News broke out on social media about super stars Sameul Eto’o Fils’ plan visit to the restive Anglophone regions of the country as special representative of the head of state whom himself is yet to visit the regions.
The Konyasport striker who is Africa’s most decorated footballer and arguably Cameroon’s most famous persons plans to visit schools and the population in the restive North West and South West region of the country which has been affected in a crisis dubbed the Anglophone crisis for close to two years now.
The multi-millionaire footballer who also doubles as a humanitarian and UNESCO goodwill ambassador hails from the French region of Littoral precisely Douala but commands a sizable following across the entire country.
While Eto’o might have made his fortune and his name playing football and scoring goals with ease on the field, scoring a political goal especially with a crisis as complex and historically enshrined as the Anglophone crisis certainly requires special skills which Eto’o doesn’t have.
His critics have lamented at his silence in the phase of the troubling developments in the Anglophone regions and many have taken to social media to protests his planned visit which they say it’s a political ploy by authorities in Yaoundé and a provocation to the people of affected region
While Eto’o remains one of the most famous faces of the world of football across the globe, he has accumulated wealth and wielding “political” influence at home and it remains to be seen if his planned visit to the war stricken Anglophone regions will yield any fruit.
Many have rubbished his plan visit as another failed and lame attempt by the struggling government facing mounting international pressure to dialogue with the people and the “boycott Eto’o” campaign could not have been louder with some calling on the super star and proud son of the land to visit the displaced refugees in Nigeria instead.
The Eto’o factor
Whether Eto’o is visiting the affected regions out of humanitarian basis or government’s political ploy remains to be seen.
But his visit as a special envoy to the president of the republic certainly sends a strong political message and carries a massive undertone
But it is not the first time the government has solicited the help of one of its own to help fix their mess they crested
In 2017, when the new CAF boss Ahmad took over office from Cameroonian born Issa Hayatou in a surprise victory against the Cameroonian who had reign large over the organisation for over 20 years, the new man launch a series of attacks against the country of his ousted rival as they prepare to host the 2019 nations cup
Ahmad threatens to take the hosting rights away from the country in a move which would have humiliated the government.
He touted the country’s lack of preparation to host the suddenly enlarged games from 16 to 24 teams and warned Morocco might host the tournament if Cameroon was not prepared.
Eto’o was called to rescue and he flown to Switzerland to discuss with FIFA authorities and within days the rhetoric of CAF changed and Cameroon was once again on the front foot
The latest move by the government to deploy the super star and his star power in region where very few do care about stardom is a move many has question its relevance given Eto’o’s lack of political experience and the historical roots of the problem
The troubled people of North West and South West looks beyond the popularity of Samuel Eto’o for urgent political settlement of the painful crisis which has killed many and leaves many more internally and externally displaced
In April 2018, the super star threatened to Sue French media outlet JeuneAfrique for making a bad joke about his ambition to run for president of the country and the Anglophone crisis on 1st April.
The authors of the article went as far as talking about the Anglophone crisis which has caused a lot of despair and grief in my country” Eto’o wrote as he threatened to sue jeuneafrique magazine