Etoudi: Here is why Samuel Eto’o is the worthy successor of Paul Biya…Norbert Foy
Etoudi: Here is why Samuel Eto’o is the worthy successor of Paul Biya
Samuel Eto’o and power in Cameroon
It is becoming even more evident that Cameroonians have a traumatic relationship with power. With one of the world’s longest-serving presidents who has held a tight grip on power and used it more for oppression than development, it’s easy to see why there’s a general disdain for power. When this power seems excessive, it triggers this post-traumatic stress in the average Cameroonian.
This strong contempt for power, I believe, contributed to the inability of Anglophones to rally behind the various people who presented themselves as leaders of the struggle. As soon as a person seems to emerge as a leader, we see attempts by many to discredit them by picking up and highlighting their flaws. For many, their intention to lead was immediately dismissed with “man just wants na power.” “That’s a chapter for another day.
We all watched the fight that Eto’o put up to become president of FECAFOOT. He even went so far as to compromise, what I believe, some of his values. I am talking here about the incident in Limbe where he claims to move around without bodyguards while the evidence proves otherwise. One thing that is certain is that Eto’o has had his eyes on the presidency of FECAFOOT for a very long time. I believe his support for Biya’s 2018 campaign was another compromise he made to improve his chances.
Meanwhile, many are happy that he won the elections, voices that disagree with his leadership style have increased since he took power When he locked FECAFOOT employees out from the door for showing up late in the early days of his presidency, many thought he was overdoing it. This group decided to ignore the fact that late arrival at work should not be tolerated and instead decided to attack Eto’o for being too hard on his employees.
The current problem according to many is that he is doing Song’s job. That he chose Song because he knew he could make him his minion. We have seen multiple videos of him addressing the lions before and after games, which should be the job of the coach and not the president of FECAFOOT. To this I will say a few things. First of all, there’s no rulebook that says he shouldn’t address players and second, just because we don’t see any videos of Song talking to players, we can’t assume that ‘he has not
If you ask me, I might say that the idea of releasing these videos is the real problem and not the fact that he is addressing the lions instead of the coach. When you think about it a bit more, those dressing room videos also serve to build that relationship between the team and the fans. Song clearly doesn’t have the speaking skills that will amp people up. Song has his charisma but it’s not the motivational kind. So in my opinion, Eto’o actually replaces a teammate’s weakness.
Eto’o is also aware that the buck starts and stops with him when it comes to lions success. If the lions fail Eto’o will be blamed so you must forgive him for intervening when he thinks he should and how he should.
As the days pass, it becomes clear that the presidency of FECAFOOT is not where its ambition ends. It could be that he looks at the presidency of Cameroon in the future and why not? For every Cameroonian, it should be a valid dream. Just as he prepared for years for FECAFOOT, he must prepare for the presidency of Cameroon. His PR definitely came out to show him as a different leader, the kind of leader who can bring much needed change to Cameroon. Him who is constantly talking to the lions and kicking them out is part of this campaign. It’s what can be called a necessary evil because honestly he could still motivate the lions to win without releasing the videos.
Why do I call it a necessary evil? Because it all comes down to politics and politics is a rigged game. You cannot play honestly and expect to win. Sometimes you will find yourself getting your hands dirty. The hope is usually that for a good man like Eto’o, those hands don’t stain. Is the man perfect? NOPE. But if we look for perfection in a leader, we will end up choosing a liar or a pretender.
Eto’o is definitely running a popularity campaign for himself in addition to doing his job as president of FECAFOOT. The question is why not? If he has bigger ambitions, he is definitely preparing for them now as he prepared for FECAFOOT years in advance.
I believe that in order to bring about any change in Cameroon as a leader, one must use unconventional methods and that is exactly what Eto’o does. We’re also in an era where people will ask you, “Did you do what people saw?” So we need to stop talking out of both sides of our mouths. He must document his work and put it outside. You know that old question “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to see it, has it fallen?” ”
Many even accuse him of having dictatorial tendencies. I would prefer that we judge on the results. As far as I am concerned, corruption and embezzlement are the main problems plaguing our country and Eto’o has proven that he is not easily corrupted and does not embezzle funds. For that alone, he should let go a little slack.
We also fear that a personality cult is forming around him. Does it really matter if it does the job? For a very long time, Cameroon has not seen a leader like Eto’o rise in his place. For those who say he tries to outdo others? When was the last time he wasn’t already shining brighter than the others?
When I talk about the need for us to empower the powerful, I’m talking about empowering people like Eto’o. I recognize the post traumatic stress we got from power in Cameroon beware of letting it push to fight power for the sake of it because right now some of us are just scared of the power it gains and are afraid it will become too powerful for us to control.
To conclude, our fear of power should push us for better institutions because institutions will serve the common good more than any individual. Maybe now is the time for other young people to start getting involved in politics because it’s the only way we can empower ourselves to push for better institutions.