A prominent Cameroonian lawyer, Akere Tabeng Muna, has announced his presidential bid. He made the announcement via a video address on Sunday.
Muna, 65, who hails from the Anglophone region, in the address and a statement cited by AFP said it was time for the Central African country to reset its direction hence his decision to enter the race.
“We have to walk to a new Republic”, which will be “based on good governance” and “the rule of law,” he asserted, saying that there would be no “tolerance for corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favoritism,” with him in charge.
Aside having served as president of the country’s bar association, he is also an anti-corruption crusader who once served as Vice President of the NGO Transparency International. His work with Transparency has earned him strong international credentials.
Cameroon is due to go to the polls in 2018 and incumbent Paul Biya is expected to contest to extend his over three decades in charge. John Fru Ndi, the main opposition leader who lost the 2011 race to Biya, has also yet to confirm his participation.
Muna’s announcement comes at a time that Cameroon’s anglophone areas are facing a serious social and political crisis since November 2016. The two regions – North West and South West – are pushing for independence under the Ambazonia republic.
Their attempted symbolic independence declaration on October 1, 2017 was met with heavy security crackdown which led to official deaths of eight people. Rights group, Amnesty International, puts the casualty figure at 17. Scores were reported injured and mass arrests made.
The United Nations, United States, United Kingdom and other religious groups have all called for the need to open dialogue between the government and leaders of the restive region. President Biya has also condemned the violence and called for dialogue.