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SDF Secretary General Prof. Tamajong Resigns 

  • Says Position Should Be Elective
    – Calls For Separation Of Powers In Party

Dr_ Elizabeth Tamajong

The Secretary General, SG, of Cameroon’s leading opposition party, the Social Democratic Front, SDF, Prof. Elizabeth Tamajong, has resigned from her post in the party.
The resignation is contained in a letter dated February 12, 2015, addressed to the National Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, a copy of which The Post procured.
The Post learnt that the letter was served the Chairman by a bailiff on the eve of the NEC meeting of February 14. The resignation of the party’s Scribe also came at a very critical moment when SDF stalwarts are preparing to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the party.

Prof. Tamajong wrote to the National Chairman: “the SDF is a party that has always been very dear to me. This is the reason why I have relentlessly and diligently served in all the positions that I have held…”
Prof. Tamajong is the third personality to resign as Secretary General of the SDF after late Dr. Siga Asanga and Prof. Tazoacha Asonganyi. She was appointed by Ni John Fru Ndi as the party’s Scribe on July 17, 2006, after acting in that position for six months upon the desistence of Dr. Michael Ndobegang, who had been appointed following the resignation of Prof. Asonganyi.
In what appears to be the reasons for her resignation on February 12, in a document outlining her stewardship in the SDF, Prof. Tamajong stated that during her tenure, she received untold shabby treatment.
Shabby Treatment

“Since taking office in 2006, I have been subject to repeated disrespect and humiliation, publicly and privately, from across the board of the party cadre,” reads a statement prior to a plethora of maltreatments named.
Referring to “a few summarised instances of the unpleasant situation,” Tamajong recalled that “on the occasion of a visit to the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, facilities in 2011, the National Chairman pushed my hands as I attempted to reach across a document to the then 2nd Vice National Chairman, Comrade Joshua Osih.
“At a public rally in Kumba, that same year, the National Chairman rudely ordered me to take out chewing gum from my mouth. My signature as Secretary General has been repeatedly and publicly challenged by party officials, to the knowledge and acquiescence of the National Chairman.

“The use of the services of Private Secretaries in carrying out our duties as Secretary General was, inexplicably, misconstrued by the National Chairman, though all our predecessors availed themselves of the same facility. It has been a tradition in our party that the SG presents, to SDF Parliamentarians, the decision of the National Investiture Committee, NIC, which appoints some of them to various posts in the Bureau of the National Assembly and in Commissions. During my stewardship, I was robbed of this role. I only get information of their appointments via the media like any other party militant.

“Socialist International meetings are supposed to be attended by both the National Chairman and SG of member parties; SDF often participates in such meetings conspicuously in the absence of the SG as was the case of meetings held in France, South Africa and Namibia. Furthermore, no female representative has ever been designated to attend any of these meetings

“A party such as ours, having aspirations to govern Cameroon, needs to avail herself of all the research findings and publications of renowned national and international institutions. Surprisingly though, such publications were indexed by the 1st Vice National Chairman as CPDM materials being presented for discussion during a NEC meeting. Judging by the fact that no NEC member raised any objection to this utterance, it would seem that the assistance was in accord with the insinuation from the 1st Vice National Chairman. But no, privately after the meeting, comrades came scrambling for copies of the scientific journals published by the Cameroon Academy of Sciences and the Institutes for Social and Human Sciences, Cameroon.
“On the occasion of a NIC meeting, it was made known, contrary to the provisions of the party constitution… that the role of the SG is limited to taking minutes exclusively at NEC meetings. Consequently, the SG would never again be invited to any other committee meetings of the party, such as the NAC, notwithstanding the fact that she is a statutory member. The role of the SG, during our stewardship, has been reduced to mere window dressing through the dictatorial actions of the National Chairman of the party.

“During the Camp David Meeting – a meeting of party elders so coined and convened to instruct the SG henceforth, not to sign any memoranda or letters directed to international bodies, diplomats or leaders of other political parties. The purported reason for this was to impede the SG from eventually assuming any executive function.

“The dates of NEC meetings, as well as the meeting agenda, are normally fixed by the SG in consultation with the National Chairman, but recently, such meetings, namely the last two in Buea and Bamenda, have been summoned with complete disregard of the SG. I have been replaced as a statutory signatory to the party’s bank account, without even being informed, in violation of section 13.5(d) of the party constitution.

“During the 2012 elective convention, I was unjustifiably labelled in front of over 1,500 delegates as stubborn. The National Chairman even openly threatened to use his constitutional powers to sack me from my post just by the stroke of his pen.
“My constitutional responsibilities as SG were assigned to other persons during the 2012 convention, when the National Chairman arrogated to himself the formation of the various committees and their members; the accreditation report, prepared by me, in consonance with the constitution of the party, was instead assigned for presentation by Hon. Emmanuel Yoyo; the convention resolutions, prepared by the SDF National Secretariat, were ordered by the National Chairman to be presented by the 1st Vice National Chairman instead of the SG.

“During the said convention, the constitutional role of the SG, as stipulated in Part II: ‘adhoc committees of the national convention, Rule 8 on selection of delegates to the committees state: Rule 8.1: indication for preference of committee (accredited delegates shall, on the first days of the convention, submit to the SG, in order of preference three committees which they shall like to be member during the convention);

‘Rule 8.2: Secretary General not bound by the preference (the SG shall not be bound to attribute any or every delegate to the committees of their preference and may omit to attribute a delegate to any committee).’ In defiance of these provisions, this role was taken away from me – a woman – and conferred on Hon Emmanuel Yoyo, for no justifiable reason,” Prof. Tamajong narrated some of the indignities she suffered in her stewardship report
Successes Registered During Tenure

The report also contains the role she played along with others in feeding the political detainees that were arrested in Bamenda during the 1992 State of Emergency and transferred for incarceration in Yaounde. She also talked of some 14 projects realised between 2006 and 2014 in collaboration with the Secretariat of Political Education and Training to a large extent and with the Secretariat of Communication to a small extent.

According to her, such successes include: the acquisition of a printing press; the training of trainers on election monitoring of June 2007; the role of the youth in socialist democracy of February 2008; the Northern Women seminar of June 2008; the Women seminar of November 2008 and the political empowerment of the Socialist Youth of September 2009.

Others are: the mayors’ seminar of November 2009; the provincial and national elective conferences of the Socialist Women Forum of 2009 and 2010; the Socialist Women seminar on capacity building of June 2010; the Socialist Youth seminar on good governance of August 2010; the Socialist Women seminar of April 2012; a seminar on the role of communication in politics of May and June 2012; the nationwide training of trainers of election monitors of 2012 and the mayors’ seminar of February 2014.

Prof. Tamajong also noted that during her reign of office, a good working relationship with the Labour Party of Great Britain was instituted, while two years of negotiations with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, led to the refurbishment of the party secretariat in Yaounde. “…The project had to be code-named: Centre for Social and Democratic Studies, CSDS. Hence, it is mistaken to think, as many party cadres unfortunately misconstrued, that CSDS is an NGO, created in order to misappropriate funds destined for party projects,” she stated.

The work she did to support the SDF women at the grassroots as well as the diplomatic role she played with other party comrades in the various diplomatic missions in the country, amongst many other issues, is also highlighted in the report.

By Yerima Kini Nsom & Nformi Sonde Kinsai

    One Response to SDF Secretary General Prof. Tamajong Resigns

    1. Don Fobe

      “You too like chop”. You were eating gum at a Rally? I can’t blame Chairman for that one, he was trying to help you watch your sugar.
      On a serious note, why did it take you this long to resign? You can’t just hang in there and be treated like garbage. Here is what is going to happen, both Fru Ndi and Paul Biya will pass on at almost the same time and we will have two angels to come and take over the country and move us forward.

       

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