Franck Biya moves up a gear: the ministers line up
Franck Biya moves up a gear: the ministers line up
Born the day after the 2018 presidential election, the Franckist Peace Movement is gaining ground. His ambition is clear: to bring Franck Emmanuel Biya to power. Officially, the person concerned neither approves nor disapproves of them. A silence that loosens the tongues of opponents.
The public only remembered his parentage: Franck Biya is the son of the president. For 40 years, the average Cameroonian was unable to say more about the man everyone calls “Franck Biya”. His discretion contrasts with the bluster to which the “sons of” have accustomed the public. Big cars exhibited here, evening washed down with champagne there… Franck Biya has always kept a good distance from this exhibitionism.
He also wanted to spend his first 40 years away from politics. He has never held a position in the sixty or so governments formed by his father’s president. Not even a jump seat from the Director General of a public company. In short, he chose to evolve on the sidelines of this crab basket that is politics. But that was before. Because for a few years now, Franck bien has made the commitment to come out of the shadows.
It shows up more and more. Latest release? The celebration of unity at the Boulevard du 20 mai in Yaoundé. In the first presidential square, the presence of Franck Biya could not go unnoticed. He was next to Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, himself followed by Mvondo Ayolo, former Minister Director of the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic.
A few months before, Franck Biya had made the headlines of the press. It was November 06, 2021. The son, who had meanwhile become an adviser, had chosen the anniversary of his father’s rise to power to visit Nabil Njoya, the new Sultan of the Bamouns. Simple coincidence of timing?
Nope ; responds Valère Bessala questioned by Bouba Ngomena during the program Le Débrief on Canal2 International two days after this highly commented visit. For this civil administrator, Franck Biya’s visit is not the result of chance. This is a political marketing operation to make it clear that he is there and can do the trick, explained the president of the Jouvence party.
He himself never gave an explanation for his decision to come out of the shadows where he nevertheless remained for 40 years. A silence that gives free rein to all speculation. “Paul Biya is preparing his son”, “Franck Biya wants to take his father’s place”, “Franck Biya future president”… The subject is now of interest to the major chancelleries and is under debate in the staffs of the political parties.
The Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon has also made it one of the axes of its strategy. Maurice Kamto’s party has long denounced the “No by mutual agreement” which it presents as the transmission of power to someone close to the President of the Republic without referring to the constitutional mechanisms or by re-cutting them to the extent of a dolphin .
The call of youth
Cultivating silence like his father, Franck Biya says nothing. Speculation can go up and down, the young fifty-year-old remains impassive. “Let the people talk”, seems to be the motto he borrows from a famous orchestra. Still, the day after the 2018 presidential election, new elements are added to what looks like a puzzle whose parts come together by the magic of time. In addition to public outings, Franck Biya, from media sources, received senior army officers at his residence in Yaoundé.
Meanwhile, we are witnessing a constant activism of some young people who claim to belong to the Franckist Movement. Meetings, media saturation, the Franckists as they call themselves, are firing on all cylinders. They maintain a Facebook page called “Franck Biya for 2025”. As of June 25, 2022, it had 75,000 subscribers. Its objective is clear: “Cameroonian youth wish to see Mr. Franck Emmanuel Biya become president in 2025”.
Still, to see this ambition come true, the Frankists wet the jersey including on the social network where they resume the actions of their future champion. This is how the photos of Franck Biya at the Boulevard on May 20 as well as those where he attends the president’s birthday feature prominently there. After the Call of the people, place to the Call of the youth.
According to the communicators of the Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDPC), Jacques Fame Ndongo at the head, Paul Biya presented himself in the 2011 election to answer the Call of the people. The many petitions collected and published by the Cameroon Press and Publishing Company (Sopecam) under the title Appeal of the People have, according to the militants of the ruling party, been the trigger for the presidential candidacy.
In non-technical language, the people pushed too hard and the president agreed and ran for this election. Following the same pattern, will Franck be forced to run for president in 2025 so as not to disappoint the thousands of young people who see him as the best choice for this deadline? Only the future will tell.
In the meantime, nothing prevents this man who has reached the electoral majority from standing for a presidential election in Cameroon. He was born there and has resided there for over a decade. This means that his candidacy does not present any legal anomaly. It is up to the people to decide according to the political offers to be made. For the moment, unless it is a teaser, the Franckist candidacy is conjecture or a trial of intent.
Born in Cameroon in 1971, Franck Biya studied there, notably at Vogt and La Retraite colleges. He then studied at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1989 to 1994, where he obtained a double degree in political science and economics.
From 1997 to 2004, Franck Biya became a partner in the logging company INGF. In 2004, he founded the investment company Venture Capital plc. As part of the rescue of Camtel, one of its financial companies bought back Camtel debt securities in 2005 then resold them with a capital gain in 2006 to the government. A big controversy will ensue.