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Witch-hunting, Back-stabbing, Intrigues Surge Ahead Of SDF Littoral Election 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

Celestin Djamen

Celestin Djamen

The long-awaited election of the SDF Littoral Regional Chairman billed for Sunday, October 16 promises to be an event filled with political intrigues.

First, three of the four candidates pitted in the race find faults with Senator Jean Tsomelou, head of the team organising the election.

The trio – Celestin Djamen, Abel Elimbi Lobe and John Ndangle Kumase – also claim that Tsomelou’s team is not neutral in the election.

Hon. Nintcheu

Hon. Nintcheu

Djamen, Elimbi and Kumase are complaining that Senator Tsomelou and his team, assigned by the SDF National Executive Committee, NEC, to reorganise the party in the Littoral, are supporting Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu, who is gunning for re-election.

Djamen and Elimbi have gone public with the allegations, and are insisting that the Tsomelou-led team is biased, hence will not be able to organise a free and fair election on October 16.

For his part, Tsomelou said he thinks Djamen and Elimbi in particular, are raising the allegations as a pretext because they know they cannot win the election as they lack support in the filed or among the electorates.

“I have closely observed the situation in the field across the Littoral Region during the reorganisation of the basic organs of the SDF that we have carried out so far.

From my observation, I do not see Djamen’s list getting more than two votes, including his own, at the election for a new bureau of the Littoral SDF,” said Tsomelou

As for Elimbi, he said, “I do not see his list getting more than one vote and that one will be his own vote.

All they know to do in an election is to make noise over TV and radio, instead of working in the field to win the support of militants or delegates to the Elective Regional Conference.”

Referee Celebrates Team’s Victory?

When The Post asked Djamen why he and Elimbi seem to disagree with Senator Tsomelou and other members of the NEC team, he insisted that the Senator and his team have taken sides with Nintcheu in the election and deserve no respect.

Asked if he has evidence to substantiate his claim, Djamen mentioned a number of things that he alleged happened at an election organised at Penja, to choose the Mungo SDF Divisional Coordination.

According to Djamen, when the NEC team declared the list of Nintcheu’s candidate as the winner, Tsomelou joined Nintcheu on the floor in dancing to celebrate the so-called victory.

“I was there. Many SDF militants were there. We all saw what happened. How could a referee join the President of a club at end of a match, to celebrate victory? This was a scandal,” Djamen told The Post.

He also alleged that even the food that members of the NEC team ate in Penja on that day was provided by Nintcheu’s niece.

“The truth is that Tsomelou, who started off well in his assignment to the Littoral by trying to be neutral, has, unfortunately, become partial.

As for the other members of the team, most of them were bought over by Nintcheu right from the very beginning,” Said Djamen.

Smear Campaign

It should be recalled that when NEC assigned Senator Tsomelou in 2014 to take over the task of reorganisng the Littoral SDF from the National Organising Secretary, Ferdinand Asapngu, he ran into trouble with Nintcheu’s camp when he refused to dance to the camp’s music.

Apparently, the Nintcheu camps spread a rumour that Tsomelou, who is the SDF West Regional Chairm, had been banqueting with the CPDM in the West to the detriment of the SDF.

By then, the camp against Nintcheu in the Littoral with Djamen, Kumase and Elimbi as frontline members dismissed the allegation spread against Tsomelou as spurious and malicious.

Interestingly, the two camps have now changed position on the issue. While the Nintcheu camp is now hailing Tsomelou, the opposition camp is calling him names.

Nintcheu Won’t Be Candidate

As the mudslinging intensifies ahead of the October 16 election so does the controversy as to whether or not Hon. Nintcheu can run for re-election.

There is also a controversy over the registration fee of FCFA 400,000 per candidate.

As for the registration fee, which Senator Tsomelou is insisting that each candidate must pay, Djamen swore to The Post on October 7 that he will not pay a franc.

“There is no NEC resolution which requires a candidate to pay a franc as registration fee. Tsomelou wants to grab money from us to pay his hotel bills.

Why did he accept the assignment that NEC gave him if he had no money to take care of his hotel bills? Let him get money from Nintcheu as some members of the NEC Commission have been doing,” Djamen said.

As for Nintcheu’s candidature, Tsomelou insists that NEC’s decision to dissolve the Littoral Regional Bureau of the SDF headed by Nintcheu did not bar him from running for re-election.

“The NEC decision was not a sanction against Hon. Nintcheu,” Tsomelou claimed in a chat with The Post.

But then, Kumase, Elimbi and Djamen contend, based on their interpretation of Article 18.8 of the Constitution of the SDF that NEC applied to dissolve the Nintcheu-led bureau, that the sanction disqualifies him from running for re-election.

Djamen swore to The Post that Nintcheu will not be allowed to be a candidate at the October 16 election, though he did not say how he plans to stop Nintcheu from running at the election.

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