“Ido so swear.” With this oath, Presidentelect, Paul Biya, tomorrow 6 November 2018 resumes the coveted post of President of Cameroon. At a time when some compatriots doubted whether at 85 and after having served for 36years, President Biya would opt to continue at the helm of the nation for the next seven years, the man of the New Deal at last proved to fellow Cameroonians that the Deal is still new. The challenges ahead are still such that he would not shy away from what should be tackled to attain his objectives.
It was not, and could not be an easy ride to the expected end. But the incumbent with the ruling party, the Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement CPDM, at last taught the electorate that the “Force of Experience” conceived as the main campaign slogan could deliver the goods. Fortunately it did. Besides CPDM militants’ shrewdness in their campaign strategies, weaknesses of the opposition, were physical and human resources which made possible what many thought could not happen.
After the polling on 7th October 2018, vote count by the National Counting Commission, and work by the Constitutional Council, on some 18 petitions, which could not alter the trend, candidate Paul Biya was on 22 October 2018 declared winner of the highly contested election. With a landslide victory of 71.28% of the valid votes cast in his favour, Paul Biya was declared President elect of the Republic of Cameroon. Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM scored 14.23%, Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front SDF, 3.35%, Cabral Libii 6.28%, Dr Ndam Njoya 1.73% and Garga Haman Adji 1.55%.
The rest of the contestants; Ndifor Afanyi Frankline, Matomba Serge and Muna Akere Tabeng scored below one per cent of the total votes cast. Despite the usual cries of foul after most, if not all elections in Africa, it is now known that Cameroonians went to the polls on 7 October, and decided who would, within the next seven years serve at the helm of their country’s administration. As the messages of congratulations start coming in and Cameroonians ponder over the recent de velopments that regrettably tarnish the image of their beloved country, the concern of truly patriotic sons and daughters of this country is for peace to reign.
For this to happen President Paul Biya must work with fellow Cameroonians who on their part, must note that for President Paul Biya’s experience of 36years to go beyond a lofty campaign slogan, they must support him in truth, hardwork; loyalty and honesty If we are not sincere and selflessly patriotic, we will continue to see nothing wrong in the sociopolitical crisis devastating the Northwest and Southwest regions, Boko Haram atrocities in the Far North and the refugee crisis in the East region. And what about thousands of our children who can no longer go to school in the Anglophone regions, and the Far North that is being threatened by famine and diseases?
The challenges are indeed many but to continue in the search for solutions, the choice of leaders to serve the country should be followed by genuine cooperation to forge ahead. We should celebrate after electoral victories, and appointments, but must be prepared to work sincerely with compatriots to attain goals of common interest. For, no leader at any level, no matter how shrewd he is can succeed if he is left without counsel and cooperation.
As President Biya begins his seventh term Cameroonians and well-wishers should work with him, while he listens to and serves not individual interests, but what brings progress and honour to the entire nation.