Cameroonian President Paul Biya has recently commemorated his 41st year in power, marking the anniversary on November 6th. The occasion was observed in Yaoundé, the capital, where thousands gathered, although the President himself was notably absent.
Taking office on November 6, 1982, following the resignation of Cameroon’s first president, Ahmadou Ahidjo, Paul Biya, a former Prime Minister, assumed the leadership role. Despite his absence from the recent anniversary event, there is significant speculation within the ruling Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDPC) about his potential candidacy in the 2025 presidential election, aiming for an unprecedented 8th term, each lasting seven years.
However, not all voices within the nation are in support of President Biya. On the eve of the anniversary, critics of his regime expressed their dissent by wearing black, highlighting concerns about corruption, governance issues, and an ongoing power struggle within the government.
President Biya, who celebrated his 90th birthday in February, holds the distinction of being Africa’s second-longest-serving leader. During his tenure, Cameroon has faced various challenges, including a secessionist movement in the English-speaking regions of the country and the threat posed by Islamic extremists affiliated with the Nigeria-based Boko Haram group in the north.
It’s worth noting that President Biya secured his last presidential victory in 2018, further solidifying his lengthy legacy in Cameroonian politics.