Thousands of Cameroonians who thronged the venue cheered President Paul Biya and Wife Chantal on their way to and from the National Assembly and danced in celebration.
When the gates of the Unity Palace were thrown wide open at 10:40 a.m. on November 6, 2018 for President-elect Paul Biya accompanied by the First Lady Chantal Biya to go for the oath-taking ceremony at the National Assembly, thousands of people who had filled the esplanade of the Unity Palace expressed excitement through singing, dancing and cheering.
The light departure motorcade drove slowly as President Biya and wife waved in response to the cheering population most of whom wore the President’s campaign fabric, T-Shirts, CPDM uniform and impressive dance groups whose members were dressed in distinctive traditional attires of their regions of origin.
As the motorcade drove along the Unity Palace-National Assembly itinerary, the curious population followed keenly in two giant television screens where they had scrambled for space. Indeed, the excitement of the population could be likened to that of fans and supporters of a darling football team in a competition as they shouted with joy with some of them dancing and raining praises on the Head of State during major highlights of the swearing-in event at the National Assembly.
The veritable long awaited time came around 1:10 p.m. when the gates of the Unity Palace were once more flung wide open to receive President Paul Biya who after taking the oath of office had ceased from being the President – elect to the full President with powers to pilot the ship of State for the next seven years christened, “Great Opportunities.” The motorcade that drove at snail’s pace, had become dense with the chivalry constituting a major component. The motorcade escorted President Paul Biya and Wife Chantal Biya right to the main entrance to the Unity Palace.
At this moment solemnity came in as President Biya alighted from the car for military honours mounted by the Presidential Guard. After the ritual, he mounted a special vehicle where he remained standing and waving in response to the jubilant crowd already inside the inner part of the Unity Palace. First Lady Chantal Biya also waved while sitting and when she got to around 100 metres to the State House, she got up and joined the President in responding to satisfy the curiosity of the people.
After President Biya and wife Chantal Biya went into the State House for other solemn phases of the ceremony, the esplanade of the Unity Palace was transformed into a cultural village with dance groups displaying their skills. Artists on their part displayed singing praises to President Biya in the podium that was mounted for the occasion at the esplanade of the Unity Palace.
The word in most lips was satisfaction for having been part of the event. The population will certainly respond to the message in posters in the Unity Palace which read, “Thank you for your renewed confidence: Together, let us take up the challenge to ensure a more united, stable and prosperous Cameroon”.