2020 New Year Wishes : Total Cordiality At State House
Delegations of the diplomatic corps and national dignitaries shared best wishes with President Paul Biya yesterday January 9, each praying for a more united and stable Cameroon.
Age-old tradition was respected to the letter at Unity Palace yesterday January 9, 2020 as members of the diplomatic corps comprising: Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Chargés d’Affaires and Representatives of International Organisations as well as the national dignitaries, in all conviviality, shared best wishes for 2020 with Cameroon’s Head of State, Paul Biya. It was a rare moment of communion not only between the President of the Republic and his guests but even among the invitees; owing to their usually busy schedules.
Even before 10:45 am when the invited guests were expected to start arriving at the State House, some of them were already in place and seated in the orderly set hall, with each chair well labelled to facilitate access by occupants.
In typical Cameroonian hospitality, the State Protocol was well deployed to lead the august guests of the Head of State to their own seats. As expected, the Head of State arrived at the ceremonial hall; Ambassadors Hall at Unity Palace, at midday to a standing ovation from already seated members of the diplomatic corps.
On their behalf, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Cameroon, Paul Patrick Biffot, Ambassador of Gabon, praised President Paul Biya and Cameroon for standing tall in the midst of teething national and international challenges. He singled out for praise President Paul Biya’s initiative to organise the Major National Dialogue from September 30 to October 4, 2019, some of whose recommendations; he added, are already being satisfactorily implemented. “You have once again proven to the world that you are always up to the task,” Ambassador Biffot said, adding that the diplomatic community accredited to Cameroon is convinced the dialogue will continue in the spirit of consolidating Cameroon’s priceless virtues of bilingualism and multiculturalism.
And in a veritable show of the cherished bilingualism, Ambassador Paul Patrick Biffot opined that, “the future resides in a pluralistic world and Cameroon, Africa in miniature, is a perfect example of the diversity. Like you Mr President, the diplomatic corps asserts that Cameroon is one and indivisible,” the dean stated firmly.
While praising Cameroon’s ability to stay afloat in the turbulent global economic environment; the Gabonese Ambassador however prayed President Paul Biya and his government to relentlessly work towards improving the business environment, stepping up security and ensuring that the upcoming February 9 twin elections hold in all tranquility, transparency and serenity for the people to freely and legitimately choose their local leaders.
In response, the host of the day, President Paul Biya stressed on the need for solid and sincere solidarity among nations to surmount common challenges of insecurity, terrorism, climate change and job creation especially for youths some of who are increasingly risking their precious lives on the high seas in search of what their host countries are unable to give them. While outlining unwavering government efforts in restoring normalcy in the restive parts of the country, President Paul Biya used the New Year Wishes ceremony to heap tones of praises on bilateral and multilateral partners of Cameroon who have shown proof of their sincere friendship to Cameroon in standing by her under rain and shine during the challenging moment. The bite served each of the diplomats as soon as he or she shook hands with
Cameroon’s first citizen and the carefully packaged gifts dished out to them on departure testified of Cameroon’s legendary hospitality.
Meanwhile, President Paul Biya shook hands with scores of delegations of the national dignitaries with each member gladly presenting best wishes to the Head of State and receiving same. The ball was set rolling by the First Vice President of the Senate, (for the Senate Bureau), followed by the Speaker of the National Assembly (for the Assembly Bureau) and then the Prime Minister leading the government. Other delegations followed suit with broad smiles and warm handshakes obviously praying for a more united and stable Cameroon.