You may be wondering who the dean of African presidents could be. The answer is here. A dean in the context of this write up refers to a senior member of some group of people, dean of diplomatic corps. Africa is noted for emulating western democratic values, dictatorial governance, and poor foreign policy instruments.

A few of African presidents have successfully piloted the affairs of their states to the point of external admiration. One among them is the president of the Republic of Cameroon,  Paul Biya. Calm down! I will elucidate!

Having ruled Cameroon for over 34 years, his leadership prowess has earned him the title Cameroon’s Lion man popularized when the indomitable lions rose to the world cup quarter finals in 1990.

Paul Biya is noted as the highest African dictator to have effectively and tactfully utilized the Machiavellian leadership principles to cling to power.

He practically made the Unity Palace of Cameroon to become an international presidential powerhouse where newly sworn in presidents in Africa must stop by to be schooled on leadership tactics and get baptized with the spirit of longevity in power.

Though he is not the oldest serving African president as of now, his monarchical balance sheet is outstanding.

He is a king and behaves as such, BBC reporter Randi Jeo Saa’a posits

he maintains a somewhat royal air, distancing himself from the cabinet – some ministers are appointed and sacked years later without ever meeting the president

The international community gave him a red feather when he successfully humbled his giant neighbor Nigeria to gain the long and highly disputed Bakassi peninsular through the Green Tree Accord.

With this optimal diplomatic transcript, the long-standing “holy dictator” pushed through and positioned many Cameroonians in top political positions on the continent and the world. Hence, making himself as the political Godfather 

or what the eloquent Crtv Chief of sovereign affairs George Ewane frequently called the Dean of African presidents.

The question now is can Paul Biya still be called the dean?

Thomas Rainer gives four signs a leader is about to fall such as growing overconfidence, trying to hide from the public, lying, and escalating denials.

All these are evident in the present regime in Cameroon. This is because at this stage the leader has run out of intellectual and material leadership resources.

Biya’s (the lion man) international cap as a political godfather has been seized by some African tigers and the fight on who should be crown is ongoing.

This is visible as Cameroon since 2016 has recorded losses in high ranked diplomatic battles in the glaring eyes of its “Lion Man”. The failures in Cameroon’s diplomatic report card keep increasing and many have blamed it on the weak and poorly guided diplomacy in Yaounde

For instance

Issa Hayatou lost the election to the presidency of the Confederation of African Football on 16 March 2017.  The Prince of Garoua, at the head of the CAF since 1988, was humiliated by Malagasy Hamad Hamad.

Two months later, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum failed to win the election to head the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA)

During the last AU elections no Cameroonian gained a strategic position despite the fact that President Biya authorized the filing of eight Cameroonian candidates for various positions, such as: Victor Emmanuel Djomatchoua (Deputy Chairperson), Emmanuel Edou (Peace and Security), Churchill Ewumbue-Monono (Political Affairs), Philemon Zo’o Zame (Infrastructure and Energy), Justine Diffo Tchunkam (Social Affairs), Maurice Tchuente (Human Resources, Science and Technology), Francois Ekanga Ekoko (Rural Economy and Agriculture) and Paul Tasong Njukeng (Economic Affairs)

Biya’s international presence no longer calls for concern seen even during the just ended 2017 UN General Assembly where his colleagues and others cunningly deserted the hall when he mounted the podium to address the world, many even preferred listening to the comic Robert Mugabe. 

Ruling in the 21st century where the world has been reduced to a city by the internet and social media, where citizens are becoming more apprised of their political rights,

where the myth of fear and the political propaganda to make the people see leaders as demi-gods has been humorously immortalized by a senior technocrat Bidoum Kpatt in a presidential salute

And worst of all, the rise of Anglophone nationalism and the clamor for the state of Amazonia have all put our hero in an undesired position of “just let it go

The Cameroonian press, international political analysts are all speculating Biya’s secret search of a loyal successor

The Cameroonian political atmosphere is pregnant with events that are all crucial to the destiny of a people. From the epic Anglophone crisis to the upcoming presidential, municipal elections one can only cross his fingers and watch how nature plays its game.

The falling tendency of the dean of African presidents seems to suggest a new era of attachment to nationhood as Cameroonians home and abroad, young and old are all preparing for a regime change

Others (presidential aspirants) are presenting their political agenda for the “new Cameroon” as proposed by Barrister Akere Muna one of the most surprised candidates for the Cameroon 2018 presidential elections.


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