Despite the difficult world economic trend, he has been able to guarantee bread and butter on the table of many Cameroonians.
It is now 420 months since President Paul Biya took over the destiny of Cameroon after the resignation of the former President in a peaceful and highly acclaimed planetary transition. Since then, the President has steadily assured that Cameroonians live in peace and that no square meter of the national territory is cut-off.
These assurances were however put to test on the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 27th and 28th of February 2008, when a strike called by the National Syndicate of Inter-Urban Transporters degenerated into a nationwide strike that was later baptized “Hunger Strike”.
From the demands of transporters’ syndicates which consisted of, reduction of fuel prices, training of taxi drivers and motorbike riders to the provision of adequate road security, the strike action went off-hand in most major towns of the national territory. In cities like, Yaounde, Douala, Bamenda, Kumba, Bafoussam, several youths took to the streets, three people were reported dead, 1.600 arrested, several others injured and a lot of material damages recorded.
To calm the tempo of the situation, three members of Government ( Minister of Transport, Minister of Trade and that of Communication), took to the press rostrum on the 25th of February, to explain efforts being made to redress the situation.
On instructions of the President of the Republic, the Government on the 26th of February held a series of consultations at the Prime Minister’s Office. At the end of these meetings a communiqué was made public announcing a drop in fuel prices by FCFA 6 for Super and FCFA 5 for Gasoil and Kerosene respectively.
Despite these measures, things did not change on the field. To curb the disturbing situation, the Head of State in a nationwide address while acknowledging the right to strike, condemned in strong terms the different violent acts perpetrated and promised to put in place all legal means available to ensure the rule of law.
To march words with action, President Paul Biya, a few days after chaired a Council of Ministers meeting during which he ordered the following measures; an increase in Public Service salaries, tax exemption on importation of basic commodities, suspension of customs duties on the importation of wheat, increase in the quota of palm oil imports, reduction of customs duties on clinker, increase of foodstuffs on local markets, settlement of internal debts, maintaining of salary and pension advances etc.