President of Cameroon, Paul Biya revealed he has developed a more functional method of maintaining power for the seventh time despite long overseas absences.
It will be recalled that Biya has made Yaounde’s Etoudi presidential palace his home since 1982, making him one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
“Those who want power don’t last, it’s those who can (rule)” he told journalists in 2015, making a rare remark about his long time in charge of Cameroon.
According to International Crisis Group’s (ICG) Hans de Marie Heungoup, it noted one aspect of his time in office is the “subtle balance of forces” which Biya has created in the country, in a region where leadership changes are often accompanied by force.
Cameroon’s system was “designed so that everyone polices themselves and maintained inter-generational and ethnic rivalries,” Heungoup said.
“No one can move an active (security force) unit without the say-so of the president,” he added, emphasizing the importance of the balance between the regular army, the rapid intervention force, and the presidential guard — the last two of which report directly to the president.
The president’s appointment of loyalists to key posts has also assured his long rule.