Research Fellow at the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies In Africa (MIASA) and Political Science Scholar at the University of Yaounde II , Jean Marcellin Manga has intimated that strong political maneouvres and strategies developed by state authorities in Cameroon have contributed to the Paul Biya’s prolonged stay in power.
The revelation comes on the back of the Institute holding its 5th Public Lecture for the academic year .
The Lecture Series is an initiative of the largely research driven Institute to create a platform for researchers serving with the centre to present high quality papers to the general public and university community on their various areas of expertise.
Speaking at the event, Jean Marcellin Manga revealed that the intricacies of the “calls” and “counter-calls” for the candidacy of incumbent President Paul Biya.
He posited that these calls represent the intricate web of political alliances formed through clientelist negotiations employed by political leaders to maintain their hegemonic positions.
” In Cameroon, the biggest weapon of the state authorities is to monopolize use of state resources to portray the policies and programmes of the long standing Biya led administration as the best vehicle through which the country and its citizens can achieve their fullest potentials.
Inspite of agitations among the youthful groups and persons desirous of change, the government of the day has been able to deploy the soft and hard powers of the state to permeate both middle class and traditional groupings to tacitly support the administration through socially led programmes and engagements to polish the down sides to be the key to economic freedom and political expression”.
Also, Jean Manga also shed lights on the various mobilization drives for citizen support that political opposition in Cameroon have been putting together to throw spotlight on the ineffectiveness and compelling social problems that the over 4 decades long rule of President Biya has subconsciously had on certain parts of the country who feel marginalized and underrepresented.
He was of the view that despite the activism of the youth and middle class on social media towards regime of the day, there are deep seated political and social machinations which perpetuate the rule of the administration which must take conscious efforts and better strategies in order to change the political regime in the country to meet the aspirations of the persons calling for change.
” In recent times and over the years, political activism of both the youth and middle class in Cameroon on social media has not been powerful and coordinated properly on grounds as well that will send signals to the regime that its existence can be curtailed through lawful and legitimate change of power through the ballot box.
It must be said that due to the existing dynamics and manipulation of the political atmosphere in the country, it would take far more social mobilization and appropriate coordination between the stakeholders ( political opposition, Civil society groups and youth led coalitions ) to be able to conscientize the vast majority of the citizenry to take full ownership of the brewing atmosphere of change that will see the back of the Biya regime”.