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Dissidents Defy NEC, Littoral SDF Crisis Deepens 

By Joe DingaPefok

The crisis that erupted in the Littoral SDF since January 2013, following the emergence of a dissident group led by the Chairman of the Douala I Electoral District, Adolphe Same Lottin (now 4th Deputy Mayor of the CPDM-run Douala I Council), against the leadership of the Littoral Regional Chairman, Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu, has taken a twist and is headed for the worst.

The leadership of the dissident group does not make secret the fact that their main objective is to have an indigene takeover the leadership of the SDF in the Littoral, from Nintcheu who is a Bamileke. The group is bent on taking control of many basic organs of the party at all costs, so as to have a better chance at the election to the post of Littoral SDF Chairman, expected to hold this year. It is worth recalling that Nintcheu’s predecessor, Moukoury Molema, ended up in the CPDM.

On January 11, the group despised NEC’s decision, ignored a January 10 declaration by the National Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, snubbed a warning from the 1st Vice National Chairman of the party, Hon Joshua Nambangi Osih, as well as defied a banning order by the Wouri SDO, Naseri Paul Bea, and went ahead to ‘elect’ what they called the Wouri Divisional Coordinator of the party. The group declared, at the end of the event that was disrupted by police, that Adolphe Same Lottin, was the new Wouri Divisional Coordinator of the SDF.

Fru Ndi_AddressCrowd


On January 10, prior to the ‘election’, the 1st Assistant National Secretary for Communication of the SDF, Abel Elimbi Lobe, one of the leaders of the dissident group, declared to the media in Douala that Ferdinand Asapgngu, in his capacity as the National Organising Secretary of the party, is the person who has the constitutional authority to organise the election billed for January 11. However, Elimbi Lobe, who is a member of NEC, did not state the fact that NEC, at its last meeting on November 8, 2014, designated Senator Jean Tsomelou (leader of the SDF Group in the Senate), to take over the mission to reorganise the basic organs of the party in the Littoral Region from Asapngu, who was seen as siding with the dissident group, and thus not being neutral in the elections.

SDF National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, in a telephone interview granted Radio Equinox on that same January 10, contradicted Elimbi Lobe’s claim by declaring that: “As regard the problems the party has been facing in the Littoral, we (NEC) sent the National Organising Secretary to see these problems resolved. But we found out that when he went to the field, he was not working with the Regional Chairman as required. So, we had to send a neutral person, who is Senator Tsomelou, to take over the mission.” NEC allegedly received several complaints that money changed hands during Asapngu’s past handling of the reorganisation of basic organs of the party in the Littoral, causing lots of contestations over election results.

 Reorganisation Programme

The first outing of the new envoy of NEC, Senator Tsomelou, to the Littoral Region for the reorganisation of basic organs of the party, was on November 23, 2014. He met with local party officials across the Region during an enlarged extraordinary session of the Littoral Executive Committee that was convened by Hon Nintcheu and attended by members of the dissident group, including their leaders, Adolphe Same Lottin and Elimbi Lobe.

Then on December 9, 2014, Senator Tsomelou released the programme for the reorganisation of the basic organs of the SDF that are still due reorganisation across the Littoral Region. Tsomelou scheduled elections in the Douala I Electoral District on February 21, Douala II and Manoka Electoral Districts on February 22 and elections to the post of Wouri Divisional Coordinator on March 1.

 Banning Orders

Meanwhile, the dissident group, led by Same Lottin, decided to ignore NEC’s new envoy and instead brought back Asapngu to organise elections. Lottin’s cousin, Yves Philippe Edimo Same, was declared the new Electoral District Chairman, purportedly taking over from Lottin who declared his intention to go in for the post of Wouri Divisional Coordinator.

Lottin surreptitiously applied to the DO of Douala I, Jean Marc Ekoa Mbarga, for an authorisation to conduct an election to the post of Wouri Coordinator. When Nintcheu learnt of the move, he quickly filed an objection. The DO consequently rejected Lottin’s request. Wouri SDO, Naseri Paul Bea, also issued an order prohibiting the holding of any such event in any part of the Division.

On January 11, the group attempted to hold the election in Deido, Douala I, but was blocked by the forces of law and order. Lottin and his group, as well as Asapngu, discreetly moved across to Bonaberi (Douala IV) in Mambanda, to a venue reportedly arranged by the Chairman of the Bonaberi Electoral District, John Ndangle Kumase (former Mayor of Douala IV), said to have become a supporter of the dissident group following a dispute with Nintcheu.

When the DO of Douala IV learnt that the banned event was holding at Mambanda, he ordered the police to stop it. But by the time the police dispersed the group, they claimed that the election had already taken place, with Lottin elected new SDF Wouri Divisional Coordinator.

 Enter Osih

Asagngu told reporters that the election took place without any incident, and that Lottin is the new Wouri Coordinator. But Hon. Osih has dismissed the event as illegal and illegitimate. Osih, like Fru Ndi has, stressed that the person that NEC delegated for the reorganisation exercise is Tsomelou, and that Asapngu no longer has powers to organise any election in the Littoral.

Meantime, Manga Mosolle, who has been occupying the post of Wouri Divisional Coordinator of the SDF, says he legally remains in office until the March 1 election.