In 1983, her entire family left Cameroon after the political falling out between her father, former President Ahmadou Ahidjo, and his hand-picked successor, President Paul Biya. Her family has remained in exile since then, stripped of their Cameroonian citizenship and unable to return to Cameroon – Ahmadou Ahidjo died in exile in Senegal in 1989 without ever stepping foot again on Cameroonian soil. Former first lady Germaine Ahidjo has also not returned to Cameroon since 1983, and even when her mother died a few years ago, she couldn't travel to Cameroon to bury her. There is therefore no love lost between the Ahidjo family and President Biya….
So Cameroonians on both sides of the political divide were
visibly stunned when Aminatou Ahidjo, Ahidjo's youngest daughter, turned up in Yaoundé
wearing the uniform of the ruling CPDM bearing Biya's effigy, and publicly
declared her allegiance to the President who had condemned her father to death
in 1984 and has thus far refused to facilitate the repatriation of her father's body to Cameroon. Some say this is the first step towards a much need "national reconciliation," others say she's being exploited by the Biya regime, while others lambast her actions as political opportunism at its worst. In the end, history will be the ultimate arbiter...
Yaounde, May 20. 1972: The young Aminatou Ahidjo, sandwiched between her father President Ahmadou Ahidjo and her older sister Babette Ahidjo, accompanies her father as he heads to the polling station to cast his vote for the 1972 referendum.[Source: Cameroon Census group on Facebook]
Yaounde, September 6, 2013: Aminatou Ahidjo rallies the CPDM and declares her allegeance to President Paul Biya "whom I consider as my father [and who] enabled me come back to my country and regain my Cameroonian citizenship.”