Most African leaders live in the boat of the Ugandan proverb “He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it” where most presidential seats transformed into royal entitlements. This could be quite tricky as a boat does not know who the leader is. When it turns over, everyone gets wet, if not drowned.
As we draw closer to Cameroon as a case in point, we notice that on November 6, 1982, at least, 60% of Cameroonian youths were not born, when Mr. Biya ( born, Paul Barthélemy Biya’a bi Mvondo) was sworn in as President of the United Republic of Cameroon, as second President in the history of the country.
By the end of his current mandate, he will be 92 and would have been in this business for as long as more than two scores. He is the longest-ruling non-royal leader in the world, and the oldest head-of-state in Africa,
What is his greatest achievement?
Arguably, one of his greatest successes dates back to June 12, 2006 when he signed the Greentree Agreement with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo which consequently meant to ‘formally’ put an end to the Bakassi peninsula border dispute.
What do others say?
Former Nigerian president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan scripted a powerful message on Biya’s 2020 anniversary day! It reads
“Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any citizen. It is better to gain honor at the cost of losing power, than to gain power at the cost of losing honor.
At any point in time, the power of love should matter more than the love of power. This is my philosophy.
I have lived it. It has brought great peace to both my beloved nation and I. And I recommend it to all leaders facing challenging situations, either in government, or at the polls, or even in their dealings with fellow political actors.”
These words seem to be addressing all African countries turned kingdoms, where leaders feel entitled to their positions and believe no one else can do better.
What does this mean for youths?
It has often been said that youths are leaders of tomorrow. This has never really gone down well with many, considering that today is yesterday’s tomorrow, yet youths are still in the waiting list. Some express the opinion that youths are not only leaders of tomorrow, but partners of today.
If these very enthusiastic people full of youthful exuberance still have their grandfathers and mothers occupying the positions they held before they were born, then this should mean something to someone somewhere when Africa Wakes up.
By Beverly Ndifoin