By Yerima Kini Nsom
Going by medics, obesity is a pathology that should be avoided at all cost. For it is usually a prelude to cardiovascular diseases. But many people, in their ignorance, think that carrying the bulk and being voluminous freaks like Wole Soyinka’s “the Kadiye,” makes them VIPs in the society.
Yet, the pathology of obesity does not only hold sway in the medical field. It is even more apt when used as a political metaphor to describe the predominance of one party in a rickety multiparty system.
Such a pathology usually has democratic cardiovascular diseases as its destination.
Now, let us narrow down to our country where the ruling CPDM party continues to commit the sin of electoral gluttony without blinking.
This means that the party is suffering from constipation. Its obese majority in Parliament is a great danger to whatever is left of democracy in Cameroon.
With 87 seats out of 100 at the Senate, over 160 seats out of 180 at the National Assembly and over 300 out of the 360 councils in the country, is telling the world that its gluttonous ability to direct everything to its stomach is sacrosanct.
Those, who expected President Biya last week to appoint, at least, three members of the SDF for the party to have a Parliamentary Group at the Senate were only oblivious of his fox-like attitude.
They were naïve enough not to see that conservative forces are leading the country in a macabre dance back to the future of the one-party era and monolithism.
Before, last Thursday’s appointments, newspaper pages, radio and television debates, carried cascades of brilliant suggestions as to how the Senate could be made more vibrant, despite CPDM’s crushing victory. But, the party had switched off its brain and was thinking and reasoning only with its pot-bellied stomach.
Since the rebirth of multiparty politics in Cameroon in 1990, conservative forces have proven that they are stronger than the radical insistence of those who want true Democratic Party pluralism in the country.
After failing to impose a stillbirth on the new order, the authorities denounced multiparty politics as unrealistic “imported political models” that were sardonic to our context. When the chips came down, they heaved a half-hearted “Yes” just to play to the gallery and go with the eastern political winds.
The immediate cause of this hypocritical acceptance was a certain bookseller who rose with the temerity of a “political dementia” that carried the insignia of “no to the one-party system”.
The Biya regime responded by donning democratic garments, while its heart remained with the one-party system.
The denouement was that the ruling party faced dwindling fortunes in the 1992 Parliamentary elections. It only survived when the MDR and the UPC generously donated blood to curb its Parliamentary asphyxia.
Since then, the party fine-tuned its strategies and vowed never to lose any election again. It is still the dominant party in all State institutions.
Yet, anybody who masters the setbacks of our electoral system cannot vouch that this indecent dominance of the one party is a reflection of the will of the people.
It can only be a patent that this dictatorship of the majority is putting a leash of monopartism over the neck of the Cameroonian people.
That is why pro-democracy activists and freedom fighters are being called upon to make a clear cut distinction between democracy and freedom in order to stop the majority from terrorising the minority.
The distant observer would certainly be wondering how the party still manages to pluck overwhelming electoral victories despite its blunders at the helm of the State.
The answer is simple! Apart from its advantages of incumbency, the CPDM uses both fair and foul means to devour the majority of votes.
It is the player and the umpire at the same time. The CPDM is the State and the State is the CPDM. During electoral campaigns, the party uses State paraphernalia to its undue advantage.
State property including, vehicles and offices are used to ensure the party’s victory. Civil servants are subtly blackmailed to profess love and rig elections for a party they hardly believe in.
Since our country seemingly lacks checks and balances, it is axiomatic that the CPDM shares the same wallet with the State. The party officials who are usually State functionaries demonstrate unprecedented opulence when it comes to seducing ambulance voters to their camp.
This happens as the opposition gnashes in pecuniary asphyxia.
In 2011, the SDF Presidential candidate, Fru Ndi, missed out on his rally in Maroua after he was blocked at the Nsimalen Airport. He had been told not to move until the CPDM candidate, Paul Biya, who was due to return from Maroua that same day, lands.
The to-do generated within CPDM circles by last Thursday’s appointment of 30 Senators, is a sign that the party’s appetite is still very big.
Consequently, our country remains tethered to the apron strings of “Le parti unique.” This is made possible by the fact that we have three strong arms of Government a la Camerounaise namely: (i) the executive, (ii) the executive, (iii) the executive. These are the fall-outs of the resilience of the one-party predominance and the lack of separation of powers in our country.
We are going back to a dangerous era of the one party where every opposition party lobbies the CPDM in the bread and butter politics. The monolithic era, here we come! The CPDM will be the Senate and the Senate will be the CPDM. The tiny opposition there can only play the role of a whimpering dwarf.
By Yerima Kini Nsom