By Chris Mbunwe
The National Executive Com mittee, NEC, of the opposi tion Social Democratic Front, SDF, has mandated the party’s National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, to start negotiations that should lead to joining the Biya government. The decision was taken at a NEC meeting in Bamenda over the weekend.
Briefing the press at the Ideal Park Hotel on Sunday, November 7, the Head of the SDF Communication Unit, Martin Nkemngu, said, “it has been clearly indicated that any discussions with the Biya government, for whatever reason, should come through the hierarchy of the SDF, that is, the National Chairman of the party, Ni John Fru Ndi.”
Nkemngu said Fru Ndi remains the sole official of the party, authorised to be contacted, should the need arise for dialogue for whatever reason. “Any other militant or official of the party who attempts to negotiate, will be subjecting him/herself to disciplinary sanctions,” he said.
The Communication Officer said the party has not made any contacts with the government yet. “But, should that happen, the sole channel through which any such discussions can take place, should be through the National Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi as mandated and endorsed by the National Executive Committee NEC.” Nkemngu also said if Fru Ndi deems it necessary for any decision to be taken by the party, then NEC can be summoned to hold discussions on that issue.
Assistant Secretary General, Others Fired
Another outcome of NEC’s last meeting was the dismissal of the party’s Assistant Secretary General, Mr. Pierre Mouafo, accused of campaigning against Fru Ndi, the party’s candidate at the just ended Presidential election.
According to Nkemngu, it was revealed at the meeting that Mouafo carried out nocturnal campaigns for the Coalition candidate, Adamu Ndam Njoya, against Fru Ndi in Mbouda. “NEC noted with dismay that a number of militants and some officials acting contrary to sections 18.4 and 8.2 did not support the candidate of the party.
So a good number of them were disciplined including four councillors in Bafoussam, who openly campaigned against Fru Ndi.” NEC also fired Paul Lozenou, former Mayor of Douala 11, who was said to have openly campaigned against Fru Ndi.
Nkemngu said all those who have been sanctioned, have the right to appeal. Nkemngu said Fru Ndi, who presided at the meeting, called on Mouafo to present his defence. He said Mouafo denied all the charges against him.
Talking to the press later, Mouafo said NEC sentenced him without listening to his own side of the story. “This is an act of intimidation. Nobody can intimidate or chase me out of the party. At no moment, except during the SDF Convention in Bamenda at the primaries, did I openly campaign for Noutchi Tchowago, who challenged Fru Ndi.” He said he campaigned for Noutchi to prove to the CPDM that “in the SDF we do not have natural candidates.”
He also wanted to stop Fru Ndi from taking the leadership of that party for granted and for others to know that the Bamilekes in the SDF can also aspire for the Presidency of the Republic on the ticket of the SDF party.” Mouafo said NEC erred because the SDF Constitution says before Article 8.2 is applied, the accused must be heard. “I was not given the floor for my side of the story to be told. Instead, I was shown the door at the NEC meeting and was only informed later, that I have been dismissed from the party.
Even if I committed any crime, it was not as grievous as the signing of a Peace Pact which some MPs and party officials of the Northwest signed with the government in July 2002”, he said. To him, it sounded ridiculous for NEC to rely on rumour that he had supper with a DO of his area and consider it a crime. “Even if it is true, I think I have the right to dine and wine with an administrator, who is a friend.”
Asked why he did not join the SDF hierarchy to campaign for his party Chairman, Mouafo said it was purely personal. “I did not campaign for the SDF, neither did I for the Coalition candidate against Fru Ndi.” Mouafo noted that Article 8.2 of the party is not subjected to any appeal. “What they have done, is passing judgment to kill and, after killing me, they want me to testify. I don’t consider myself expelled from the SDF.
I remain a social democrat.” He warned that it is only the National Convention of the party and not NEC that can declare his post vacant. NEC suspended one of the SDF’s Legal Advisers, Barrister Wilfred Ndongla, from his functions for levity.
NEC warned that Ndongla should not pose anywhere as an SDF Legal Adviser. The files of the Mayor of Nkor and Mbiame, said to be on the firing line, were handed to SDF Legal Advisers, for study and necessary action.
The National Executive Committee expressed indignation that some Divisional Officers on the instructions of the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Marafa Hamidou Yaya, carried out massive fraud during the October 11 polls.
Post Election Evaluation
According to the Communication Unit of the SDF, the party stands by their own results, which scored Biya 44 percent and Fru Ndi 45 percent. “What Marafa read on radio, later proclaimed by the Supreme Court, did not reflect the reality of votes we counted,” Nkemngu said.
He said NEC resolved that the SDF will soon start sensitising Cameroonians on the need to register and vote and also to mount pressure on the government for the creation of an Independent Electoral Commission to handle the whole electoral process from registration of voters to proclamation of results.
“This is because we realised that the National Elections Observatory, NEO, and its members, were absent, passive or busy conniving with the administration, in rigging the election in most places we visited.” Nkemngu said NEC gave out new conditions on joining any Coalition. “Henceforth, if there is need for opposition parties to form alliances, we resolved that such parties should have it clearly in their minds that they are coming to join the SDF, as a leading opposition party and not otherwise,” Nkemngu said.