Célestin Bedzigui, President of Alliance Liberale Party (PAL).
Why have you chosen to launch a clarion call for all to unite in supporting President Paul Biya in the 2018 presidential election?
I have chosen to launch the appeal for political parties and civil society organisations to support the candidacy of President Paul Biya in the 2018 presidential election because I have scrutinized all the potential candidates and I have seen that only Paul Biya is taking into consideration the two main problems we have in Cameroon now. The first one is the economic problem. When you look at all those young people wasting their time along the roads in what is known as the informal sector, you discover that it is a social bomb. When it will explode, I don’t know whether Cameroon will still be a living country. I have scrutinized the speeches and visions of all the other aspirants to the presidency in 2018, I have not seen any consideration for the country’s economic problems. The second concern is the crisis in the Anglophone regions of the North West and South West. I am trying to push the idea that the best way to solve the problem is through dialogue. If we try it, we will get the results. With the ongoing crisis, I am pushing forward with the ambition to tell President Biya that we have to sit around the table and talk with everybody. The problem we have in Cameroon is not that of living together. We have the problem of the governance style and situation. The problem will be solved when we have this gathering which I call the “Second Tripartite.”
You admitted that proposing the candidacy of President Paul Biya is risky. Why have you taken the risk?
It is a challenge and we are talking not only to President Biya, but to the entire Cameroonian people. We are coming before Paul Biya to tell him that he should just listen to us and let us try to see in which way we can implement the solutions we are proposing to solve the problems of the country. We cannot just stay without making proposals.
What makes you think that President Biya is the best candidate?
Just look around you and see what makes the other aspirants not to be the right candidates. President Biya has the experience to be the leader at this level. To be a leader, you need to have first the experience and secondly, you need to know how to manage people around you. You cannot choose as president someone who does not show any experience on how to lead people. You need to go through some experience before thinking that you can do it.