A year now after rumours of him kicking the bucket, Camerounians are still to see the 88-year-old flamboyant dictator in a live event, even his emaciated wife. With several French Cameroun bloggers announcing the exact date and time they believe the “Lion man” passed away last year, his inner circle has made the rumours more believable with a series of deep fakes and photoshop debacles. In one of the poorly edited photos sent out to show Biya’s invincibility to mother nature, his wife’s hand is superimposed on a male suit. In the same occasion, Biya appears to have worn two different shoe sizes. In another one to highlight his 88th birthday, the wife is depicted with a single hand, and the frail man superimposed behind a birthday cake.
To compound matters, a video by the state run propaganda network CRTV highlights a purported visit of the healthy president to his home village of Mvomeka. Instead of showing the president to be communing with his most comfortable base, the piece which smacks of basic journalism tenets shows, but his tribesmen telling the world that, they have seen Biya strong and alive. “They think we are fools” an observer whose identity is concealed comments on a chat group. ” This is a man who will line up dance groups and cabinet ministers to welcome him from his luxurious hotel in Switzerland, today it is poor villagers telling us that he is alive and strong. We can see him by ourselves. No matter how much a Balloon is held under water it will find its way to the surface.” The individual concludes
Biya always walks out to see his guests off at the porch of the presidential palace, but since the rumours of his passing, the ailing man, who had earlier appeared confused at a state dinner, no longer does it. Diplomats have all been the ones to tell Camerounians how they had “fruitful discussions” with him. All his tightly-held inner circle has been doing is churning out to the public still photos of the missing president whose soldiers continue to massacre innocent people in English Cameroun (Ambazonia). The scheme started with the French Ambassador Mr. Christophe Guilhou, Following outcry from French Cameroun diasporas of deceit by France, a deluge of diplomats have picked up various plots of the scripted story, playing to the same still pictures with Mr. Biya, and practically becoming the spokesperson for him to the Camerounian people. Snippets of unconvincing and carefully-edited videos have been released to the world. These ruses have rather upped the believe that Africa’s oldest and most brutal dictator is no more or in a vegetative state. “How can foreigners be the ones telling us about the president of a country who just won a seven-year-mandate?”, a concerned citizen questions. Biya has been missing in all ceremonies he used to preside in the country. He was absent at the opening and closing ceremony of the African Nations’ Football Championship in Cameroun early this year. All Camerounians saw was another still picture with a FIFFA official at the presidential palace fueling the talk of his whereabouts. “These so-called diplomats are comfortable deceiving us, by claiming they met and discussed with Biya. Can their own presidents be absent for a year with only foreigners telling them about his health. How can they be part of this scam of still pictures?” An angry sympathizer of the main opposition party of Maurice Kamto demands. “They are the ones allowing these killings in the country, because Biya satisfies their economic interests.” He concludes.
Show us Biya Now
People in Cameroun are convinced Africa’s most brutal and oldest serving dictator is dead or at least in a vegetative state. “For God’s sake. This is a man who just won a seven-year mandate, and has not been seen for over a year.” A man (whose identity is concealed) smiles over his beer in the capital Yaounde. “We are here waiting, when his passing is official, we will drink and dance, it’s an ultimate journey” The displaced laborer quips. People like him are a hundred percent convinced Paul Biya is no more. “Even with the digital era, they have refused to show him to us live. Do they thing we are that stupid.” This lady is referencing virtual occasions where Biya has been represented by someone else. Okay, let’s say it’s Covid, but Covid is not transmitted virtually, so why not show him in such settings if he is capable of holding “fruitful discussions”.” The frustrated lady bursts. Well-scripted national addresses have failed to convince Camerounians of Biya’s living state. For now they hope for change, but not sure from which direction.