Cameroon: Former BAR Council President Praises Opposition Leader to Sainthood, Urges Mass Rejection of Biya Regime

A one-time President of the Cameroon Bar Council, Barrister Yondo Black has opined that the Yaounde regime is fearful of opposition leader, Maurice Kamto. In an outing on a local television channel, Equinox, Mr. Black said: “Everything Maurice Kamto has done as a show of force makes the authorities afraid of him”.

Kamto claims he won the 2018 Presidential Election. The Constitutional Council gave him 14% of the vote while attributing ailing President Paul Biya, in power now for 38 years, 71% of the vote.

Barrister Yondo believes Prof. Kamto was the rightful winner, arguing that if Mr. Biya won the election, he should not be so fearful of Prof. Kamto’s potential influence on Cameroonians.

“Really, if President Biya won with 71% of the vote, he should remain quiet. He should not have been afraid of someone who got only 14%... It means that Maurice Kamto is the president of something,” Barrister Yondo said.

Prof. Kamto has since September 22 been held under de-facto house arrest after he tried to lead public demonstrations to oust Mr. Biya from power. About 600 of his supporters were also arrested. The leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) had also spent nine months in jail following post-electoral protests.

Barrister Yondo says despite the intimidation and torture, Prof. Kamto has remained true to his convictions.


"And now Maurice Kamto ... Like Moses"

Prof Maurice Kamto, President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement- MRC (C) MRC

Barrister Yondo has even gone as far as writing a book in praise of the opposition leader, virtually comparing him to the Biblical Moses, as if Prof. Kamto were sent by God to liberate Cameroonians, the same way Moses freed the Israelites from Herod’s grip.

“I humbly affirm that Prof. Kamto is an opportunity for Cameroon at the turn of the century,” the lawyer states in his book.

“In the world of politics, he appears indeed, like the best for the moment; the best because in these difficult times when an autocratic regime confiscates everything without sharing and does not hesitate to kill, President Maurice Kamto has a unifying speech,” the book reads.

“He (Kamto) is casting a wide net, he has a dream for his country and this is hardly surprising, because with his "Urgency of Thought" he had already worked out in his head the idea of a Cameroon he wanted. He knows how, without returning them, to receive blows from those who, out of selfishness, do not want to admit that they have lost. He knows how to avoid any controversy that would be no more than an irrelevant waste of energy …” the book reads further.

Barrister Yondo called on Cameroonians to line up in Prof. Kamto’s support and oust “a dictator” who refuses to, play by the rules of democracy.

But government officials have always lined up in Mr. Biya’s defence.

Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo, Higher Education Minister and Communication Secretary for the ruling party has typically accused Prof. Kamto of anti-democratic manoeuvres in a desperate search for presidential power.

He said political power in Cameroon has to be acquired through the ballot box as prescribed by article 3 of the constitution which states: “Political parties and groups shall help the electorate in the making of voting decisions. They shall be bound to respect the principles of democracy, national sovereignty, and unity. They shall be formed and shall exercise their activities in accordance with the law.”

Prof. Fame Ndongo accused Prof. Kamto of violating this fundamental principle.

“The fundamental law hardly stipulates that political parties are authorized to walk, run, climb, jump, vituperate, shout, and lie, to reach the supreme office. The only legal avenue which confers republican legitimacy on the holder of supreme power is that of the election provided for by law,” he wrote.

Prof. Kamto told reporters in Yaounde that he had decided to “sacrifice” his life for the good of the country.