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2013 TWIN ELECTIONS UPDATE


The ruling CPDM party, Thursday, July 18, attempted unsuccessfully to smuggle its list for Council elections into the ELECAM office in Tiko, Fako Division, Southwest Region. 

Tiko ELECAM branch personnel caught one of its officials at about 5:00 am on July 18 as she attempted to sneak a carton containing CPDM documents, which had failed to beat the July 17 midnight deadline, into their office.

The branch head, Mrs. Catherine Limunga Ngwensong, had reportedly asked UNDP Section President for Tiko, Fako IV, Mrs. Joy Ngeka, to help her transport a package to her office. 
“After picking a receipt for our documents from the home of the ELECAM boss at around 4:40 am on Thursday, she asked me to transport a carton to her office in my car.

The UNDP Section President said an ELECAM staff, Charlotte Ebanja, put the package in her car and they drove to the ELECAM office.  “When she took the carton of documents up to the office, the other ELECAM staff realised that it contained CPDM files which had arrived late for submission and they declined to receive them,” Mrs. Ngeka told The Post. She said she raised an alarm and some SDF officials, who had also just picked their receipt, turned up.

 

“We were the first party to submit our files. Scot Osoh Tatah, an ELECAM official, received our documents at 10:55 pm,” said Tiko SDF District Chairman, Daniel Mukondo. “We worked with ELECAM officials till about 2:30 am. But earlier, we had noticed an individual at about 12:08 loitering on the premises of the ELECAM office.

Then another one came soon after with a file and left. We were surprised that the CPDM tried to smuggle their documents only at 5:00 am on Thursday, way off the July 17 midnight deadline.” Mukondo said they were glad Tiko ELECAM acted according to the law and rejected the CPDM files. Bailiff Robert Njiaka from Forchu Chambers in Tiko confirmed that the smuggled carton contained some file jackets apparently belonging to the CPDM. 

The ELECAM staff, who reportedly carried the “contraband” CPDM package to the ELECAM office denied, telling The Post, “I don’t know anything. You can wait until my boss comes.”
Bad luck seemed to have dogged the CPDM on that July 17, as the Fako IV Section President, Charles Eteki Dikonge, was ambushed and arrested before he could deliver his list at the ELECAM office.

Reports said Barrister Fonju, whom the Section President had sent ahead to submit the list, was arrested first and the files seized from him. He was detained briefly before being released.
Security forces then picked up Eteki and incarcerated him at the Gendarmerie Brigade in Tiko, thereby, conveniently, torpedoing any effort at submitting the CPDM controversial list. It was also reported that the list that failed to be smuggled into the ELECAM office after the deadline was “cooked up” elsewhere. Eteki was held incommunicado to lawyers and journalists.

He, however, told a friend who managed to visit him at the Gendarmerie Brigade that “my people have betrayed me.” In another development, Fako Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, Zang III, July 17, reportedly had the Tiko CPDM Section President, Charles Eteki arrested and detained when the Administrator discovered that his preferred list was almost not ready minutes to the midnight deadline.

A rather frustrated Section President had vamoosed from the scene of deliberations after he noticed that his own list was to be meddled with. Observers told The Post that Eteki quietly “voted with his feet” to an unknown place when he sensed that “the powers that be” wanted to either water down his own composed list or totally get him out of the way in preference to someone else. He was, however, personally tracked down by the SDO and passed on to the gendarmes for “safe keeping”.  

Political observers have described Zang III’s act as an Administrator acting ultra vires or meddling in politics. According to the political watchers, Zang III seems not to know where his powers as SDO end and where his apparent militancy in the CPDM begins. The Post learnt that many people were vying to become Mayor and composed their lists which they intended heading for the Municipal elections of September 30. 

Some of the list leaders were said to have engaged subterranean moves to knock out strong rivals and get or buy over influential members in the other lists to abandon their original ambitions and join the fray. Current Mayor, Richard Fombon was knocked out on the grounds that he has dual nationality. It is alleged that when he came back from the US, he established a resident permit as a US citizen in Tiko. He later acquired a National Identity Card, which he used to run in the 2007 election and won to become Mayor.

A certain Andrew Efite was accused of being an SCNC supporter. He was said to have purportedly received a “letter of appreciation” from SCNC authorities, for his generous contribution to the secessionists sometime in 2007. One Issa Labarang, who was apparently working to join forces with Eteki was also knocked out on the claim that he had dual nationality. In Eteki’s case, misappropriation claims were attributed to him when he served as Regional Delegate of Public Works for the Southwest. In all of this, Chief Mesoso of Lysoka, resident in Mutengene emerged as the one with no apparent fault. 

Then came the issue of merging lists and as Section President heading one of such lists, Eteki was reportedly asked to join Mesoso. But as Section President, Eteki thought it was but normal that he be the one to endorse the lists before they are submitted to ELECAM Council Bureau.
Seemingly in protest against this, Eteki went under, as the clock counted down to the deadline of midnight July 17. In that situation, CPDM bigwigs in Tiko got frantic and drew the attention of the DO and in turn that of the SDO. 

The SDO drove from his Limbe residence to Tiko and at 11.45, barely 15 minutes to the deadline he “smoked out” Eteki and his lawyer with the help of the DO of Tiko and ordered him to be detained at the Tiko Gendarmerie with firm instructions that no journalist or lawyer be allowed to see or talk to him. 

When The Post visited the Gendarmerie at about 6.30pm Thursday, Eteki he had been released, but rumours were awash that he had been transferred to Yaounde. But when contacted he answered from his house, saying that he wanted to have a rest.

By Azore Opio & Bouddih Adams

CameroonPost

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