Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Tapang Ivo Tanku Reveals How The Ultimate Solution To Taking Over President Paul Biya Is A Peaceful Revolution In Cameroon

It is easy to take over power, challenging to keep it, and difficult to hand it over. Most opposition party leaders’ positions on the power grab in Cameroon have drifted over the years, months, and even days. 

In 2007, official figures from the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD) noted that there were 207 opposition parties challenging the ruling CPDM that has been in power since 1985. Several sources note that there could be over 500 registered political parties at the moment, making it even messier and ludicrous for political evolution in the country. Let me explain.

John Fru Ndi, the leader of the main opposition party, SDF, is undoubtedly the 1990 hero who elbowed his way out of the single-party system, to spearhead a rebirth of multi-party politics. That was a means towards democracy, and not a democracy, an end in itself. On a nominal scale of -10 to 6, the Polity IV, a widely used data series in political science empirical research, classifies Cameroon as a “closed anocracy (-4),” which represents a fickle mix of democratic and autocratic traits and practices.

Cameroon has been trapped in this system for nearly three decades, and it would remain so if greedy politicians and policy makers keep a tight grip on the blindfold on citizens’ eyes, while consistently loading false messages of a “democratic Cameroon” into the load speakers. Don’t be deceived! Over the years, several studies have exposed a consistent weakening of opposition parties, growing discontent among opposition supporters, and polarized views on the support for party candidates, especially with John Fru Ndi and President Paul Biya.

During the 2011 CNN coverage on elections in Cameroon, U.S.-based international media wrote: “Fru Ndi says he will resign after three years if he is elected president, rather than the usual seven-year term.” And now five years later, since he lost his ambitious bid, it is logical to claim that Fru Ndi still holds his statement tight to his chest, and will not succumb to external nor internal pressure. And assuming he was elected president, it is possible that he couldn’t have resigned after three years, contrary to his lofty statement in his public rallies in Bamenda, Foumban, and Kumbo, all key opposition capitals in Cameroon?

But why did he make such a statement? He probably knew that he was already old, and so supporters may not have wanted him around. So what will he say in 2018 if given the chance? Resigning after his inauguration as President? Let me take a beer.

At 75, the challenger, Fru Ndi, still accuses his defender, Paul Biya, 83, of staying too long in power. They both have an eight-year age difference. And if Fru Ndi seeks to run for the 2018 presidential bid, he will turn 84 in power if he completes his seven-year mandate. Who is fooling whom? Many have argued that the ruling CPDM party lacks a political strategy. Wrong.

“Motions of support,” is a widely used political strategy, and very unique to Cameroon. It has worked over the year for the CPDM, and it will continue to do so. Do not ignore it. It carefully and unanimously endorses a particular “natural” candidate a few years before the upcoming poll. It eliminates unforeseen in-house power tussles by allowing party supporters to throw in their party support from all corners of the globe while mobilizing financial and human resources through fundraising campaigns, and by pinching from the state treasury.

The “national convention” as a strategy by the SDF and other parties, is failing and falling and no one may be seeing it. It is not only too late campaign, as it comes only a few months to the upcoming poll, but it lacks substance, fundraising strategies, and inclusive mobilization. Above all, it gives little or no room for the party to cripple rumors and manage crisis which could arise from within the party when controversial opinions do not favor the chosen candidate. Take a look at all the crises that have rocked the SDF, for example. They often come just months before the polling starts. Divided we cannot stand on a single political platform.
Tapang Ivo Tanku Reveals How The Ultimate Solution To Taking Over Prsident Paul Biya Is A Peaceful Revolution In Cameroon
Arrow’s paradox, also known as the Paradox of Voting by Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel laureate in Economics, basically states that when voters have several distinct alternatives, it is always impossible to outwit the defenders. In practical terms, it is impossible for more than 20 opposition parties to beat the ruling CPDM even under free, fair and observable conditions. Not only are the opposition parties heavily divided, but they seek to achieve greedy and conflicting desires. In 1990, when there were only one defender and one challenger, the game was tight, and the challenger was most feared.

Today, it no longer holds sway.

It is rational for the ruling CPDM party to encourage an astronomic increase in the number of opposition parties in a bid to prolong their stay in the game. That is realpolik. It would be important if key opposition parties know where they are on the game tree, especially at this moment, share information, harmonize strategies, regroup, and quickly move up to displace the challenger.

In one of my research papers on security studies, I argued that political systems are organic – they are planted, they grow, they die, and they decay. No political system lasts forever. They only live through particular historical epochs and are subjected to climate change. The 1990 political panacea for the SDF is expiring. A peaceful revolution is needed. If not choose a revolution, better waste your votes on CPDM or do nothing at all.

John Fru Ndi has had his own share of glories, victories, and strength. John Fru Ndi is falling though resisting. We cannot still be practicing post-colonial politics in an age of globalization. I suggest SDF could quickly roll out robust communications strategies to grasp the concerns of the masses via social and traditional media, shrug off its “national convention” strategy, adopt a new and efficient political strategy, quickly form a vibrant political coalition, elect a new coalition leader, and raise necessary funds to support a stronger presidential bid for the opposition in Cameroon.

Borrowing from renowned a scholar on democracy, Francis Fukuyama, Cameroon is nowhere near to a modern state. It is patrimonial state – one which the political system is regarded as species of private property. The people ruling it use it to be rich by extracting resources for elite running it. And do not think the elite, mostly CPDM party members, have a dream of letting their enjoyment slip away just like that.

**** I am only a freethinker and a solution-oriented critic.

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