By NFOR Hanson NCHANJI
Douala,Cameroon-Saturday October 20, 2018-6 PM Local Time(Cameroon News Agency) In less than 12 hours, Cameroonians in Douala, a Francophone dominated capital city of Littoral region, will be hitting the streets in a peaceful protest to demand the departure of President Paul Biya. The protest has been banned but initiators say it must hold.
Plans to resist electoral malpractices in the just ended Presidential polls in Cameroon, were hatched by Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu, regional Chairman of the Social Democratic Front party, SDF, in Littoral but the protest march has been banned. First by the Divisional Officer of Douala Three and subsequently by the Governor of the region, Samuel Dieudonne Ivaha Dubua. The Governor said, it is not time for political march because the campaign period is over and results awaited.
Despite this ban, activists and other political actors have joined the camp to chase Paul Biya out of the Presidential Palace, Etoudi, in what is known as ‘Chassement’, the birth child of US based activist, Patrice Nganang.
Edith Kah Walla of the Cameroon People’s Party, CPP, has written on her official Twitter handle that she will be part of the historic march. She has called on all and sundry to come out massively for the protest. She cautions that it must be peaceful and resistant. “If we are many, it will be good, if we continue to march on despite the gunshots directed at us, it will become complicated for them,” she said.
First national Vice President of the SDF, Hon Joshua Osih, Presidential candidate of the party said on his Twitter handle that the protest should be for all opposition candidates and not for particular one. Though he didn’t mention any name, the MP for Wouri 1 is indirectly referring to Cameroon Renaissance Movement’s flag bearer, Professor Maurice Kamto, whose supporters and majority of Cameroonians are hailing as the victor of the polls.
Should the planned protest hold in the major cities in French Cameroon, it will be the first time since the relaunch of multiparty politics that the people will be out to demand departure of an incumbent after an election. it is widely believed that Ni John Fru Ndi of the SDF won in 1992 but did not call for protest to preserve his victory.
It will also be known that Francophone Cameroonians have woken from slumber, many are however skeptical on the success of the protest. But recent protests in the US and Germany by Francophones could just be a bird’s eye view of what Cameroon could be witnessing in the days ahead.
Kamto’s supporters have vowed to organize a sit-in, in front of the Constitutional Council, Monday October 22, 2018 where the results of the elections will made public. The BBC African service had earlier announced that Paul Biya scored 71 percent in the polls. Statistics widely contested by the opposition.
A political earth quake is about to happen to Cameroon as ‘prophesied’ by Hon Wirba Joseph of the SDF, that the Anglophone crisis is what will bring the downfall of the regime.
Will the military intervene and shoot Francophones like they did to Anglophones in the two English speaking regions or will they act like their counterparts in Gambia, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Tunisia and allow the masses to remove Paul Biya from Power?
The clock is ticking!