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CPDM MPs Demand Marafa 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

CameroonPostline.com — Members of Parliament, MPs, of the CPDM party of the North Region, have demanded the release of Marafa Hamidou Yaya in order to mend cracks in the party.

The demand for the release of the ex-Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation is contained in a confidential letter submitted to the Secretary General of the CPDM, Jean Nkuete, who was in Garoua last week.

Seven MPs and 17 CPDM Section Presidents signed the confidential letter, a copy of which was leaked to the press.

Besides asking for the release of Marafa who is a member of the political bureau of the CPDM from Garoua, the MPs want the Government to increase the number of parliamentary seats in the North Region.

The Post learnt that local CPDM officials turned the heat on Jean Nkuete on the detention of Marafa who was arrested last April 16 on charges of the embezzlement of public funds. Some 30 irate party officials, who were refused access into the meeting, reportedly chided the CPDM hierarchy for victimising Marafa because of his political beliefs.

The irate group is reported to have equally submitted a strongly-worded petition to the CPDM Secretary General known as ‘The Garoua declaration’. The Declaration also calls for the unconditional release of the former Basic Education Minister, Haman Adama, and other officials detained in connection with the Albatross Affair.

About 30 Section Presidents and Presidents of the youth wings of the CPDM in Benoue Division, led by the President of the youth wing of the Foubere VII Subsection, Aissatou Baba Gourine; President of Benoue Centre IV, Asta Wabi; and Benoue Centre youth wing,  Nassourou Abdoulaye, signed the petition.

French language newspapers quoted Aissatou Baba Gourine as saying, only the release of Marafa and other Benoue elites, arrested on trumped-up charges, can reinstall peace and serenity in the party. He reportedly said the letter they handed over to the CPDM Scribe is addressed to the Chairman of the party, President Paul Biya, to inform him that there is strong acrimony within the house following the arrest of Marafa.

Coincidentally, Jean Nkuete, began his working visit in Maroua last July 16, the same day Marafa made his first appearance in court. While addressing supporters of the party, the Secretary General said the fight against corruption and the embezzlement of public funds is the main commitment of President Paul Biya’s current mandate. He said President Biya’s anti-graft onslaught was blind and does not care whether its victims are big or small people, or whether they are members of Government or not. To him, the anti-corruption drive does not care as to which victim comes from which region. He urged the party officials to support President Biya’s fight against the embezzlement of public funds instead of complaining about the prosecution of certain suspects.

 While speaking to the press, Talba, the party’s National Organising Secretary, who accompanied the Secretary General to Garoua, claimed that they did not discuss the Marafa affair during the meeting. Their discussions, he insisted, were hinged on how local officials could win more militants so that the CPDM can completely conquer the entire North Region.

Meanwhile, Marafa’s lawyers had access to their client’s case file for the first time last Thursday, July 19, three months after his arrest. According the former Minister’s lead lawyer, Prof. Kofele Kale, he got the file on Thursday afternoon. He told The Post that the file they received is incomplete.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01361

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