Gerontocracy Rules Cameroon

The leadership of Cameroon has been held captive by a group of retired and elderly men, led by dictator President Paul Biya, who has been ruling over the desperate people of Cameroon since 1982. These men, who have an average age of seventy-seven years, are occupying ministerial positions and other government-owned institutions, leaving the youth and women without representation.

Prior to his ascension to power, Paul Biya had held several key ministerial positions and overseen government institutions at the young age of thirty-five. Unfortunately, he has denied many young people and women the same opportunities that he had in his youth.

For decades, President Biya has surrounded himself with a team of loyal friends who are more concerned with fulfilling the dictator’s desires than addressing the needs of the Cameroonian people.

What is particularly troubling is that many young people are recruited into the military as sub-officials to serve as bodyguards for these gerontocrats. Their primary objective is to maintain their grip on power until death intervenes.

Worst of all, when death steps in, they are immediately replaced by their siblings. A few examples include: senators Seydou Mbombo Njoya and chief Ebako Mukete who were recently appointed by Paul Biya to replace their late fathers; Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya and chief  Mukete respectively as senators.

The National school of administration and magistracy (ENAM) only welcomes siblings of these old and retired men who have little or nothing to offer Cameroonians.

In addition, there are rumors of Paul Biya’s son Frank Emmanuel Biya actively being prepared to take over power from his 90 years old dictator of father after the upcoming 2025 Presidential elections.

Some of these « old » and undemocratic leaders include:

  • President Paul Biya – 90 years old
  • Marcel Niat Njifenji – 87 years old. His son Eric Niat is mayor of Bagangte, a locality in the West region of Cameroon.
  • Cavaye Yeguie Djibriril – 84 years old. He has been running this function for over 30 years
  • Martin Mbarga Nguele – 86 years old. He iis still in function as the delegate general of national security
  • Rene Emmanuel Sadi – 78 years old. Minister of communication and government’s spokesman
  • Adolph Moudiki – 86 years old. Managing director of the national hydrocarbon company (SNH) and many others not mentioned.

Several political and opinion leaders, including Cabral Libih of Cameroon’s National Renovation Party (PCRN), Edith Kabang Wallah of Cameroon’s People Party (CPP), Professor Maurice Kamto of Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), and Barrister Alice Kom of civil society, have voiced their concerns about the Gerontocrats in power. What is particularly troubling is their refusal to relinquish power and their continued embezzlement of public funds.

Cameroon is a country burdened with debt and poverty, where dictatorship, nepotism, mismanagement of public funds, and gerontocracy have taken root. The fear among many is that a revolt by the oppressed population could lead to civil war in the near future.

By Yomkil Kana


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