By Yerima Kini Nsom
Despite several complaints from grassroots militants about what finally triumphed as a rigging competition in the recent reorganisation of the basic organs of the party, the CPDM hierarchy has remained mute. That silence has been interpreted as approval to the travesty and the whimsical selections that were passed off as elections within the basic organs of the party.
The rigging exercise was a replica of what usually obtains in national elections. The CPDM militants had often condoned and enjoyed such rigging by party officials, given that it was against the opposition parties. This time around they were so shocked that the party officials domesticated the rigging context. Grassroots militants whose aspirations were bloodied in the electoral thievery, had their own slice of the national cake of rigging. They complained, petitioned and even protested, but the party’s hierarchy maintained sealed lips over the issue.
This silence seemingly emerged as a tacit approval to the disorder and cacophony that reigned during the so-called reorganisation exercise. There is enormous tongue-wagging to the effect that, despite its prescriptions, the July 18 circular from the party chair was just a mere whistle blast for the rigging context to commence.
And what had survived as a cold war between some party officials and grassroots militants in certain areas escalated into a political dogfight. The atmosphere was thick with violence and it was clear that something ominous had to give in, in the circumstances. The titanic battles among some party grandees equally came aboard the general brouhaha.
The party progressives had their say which was a visionary clarity of the kind of power-sharing that would beckon the youth aboard some leading structures of the party. But the coterie of self-serving party grandees had their way which was apparently endorsed by the party hierarchy. There were so many ruckuses within the ranks of the party as internal battles rolled in thick and fast.
The wind that blew so hard exposed the rump of the fowl-to the effect that the CPDM is more or less a sinking titanic in decline and dire need of a moral reformer to save its soul. Otherwise it is a jungle setting wherein the survival of the most powerful and the most brutal official reigns supreme. That is why a certain Senator in the South Region emerged as winner in one of the sections after sustaining a bloody fight in which he sent many of his opponents to the hospital with deep injuries.
In many other places, the battles went mystical like Bangangte wherein some party officials performed weird rituals in order to disarm their opponents. Angry militants put administrative officials in the political pottage by burning down the residence of the Divisional Officer, DO for Bengbis in the South Region. Other irate militants left a delegation of party officials led by Prof. Jacques Fame Ndong stranded in the heart of the equatorial forest for long by cutting off a bridge that linked Ebolowa to Akom II. Real and imagined opponents of some party bigwigs, were hounded, subdued and chased off as egos collided with vested interest and inordinate ambition. They cried in vain in the wilderness.
From every indication, the reorganisation exercise turned out to be an ugly compendium of ego-driven internal squabbles. Having been drowned in such murky waters, the party could only emerge triumphantly as a loose conglomerate of conflicting camps. Election-rigging within the party prospered under the watch of the party hierarchy at a time never seen before.
Every Cameroonian needs to be worried about such a situation because the chaotic manner with which the CPDM hierarchy manages elections within the ranks of the party is the same way they manage national elections. Although the party hierarchy anchors its propaganda on a narrative of morals and virtues, it has shown ample approval to the exact opposite. From their antecedents in the party, it is very clear that the CPDM can only sustain its love affair with the statusquo at the helm of the state. It is clear that the governing factor and the motivation in the battles for top positions in the CPDM, is not the zeal to serve the party. It is usually inspired by an uncontrollable greed for power, influence and the quest for material aggrandizement at the expense of the general good.
Gaining state appointments and living high and big on stolen money are the rallying motivation and the basis of militating in the CPDM. Once political mercenaries fall out of favour with the outfit, you will not be able to recognise them by virtue of what they say against the party.
For instance, listen to the belligerent media outings of the CPDM erstwhile militants and you be able to tell the tale.
Many observers hold that it is incumbent on the CPDM National Chair, President Paul Biya, to fully reform the party in order to save its soul from scheming political job seekers. They hold that mere paper prescription cannot do the trick. Only swift disciplinary action against those who violate party texts will. For, a rampaging pack of hyenas cannot be simply be shooed away with a walking stick.
Given the potential danger posed by the bottled-up emotions of militants suffering from various injustices within the party, the seat-tighters who have confiscated party positions for several decades, should learn to jump for once, before they are pushed. For the wrath of irate militants is like a mighty storm that is threatening the very foundation of the party.
What goes round from some party militants now is a litany of woes and victimisation by some party officials who are fighting a proxy war for some of their bosses in the Central Committee. Beneath the rubble of that eventual massive cataclysm, lies the fear that when things finally fall apart in the ruling CPDM party, the centre will never ever hold again. The Chair of the party could easily avert such a waterloo by distancing himself from empty sloganeering and swing into concrete action by applying the virtues of rigour and moralisation. This way, all the migratory birds and animals that chaos has invited into the party will determine whether that party is a place for them or not. Right, the lamb, the box, the lion, the doves, the migratory egrets and pigeons are in the party just because they know that it is jungle for the self-serving schemers.