If you have never witnessed Paul Biya play his chess game of appointments, then look no further than Pauline Egbe Nalova Lyonga.
The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea has been parachuted to the summit or the academic chain after her spectacular fall from grace last year. She is the first Anglophone in modern times appointed to head the Ministry of Secondary Education.
Sacked last year as Vice chancellor of the University of Buea and sent on retirement, it didn’t take long for Nalova Lyonga to bounce back in the fray as she was later on appointed Board Chair of the Douala General Hospital.
That was just a sign of things to come as Paul Biya months later confirmed his his taste for old wine by recycling her and and appointing her Secondary Education boss.
As a Professor of English Language, Nalova Lyonga is described by most of her students as disciplined orderliy duty conscious and a woman ready to reward hard work and spare no efforts in sanctioning laziness.
She lhas equally been hailed ;for promoting gender equality in the University of Buea both with the students and administrative milieu and fought hard to rescue young girls trapped within the claws of their male lecturers.
Make no mistake, Nalova Lyonga is a fine scholar who has threaded the academic waters bravely and safely.
But she will be sadly remembered for her poor handling of the students’ strike late in 2016 for inviting security officers into campus who later to beat up and arrested students protesting peacefully.
Her tenure as Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea was heavily marred by frequent strike actions from students as well as lecturers.
Today, she has been given another hot potato in the Ministry of Secondary Education that has failed to deal with the striking teachers who have been demanding their salary arrears for the past 25 months.
Whether she puts on her gloves to handle the potatoes of swing between her bare hands in all left to be seen. It’s too quick to judge but old habits die hard.