"Hyper-democracy" in Cameroon - Niat's Rise to "Second Personality" in Cameroon
True to type the flag of Cameroon's advanced democracy soared once more in the Glass House in Ngoakele yesterday when Niat Njifenji Marcel (79), former Minister of Mines and Power and Former General Manager of te Cameroon's Electricity Corporation known by its French acronym SONEL, defeated himself in a one man derby election for the President of the Cameroon Senate. Once the octogenarian Mafany Musonge, Senatorial Group Leader for the CPDM Senators, earlier on predicted by newspapers as earmarked for the post, surprised everyone with the nomination of Niat Njifenji Marcel. Not even a single newspaper had speculated on Niat.
In their usual style the rhetorical question "Any other candidate?" .... silence "Applause".
then followed the time-wasting spree of voting one candidate. The results were obvious - Niat (86 votes - all undoubtedly CPDM, FSNC, MDR, ANDP and UNDP ballots). The 14 abstentions were unmistakably those of the disgruntled SDF Senators who even came in late for the session.
The same scenario followed for the Lamido (Traditional ruler) of Rey Bouba in the Northern Region of Cameroon. He challenged himself and won the position of Senior First Vice President of the Senate. HRH Aboubakari Abdoulaye, alias Lamido of Rey Bouba was congratulated up to his new seat, shaking hands with all even women! That is strange to the North Westerner. How does a traditional ruler shake hands with commoners?
The rest of the story could not have been different. Niat in his first address, expressed "surprise" at his elections, although he was reading a prepared speech from a piece of paper. No one saw when he prepared this speech. Where then does the surprise come from? Why pretend? Unfortunately he could not hide the truth. He thanked H.E. President Paul Biya for "having that confidence in him" to give him that post ... yet he was surprised at being elected. "Hyper democracy" in Cameroon isn't it?
Then 95-year-old Nfon Victor Mukete was tremblingly supported down to his seat. He had fulfilled his mission of Kingmaker, after, a kingmaker can never be a king. Once more this was a demonstration that English-speaking Cameroonians deserve just a sinecure in Cameroon to give a semblance of national unity. Instances abound to prove the point. When Biya was Prime Minister, there was no Vice Prime Minister! When Ayang Luc was Prime Minister, there was no Vice Prime Minister, When Bello Bouba was Prime Minister, there was no Vice Prime Minister, when Sardou Hayatou was Prime Minster, there was no Vice Prime Minister. They were all francophones. When Achidi Achu was appointed Prime Minister, Niat Njefenji from Bangangte in the West region of Cameroon was Minister of Mines and Power and Vice Prime Minister, and so it followed, Amadou Ali and the rest. Musonge, Inoni and now Yang all have Vice Prime Minsters who are autonomous, not answerable to the PM but to the Presidency. Yes, this is Cameroon.
It would have been obvious that an English-speaking Cameroonian should occupy the second most important position in Cameroon, if truly it was a united Cameroon as parroted on eCRTV everyday. This goes to fullfil the unwritten law that "NO Anglophone in Cameroon has the right to any important post".
Let's keep smiling and suffering.