By Charlie Ndi Chia
Career politicians are like roosters. They are uppity cockerels. They fight to get power, struggle to keep it and ensure that only they should crow… like the cock in a pen.
Everything else in the sight of the average power monger and broker must be reduced to a cockroach. Note how foolhardy a cockroach would turn out to be and what its fate would be, if it insists on claiming its innocence in the midst of cocks.
Cocks tolerate hens to some extent. They do so, strictly for their libidinal pleasure. It is usually a quickie. And then, it is all over.
When a ruling political party cohabits with the opposition, it is strictly for the interest of the moment.
The CPDM as Cameroon’s ruling party has been around for 30 uninterrupted years. Every now and again, it has had some convenient intercourse of sorts, with one flirtatious opposition political party or the other before dumping it like repugnant dross.
It has always ensured that, while the cohabitation lasted, not even one of the hired coquets was allowed to dream, let alone make a dash for Etoudi, the ultimate seat of power.
It has taken the rare tact, and why not, guile of its founding President, Paul Biya, for the CPDM to last in power for 30 long uninterrupted years. Barely five years into the party’s birth in Bamenda in 1985, it seemed like the CNU “chop chair” was dead and gone for good.
At that time, a cacophony of dissenting voices from within the party itself was heard, challenging the reactionaries in the CPDM to democratise.
They were quietly eased out and they found apparent solace in the buoyant opposition that was hatching at the time. The party trudged on for some years, and through suave, social engineering, many of the fleeing chickens came back home to roost in the CPDM pen.
The CPDM-run Government has, as would be expected of any dominant party, recorded countless cases of democratic bad manners.
It has cut corners in order to stay in charge. Fiscal indiscipline and the lack of accountability and transparency has been the bane of its leadership.
In fact, true democracy has not been one of its major preoccupations. But one thing is true of one of Africa’s longest ruling parties; it knows how to brew power, drink deep from its living fountains and stay sober.
On this 30th birthday of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, The Post has attempted an x-ray of how the CPDM came about, how it has performed and why it is still lurking around despite the daunting odds.
We invite our readers and, indeed, members of this party to take advantage of our qualitative observations, criticisms and analyses. We also hasten to give the party’s hierarchy a parting birthday advice, namely; that true democracy doesn’t start and end with organising elections to win them and remain glued to power.
Rather, democracy ought to be an avenue for citizens to possess such a choice of leadership as to freely represent them in the art of governance.