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Analysis: SDF Resignations: The Quizzical, The Factual, The Sentimental 

By Peterkins Manyong

A resignation is a decision to quit a position or an organisation, either because working conditions are no longer favourable or because of pressure. The decision needs to be well thought out in order to avoid regret or blame from that individual’s family members, friends or supporters.

Within the last three weeks, there has been a spate of resignations from the SDF, Cameroon’s frontline opposition party. In Donga-Mantung Division, specifically in Nkambe and Misaje Subdivisions, 520 people claimed to have called it quits with the SDF on November 6, during President Paul Biya’s 27th anniversary in power. According to many of them, they "saw the light following Philemon Yang’s appointment as Prime Minister and Head of Government". It turned out that many of the "resigning" SDF militants wanted the CPDM T-shirts being distributed to carpet crossers by CPDM barons.

Proof is that majority who "resigned" on November 6 to join the ruling party "resigned" again after securing their T-shirts and stuffing themselves with the food and beer that flowed in abundance from the ruling party’s top officials who came along "well stocked". Many of these ragged and tattered political prodigals were disappointed that they didn’t quit the ceremonial grounds with stuffed pockets. This unprincipled behaviour not only makes a complete ridicule of the whole idea of resigning, but nobody takes any such persons serious.

It would, however, be erroneous to conclude that all those resigning, like the above mentioned 500 or more, are "ragged and tattered prodigals", many of them "just returned from swine keeping, from  eating husks and draff" as Shakespeare’s Falstaff would put it. The former SDF Provincial Chairman, and Assembly Questor, Na’Amukong, Andrew Akonteh, and Michael Nuh Njung, a former SDF District Chairman and parliamentary aspirant, put their decision on paper. Nuh even served his through a bailiff. The latest, which really caused a stir and whose ripple effects are still being felt, is that of Richard Ndulah Munteh, former personal secretary of SDF Chairman, John Fru Ndi.

Hon. Akonteh accused the SDF hierarchy of dictatorship, tribalism and highhandedness. Ndulah’s was accompanied with a copy of the application letter he wrote to the SDF hierarchy requesting employment and his curriculum vitae. He declared in the letter that he was joining the CPDM.

The ruling party considers him a "special catch" because he is sure to be a good repertoire of knowledge about the SDF and Fru Ndi, to be exploited for campaigns and other political advantages. The  euphoria with which he was received at a joint CPDM conference in  Ndop and the fuss made of him there was reminiscent of the scriptural adage that there is more rejoicing in heaven over a single sinner who has repented than over a thousand people who are not in need of repentance.

In an interview published in Mutations Newspaper ahead of the conference, Ndulah had ridiculed the SDF hierarchy for the same heartlessness and lack of transparency it accused the CPDM of. For instance, he stated, Fru Ndi’s party not only failed to pay him, but there was no job security as he was not registered with the Social Insurance Fund. When the party decided to give him some money (FCFA 320,000) it did so in a secret room!

Reacting   to these resignations, Fru Ndi has been anything but courteous. He described Akonteh as an ingrate and damned all the others, including other MPs who resigned, as gamblers .His reaction to Ndulah’s is more worthy of note. In an interview granted a Bamenda-based tabloid, he begins well by wondering why there is a lot of cacophony only when militants leave the SDF for CPDM and not vice versa. He then proceeds to describe Ndulah, first, as incompetent and, secondly, as a mole dispatched to monitor him. Incompetence deserves a sack, if gross, as in the case of Ndulah who handled delicate political files.

Unmasking an undercover agent is a mighty grievous matter which requires more than simply moving that agent to another service under the same organization as Fru Ndi’s Administrative Secretary did to his Private Secretary. To worsen matters for Fru Ndi, Ndulah has been very vocal about other indignities he suffered at the hands of the SDF Chairman, the bare mention of which would ill suit the dignity of this analysis. It is worth noting that, whoever does not practice a profession with a human face is morally unqualified to be in that profession.

Let’s take the example of a clergyman who is on a journey with very poor passengers none of whom can afford a meal. In their presence, he takes out a well packaged and delicious meal which he eats alone. After that he takes out a Bible and calls on fellow passengers to join him in prayer. Man does not live by bread alone. This does not, however, make bread irrelevant. Spiritual food is not a substitute for the physical. And that explains why the French revolution was more the outcome of hunger than of political theories.

The possibility or probability of any revolution in Cameroon depends on this basic fact.
In relation to the SDF, it is noteworthy that Social Democracy recommends the narrowing of the gap between the rich and the poor, and sharing through freewill is an aspect of this social philosophy. Unfortunately, in Fru Ndi’s party such sharing, when it is done, must be preceded by a lot of flattering and genuflecting. What they are doing resembles an act of charity rather than something deserved. 

SDF MPs and Mayors, cruising in big cars, forget that the people who made the greatest sacrifices to implant the SDF are the people who lost their lives and body parts in an attempt to rid Cameroon of a corrupt and inefficient oligarchy. Except he wants the party to collapse under him, Fru Ndi should refrain from such declarations that those resigning are gamblers, or that the party gets stronger with each departure. Such declarations make nonsense of the Biblical verse relating to the Good Shepherd.

Those resigning should not also think they would be in paradise in their new parties. No housewife happily resigns her position to a new woman, especially if that incoming bride is a divorcee, with an unenviable matrimonial record. Former MPs who used the party as a platform to enrich themselves should also understand one thing when resigning: that as soon as the theatrics of carpet crossing are over, the ego-shattering reality of betrayal will take over. Reason being that they would continue to live with the very populations they had betrayed.

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