Walter Wilson Nana
The pecking order of the CPDM has begun reconciling militants nationwide before the September 30, 2013 Municipal and Parliamentary polls.
Reconciliation meetings have been held in Douala, Mamfe and Limbe, in the Littoral and Southwest Regions respectively, where party stalwarts have urged militants to close ranks.
The party hierarchy is embarking on the exercise following criticisms and anger among militants about the way selection of candidates was done for the twin elections.
On August 10, while CPDM Central Committee delegations were out in the 10 regions for what the party hierarchy said was to sensitise militants to collect their voter cards, the leader of the Central Committee delegation to the Littoral Region, Prof Jacques Fame Ndongo, who doubles as the Minister of Higher Education, told local party officials that they were out to launch a reconciliation campaign between militants.
On July 2013, the selection of CPDM candidates for the September 30 Municipal Elections in Douala, was characterised by in-fighting. Camps emerged in all the five CPDM Sections in Douala (Wouri I-V).
One of the serious conflicts was during the composition of lists for the Municipal elections in Wouri III Section, between the camp headed by the outgoing Mayor of Douala III, Oumarou Fadil, and that headed by the CPDM Section President, Manga Zang. Zang and Fadil were political friends since the 2002 Municipal Elections which the CPDM won in Douala III.
In the election of Mayor that followed, Zang allegedly exploited his position as Section President to manipulate against a Bamileke elite, for Fadil to emerge as Mayor. But Zang and Fadil are said to have fallen out last year, when the former told the latter that, having been Mayor for two terms, he should step aside for him to take his turn. Fadil is said to have bluntly rejected Zang’s demand and, consequently, their political relationship fell on the rocks.
Still in July 2013, during the composition of lists in Wouri III for the Municipals, Fadil headed a list composed of outgoing CPDM Councillors of Douala III. Zang, on his part, backed a list that was made up of local party officials. Fortunately for Fadil, the position of the CPDM hierarchy was that all the four outgoing Mayors of CPDM-run councils in Douala should head the party’s lists in their municipalities.
In Douala III, the call for a consensus list fell on deaf ears, as the two camps stood their grounds. But at the end of the day, the CPDM Central Committee allowed Fadil to submit his list on July 17, without including some of the local party officials like the Wouri III WCPDM and YCPDM Section Presidents who were in the list backed by Zang.
However, reports trickling in from Douala have it that Zang convened a meeting on August 14 as a follow-up to the reconciliation campaign launched by Fame Ndongo. The meeting was attended, among others, by Fadil.
At the meeting, Zang presented the party’s lists of candidates in Douala III and re-echoed the message which Fame Ndongo brought, urging all militants to sink their differences, put the party’s interest first and vote for the party’s candidates at the twin elections come September 30 2013. Militants sang and danced to celebrate the reconciliation.
Fadil said he was so happy that peace and serenity had returned into the CPDM family in Douala III.
He, however, said it remains to be seen if it is really true that reconciliation had taken place.
Agbor Tabi, Lifaka & Motanga Using Political Iodine to Heal Wounds
In Limbe, Hon Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, one of the Vice Chairs of the just ended legislature and CPDM Central Committee member, and the Government Delegate to the Limbe City Council, Andrew Mojimba Motanga, carried out the same exercise in Limbe while Prof Peter Abgor Tabi, Deputy Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic was in Mamfe. They agreed that the manner in which their party used to invest aspirants for the elections certainly left some peeved.
In a gathering in Limbe Friday, August 16, Motanga entreated Hon Lifaka to use ‘iodine’ in healing the wounds.
“The last investiture was done by the party and not by an individual. The process might not have been perfect, but as a family let’s try to come back as one and try to redress any shortcomings,” Motanga said.
“I have no doubt that Hon Lifaka is going to apply political iodine to heal the political wounds,” he added.
Hon Lifaka enjoined the militants who might have been hurt in one way or the other to take heart and be patient. She said the future still had much in stock, politically, for those who were not invested for the September 30 elections.
Hon Lifaka urged militants to collect their voter cards because their main concern now should be gunning for victory for their party in the elections.
“We are not going to benefit anything if the CPDM party does not win in Fako Division,” she mentioned.
The sum of FCFA 2.1 million was raised on the spot to assist some militants whom she said shall accompany ELECAM officials as they go round distributing cards.
Some militants of the CPDM have blamed ELECAM for what they say is slow distribution of cards. They said instead of ELECAM going round the various polling stations or quarters to distribute the cards, the distribution was being done exclusively in ELECAM offices.
As to the money collected, Buea, Tiko, Muyuka and Limbe I were to each get FCFA 250,000, Idenau shall receive FCFA 150,000, while Limbe II and III FCFA shall each get 100,000 each.
Hon Lifafka, who had proposed the idea of the support fund, doled out FCFA 600,000.
In Mamfe, Agbor Tabi reiterated the request from the CPDM Central Committee that peace must reign within the ranks of the militants, noting that senior party officials and members of government from Manyu Division will contribute money to compensate the dejected militants, whose political growth and ambitions were quashed by party hierarchy, following ‘instructions from party leaders’ that some individuals should not go in for the Municipal and Parliamentary elections of September 30 2013.
Similar CPDM reconciliation missions are expected to be ongoing in other Regions of Cameroon.