Ahead D-Day, CPDM, SDF Go Money in Hand to Buy Votes in NW
By Fai Cassian Ndi
One of the excitements of the April 14, 2013 senatorial elections is the new geopolitical configuration that will be carved out. As campaign ends today, the North West Region has been described as the battle ground for senate given that it is where the leader of the main opposition in Cameroon is candidate. It is also because the difference in voters between the two political parties in the race to the senate is too narrow approximately about five councilors (if the three councilors who decamped from the SDF to join CPDM are added). For fear of the unexpected, allegations are rife at that both the CPDM and the SDF have gone solo negotiating to buy votes.
The Eye is aware that over 2 billion FCFA was earmarked to buy councilors to buy councilors. It is alleged that councilors have had enough for their pockets. It is even alleged that PM Philemon Yang toured the region and dished out 100.000 FCFA to each to all CPDM councilors. Scammers we have gathered have also used the opportunity to get money from both the SDF and CPDM on grounds that they would negotiate for councilors. It is even alleged that some people took their friends to some politicians and collected hundreds of thousand on grounds that they are councilors whereas they are not.
Ni John Fru Ndi took SDF and CPDM militants of the North West aback on April 12, 2013 when he called on SDF Municipal councilors in the Littoral Region to vote for the CPDM list. Fru Ndi it should be recalled made that controversial clarion call during a campaign meeting in Batibo in Momo Division. SDF chieftain’s call came barely a day after Prof. Fame Jacque Ndongo, told CPDM councilors in the West Region to vote SDF senatorial list. Fame Jacque Ndongo is quoted to have told the councilors that he was just passing instructions from the President of the CPDM Paul Biya.
Yet, the CPDM/SDF unholy alliance is creating a lot of controversy in the North West Region where Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi is candidate for the senate. Ahead of tomorrow’s polls, intrigues, slanders, blackmail and all sorts of political maneuvers have taken the central stage in the North West Region. Even with the SDF/CPDM alliance, spices have been placed to monitor the movement of municipal councilors by both parties. The movement of councilors is controlled and allegations are rife at that both parties have been involved in negotiating to buy votes. The SDF is accused of spreading cash to CPDM councilors while on the other side, CPDM bigwigs are also on the accusing bench for buying votes as well. Awanga Zacharia, CPDM senatorial candidate for Momo alleged to have caged CPDM councilors in Bamenda. Ni John Fru Ndi, SDF chairman was on tree tops denouncing Philemon Yang for moving councilors of Ako, Nwa and Misaje to Nkambe the day Fru Ndi was on his campaign tour to these council areas. Besides, it is also alleged that the CPDM was planning to cage councilors in order to restrict their movements.
However, the CPDM on the other hand is pointing accusing fingers at the SDF for sharing 3 million FCFA each to each candidate in the region to buy over councilors. Allegations are rife at that SDF District officials were spotted in several areas with money lobbying for votes. It is even rumoured in some localities in the North West that phones and identity cards of some councilors were seized.
The North West Region has been renounced in politics of acrimony. It is alleged the SDF/CPDM alliance is leaving many on both camps very uncomfortable. This is so because it is alleged that if the CPDM list headed by Simon Achidi Achu wins in the North West, he could be catapulted to the position of senate President. Implicitly, to create a geopolitical balance Yang Philemon would lose the post of Prime Minister, Head of Government. On the other hand it would even be more disastrous if the CPDM list is beaten. It would mean that Philemon Yang and his ministers are very unpopular. Biya will be obliged to flush Yang from government. Yang’s detractors will have tangible reasons to ask for his sacking. If the CPDM list wins, the senators will make sure that they lobby to be appointed ministers which also put to risk the positions of the present cabinet ministers. For example, Hon. Banmi Emmanuel will likely lose his position as MP given that the senator and MP cannot come from the same village while others will not. Hon. Njong Everistus of the SDF is in the same soup, since he comes from the same area with Prof. Nkwi who is going for senate.