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News Analysis: Serge Noumba: The New Terror In SDF 

By Peterkins Manyong

In our last analysis, we took a bird’s eye view of the SDF, in parliament. In this edition, we are taking a worm’s eye view of Fru Ndi’s political tower with the objective of placing the SDF in a light in which it has not hitherto been seen; a great party in the midst of a political crisis from which it can emerge stronger if commonsense prevails over sentiments. Serge Simeon Noumba, a dazzling, youngish, clean shaven Member of Parliament from the Mifi Division in the West Region, is at the centre of this controversy.

At first sight, Noumba does not cut the figure of a rebel. But beneath this handsome debonair figure is a heart which in the metaphorical sense can be compared to a stone. Noumba, in short, is the new terror in the SDF and perhaps the greatest nightmare to Fru Ndi since April when, in a press conference, he accused the party leadership of tribalism. He cited the appointment of Elizabeth Tamanjong as the Party Scribe to substantiate his point. Noumba also announced his intention to stand as SDF Presidential candidate in 2011.

The Pharisees knew the origin of Pontius Pilate’s authority, that it came from Caesar and therefore the extent to which he could go. They knew that Pilate could not deny their absolute wish for fear of an uprising which could compromise his position. But the strange superiority of Jesus Christ frightened them because they could not ascertain the source of his powers and consequently, couldn’t fathom the extent to which he could use those powers against them. That is why they pressed for his crucifixion.

Similarly, Fru Ndi found it considerably easier to deal with Zachariah Siga Asanga, Ben Muna, Tazoacha Asonganyi and Paulinus Jua because of their Anglophone origins and because at that time Fru Ndi was the personification of credibility and his opposition to anything or anybody was a sufficient reason for a majority of Cameroonians to be opposed to the same. In the case of Asanga and Asonganyi, Fru Ndi could easily employ the common man’s fear of intellectuals and in that of Muna, his father’s political errors. Jua had strong opponents like Evaristus Njong whom Fru Ndi found more pliable and, therefore, a suitable ally.

Fru Ndi is particularly disturbed by Noumba’s rebellion because he is backed by Pierre Kwemo and Assembly Vice President, Joseph Mbah Ndam. Kwemo had the guts to attempt the disruption of an SDF convention in Bamenda, obliging the Party to solicit the services of gendarmes. That show of force obliged the SDF to negotiate with him. Today, Kwemo, the only SDF militant to have survived several 8.2s, is the party’s Vice National Chairman.

Noumba is more a terror to the SDF than Kwemo has been because sacking him means overturning the apple carte of Fru Ndi and his most cherished lieutenants. Noumba is to the SDF what the German emperor, Kaiser Wilheim 11, was to 20th century European monarchs. If he is allowed to continue rocking the SDF boat, Fru Ndi and his myrmidons would drown.

Noumba may not be an astute politician, but he is certainly not a mere agitator. The difference between an agitator and a politician is that the former speaks to cause excitement, while the latter has set objectives and works to achieve them. Noumba is no agitator; he knows what he wants and how to get it. He wants the position of SDF Parliamentary Group leader.

Dr. Tamanjong knows that her party will be left with only 14 MPs and so risks not having a parliamentary group next March if Noumba is out of the party. There is therefore more of sophism than truth in her claim that it is not the fear of losing the Assembly Bureau which has caused the party to drag its feet on the issue of formalising Noumba’s expulsion from the SDF by his district. The SDF Scribe can’t have forgotten that Fru Ndi vowed to die in Santa rather than lose the lone parliamentary seat there. He actually spent three days there to get it.

Mark Twain tells us that if you want somebody to attach value to something, make that thing difficult to get. Fru Ndi sought first the recapture of the Santa constituency and fortunately for him the CPDM government gave him an Assembly Bureau. It was indeed a gift because the sophisticated fraud machine of the CPDM government makes every opposition victory something next to a miracle.

If, as other SDF conservatives say, the CPDM, which now views the SDF Bureau with an invidious eye, has bought Noumba over to destroy the party, then there is something fundamentally wrong in the SDF. The fabrics of a political organisation have to be exceptionally weak before the whole executive of its sub organ can be pocketed by its adversary. Rather than spend invaluable time on self blame, Fru Ndi’s party should strive to extricate itself from the political web it is presently entangled in. Postponing NEC meetings several times is no way near the solution because no chronic illness ever goes away of its own volition.

The way out is to give Noumba what he wants. What have Mbah Ndam and his Assembly Bureau cohorts achieved as to make them indispensable? Did scores of Cameroonians need to lose their lives in the struggle for change for a few people to sit in parliament and "chop"? Is this not the same leadership that berates Biya for making alternation of power impossible? Why should they try to play God, posing as changers but making themselves unchangeable?

Water that stands on the same spot stinks because it becomes the repository of everything nasty -excrement and used pads, especially. Those who initiate a revolution must not be the ones to reap its fruit. The caterpillar that begins the process of road construction, by digging the soil, risks destroying it after completion. People should not cling to power because they took risks to get there. The greatest risk bearers of the SDF are not those who organised its launch. They are those who lost their life and limb in the process of implanting it.

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