As Biya celebrates his 34th year in power, the Popular Action Party (PAP) of Hon. Ayah Paul Abine comprising mostly of youth politicians evaluated president Biya 34 years rule on both the Domestic and International Affair. The team evaluated the Economy, Education, Health, Democracy, Energy, Security, Transportation, Communication and Sports and Foreign Affairs, PAP scored Biya a Grade F and asked him to Resign. Their evaluation is below:
In most of 1981, Cameroon’s GDP growth rate stood at 17.1% (Source: ReSAKSS, based on World Bank 2014). This means President Paul Biya inherited a very healthy economy from his predecessor on November 6, 1982. Despite richly blessed soils and fertile lands on which all manner of agricultural products [coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber] do well, and endowment of enormous mineral resources [Oil, hydroelectric power, natural gas, cobalt, nickel], in 2016, the economy has nose-dived to the neighbourhoods of 4% GDP growth rate.
What’s worse? Little can be seen in economic growth terms from all the loans we have taken. According to the Autonomous Amortisation Fund (CAA), the public organization in charge of managing public borrowing, Cameroon reached FCFA 4,502 billion during the first quarter of 2016 (3,480 billion representing the external debts and FCFA 1,023 billion of domestic debts).
The unemployment rate is 30% while that of underemployment stands at 75% (International Labor Organization). Our human potential (mental capacity) is fleeing the country for jobs and better options elsewhere. President Biya has failed woefully in the business of reducing unemployment by industrialising our economy; create industries that transform raw materials into finished products for national, regional and international exportation. There’s no concrete framework to encourage youth entrepreneurial spirit with accompanying flexible loan structure.
The increase in agricultural production and the rise in the per-capita income of the rural community, together with industrialization and urbanization, lead to more increased demand in industrial production. President Biya just doesn’t know this.
PAP, therefore, scores him F for a missed opportunity and wasted 34 years in office!
To fairly score President Biya, Popular Action Party, PAP of Justice AYAH Paul splits democracy into five different elements namely: Personal Freedoms, Press Freedoms, Political Freedoms, Political Equality, The Rule of Law, The Common Good, Human Dignity, Being Informed and Getting Involved, and Respect. Before we make an analysis of these elements, it is worth mentioning that contrary to what some say, that Biya ‘gave Cameroonians democracy’, this is completely false! On February 19, 1990, officers from the CENER, Cameroon’s national intelligence service, raided the home and office of Yondo Mandengue Black in the city of Douala. They arrested him and confiscated a draft document titled “Coordination Nationale pour la démocratie et le multipartisme” (National Coordination for Democracy and Multipartyism). And in Bamenda on May 26, 1990, Fru Ndi defied government ban and organized a rally where the SDF was launched … the lives of six Cameroonians ushered in democracy to Cameroon.
- Personal Freedoms: Freedom of assembly for religious purposes has been good but such is hugely undermined by freedom of individual expression. Biya’s men in uniforms have mightily clamped down on individuals who’ve voiced personal opinions on burning political issues in the country. Biya scores a D on this.
- Political Freedoms: Though it is easy to form political associations in Cameroon, PAP notes that the proliferation of political parties is a Biya design to weaken the opposition. The intelligence unit of the PAP Strategic deciphers four categories of opposition political parties: satellite parties erected by Biya to spy on and weaken the opposition (some now called presidential majority), political parties for Business purposes (to enjoy campaign funds), real opposition political parties (those that are consistently banned such as PAP from public manifestations), parties that originally had good intensions but now cooperate with Biya’s CPDM to colour Cameroon’s democracy in the eyes of the international community;
- Skyrocketing amounts are fixed for ordinary Cameroonians to cough out to register to run for council, parliamentary and presidential elections thus making the dividends of democracy for the rich only!
- Election managing bodies (MINAT, NEO and ELECAM) are designed to rig elections for Biya;
- Intimidation at the polls and vote buying: Vote buying is the norm. Citizens who stand up to the status quo are intimidated. There are clear and documented cases of elites protecting the regime getting into polling stations with guns and knives. These cases are not isolated. PAP scores Biya an F on EMB;
- Protest Groups: No allowance for political manifestation against the regime.
PAP scores Biya an F on political freedoms
- Press Freedoms: There’s systemic clampdown on the press and the media in general. Twitter has consistently been shut down and press organs critical of the government are either severely sanctioned or bought over. PAP scores Biya an F on Press Freedoms.
- The Rule of Law: For the sake of justice, everyone must adhere to the same laws. These laws are known, predictable and impartial (unbiased). However, the justice system in Cameroon is highly rigged; justice is bought, the police and the magistrates/judges are the most corrupt in the world. Generally, the system is characterized by arrest without due process, endemic corruption, long-term detention without trial, inhuman treatment and torture of citizens etc. PAP scores Biya F on the Rule of Law.
PAP, therefore, scores Biya an F on Democracy.
To make this publication brief, we will provide explanatory notes for the reason behind the grades of every element. Find below grades per element:
Akoson A. Raymond,
PAP Secretary General