Cameroon: Exceptional Reception for Presidential Couple

Senior State officials and the population at large turned out en mass at the airport and along the streets of Yaounde to give a hectic welcome home to Paul and Chantal Biya on July 6, 2019.

Cameroon's first couple is back in the country after a short private stay in Europe. The Head of State, Paul Biya, and wife, Chantal Biya, jetted into the country last Friday July 6, 2019 to what observers qualified as an exceptional reception both at the Nsimalen International Airport and through the streets of Yaounde to the State House. Even before 5:15 pm when the Boeing 767 200 which had on board the Presidential couple made its way into the airport, euphoria was already perceptible at the airport and along the road leading to Unity Palace. Unlike in previous arrivals or departures of the Presidential couple when only dance groups, the Active Youths for Mrs Chantal Biya - JACHABI and supporters of the Cameroon Peoples' Democratic Movement (CPDM) notably from Mefou and Afamba Division animated, the number was significant and diverse this time around. Added to these groups on Friday were huge supporters of other political parties like the National Union for Democracy and Progress (NUDP) and those of the National Salvation Front of Cameroon (FNSC) all clad in their different party outfits as well as other socio-cultural groups who sang and danced at their best to show their attachment to the Head of State and the institutions he incarnates. When the Presidential jet taxied to a halt on the tarmac at 5:25 pm, some senior State dignitaries were already on hand to welcome them. The first couple thus shook hands, after descending from the plane, with the President of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute and the Minister of State, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh. At the entrance to the Presidential lounge, Paul and Chantal Biya shared the same pleasantries with the Ministers, Assistant Secretaries-General at the Presidency Elung Paul Che and Mohamadou Moustapha, the Deputy Director of the Civil Cabinet, Oswald Baboké, the Delegate General for National Security, Martin Mbarga Nguélé, the Director of External Research, Léopold Maxime Eko Eko and the Governor of the Centre Region, Naseri Paul Bea among others. Four airport audiences characterised Mr Biya's stay at the Presidential lounge. The President of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute and the Minister of State, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh; in that order, all took turns to discuss with the Head of State. The length of their discussions and visible joy on their faces were telling of the convergence of views on issues that touch on the life of the nation. Before leaving the airport, the noticeably relaxed President Paul Biya had discussions with the Minister, Director of the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo. As these were going on, First Lady, Chantal Biya was in the adjacent room with spouses of the Head of State's close collaborators obviously sharing experience on the trip.

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