Visiting Chadian leader, Idriss Deby Itno told pressmen he had come to sympathise with President Biya following the Eseka train crash.
The welcome and farewell ceremonies organised successively at the Presidential section of the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport told the story even better as to the nature of the visit to Cameroon, by the Chadian President and current Chairman of the African Union, Idriss Deby Itno. The mounting of the combined military honours commanded by Col. Thomas Claude Embid, the honouring of the flags of the two nations by the two Heads of State on arrival at the airport, the singing of the Anthems of both countries all combined to give the solemnity the visit deserved.
. The two ceremonies organised to grace the arrival and departure of the August guest bore egos of nationhood, epitomised by military honours and the massive presence of the national and international constituted corps. Animated by the Presidential band, the airport ceremonies witnessed the participation of a battery of pressmen, numerous dance groups, notably from the Mfoundi and Mefou Afamba Divisions, and a medley of militants of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM). President Deby whose plane touched down on Friday, October, 28 at 3:05pm was received by President Paul Biya at the foot of the plane, conducted to the Presidential Lounge for a brief discussion after all protocol arrangements before proceeding to the Hilton amidst lots of cheering from the population.
If there is something that really made news at the airport, it was the declaration to the press by President Deby shortly before departure. Accompanied by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang on behalf of the Head of State, President Paul Biya, the Chadian leader told media men at the Presidential Lounge that he had come to personally condole with President Biya and the Cameroonian people following the Eseka train disaster. “When I heard of the sad news that caused human lives to Cameroonian sisters and brothers, I sent a message of condolence to President Paul Biya and the affected families, also to the government and to the Cameroonian people. But considering our relationship, I felt that a simple message was not enough. It was then necessary to come and meet my brother and personally present the condolences of the Chadian people to the brotherly people of Cameroon”, he said.
Apart from the sad even, President Deby said the visit was equally occasion for the two of them to discuss issues of common interest between the two nations. “We did an excellent job within the framework of the fight against Boko Haram”, he said, underscoring that today’s Boko Haram is no longer what it was in 2014. He particularly thanked and congratulated the population around Lake Chad that grouped itself in vigilante committees and supported the country, the army as well as denounced the criminal acts of the insurgents. “We have to continue in the fight because we need peace and stability to attain our development vision and ambition”, he concluded. He finally took off at 11:52am Saturday, October 29, after all protocol arrangements.