The crisis that has been rocking the Social Democratic Front, SDF, in the Littoral Region since 2013, has taken a new dimension, following the annulment of the results of the reorginsation exercise of the basic organs of the party that took place in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and new elections rescheduled. The information about the cancellation of the results was confirmed to The Post by the Head of the reorganisation exercise to the Littoral Region, Senator Jean Tsomelo, May 17.
According to the new electoral calendar, five SDF Electoral Districts in the Sanaga Maritime Division will be reorganised on June 4, four Electoral Districts will be reorganised in Mungo Division on June 5, while seven Districts will be reorganised on June 12.
Elections at the Divisions level have been slated for June 19, while Regional elections will take place on July 3.
The Littoral SDF crisis has split the party into two warring factions with one camp led by Hon Jean Michel Nintcheu, whose four-year mandate as Regional Chairman ended in 2013. The other camp is headed by Hon Edward Nkembeng, Chairman of the Douala V A Electoral District. Nkembeng is supported by Abel Elimbi Lobe and Adolphe Same Lottin.
Meanwhile, no one has given any explanation as to why the past elections have been annulled. It is also not clear as to who took the decision to cancel the past elections and who drew up the new electoral programme .
Senator Tsomelo simply said the programme came “from Bamenda”. The Nkembeng led camp is accusing Hon Joshua Osih of having manipulated the party to take the decision.
Senator Tsomelo seems embarrassed with the situation himself, given that, some of the elections which have been annulled were organised by him, like that of the Douala I Electoral District. Following the cancellation of the results, Same Lottin has decided to leave his position for a ‘new blood’ and gun for the post of Wouri Divisional Coordinator.
Plea To Fru Ndi
Contacted on May 17, Lottin insisted that the reason for the cancellation of the elections is a testimony that most Electoral Districts in Douala do not want Nintcheu as Regional Chair. “In Douala for example, all the District Chairmen, including that of Nintcheu’s Electoral District, do not want him to continue as Regional Chairman of the party.
He has held that post for 12 years and has nothing to show for it for the party. My plea to the National Chairman of the SDF, HE Ni John Fru Ndi, is that the party hierarchy should listen to the grass root militants of the party in the Littoral Region. The base should be allowed to democratically decide on the choices of their local leaders, including Regional leaders,” Lottin said.
On his part, the Chairman of the Bonaberi Electoral District, John Ndangle Kumase, criticized both the decision to cancel the elections and the new electoral calendar.
Kumase questioned how the Tsomelo led team can properly organise elections in seven Electoral Districts in one day, considering the history of elections in Douala, which he said are always hotly contested. Moreover, the current situation in the Littoral SDF with two camps is already tense, and makes the organisation of elections more challenging.
“Well, let us wait and see. But I have the feeling that this new electoral programme has been designed to fail, so as to enable Nintcheu to continue lording over the Region,” Kumase opined. Kumase’s Bonaberi Electoral District is the only Electoral District in Douala where fresh election has not been scheduled.
Lack Of Fairness
On his part, Hon Nkembeng bemoaned that there is lack of fairness in the reorganisation exercise. According to him, the way elections are being organised, will favour one person. He said the decision to reorganise Electoral Districts, which were recently reorganised is a design to favour Nintcheu, who is afraid of being voted out of office.
Nkembeng however said “I am not afraid of election, because I am confident that my team will still win in Douala VA Electoral Districts, no matter how many times the elections are cancelled and reorganised.”