The party is buzy, creating basic organs to increase militants and voting population
All plans are geared towards upcoming 2018 presidential elections in Cameroon and African Movement for New Independence and Democracy, MANIDEM, is not left out. The party under the leadership of Dieudonne Yebga, has a permanent office in Douala where party activities are planned and executed.
During a brief stay in the office, the National Secretary in charge of Communication, Edimo Kouo, told Cameroon Tribune that they are breaking new grounds. “For our party to grow not only in number, but in electors as well, we are creating basic organs in all the Divisions and Sub-Divisions of the country. If we really want our voices to be heard, we need to do so through the ballot,” he emphasized.
Away from creating basic organs, the party organises weekly bureau meetings every Tuesdays where they discuss burning issues in the country, Africa and the world. Given that MANIDEM is one of the few political parties that have permanent offices, they carry out monthly training workshops where militants and non militants are lectured on the ideologies and objectives of the party. During such meetings, they unveiled the plans they have for Cameroon should they take over power, talk about the economy of the country, discus Cameroon and African history, the struggle for independence and how Cameroon became independent, among others.
Though MANIDEM criticises the method of Elections Cameroon’s creation, they however spare no effort in talking to their militants and non militants to register given that a single ballot can turn the tables. “We are seriously working towards upcoming elections and our target is to improve on our scores, grab as many seats as possible both in the Parliament and in Councils,” Edimo poised. He however made known that a great party is not only that with many representatives but that with ideologies that are worth implementing like the UPC of 1948 and 1950, that had no representative but fought for a just course. In the presence of the former Party President Anicet Ekane, the National Secretary in charge of Communication disclosed that MANIDEM is the only political party that has changed presidents four times, reason why they are dynamic.
El Hadj Lawan Bako: “Those Arrested Should Apologize”
National Chairman of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and Spokesperson of Presidential Majority
Elections are coming up in 2018 in the country. We recall your party went in for 2013 legislative and municipal elections. What is the state of affairs of the UDP at moment?
It is clear that the United Democratic Party (UDP) is waxing strong. The party is always on the field. We take positions in national and international issues. During the last Youth Day celebrations on February 11, the UDP was the only political party that participated in the march-past in Boyo Division of the North West Region. We were also present in Jakiri alongside the CPDM even as other political parties boycotted which is part of their policy. This shows that we think about our country and democracy. As far as party activities are concern, other parties have their congresses or conventions after five years but in UDP, we have National Councils which we usually hold and we are hoping of having it in 2019. As concerns elections, you know the UDP is part of the Presidential Majority and our alliance with the CPDM at the level of presidential election is intact. We still have President Paul Biya as the candidate of presidential majority in the next presidential elections. We are convinced that we will continue to help him govern this country for the interest of all Cameroonians so that all Cameroonians can continue to benefit from his largesse today and tomorrow. For parliamentary and municipal elections, we usually participate and we will do so in the future elections. Since we have an alliance with the CPDM, its successes can never be divulged from ours and vice versa because we work collaboratively. We share same policies as liberal democrats. President Paul Biya came up with the policy of Liberal Democracy which all of us share in its values. That’s what binds us with the CPDM because we share same policies with them.
The UDP has not been vocal on the recent happenings in the South West and North West Regions. What is the position of your party as far as the socio-political crisis that has been rocking these regions is concern?
We acted promptly since the start of the crisis in November 2016.We presented statements in the media and other platforms. Our position is very clear; that the education of children should not be mortgaged. We have repeatedly called on teachers to go to school and also urged parents to send their children to school. We also condemn acts of vandalism perpetrated by some children. I participated in a very high level meeting in Yaounde last January during which I proposed to the authorities to press the Minister of Secondary Education to ask the Principals of public and private colleges to hold meetings with parents and they did just that. In fact I was not happy with the statement made by the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms calling on the unconditional release of those arrested and detained by the judiciary. The SDF did same and CPDM under Senator Simon Achidi Achu also did the same. But I say that their statements are unreasonable because the arrests are in the hands of the judiciary and not the Head of State. I propose that those who are already arrested should apologize for their acts and plead for clemency. Vandalism should never be condoned because your liberty ends where mine starts. We have been in the field trying to lobby parents to ensure they send their children to school but they are complaining of insecurity which is provoked by the arrests. Teachers called for the strike but didn’t ask of acts of vandalism though they failed to condemn acts of violence and endorse it like the SDF did. The Head of State agreed that some points presented by teachers and lawyers were pertinent and promised they will be looked into. Some of the concerns raised have already been handled. In any case, the UDP by its name upholds the values of unity and wants a united country for the good of all Cameroonians and the future generation.
Interviewed by Roland MBONTEH