Biya’s partial cabinet reshuffle: The President slaps the right people and hugs the wrong ones
The latest Presidential decree yesterday Friday March 2nd 2018 which saw the dismissal of some ministers has been the news most Cameroonians are waking up to this morning. But truth be told, the headlines of Monday papers will not feature the reshuffle which Biya did but will carry headlines about the choice of his appointees in the face of the country’s most challenging moments post-independence.’
That a cabinet reshuffle is coming at this time is particularly surprising as once again President Biya takes political observers by surprise, rubbishes old tradition and shows total disregard for the peoples cry with the choices of his latest appointments.
For one reason, very few could have expected to see this coming. The president of the Republic has made it part of his policy to wait after elections before carrying out cabinet reshuffle and even though this was a partial reshuffle since most ministries were unchanged, coming in the backdrop of the Anglophone crisis, the stakes could not have been higher.
President Biya always compensates different sections after their results in elections towards his party and given the intense and politically charged calendar for this year, many had not seen this coming.
Many have been quick to try and make meaning of what must have fueled the 85 years old ruler’s decision before elections.
The pressure has been mounting on the president ever since the start of the Anglophone problem to make changes to his government and calls were even louder to dismiss certain members of the government whom many say were part of the problem
While the President ignored those calls, many believe he wants to sow the world that he is listening to the calls of the people and taking some kind of measures to fix the grueling Anglophone problem
Not Atanga Nji and Nalova Lyonga: Biya’s provocative decree shows a President who is out of touch with his people?
Biya’s latest decree shows conspicuously of a President who is out of touch with realities on the ground and indeed with is people.
The Appointment of Minister Paul Atanga Nji, former Minister of special duties at the Presidency of the republic and Cameroon’s intelligence chief to head the now disintegrated interior ministry epitomizes that line.
But critics have also express worry about the choice of former UB boss Nalova Pauline Lyonga as MINEC boss after her brutal crackdown of student protesters in the early days of the crisis which made ultiple rounds on social media and brought to bear to the world the government’s heavy handedness and lack of respect of people’s rights to peaceful protest
Paul Atanga Nji gained fame for all the wrong reasons when he became the first Anglophone minster and high ranking government official to publicly deny the existence of the Anglophone problem on national television to the chagrin of many.
The North West born Atanaga Nji’s comments drew the ire of the marginalized population who disowned one of their own .
Even when the president finally acknowledge the existence of a problem known as and Anglophone problem, the damage had already been done and the vocal minister continue his rhetoric, making rounds on television channels across the nations capital to make his case despite the fact that there was overwhelming evidence for him to back down from his false claims.
Simply put, Atanga Nji Na Nalova Lyonga are the worst choices in any circumstance at this pivotal moment of theis crisis as the two constitute part of the problem. They both contributed in no small way in the escalation of the crisis that has so far killed many, leaving many homes and other properties destroyed and sending hundreds of thousands as refugees to neighboring Nigeria and it’s not over
There was increasing calls across the board for the head of Atanga Nji and Nalova Lyonga who ruled UB with iron fists and both were seen as part of the team of people deceiving the head of state with inaccurate information about the growing crisis in the two restive regions of North West and South West regions of the country.
When the minister Atanga Nji was transferred to replace Rene Sadi whom many see as one of the air to the throne in one of the most important ministry of this country at these difficult moments where the crisis is taking another phase, many concluded that the President has lost contact with the people and doesn’t understands the realities on the ground.
For a man who has lost the support from his own people, making history by becoming the first Anglophone to run the interior ministry in a country where appointments have been based on the support you enjoy from your people through the ballot box; President Biya is certainly changing his game and rewriting the rules.
While some of the names follow the tradition of recycling the old guards, the recent changes also touched some big names Like Director of civil Cabinet at the Presidency, Martin Belinga , South West born Elung Paul continue to rise within the echelon of power why arrogant Ngole Philip Ngwese of forestry lose the forest ministry which until now has been dubbed the Anglophone to a francophone and Mebengo of transport were axed