Having the same name as the President of the Republic gives one wings. After making a name for himself, Paul Biya, the executive president of the Association of Presidential Couple Namesakes Paul and Chantal Biya (AHCP), no longer lives in Cameroon.
“He now lives abroad, specifically in Belgium”, his acolyte advises, when contacted by telephone and interviewed about the fate of this group which caused much discussion in 2015.
The telephone number of this accomplice who refuses to identify himself, appears on a letter sent in March 2015 in the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The subject of this correspondence mentions a “request for assistance by the award of public contracts “.
Clearly, Paul Biya, the author of the application for assistance, hoped to obtain “small public contracts” which would allow the members of his association (which has no receipt legitimizing its existence - Ed.) to develop small-sized enterprises. Behind this quest for financial autonomy, most important for the association would be “to support the Head of State in his fight against Boko Haram and also for his weighty mission “, we read. The names in common apparently give the right to a common destiny. Was the outcome “favorable to his request”. The accomplice of Paul Biya pretends to be unaware of the ins and outs of this initiative. “I am not strictly involved in this matter”, he swears over the phone. “He (Paul Biya, president of AHCP) didn't have a telephone and I allowed him to use my telephone number on his request for assistance. He alone knows the members of his association”, he says unconvincingly.
However, there really is a significant number of people called Paul and Chantal Biya. Moreover in December 2010, the First Lady treated a hundred children with her name and that of her husband, to a “Christmas tree”. The ceremony took place at “the School Complex les Coccinelles”, the school for children of the administrative elite. More than 400 gifts were distributed, the pro-government daily Cameroon Tribune reported. The recipients had the opportunity to learn that they have a duty of “moral rectitude and a strong passion for pushing themselves”. Evidently, the message was not relayed to all the Head of State's namesakes....