UPC Factions Sue For Unity
By Yerima Kini Nsom
Following indications that the leader of the UPC party, Ndeh Ntumazah, who died on January 21, will be given a state burial, officials of the various factions of the party have opted to reconcile ahead of the burial.
The officials disclosed this information to the press when they met in Yaounde recently to prepare for the funeral of the fallen politician. The meeting brought together representatives of the warring factions of the UPC under what was called a Consensus Commission.
While chairing the meeting, one Andre Fotso who was introduced as Ndeh Ntumazah’s representative and political God-son, said even at the time of his death his Godfather continued to call on the warring factions of the party to reconcile and form one strong UPC reminiscent of the one that championed the crusade for the independence in the 50s.
Fotso said it is incumbent on the various factions of the party to reconcile and give a befitting burial to their late President. Other people who attended the meeting included Simon Mbila, the Vice President of the Henri Hogbe Nlend faction, former UPC MP, Charly-Gabriel Mbock and Jean-Pierre Boum of another UPC faction called "Faithful Upecists".
The factions were unanimous that there is need to bury the hatchet so as to pay homage to their departed leader. It was disclosed during the meeting that an envoy from the Presidency has already contacted the deceased’s family, some party officials and the Consensus Commission for the organisation of a state funeral.
Fotso took time off during the meeting to narrate how the octogenarian battled with health problems for six years before sleeping in the Lord last January 21. He said Pa Ntumazah spent his last six years on earth in pain, shuttling between Cameroon and London for treatment. After sometime, when the illness was not giving way, he said, the UPC leader decided to take up permanent residence in London where his children are based.
He said the removal of the corpse is being prepared with the Cameroonian High Commissioner to Great Britain fully involved. According to the programme, the Consensus Committee unveiled during the meeting, the mortal remains of the late politician will be flown to Yaounde on Thursday, March 25 followed by an all-night vigil until the corpse is conveyed to Bamenda, Northwest region for burial the next day.
Although the feuding UPC factions agreed that there was need for them to take advantage of Ntumazah’s funeral to close ranks, acrimony still lurked among them. Charly Gabriel Mbock and Jean Pierre Boum said they will never come to terms with the fact that Augustin-Frederic Kodock Bayiha has hijacked the party and is using it as his personal property.
They also pooh-poohed what they qualified as Kodock’s futile attempt to register the UPC with the African Intellectual Property Rights as his personal property. They equally accused the former Minister of stirring confusion during the funeral of Marthe Moumie, wife of former UPC Leader, Felix-Roland Moumie, who was assassinated in Geneva in the 60s. Like her husband, Marthe was killed in Ebolowa, South Region in 2008.
While Ntumazah called on UPC militants from his sick bed to massively attend her funeral, Kodock told his militants not to bother because Marthe Moumie, was no longer a UPC militant before her death, the officials said. They claimed that militants ignored Kodock and gave Marthe Moumie a befitting funeral. The UPC officials swore that Ntumazah’s funeral is an opportunity for them to reconcile the quarrelling factions of the party with or without Kodock.