Truth: Biya's 2025 presidential candidacy, even Eto'o too!.

With presidential elections slated for October next year, there has been a debate in Cameroon about the candidacy of incumbent President Paul Biya, aged 82, and 41 years in office.

In normal democratic parlance the discourse should have been on his retirement plan which legislation offers a former president immunity and a seat at the Constitutional Council.

But the debate is whether at that advanced age and a glorious service of over four decades, he should not, in the words of William Shakespeare, "bow out now that the ovation is loudest", from his acolytes.

Paradoxically, they are calling on him to take an eight mandate at a time a third in democratic setting is considered as a taboo.

Notwithstanding, calls continue to stream in from across the country. On May 17, 2023, the Minister of Public Health, Malachie Manaouda, launched a first appeal in a press release for President Biya to take another seven years to take his reign to almost half a century.

As if he wasn't satisfied the message had got to his target, the minister, on September 9, 2023 before a football match between Cameroon and Burundi,   continued his campaign by offering 1,000 match tickets to young people for them to support the candidacy of Paul Biya in the 2025 election.

Elite from the South, West and North West regions have not been left out of the bandwagon of the "people's call" to continue to run a government of octogenarians.

It is on grounds of old age at a time youth, who make up an overwhelming number of the Cameroonian population, are clamouring for change to include them in the management of state.

One of the youth, perceived by his mates as a future president, has been Samuel Eto'o Fils, current president of Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT.

His supporters have, in social media, suggested he should run for the highest office, citing the case of George Weah, one of Africa's leading retired footballers, who later became president of Liberia. 

Prof. Thomas Atenga, lecturer of communication at the University of Douala, in an interview with Radio France Inetenationale, RFI, said "With his [Eto'o's] dynamism and vibrant character, many think he has the necessary qualities to be president".

Amid speculations that he is  being roughly tackled at FECAFOOT because he wants to run for the tenancy of Unity Palace, he has spurned the predictions and joined the bandwagon of those calling for the Head of State to take an eighth term.

In a social media clarification mid this month, he wrote - "Yes in 2018, I voted for President Biya, and I maintain my unwavering support for him. And no, I will not let anyone take away my rights as a citizen. As far as I am concerned, let us be clear, the presidency of FECAFOOT is not a springboard to access the presidency of the republic. I repeat it loud and clear- I Samuel Eto'o Fils, am not a candidate for the presidency of Cameroon".

Is his clarification a tactical cover up since none of Biya's supporters is willing to take the bull by the horns and announce his intention overtly? What if Biya decides to "go to the village" at the end of the seventh term next year?

Would Eto'o not transfer his subservient support for the president to one of the camps in the "clan war" Jeune Afrique once reported was within the CPDM over succession?

Is a young man endorsing a grandpa at the android generation not a concern for youth who embody change, vitality and creativity as seen in a country like Senegal?


Postscript: The youth is the hope of our future - Jose Rizal

TRUTH is a column authoured by Asong Ndifor


This story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No:3148 of Monday June 24, 2024

about author About author : Asong Ndifor

See my other articles

Related Articles


    No comment availaible !

Leave a comment