Thursday, April 2, 2020

Rumoured Death Of Paul Biya: why are you looking for the one who is alive among the dead?

For nearly two weeks, the Cameroonian head of state was given for death.

All the chancelleries based in Yaoundé and in certain countries in Africa including the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs are boiling ... 

In Abidjan, Minister Bamba Mamadou then Minister of Foreign Affairs, does not know what to say to President Gbagbo who has not not the Cameroonian president's mobile number. Dead or alive no one knows. 

Time has stood still in the Cameroonian capital.

But it is François Soudan who recounts the atmosphere that reigned in the world with this rumor. 

Who said that in the global piece of globalization, Africa was both offside and offside? With its morbid intrigue and its triumphant outcome for the one who was the victim and the hero, the crazy Cameroonian rumor of the first weekend of June will have had at least one merit: that of demonstrating that in terms of new technologies of the information, Paul Biya's compatriots had no lessons to receive from anyone, for better or for worse. Extraordinary affair that this one, which saw a head of state given for death to return masterfully to his profit a death announcement launched on the Internet like a bottle in the sea and to offer a welcome of Roman emperor, while testing its popularity and the loyalty of its employees! A sort of African tragicomedy, Césaire reviewed by Ionesco, 

It is Thursday, May 20, national holiday, that Paul Biya appears for the last time in public before his trip of all rumors. The president, who turned 71 on February 13 and suffers from nothing according to those around him, except recurrent and banal access to malaria, attends the civil and military parade. He looks fit, shakes hands and disappears. 

Six days later, on Wednesday 26, after a long weekend spent at home in his village of Mvomeka'a, Biya signs the decrees partially renewing the eleven members of the National Elections Observatory. Essential cog, the Onel is thus able to supervise the presidential election next October, to which Paul Biya will be, even if he has not yet officially declared himself, candidate. 

Saturday 29, finally, as usual in the utmost discretion - the trip is not announced -, the Cameroonian president takes off for a private stay in Switzerland where his wife Chantal soon joins him. The collaborators of the first circle, those of the presidential palace of Etoudi, know that this rest will be short-lived: eight to ten days at most. Biya must indeed co-chair, with his Chadian counterpart Idriss Déby, the official inauguration, on June 12, of the terminal of the Doba-Kribi pipeline, in the presence of half a dozen heads of state from Central Africa and from West. Originally scheduled for May 30, the ceremony was postponed at the request of the Chadian side, shaken by a failed coup attempt. There can be no question of upsetting the preparations again.

In Geneva, the presidential couple and their children Brenda and Junior stay at the Intercontinental hotel, where they have their habits. For five days, nothing transpires from their activities, except that the president plays golf, performs his morning jog and keeps himself informed of everything that is happening in Cameroon via his secretary general, Minister of State Jean -Marie Atangana Mebara, guardian of the "Etoudi house". The accompanying delegation is lightened: relatives such as Léopold-Ferdinand Oyono and René Owona are not included. 

Thursday, June 3 in the evening or Friday, June 4 in the morning, two websites, The African Independent and Cameroonlink, both run from the United States, where they went into exile, by Cameroonian opponents including a certain Ndzana Seme, former director in the 1990s of the sensation newspaper Front Indépendant, launched on the Web a rumor which will not stop growing: “President Biya would have died in Switzerland. During the whole day of the 4th, the "information" goes on loop but does not really leave the network. In Paris, the Quai d'Orsay is nevertheless moved, but the French Embassy in Yaoundé, contacted, wants to be reassuring: crazy. Until the end, Ambassador Jean-François Vallette, who has already had to "deal" with a rumor of this kind in Togo, his previous post, in September 2003, will be one of the few to maintain this position. 

We know today that he was right, instinctively as much as thanks to his information. 

Saturday, June 5, the rumor exploded early in the morning. Gradually, all the cities of Cameroon, but also all the foreign capitals where a Cameroonian community resides, are affected. Barely modulated by those who claim to have had the first lady, Chantal Biya, on the phone - who allegedly claimed that her husband had, at 11 am the same morning, jogged, the scenario is roughly as follows: victim of heart trouble in Yaoundé, the president was rushed to a Geneva clinic, then operated. Two versions follow: 

he died on the night of Friday to Saturday (at 10 p.m. sharp!); he is in a deep coma. From what source? "The nanny of the chief's children", "the aide-de-camp", "a bodyguard", it depends. 

Some Cameroonians begin to assemble in front of the Intercontinental in Geneva, others do the same in Paris - where the body would have been transported in the greatest secrecy - in front of the embassy. The announcement the same evening, by the CRTV television news, that Paul Biya had decided today to send a delegation to the North led by the Minister of Territorial Administration Marafa Hamidou Yaya in order to comfort the inhabitants of a village half destroyed by a band of road cutters, falls completely flat. We only remember one thing: the clip preceding the newspaper, "Mbama Esae". Composed by the director general of CRTV, the inescapable Gervais Mendo Ze, this song to the glory of Chantal Biya strongly resembles, immediately assure the "specialists", a form of condolence ... At night, it rains. Yaoundé takes a shower, 

Sunday, June 6 in the morning, the intox is so tenacious that French President Jacques Chirac, from the beaches of Normandy where he attends the celebrations of the sixtieth anniversary of the Allied landing, worries about it and requests that we keep him informed . He is not the only one. In N'Djamena, Libreville, Brazzaville, Bangui, Abuja, Dakar, we stir in the presidential palaces to confirm or deny the rumor. We call Paris, which is hard to say anything. Joined late in the morning that day, a senior official in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented: "We have gone back to the highest and closest to President Biya, and we are assured that all is well, but you know , the Cameroonian government has a somewhat opaque, somewhat Chinese mode of operation. And then, We do not have the same access facilities to Geneva clinics as to French hospitals. " 

For this personality, there was then apparently little doubt that Biya had, at the very least, been operated on. In his defense, most Cameroonian ministers - and not the least - are also in the most complete fog, reduced to seek" Information" to journalists who question them. One of them will even go so far as to contact a Central African Minister of his friends, so that he can obtain information for him from the Secretary General of the Presidency, Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara! At the heart of a system where partitioning is required, the latter is indeed one of the few to know and to have had on the phone, from Geneva, a Paul Biya half-amused half-annoyed by the rumor. Also, when at 1 pm this Sunday the Minister of State Mebara finally makes public a firm statement of denial, the madness must in principle cease. Especially since to comment on this midday, the CRTV summoned all its heavyweights, famous figures from the Cameroonian audiovisual landscape: Barbara Etoa, Charles Ndongo, Antoine-Marie Ngono, Michel Ndjock Abanda and, of course, Gervais Mendo Ze. 

However, nothing helps. As long as Paul Biya has not been seen or heard, doubt will remain. In the meantime, everything seems suspicious in the eyes of 

“Cameroonians” from here and elsewhere. Starting, of course, with reality. "The head of state has nothing, he will be back soon, the press release is clear! Exclaims on the phone the Minister of Communication Jacques Fame Ndongo, information professional and close to the seraglio. In vain. 

Saturday, June 5, the rumor exploded early in the morning. Gradually, all the cities of Cameroon, but also all the foreign capitals where a Cameroonian community resides, are affected. Barely modulated by those who claim to have had the first lady, Chantal Biya, on the phone - who allegedly claimed that her husband had, at 11 am the same morning, jogged, the scenario is roughly as follows: victim of heart trouble in Yaoundé, the president was rushed to a Geneva clinic, then operated. Two versions follow: he died on the night of Friday to Saturday (at 10 pm sharp!); he is in a deep coma. From what source? "The nanny of the chief's children", "the aide-de-camp", "a bodyguard", it depends. 

Some Cameroonians begin to assemble in front of the Intercontinental in Geneva, others do the same in Paris - where the body would have been transported in the greatest secrecy - in front of the embassy. The announcement the same evening, by the CRTV television news, that Paul Biya had decided today to send a delegation to the North led by the Minister of Territorial Administration Marafa Hamidou Yaya in order to comfort the inhabitants of a village half destroyed by a band of road cutters, falls completely flat. We only remember one thing: the clip preceding the newspaper, "Mbama Esae". Composed by the director general of CRTV, the inescapable Gervais Mendo Ze, this song to the glory of Chantal Biya strongly resembles, immediately assure the "specialists", a form of condolence ... At night, it rains. Yaoundé takes a shower. 

Sunday, June 6 in the morning, the intox is so tenacious that French President Jacques Chirac, from the beaches of Normandy where he attends the celebrations of the sixtieth anniversary of the Allied landing, worries about it and requests that we keep him informed . He is not the only one. In N'Djamena, Libreville, Brazzaville, Bangui, Abuja, Dakar, we stir in the presidential palaces to confirm or deny the rumor. We call Paris, which is hard to say anything. Joined late in the morning that day, a senior official in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented: "We have gone back to the highest and closest to President Biya, and we are assured that all is well, but you know , the Cameroonian government has a somewhat opaque, somewhat Chinese mode of operation. And then, We do not have the same access facilities to Geneva clinics as to French hospitals. " 

For this personality, there was then apparently little doubt that Biya had, at the very least, been operated on. In his defense, most Cameroonian ministers - and not the least - are also in the most complete fog, reduced to seek 

"information" from journalists who question them. One of them will even go so far as to contact a Central African Minister of his friends, so that he can obtain information for him from the Secretary General of the Presidency, Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara! At the heart of a system where partitioning is required, the latter is indeed one of the few to know and to have had on the phone, from Geneva, a Paul Biya half-amused half-annoyed by the rumor.

Also, when at 1 pm this Sunday the Minister of State Mebara finally makes public a firm statement of denial, the madness must in principle cease. Especially since to comment on this midday, the CRTV summoned all its heavyweights, famous figures of the Cameroonian audiovisual landscape: Barbara Etoa, Charles Ndongo, Antoine-Marie Ngono, Michel Ndjock Abanda and, of course, Gervais Mendo Ze. 

However, nothing helps. As long as Paul Biya has not been seen or heard, doubt will remain. In the meantime, everything seems suspicious in the eyes of 

"Cameroonians" from here and elsewhere. Starting, of course, with reality. "The head of state has nothing, he will be back soon, the press release is clear! Exclaims on the phone the Minister of Communication Jacques Fame Ndongo, information professional and close to the seraglio. In vain. The ghost must become flesh. 

The next day, Monday, June 7, it is the turn of the Cameroonian mission to the UN, in Geneva, to step up. President Paul Biya, she says in a statement, "is doing like a charm." Too good to be credible, immediately decides the rumor, it hides something. In the evening, television reads the message of condolences from Biya to George Bush after the death - undoubted that one - of Ronald Reagan, which occurred the day before. Insufficient: everyone knows that this type of message can be fabricated to give the change, the time for the first circle to untangle the threads of the succession. 

Questioned at the end of the morning, a "thirty-year-old friend" of the Cameroonian head of state, Swiss moreover, however claims to have had it on the phone not long ago: "He even invited me to the inauguration, this Saturday, from the Kribi terminal; he will be there, of course. But the friend in question is a discreet man. He does not have, moreover, quality to intervene on the media… Tuesday, June 8, the bladder finally begins to deflate. 

Since the day before, the Quai d'Orsay, in Paris, "knows from a reliable source" that Paul Biya "is always with us". In which state ? Mystery. Final version of the last square of the Cameroonian "pro-rumors": the president had an eight hour coma, and a bodyguard, panicked, gave him for dead. He has since been placed under mandatory arrest. It will, in fact, have to wait until Wednesday, June 9, for this macabre comedy to finally end. 

Around 9:30 a.m. that morning, a radiant Paul Biya, in a blue suit, accompanied by his wife in pink, Brenda and Junior, left the Intercontinental hotel in the direction of Geneva airport. At 3:50 p.m., the Camair presidential Boeing landed in Yaoundé-Nsimalen, awaited by a delirious crowd. "The ghost greets you well, jokes Biya, who adds: some, apparently, were in a hurry to attend my funeral. The popular reception concocted by the government is matched only by that reserved here, for Pope John Paul II and the Indomitable Lions, winners of the 2002 African Cup. Four months before the presidential election , the popularity poll is significant, even if it is based on exceptional circumstances. To the exact measure of the feeling of emptiness, fear and fear of the future that had, 

Lurking in her corner, momentarily knocked out but without an arbiter to declare her defeated, the rumor, she, recovers.

Its two preferred vectors, the Internet and the cell phone, are there, ready to be used again. A restart attempt, quickly aborted, also took place while Biya put his foot on the ladder of cut, on the theme of the double. Since then, it has taken another, more malignant form: to believe it, it would be Paul Biya himself who would have concocted everything from A to Z, launching the rumor of his own death to better recover the benefits. A rumor about the rumor, therefore, and a Cameroonian version of the conspiracy theory dear to the "Arab street". When we told you that Africa was not on the fringes of globalization ... 

The day your president leaves this land, you will know the same day not through press releases, but by fairly powerful and surprising signs of time ... 

Otherwise his menu for this day of April 1, 2020 at 12:45 pm, was cassava fritters turned into bananas with a background of chilli. It is his favorite dish… 

So to tell you as the other said, why are you looking for the one who is alive among the dead? 

He is alive and very LUCID like a damn judge.


Source: 237online.com