Influential team backs Biya win in Cameroon election

Thursday October 4 2018

Cameroonian soccer legend Samuel Eto'o (right)

Cameroonian soccer legend Samuel Eto'o (right) looks on as President Paul Biya (centre) receives a gift from Caf President Ahmad Ahmad at the State House in Yaoundé on October 2, 2018. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NDI EUGENE NDI
By NDI EUGENE NDI
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Cameroon’s football icon Samuel Eto’o has added to the list of the influential voices that have thrown their weight behind long-serving President Paul Biya ahead of Sunday's election.

“I have no doubt who I am going to vote for. The most important thing is that my brothers[and sisters] do like me," said Eto'o.

"At 37, I have known this beautiful country and its people who have always wished to live together in peace. Personally I am going to vote for Paul Biya,” the former captain of the Indomitable Lions told journalists in Yaoundé.

The most decorated African player of all time, who enjoys a huge following back home, justified his choice saying Cameroon needed a leader [like Paul Biya] who can unite people.

Oldest goalscorer

The all-time leading scorer in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, on Tuesday accompanied the president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to an audience with President Biya at the State House; the Unity Palace.
His support for incumbent adds to that of other soccer legends that Rigobert Song and Roger Milla. The former was last Saturday seen donning a scarf muffler of the governing CPDM party in President Biya’s native Mvomeka'a village in the south.

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Roger Milla who at the age of 42 became the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history by netting against Russia in the 1994, is best remembered for his trademark goal celebration of running to the corner flag and performing a dance.

Cameroon has been reverberating with campaign rhythms, amid the insecurity emanating from a separatist movement and the Boko Haram attacks in the North.

Equal opportunities

Separatists in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest have vowed to disrupt the election, but Yaoundé insists the vote would take place nationwide.

The European Union (EU) has described the Sunday poll as an important opportunity for voters to express themselves freely on the future of Cameroon. It said a peaceful, credible, inclusive and transparent electoral process should enable as many voters as possible to participate, while guaranteeing equal opportunities to all the candidates.

President Biya is seeking re-election for a seventh term following an uninterrupted 36-years rule. The 85-years-old will face eight opposition candidates; three of who are below 40 years old.

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