolerance until recently.

Pressure from the Anglophone crisis crippling the North West and South West Regions,  the incursions of the islamist sect Boko Haram  in the Far North Regions,  the stigmatisation of the Bamileke tribe following Maurice Kamto’s affront  after the 2018 presidential election has further put the country on the precipice.

Issues of corruption, tribalism especially within the public service and corridors of power are some of the longstanding ills that critics have for decades been decrying under the Biya regime until recently.

Growing international pressure on the regime  in the face of these happenings  and a hostile diaspora is not helping matters. The result of this new presidential posture will only be seen as days go by.



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