Cameroon's President aching extravagant attitude
April 25, 2014

Cameroon may have been the quintessential African dictatorship that prompted President Barrack Obama to declare in Ghana that what Africa needs are strong institutions not strong men. President Paul Biya's absolute power compromises the effectiveness of Cameroon's institutions to such an extent that anarchy and impunity prevails and corruption reigns supreme.

Judging by the way Mr. Biya has conducted himself during his well over 30 years of lackluster dictatorship, the common good of the impoverished lot of Cameroonians has never been anywhere near the center of his preoccupations.

According to a recent publication in the French Language daily, Le Messager, Mr. Biya, wife and friends spent over One billion FCFA, of Cameroon's tax payer's money in a 13-day stay in Europe where they decided to take a holiday after attending the two-day African-European summit in Belgium on the 2nd and 3rd April. 2014. Spending a night in one of the "ordinary" rooms of the Inter-Continental Hotel Geneva-Switzerland, costs a whopping 440.061 FCFA. Sources say Biya's entourage is made up of 15 security officials, 5 personal hotel staff, 10 attachés and two technical advisers, a total of 32. The hotel bill after 13 days amounts to 183,065,376 FCFA. According to reports, the president and wife are living in a suite that costs 1.200.000 FCFA a night plus 183,065,376 for his delegation; the total sum rises to 198,665,376 FCFA.

To the above expenses just for lodging must be added the cost of renting the air plane chattered for the trip, which will bring the amount to about a billion, given that the plane will be grounded for as long as Mr. Biya stays in Geneva.

And as if that is not mind boggling enough, according to a prime ministerial decree of 13 September 2000, the total sum allocated as allowances for such trips is about 99,840,000FCFA, excluding other bonuses, paid on their return.

How long will these kinds of senseless squander mania last before this regime shall succumb to its inexorable demise, or better still waterloo?

Samson Muteh