Controversy After « Hired » Crowds Welcomed President Biya To Cameroon
There have been varied reactions from Cameroonians following a « hilarious » welcome given to the presidential couple Friday July 5 in Yaounde.
Hundreds of people either for the money or under duress lined up the streets from the Yaounde Nsimalen airport to the unity palace in Etoudi.
They chanted patriotic songs and cheered at Paul and Chantal Biya as they made their way into the political capital.
Reflecting on what President Paul Biya’s private stay has cost Cameroonians both at the national and international level, some political commentators say Mr. Biya does not deserve such a welcome this time around.
To Tayong Fah Elvis, a journalist and analyst, President Biya’s stay in Switzerland was ‘a shameful representation’.
He holds that the president returned home more unpopular given that disgruntled Cameroonians in the diaspora showed open disregards for his governance system.
First, circumstances leading to Mr.Biya’s return just after a few weeks remain unclear. We remember how Swiss parliamentarians signed a petition calling on the presidential couple to quit the country.This followed days of continuous protest in front of Inter Continental Hotel in Geneva.
Secondly, six presidential guards were handed suspended sentences for brutalizing a journalist by a Swiss court.
Analysts think the unruly behavior of Biya’s security portrays the manner and level to which journalists in Cameroon have been suppressed for 37 years by the security service on instructions of the administration.
To the founder of the Cameroon Peoples’ Party, sentencing the guards of the president for manhandling the journalist is wrong.
To professor Tita Fon Samuel, the presidential guards were mainly protecting the president from the brutality of the journalists and other protesters.
He opines that if the same scenario happens in Cameroon, the guards will not be punished.
Prof Tita holds that unpatriotic Cameroonians have no right to interrupt the private stay of the president – a stand Charles Nana, former US senate candidate opposes.
To him, brutalizing a journalist on duty is a violation of the law.Thus, he applauds the Swiss judicial system for sentencing the guards.
Given unconfirmed reports that the president’s stay in Switzerland was to start peace talks to end the crisis, Cameroonian in and out of the country are waiting to see what will happen in the days ahead to resolve the crisis.
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