Supporters of Franck Biya are campaigning for Paul Biya's son to be a candidate in 2025 for the Cameroonian presidential election. But it is at the palace that the succession will be decided...
For months they have been campaigning for a "generational transition" at the top of the Cameroonian state. It will be necessary, "when the time comes", they say, to find a successor to Paul Biya. And for them, it is all found. The "franckists" and the "febists" do not hide their support for Franck Biya. The latter is the desgién heir to the family fortune. But today it is about politics. And after a first failure in 2018, Franck Biya hopes one day to take power. To do this, he relies on well-organized support groups.
The first, the Franckist Citizen Movement for Peace and Unity (MCFPU), was created in 2013. At its head, Mubarak Foundikou, a teacher-doctoral student from Yaoundé. The febist movement, the MCE-FEB, is younger since it was created at the beginning of the year. Its founder, the communicator Arsène Nathan Abomo, also campaigns for Franck Biya's presidential nomination.
Gauging public opinion
Officially, the son Biya would have nothing to do with these creations of movements. But as Philippe Nnanga, coordinator of the NGO Un Monde Avenir, told RFI, “no one is fooled. They are trial balloons and it is well understood like that. We are used to that. This is even done in public life at the neighborhood level. Someone who wants to stand for election in an association has his name shouted by other people left and right”. In other words, the son Biya tests his popularity before committing himself.
On September 24, the MCFPU advanced its pawns a little further, with an official call for "the sacred union of hearts" around Franck Biya and the need to keep "the flame of peace and unity burning". . A text written by one of the founders of the movement, Mohamed Rahim Noumeu.
Last summer, when he was questioned about his desire to re-enlist, the Cameroonian president replied to a journalist: “Cameroon is run in accordance with its constitution. According to this constitution, the mandate that I lead has a duration of seven years. So try doing the subtraction and you will see how much time I have left…. But otherwise, when this mandate expires, you will be informed whether I am staying or returning to the village”. Would Paul Biya hesitate?
Chantal Biya at the maneuver
In any case, Franck Biya is on the starting blocks. Jeune Afrique assures that the two movements in his favor are the work of the director of the civil cabinet of the presidency, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo, of Paul Biya's nephew, Bonaventure Mvondo Assam, and of the principal concerned.
But before convincing the people, it is necessary to convince the wife of Paul Biya, Chantal Vigouroux, very influential within the palace. The First Lady maneuvers behind the scenes and holds the keys to the estate. By 2025, it is she who will make the decision to advance one of the two opposing clans: that of Franck Biya, the only son of Jeanne-Irène, who died in 1992, or that of the Minister of Finances Louis-Paul Motaze, nephew of the president and who would see himself taking the presidency of the Republic.
Last July, while Emmanuel Macron was visiting Cameroon, it was Franck Biya who was officially presented to the French president. All under the leadership of the First Lady? In any case, this episode should delight members of the Citizen Movement of Franckists for Peace and Unity in Cameroon. But 2025 is still a long way off…