In July 2009, President Paul Biya on an official visit to France. Lodged at the Royal and Hermitage Barriere paris.What was to be a quiet holiday and uneventful turns scandal.Reports on the two weeks of the presidential vacation is mouth watery: 800,000 euros (more than 500 million CFA francs), according to some French media. Paul Biya and his entourage had a good time Footing huge bills from food, spa sessions, and casinos and shopping and in expensive 43 rooms, paid for by the Cameroonian taxpayer. To add to the scandal, revelation by a French news outlet that Biya’s holidays was by far more costly than those of Bush, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama combined! Could not go unnoticed and this caused a stir In Cameroon,Given that 48 percent of Cameroon’s population leaves below poverty line. Embarrassing as it may sound it seems,” CAMEROON’S BBC NUMBER ONE” (Issa Tchiroma) came out fighting that it was a plot by some forces within and outside the country using the media to manipulate Cameroonians. Jacques Fame Ndongo, national secretary for communication CPDM, the ruling party also came to Biya defence, screaming that Mr Biya has always remained faithful to his rigor and moralization ideas. Fame Ndongo also described his boss Mr Biya as a modest, discreet, honest, hardworking, humanist and patriot.” this writer understands it is not been the case so far and fact on the ground after 33 years are questionable.
Cameroon’s opposition parties also buy these ideas, The SDF leader Ni John Fru Ndi noted that “Since coming to power in 1982, Paul Biya and his acolytes are only plunder to the people of Cameroon. With all these news it is worth saying that all Mr Biya short stay in Europe, which are never short as most analyst have been counting how many times Biya has visit Cameroon since 1982 given that he leaves in Europe. Also evident is the fact that his holidays are not expensive but are marked by disruption by activist from the Diaspora.
Alafnet had in its various publications indicated that in one of such disruptions recently some Diaspora activist storm the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland where President Biya is a regular guest, to denounce his “Violations of human rights in Cameroon, electoral fraud” and demanding the release of so-called “political” prisoners, amongst others. The same demand which where put to Paul Biya by activist during his last visit to France. So if Cameroon’s presidents vacations have been expensive in the past how bill will does Biya intend to foot on this current ‘short stay’ at the expense of the Cameroonian tax payer?.
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