Image: Ahmadou Ahidjo

Ahmadou Ahidjo (1924-89)

Ahmadou Ahidjo (1924-89), first president of Cameroon (1960-82). He was born in Garoua and educated at Yaounde. Beginning his career as a radio administrator, he soon turned to politics and was elected to the Cameroonian territorial assembly in 1947. After an interim in the Assembly of the French Union, he was reelected to the territorial assembly and was its president from 1956 to 1957, when he was appointed minister of the interior and deputy prime minister; he was elevated to the post of prime minister the following year. When Cameroon became independent in 1960, Ahidjo was elected president. Reelected at five-year intervals through 1980, he resigned the presidency in 1982 and leadership of the ruling National Cameroonian Union in 1983. While in exile in France, Ahidjo was accused of plotting to overthrow his successor.

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