Recent resignations and movements to other parties by politicians confirm a trend that has become recurrent since the advent of multi-party politics in the 1990s. It has become normal in Cameroon to hear of top political party officials and members resigning to join other parties. A recent case was in the Mfoundi II Section of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) following the arrival of over 80 former members of the Cameroon Democratic Union, CDU, of Dr. Adamou Ndam Njoya.
The militants were welcomed by members of the CPDM Mfoundi II Section in pomp and fanfare on Thursday, October 29, 2015. The new arrivals recalled that they decamped from the CPDM to the CDU several years ago and were now coming back. They said they were encouraged by the inclusive approach to development by CPDM Mfoundi II Section President and Yaounde II Mayor, Luc Assamba. While accepting CPDM party uniforms and gadgets, the carpet-crossers pledged commitment to the ideals of the CPDM party.
Four days earlier on October 25, 2015 in Bamenda, North West Region, SDF’s key activist, Dr Fomambu Lawrence announced that he was returning to the National Union for Democracy and Progress, NUDP, from which he decamped in 2003 to join the Alliance of Progressive Forces, AFP, of Bernard Muna; before ending up in the SDF. In the same vein, Maidadi Saïdou who left the SDF for AFP is now in the NUDP. Tayong Jacob and Mudoh Walters also crossed from AFP to NUDP.
Another resignation that made headlines recently was that of former Member of Parliament of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, party, Dr. Aka Amuam, who joined the CPDM party. Reasons given by political carpet-crossers do not seem to convince a critic like Dr. Eric Mathias Owona Nguini. He says the phenomenon in Cameroon is motivated by opportunism and the hope for political gains. “It shows that our political scene is not strongly structured around one of the fundamental principles which are the ideology, moral and technical orientation that political parties must uphold in running public affairs and ensuring political governance.
It also indicates that there exists a certain level of precariousness which obliges people to change parties,” he argued. However, the risks are obvious because resigning militants might be treated with suspicion in their new political parties, Dr. Owona Nguini warns. “So, they have to show proof of their loyalty and fidelity,” he advised, adding that this exigency could be very difficult because their new comrades will also have in their heads that “he who once betrayed will always betray.”