The National Executive Committee NEC of the Social Democratic Front SDF, meeting in Yaounde on Saturday, July 23, decided to control the public utterances of militants of this opposition party as they ground rules surrounding communicatiojn within the party.
One of the resolutions of this meeting states that while freedom of expression must be respected, it must not be interpreted “as a freedom to distort” the positions of the party and especially to attack or damage the reputation and image of the party by any of its members.
“From now on, for an SDF activist to speak publicly about the party, he or she must first obtain a mandate from either the Secretary General, or the National Communication Secretary, or the Shadow Cabinet Minister in charge of Information and the Media. “Failure to comply with this instruction will expose violators to severe disciplinary sanctions,” the NEC warned. A list of official party communicators will be drawn up by the above-mentioned bodies.
Following the resolution, Xavier Beleme Anang, the SDF Regional Communication Secretary for the Littoral, said he was outraged by what he called “an anti-statutory hyper-concentration of power coupled with an attempt to muzzle the expression of party communicators in the Littoral.” For him, this resolution is a “dangerous Stalinist precedent in the history of the SDF when we know that the party has always advocated a federal type of internal governance“. He invited his fellow militants to “continue to accept invitations from the media to enhance the image of the party”.
He was followed in his bravado by Emmanuel Ntonga, SDF Regional Chairman for the Centre Region. As in the Littoral, the militants of the Centre are invited “to pursue this noble work without fear or pressure”.
According to some SDF activists, this measure by the NEC is aimed at limiting the exposure of ongoing divisions within the party. And on the other hand, to muzzle the trend of Jean Michel Nintcheu, MP and regional chairman of the Littoral, against Joshua Osih, also an MP and first vice president of the party.