Lapiro Asks Biya To Resign Like Ahidjo Did


"Ndinga Man" lapiro De Mbarga


Tuesday, June 19,

“Demissionnez! Demissionnez! Demissionez! (Resign! Resign! Resign! Mr. President!” yells the iconoclastic pop musician, Lapiro de Mbanga a.k.a. Lambo Pierre Roger, in his new release. In addition, Lapiro boldly states, like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did while doing the “Mountain Top” speech, supposedly taunting then US President, Lyndon Johnson, on civil rights issues, that he, Lapiro, is not afraid of death, be it through political assassination, as might be orchestrated by the fear-mongering Biya regime.

A serious militant of the political movement that I am nursing and nurturing at grassroots level nation-wide surprised me at a local Buea tavern where we were having a shot of beer with a copy of the newly released CD of Lapiro de Mbanga. He handed it over to the bar owner-tender to play for our listening. I instantaneously fell in love with it.


 I am a fan of Lapiro, no doubt. Everything that he has put into the music market since Biya took over as President is like my preacher’s sermon to me, for, I believe this man that came from the mean streets of some sort and has been able to make it happen for himself and people of his likes in the main street to a great extent.


 Grosso modo, "Demissionnez!!" is asking the despot, Biya, to step down with immediate effect, following the accumulated signs, symbols and significance of failure in leadership he has against him for almost 30 years in power.



 I am amused by the originality of the three pictures that this “Katika for Mbanga” chooses as illustration of the cover of this yet another timely, courageous, seminal and visionary cut against the squandermania and virulence of a regime that has made nonsense of the people of Cameroon since a certain November 6, 1984, when Ahmadou Ahidjo unilaterally chose to hand over power to a man who passed for a political and administrative technocrat.

On one side of the album cover Lapiro wants to be seen, unabashedly, as an ageing sage of the grass-fields of the Western plateaus of Cameroon. He is dressed in the traditional "Jumpa" outfit of the Bamenda-Bamileke man. He associates this neatly with its dignifying hat. And then caps this seemingly deliberate countenance of a palace advisor of this customarily heavy smoker environment of elderly village aristocracy with a pipe. Indeed, this pipe coifs the air of a real arrogant African sage, pumped up with the superior mission of giving his heart-felt advice to the chief, no matter the risky nature such a venture may imply to his personal fortunes, and life.

 The flip side of the package carries a picture with Lapiro, guitar in hand. Perhaps he intended by this picture to establish the fact that before being a political activist he should be seen as a professional musician. The adjacent picture to the one with guitar on same back side shows Lapiro in the disgraced mood of 2008. The picture portrays him in the New Bell Prison, his three-year sentence by a kangaroo court schemed against him by the Biya Government, for allegedly masterminding the burnings and destructions during the 2008 national bread and butter strike.


 In verity, as per the recent findings even of the United Nations Human Rights, this musician went to jail essentially because he played that song of his that was used by the angry youths during the 2008 troubles as energizer-anthem, as they geared for a showdown against Mr. Biya, who then was manoeuvering at the National Assembly to mutate the constitution so that he could stand again for re-election as president.


 Constitution Constipée (Constipated Constitution) was the title of that tell-all song.

 Marafa Connection


 Daredevil as he has forever been, Lapiro does an encore of this very incriminating song in this his new venture in titillating musico-political tantalisation, under a slightly modified heading, of a projective, futuristic genius' chest-beating proud touch: Constitution ANTICIPEE; apparently seeing a better time to come immediately events un-detailed conjoin and force Biya to do the right thing by resigning and the country comes to give itself a befitting new constitution.


 Perhaps, really, Lapiro is a foreseer of our time, a prophet. Probably while he was still in studio producing this album, uninformed of things to come, he succeeds to get one of his major prescriptions come true.


 “Tous le monde a Kondengui!” (Everyone one of you guys, corrupt most senior officials of the Biya government must be caught and sent to the Kondengui prison). This is one of the fierce and firing refrains of one of the five songs of his in this collection. And this not long after, Marafa Hamidou Yaya, former Secretary General at the Presidency, for whom Lapiro shows respect, and Chief Ephraim Thomas Inoni, former Prime Minister come walking through the gate of the Kongdengui prison, purportedly for economic crimes related with the infamous Albatross presidential plane that never materialised, with billions of francs disbursed in a seemingly rogues and racketeering regime scheme at the very top of the ruling society of Biya boys.


 And, even though Lapiro is not in one with Marafa, as this album testifies, the latter released his fourth letter from Kondengui which literally parrots same call from Lapiro for Biya to vamoose with immediate effect saying: “You (Mr. Biya) have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” This last line of that letter, quoted from a famous pronouncement that a fuming English statesman of the 17th century, Cromwell, made in the British House of Parliament when the nation looked as grounded as is the case with Cameroon of today, or just about.


 This dismissal call of Marafa evidently sounds to be of same tone and rhythm and even wavelength and strength as Lapiro’s Demissionnez!! Demissionnez!! Demissionez!!, the theme vibe of this come-back real people’s call of the increasingly not-so-silent majority.


 That Lapiro should be scathingly criticising also the very Marafa who is lampooning the very Biya that Lapiro is asking to resign, who has also trapped and boxed Marafa physically and legally in this Frankenstein-like system that Marafa helped Biya build and refine, makes for a conundrum of epic proportion that no one, even Lapiro. The seeming genius can tell for sure, how all will unravel, ultimately.


 This new release of Lapiro’s has rather come to increase the altitude of the decibel of the political noise in the nation, so too the Fourth Marafa missive from jail. This makes for an eerie atmosphere all across Cameroon at this moment. That explains, perhaps, why the Chairman of the Social Democratic Front asked Cameroonians, during my exclusive interview with him, to stand up and be counted, for it is about time that all good-natured souls in the republic will be needed in the streets, yet once again, for a final, determined push via non-violent civil action, for a better day, “a new dawn” for Cameroon and its democracy that Biya and his CPDM ruling party, has messed up.


 In the spirit of LVP, Libertas, Veritas, Probitas, the political movement that I have created as mentioned here above, it seems our Manifest Destiny as a nation to do better than engage the nation in this type of dog-eat-dog real life tragedy-comedy that Lapiro de Mbanga, Biya, Marafa, and to a lesser extent, Ni John Fru Ndi, seems to the grave grievances of the people of Cameroon at this critical circumstance:


 Our Manifest Destiny for real in the interest of social harmony, justice and peace must be forged along the sacred principle of  “One for all, all for one, all for one, one for all; for, "What goes around, comes around! We reap what we sow. ON NE FAIT RIEN QU'A SOI-MEME." This is in keeping with the age-old Eastern philosophy, religious custom and tradition, inspired by the Buddhist rites and ways compressed in a Great Thought called Karma. As you make your bed, so shall you lie on it. So, Biya, beware Soul Brother. Politics, good politics, real politics does not have to be this so bitter, so vindictive, as it has come to be in Cameroon.


 Here is a listing in same order of the songs found in this New Release, six of them from Lapiro de Mbanga himself, and three others titled "Bonus", from Awilo of Douala IPP, whom Lapiro de Mbanga considers "my son" and successor in the Biya bashing musical-cum-political hit parade.



 Collection Title: Demissionnez!! (Step Down)…


 Song Titles:

 1-Demissionnerz!! (Ambiance)

 2-Demissionnez!! (Virez le coach)

 3-Demissionnez!! (tsunami)

 4-Demissionnez!! (Feat valsero)

 5-Tout les monde à Kondengui (Bonus)


 Lapiro: Constitution anticipee

 Awilo IPP: Election 2011

 Awilo IPP: Sarkozy et l'afrique



*Patrick Sianne: Editorial Consultant, Roving


First published in The Post print edition no. 01353

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