Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, has announced that he will seek re-election for the seventh consecutive term in office in the October 2018 presidential election.
The 85-year-old president has been ruling the French West African nation since 1982 and is the second longest-serving ruler in Africa, after Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea.
Biya dropped the hint in a Twitter post on Friday, July 13, 2018. He said: “I will be your candidate in the next presidential election.”
If re-elected, the Cameroonian head of state will be ruling till the age of 92, since a single term lasts seven years, following the steps of former Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, who left office dramatically after 37 years of authoritarian rule at 93 last November.
For his re-election in October, Biya will be facing a separatist insurgency in the western English-speaking regions of the country. The regions have been clamouring for an end to Biya’s regime, a change of government and the recognition of its territorial existence.
Unlike Paul Biya, President Muhammadu Buhari will also be making history as the oldest Nigerian to seek re-election at the age 76 in 2019. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who ruled between 1999 to 2007 left office at the age of 70 in 2007.
African nations are notorious for having old men as heads of state. Some of these include Cote d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara, 76, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, 74, Zimbabwean Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni 73.