The Social Democratic Front, SDF will hold its next National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting in Yaounde on Saturday March 25. Top on the agenda are discussions on Cameroon’s return to federalism and preparations for the party’s national elective convention scheduled to take place from April 28 to 30 this year, we gathered.
The NEC meeting which usually takes place in the Bamenda residence of John Fru Ndi, National Chairman of the party, will take place in Yaounde this time around because of the fact that the party’s parliamentarians are currently attending the March session of parliament ,a party official hinted. Note that after more than 25years of existence, the party is still in the process of constructing a befitting secretariat or headquarters.
The SDF which has for more than twenty years been advocating the change of the form of the state of Cameroon to a federal state, will use Saturday’s meeting as an opportunity to chart the way forward to making this a reality. Cameroonians, especially those from the English-speaking regions have become cautious, better yet, scared, of talking publicly in favour of federalism.
This is so, apparently because President Biya had declared earlier at the beginning of this year that the form of the state is not debatable- several citizens have been arrested and locked away for supporting the school of thought that Cameroon could be better governed as a federal state, an ideology which many Cameroonians erroneously consider to be the brain child of an outlawed pressure group, the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium created late last year.
Hon Jean Michel Nintcheu, SDF MP was last month, barred from organising a pro-federalism campaign in the port city of Douala. He sued the civil administrator who banned the holding of the meeting and ordered security forces to ensure it does not hold. The outcome of the law suit is still awaited.
Hon. Joseph Wirba, another SDF MP, is currently on self-exile in the US. Hon. Joseph Banadzem, SDF parliamentary group leader, last week revealed that Martin Mbarga Nguele, the national police boss had issued a warrant of arrest for the MP in violation of his parliamentary immunity. The MP was outspoken about the marginalisation of English-speaking Cameroonians.
Besides these issues, the governing committee of the SDF is also expected to review reports on ground work that has already been done, and plan further activities in build up to the party’s elective general assembly.
We learned that the regional chairmen of the party, are expected to submit to the Secretary General, reports of primaries organised in their respective jurisdictions. The reports, we gathered, would be used to constitute delegations that would take part in next month’s convention.
The last NEC meeting was held in Bamenda on January 28, with the party bigwigs, drawing up a series of recommendations they believed would solve the on-going crisis in Anglophone Cameroon. It is expected that the next meeting would also examine how many of the recommendations were considered by government.