I am learning that Equinox TV is defying popular reports by independent observers, the civil society, diplomatic missions, political parties in Gabon, the press to report that it is Ali Bongo who won the ongoing presidential elections in Gabon.
Ever since campaigns went into high gear, Jean Ping, has been stigmatized as sent by the French to serve their agenda. A great part of the press in Cameroon, civil society activist for change and bloggers have wrestled to eclipse the expression of the Gabonese electorate, seeking solace in Ali Bongo as their newfound panafricanist presidential candidate.
It must be recalled that Ali Bongo, son of Omar Bongo- who reigned for 42 long years, would finally quit as president only because snatched by the cold hands of death. The tyrant had planted his tentacles so deep into the small and rich petroleum nation that even in death, his son who had served under him as minister of defence found almost no obstacles on his road to a dynastic succession of his father.
Why are Cameroonians -who condemn Biya’s longevity in power – supporting the 50-year hegemony of the Bongo family? Why are Cameroonians supporting the replacement of long-serving CEMAC presidents by their sons? How can we understand that Ali Bongo is now celebrated as a pan-Africanist leader? Who is a pan-Africanist? Is it enough to pay a few media outlets to blow you out as such? It must be noted that Ali Bongo has been married twice. His first wife was American; and his second and current, french!
So what then is the right definition of a pan-African?
Now, since Ali Bongo has become a pan-Africanist overnight by Cameroonian standards, is that blank cheques for electoral fraud? Why are we prone to supporting election riggers who desecrate their people? Is it possible to be pan-Africanists and to feed on the flesh of your people? It must be noted that Paul Biya was the first destination of Ali Bongo after his first controversial election seven years back.
Since Equinox TV is enforcing the rejection of democracy and popular rule in Central Africa, would she blame the CRTV in 2018 were she to declare Biya victor before the official declaration of results? Doesn’t the victory of Jean Ping open a new page for power change in Central Africa after Idris Deby, Sassou Nguessou and Obiang Nguema all succeeded to quell opposition rise after their just past presidential elections? Why do we Cameroonians see the imperialistic hand of France everywhere rather than our “collective cowardice” to stand up for a new nation just like the people of Gabon are trying to do? Why did France not succeed to parachute Yayi Boni’s prime minister to the presidency; but rather had the people of Benin impose a peoples’ president? Why was the fall of Blaise Compaore not forestalled by the French? Why is power change a way of life in Senegal?
It must be noted that as 2018 approaches, the feeling of hopelessness in the Cameroonian people is growing bigger and bigger. Stakeholders in Cameroon are not seen to be laying the necessary foundations for true change. What lessons can we learn from Gabon? What do Jean Ping and the victory of the opposition teach us?
I seize this opportunity to congratulate Jean Ping not only for his victory but for his firm, resolute and patriotic steadfastness and leadership. He teaches our opposition leaders that the opposition can take the offensive, and not always wait to be taken by ambush with the defensive disadvantage the only options left to rest with.
Political Youth Activist