Cameroon's president, Paul Biya, turned 86 this week on Wednesday. He has been the leader of the Central African country since 6 November 1982 and has no plans of leaving power anytime soon. It is leaders like him who have given credit to the phrase that “if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
Supporters of the aging leader, who is now on record to be the oldest and one of the longest-serving presidents in sub-Saharan Africa, threw lavish parties in his honor.
Fadimatou Iyawa Ousmanou, who was identified as the president of Cameroon’s National Youth Council and an organizer of one of the parties while speaking to African news said:
"You can see more than two thousand and five hundred Cameroonian young people that came to celebrate that birthday, and we came here to tell the head of state we are willing to work with him. We are encouraging him for what he is doing for the Cameroonian young people and also to promote our patriotic and civil behavior so that we can help in the building of a peaceful Cameroon."
The president did not attend any of the parties organized in his honor in the capital city of Yaounde, but organized a private, and reportedly lavish party at his home village of Mvomeka in southern Cameroon.
The opposition Renaissance Movement Party, however, used the opportunity to organize a protest march in Yaounde calling on Biya to resign and for their leader, Maurice Kamto, to be released from prison.
You will recall that Maurice Kamto, a leading opposition figure who contested the October 7, 2018 election against Paul Biya – who won the seventh tenure, was arrested on the orders of the president for protesting the election results.
In 2008, President Biya removed presidential term limits from the constitution and this enables him to run for office for as long as he likes.
Is this wise? In your opinion, do you think it is time for Cameroon to have a change in the helm of affairs after 37 years?
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The average age of the 15 oldest African leaders is 77, compared to 52 for the world's ten most-developed economies. Could this be one of the majo…
Header Image Credit: cameroon-report.com