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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cameroon Elections Rivals Clash

An ADD campaign rally in Burkina, a neighbourhood of Ngaoundere 1, turned violent when an FPD convoy forced its way through the street on which ADD staged its campaign.

 Tensions heightened as the intruders, the FPD complained that the ADD did not have to occupy the street. A few fights broke out between both camps as supporters hurled insults at each other. ADD supporters blocked off the FPD convoy for a while but finally let them drive by.

The FPD caravan had driven past for the first time just as the ADD rally started at midday in the rocky Burkina quarter, without any incidents. They were noisy waving yellow flags and blaring vuvuzelas as their bikes crossed the area.

It was their second passage, when ADD, national president Garga Haman Adji, was addressing the rally that provoked tensions. Garga told his supporters, “don’t let them pass here!”

The rogues heading the FPD caravan swore to force their way through. Garga asked the national media to film the interference which was almost turning violent, as both sides shoved, trying to push away a cardboard that separated them.

There was no security officer in sight as both camps pushed and shoved for minutes.

The ADD supporters eventually let the FPD caravan drive through their crowd. Once this crowd closed up again to listen to Garga, some leftover FPD supporters travelling in the same direction caused a third interference. This one ended in punches being exchanged by both supporters on the fringes of the ADD crowd.

Tensions are expected to mount in this last week of campaigning in the Adamawa region, especially with some party’s threatening a ‘jihad’ if they are cheated this year, according to some security sources.

The election is expected to be much disputed especially in the three councils of Ngaoundere. The Governor of the Adamawa, Abakar Ahamat, promised to step up security in the sensitive areas of the town, and in some polling stations before and after Election Day.



Sunday, September 22, 2013

The University vote Vs. The Rural Vote

The Ngaoundere three council is the most hotly contested area in the Adamawa with 7 political parties vying for the Mayoral seat.
Observers say apart from the two dominant political parties in the council, many other smaller parties feel they stand a chance because 45% of the electorate are students of the University of Ngaoundere.

Less than fifteen minutes on the main street of the University town of Dang, caravans of four different political parties had sped past. Dang the host council of the University of Ngaoundere, in Ngaoundere III municipality has the highest density of political parties campaigning in the Adamawa.

 If you are wondering like me, why 7 parties will be struggling to control this semi-rural, semi-urban locality, the answer we found out is what political analysts call here the University vote vs. the Rural vote.


Hamatoukour Bobbo, the ELECAM communal office chief confirms that University students represent about 45 % of the voting public in Ngaoundere III, 7.500 of over 15.450 voters. The area is politically divided between the natives and university students.

Unlike the rural people, politicians say the University students are not loyal to the NUDP or CPDM and want change, which they argue newer parties can bring. However no party can lay claim to a significant part of this electorate.

Responding to this claim, the CPDM candidate in the area, Dauda Ishaga, says “We are all going to fight for the University vote in this case, because our opponents are acting like they control this electorate.”

He also claims that his blood relation with the natives plays in his favour in this race.

At the roundabout leading off to the campus the UNIVERS party, competing only for the Ngaoundere III council in these elections was handing out fliers to students passing by. A political party which is only 3 years old and is depending heavily on the student voters to triumph in Ngaoundere III.

This has created a situation in which all politicians are eyeing the two distinct groups of voters. While this political calculation sounds clever, the fact that the University students are on holidays now, and most may only return after Voting Day could be a game changer. University students traditionally resume school in October for a new academic year, this year they are expected to resume on September 23, one week before Election Day.


Thursday, September 19, 2013



Elections Cameroon takes a stance against the time-honoured practice of sharing food and gifts during electoral campaigns.

ELECAM member Madame Sadou nee Ladibawa told this reporter during a campaign rally by the ruling party in Belel sub-division, in the Adamawa, that the practice is proscribed.

She observed on the fringe of the rally, to judge for herself if the political parties campaigning for the September 30 poll are playing by the rules.

She said “distributing foodstuff and other basic needs to voters is tantamount to buying their consciences”.  At this rally no food was shared out.

The practice of sharing food and gifts to rural peoples has been an age old technique employed by political parties during campaigns. Political analysts feel the practice blurs the sense of right and wrong of the largely uneducated voting public.

Last Monday during the grand launch of the CPDM campaigns in the Adamawa region, shoulder-high heaps of rice bags, soaps and other gifts were shared out at the villa of El Hadj Abbo Ousmanou. This certainly was a clear violation of the ELECAM prescription.

Observers say the politicians may not share out gifts during public rallies, but will surely do so under the cover of dark, in their vicious quest for votes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013



Hundreds of voters in some parts of the Banyo division of the Adamawa region could be denied their right to vote because of the distance separating them from polling offices.

The Governor of the Adamawa region Abakar Ahamat, expressed this concern today to the Electoral Board member of ELECAM, Madame Sadou nee LADIBAWA.

He said the suppression of some polling stations has left some villages 7km away from the closest polling office “it is one village, which is very far from the new polling station. They had a polling station but the polling station was cancelled, and they were transferred to another polling station that is 7km away from their house, it is too far, they will not be able to vote”.

The people of Mayo Fo’orou Minguem a remote village in Banyo division of the Adamawa overcame all the hurdles to exercise their civic right of voting, but they did not foresee this. “It is a problem we have presented to ELECAM and we hope they will find a solution that is my wish” Governor Abakar Ahamat said.

Less than two weeks to the poll, it is highly unlikely ELECAM will create a new voting office to address the concern. This means hundreds of registered voters in Mayo Fo’orou Minguem, could be excluded from the September 30 polls because the closest polling office to them is 7km away.

It is equally unlikely that these voters will trek to the next polling station in Labare Sieni.

Both officials also discussed the ongoing campaigns, training of voting centre staff and security around the elections.

It is worth noting that the Adamawa now has 1.344 polling centres and not 1.346 as announced in some media reports.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

CPDM, CDU, FSNC, SDF stage political rallies in Ngaoundere on first day of Campaigning

Hooting bikers, and flag-waving convoys signal the start of Municipal and Parliamentary election campaigns in the streets of Ngaoundere, chief town of the watershed Adamawa region. Caravans of various political parties criss-crossed the main commercial street of Ngaoundere each trying to out-shout the other. The CPDM, and NUDP parties were most visible in the early hours of the day. Their flags floating on electricity poles.   The CPDM launched its campaigns at the plush Haut Plateaux residence of its biggest spender, El hadj Mohamadou Abbo Ousmanou. He revealed that the CPDM Central Committee has injected 34 million CFAF to the region’s campaign effort. Mr. Abbo himself donated 11 million to the five divisions where the party is competing for almost every council and parliamentary seat.  The FSNC competing for two council seats in Ngaoundere I and Ngaoundere III. Their campaign kicked off with an over 15km motorcade between Manwi and Yalla-Yarna in the Ngaoundere III district. Later on in the day they staged a rally to set up 6 party cells, with calls to likely voters to withdraw their cards and vote on Election Day.   The CDU made its statement of intent, by canvassing for votes door-to-door in Tchabal Margo and a public rally in Margal. CDU national president and wife said their programme addresses the development needs of each locality, as well as the study conditions of students. The SDF also launched its campaigns in Ngaoundere with a late evening rally this Sunday in the Marche Centrale

Esplanade neighbourhood. Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi who is in the northern part of the country says they are vying for 10 council seats in the Adamawa region. Ten parties are contesting for as many parliamentary seats and even more mayoral seats across the Adamawa.

The region has an electorate of 360.637 registered voters, who will vote in 1.346 polling offices on September 30.