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Analysis: Coronavirus outbreak gives Biya the easiest test in his 36 years reign…but he is failing

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The outbreak of the Covid-19 deadly virus in wuhan China is presenting world leaders a health challenge many have not seen in decades. Experts say the pandemic is one in a century kind of crisis and every single president around the globe has the opportunity to make or mal his political fortunes from the outbreak

Coronavirus is certainly not a routine problem facing the world, countries like India with 1.3 billion people are shutting down, Italy is battling to survive as a nation, a 20 trillion US economy is on the brink of collapse and Iran is confused on how to handle the outbreak amidst punitive sanctions which has affected medical supplies and dry up their treasury

Simply put, the cornavoiurs has humbled the whole world and reminded world leaders about the importance of humanity iiresoeyive od race or class.

Killing rich and poor, Black and white alike in disportartionate manner, the virus has wage a fierce war against the universe amd it is one which cannot be woin by the best army or the strngest economy

Africa has not be left out of the war and despite great concerns (and deservingly so) that the virus might cause untold killings in the continent due to its disastrous healthcare system, the continent at the moment seems to be the least hit and ,many African countries are in a battle of their lives to beat the virus

Cameroon has recorded 65 cases this far, two of the patients have been treated and mammy are believe to be lose roaming and infecting more people at home and at work

Government have introduced a 13 point measure to curb the spread including shutting down schools, ban all activities with more than 50 persons, close bars and resisting and shut down all borders

But despite these measures, the numbers of I Infected cases is expected to rise, with health minister DR Malachite warning the number might surpass 3000 in four weeks if urgent measures are not taken-the question remains taken by who?

Embarrassing government complacency

The coronavirus unlike the Ebola did not begin in Africa. The virus Trump ingloriously refers to as the Chinese virus started in China over three months ago before spreading to Europe, other Asian countries and parts of the Americas

Its tour around the globe befoire making it maiden vist on African soil meant many governments had taken diferent measures, some working and others aren’t but all of them provide Cameroon like the rest of Africa a wealth of lessons to pick and easily beat the flow

Yoaunde has refused to take drastic measures necessary to contain the virus,. Authorities have refused to totally shut down the country, relying on citizens to maintain social distancing and basic hyegine to curb the vrisu instead

But those measures are not working, streets and markets remain crowded, churches and mosques with thousands still gather and many still continue to infiltrate the borders and planes keep landing in yaounde from abroad despite existing ban

The management of the crisis has been describe as a disaster and many warn Cameroon could be the next Italy of nothing is done

Britain, India, US and many other nations who used similar methods have quickly realised their mistakes and declared total shutdown, leaving many to wonder what is keeping policy makers from adopting same

Cameroon hugely lacks the technological knowhow of South Korea or the massive powers and wealth of China and neither do we have the state of the art health facilities Italy boost of but yet is on it knees at the moment but yet we continue to commit some of the mistakes some of these nations have made and now pay dearly with thousands of their people

Time for coronavirus task force?

Experts have called on the government to put in place a task force to fight the virus. The task force which is suppose to constitute a team of medical experts, security officers, administrators, economists and other experts will help give the President informed decision for quick and timely decision making process.

For a virus as huge as this one, there is no doubt Cameroon has to rally its finest brains to find solution. For now, coronavirus has taken the elevator and the government has opted for the staircase, what lies ahead is anyone’s guess.

Leadership Vacuum?

Minister Malachie has been the face of the coronavirus fight in the country, exhibiting rare leadership skills (among his peers) with fearless and quick updates about the situation in the country,utilizing sociel media and traditional SMS to inform Cameroonians about the need for social distancing and maintaining basic hygiene.

But this is not a crisis a minister should be handling alone. In times like these, a nation desperately needs their leader, the vote holder and guarantor of their protection. World over, head is states and governments are having daily briefings on TV, radio and minutes by minutes updates about the virus on social media , assuring the population, giving them hope, and making their future plans know

But Cameroonians have been wondering what is robbing the President’s time amidst a crisis which is threatening every single Cameroonian. President Biya has tweeted less than half a dozen times, send sms and largely remains behind the scenes in a period where many are desperate to hear from their commander in Chief

Opposition leader Maurice Kamto gave a prime time address to the nation two days ago , assuring Cameroonians and calling on government to solicit help from China to fight the virus but even that will be far from satisfying many who wants to hear from their darling leader.

Cameroon

Editorial: President Biya is working ubiquitously, if you want to hear from him, rendezvous May 20th

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There have been wide ranging debate lately over the well-being of the President of the republic and the country’s commander in Chief amidst the escalating health situation caused by the coronavirus

Many have been questioning the silence of their leader with remorse even dare to say he must have died

That President Biya is killed on social media is nothing new in the country but what is particularly unique about this situation is the fact that the Unity palace occupant is silent amidst a ravaging global pandemic which has kept almost every world leader busy

Opposition leader Maurice Kamto recently called on the President to take his full responsibilities as a leader and tackle the virus heads on, warning he will assume the office of the President should the 87 years old chided to remain behind the scene

The 7 days ultimatum from the opposition leader further fueled the debate on the whereabouts of their President amidst a health challenge which is fast becoming a national emergency

But his supporters aren’t buying, many say the President is already tackling the crisis through his government and must not necessarily be seen on TV talking about it.

A leading French newspaper in one of its recent editions wonders what the population wants the president to say.

Nothing new?

President Biya thrives in uncertainty and has proven time and time again that he has a very thick skin and resistant to public pressure nomatter the time and moments

He is also known to be awkwardly physically absent in major moments of crisis, opting to execute through his government ministers and other other representatives while operating from behind the scenes.

Examples are abound of the President significantly absent From the national stage each time the nation comes calling, only appearing on scheduled traditional media outings to talk to the Cameroonians people.

During the deadly Eseka train disasters on October 30th 2016 which killed hundreds of Cameroonians, many criticized the President for his total absence from the national stage, arguing he should have atleast address the nation or visit the disaster site.

But while government speedily rollout measures including compensation package to victims, the President waited for many months, only to address the issue at his traditional new year message in December, invoking old wounds and questioning his proximity to the people

The President has rarely addressed the nation out of his traditional pre-scheduled state addresses when it comes to the Anglophone crisis despite to numeours deaths and interntional pressure each time people are killed.

But as fresh remorse continuous to spread about his state of health, observers of this country’ politics are aware that nomatter how bad the coronavirus situation might be, President Biya will only address it during his traditional May 20th speech and that’s as good as we can get.

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After Nigeria, Cameroon big boys begin to speak, Baba Danpulo splashes 100 million francs to fight coronavirus

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After Nigerian rainmakers splash billions to help their government fight coronavirus, Cameroonian
Billionaire and richest person in Central Africa according to Forbes, Baba Danpullo has donated 100 million FCFA to the state of Cameroon as support towards the fight against COVID – 19

His donation comes barely hours after government created a 1 billion solidarity fund to help fight the virus

Critics have said the money however won’t be enough given the rise of the virus, saying the government would rather spend 4 billions on wine at the Presidency and spend meager amount to keep Cameroonians safe.

Danpulo’s (Central African riches man according to Forbes) contributions comes a day after the lone English daily newspaper in the country the Guardian Post had taken the country’s billionaires to task, asking what are they doing to help government fight the virus.

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Cameroon

As coronavirus takes the nation’s attention, Ikiliwindi has been bleeding for days

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Amidst coronavirus scare, Bloody gun battle between military and non-state armed fighters along Ikiliwindi-Konye highway leaves population hopeless

Sources in Ikiliwndi Mile 12 say it’s been the bloodiest week for the village and its environs ever since the Anglophone crisis started

Reports of military indiscriminately shooting at civilian population after two of their men were killed by non state armed fighters means many have been seriously killed, many more injured  while  the remaining population forced to take refuge in nearby bushes and forests

One resident told TeboPost on Sunday March 29th 2020 “ they came and started shooting at random, bikers were flying all over. A five year old was shot infront of me and they scattered the legs of another man” she told TeboPost

Locals in the area say intense fighting has been ongoing for the past one week now, leaving many to wonder the fate of the population amidst the coronavirus scare.

A charity worker working with Kumba based catholic NGO says “I don’t understand what is happening again, many of our workers have been trapped as fighting has been going in for days now”

he added that “it’s like those boys are taking these government measures differently”

Amidst the spread of the coronavirus, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres had called for ceasefire in all hostspots across the world, but fighting in Anglophone regions have intensified ever since as many more continue to die from bullets than a deadly virus troubling world peace.

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