Senatorial Elections: SDF Best VS CPDM Best, What Best for the North West Region?

CPDM and SDF launching their Senatorial Campaigns

The Social Democratic Front party the SDF and the governing Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, the CPDM have both presented their 7 Substantive candidates vying for seats at the upper House of Parliament.

While the CPDM party launched its campaign without making promises, the SDF have rolled out more than six points to catch the attention of councillors.

Speaking at the Bamenda Congress Hall on Saturday 25th February 2023, Philemon Yang, Head of the Regional campaign team of the CPDM presented the 7 candidates as those who will accompany President Paul Biya to vote better laws for an emergent Cameroon come 2035.

The former Prime Minister did not dabble into making promises that are not ascribed to Senators since their fundamental role is to vote laws and control government action.

Speaking to the press shortly after the campaign launch, Philemon Yang said the candidates have been chosen from all strata of society. Those promoting women and gender equality, senior state administrators, grassroot women and young persons drawn from the private sector.

Philemon Yang, Leader of CPDM Campaign Team 

This the party thinks can better understand the challenges women, youth and men face on a daily basis and can vote laws in tandem with today's reality.

Thursday 2nd February 2023, the Social Democratic Front, the SDF launched its campaign in Bamenda with six aspirations. Top amongst which is to advocate for the distribution of One Billion FCFA to each council annually. 

To the SDF, it will solve the 15% that should be allocated to decentralised services.

A journalist wonders why only one billion since the current state budget of Cameroon is above 5000 billion CFA Francs. If 15% of this budget is to be decentralised, then more 750 billion should be sent to decentralised services like the Regions, councils and city councils, which are 384 in number (360 local councils, 14 city council and 10 Regional councils).

This means councils can benefit even more than what is promised if government actually implements this recommendation from the Major National Dialogue.

Those around the campaign launch were asking, why now? The last budget of the state was voted 3 months ago and of the five SDF Senators at the Upper House of Parliament, non came out to voice this particular concern. The question on the lips of many press men who attended the gathering hinges on the fact that this is another political talk that will be thrown away shortly after March 12th.

The SDF also wants greater autonomy for the North West Region. 

It's shocking to know that of the five SDF Senators, on several occasions, only Senator Ngam Honore and Kemende Henry of blessed memory, were regular at sessions convened by the Regional Assembly.

On several occasions, Prof Fru Angwafo III sings it that Senators and Parliamentarians are part of the Decentralisation drive and their presence is important for the growth of the region.

Since becoming Senate Vice President, Senator Vanigansen MoChiggle has not been spotted around any session of the Regional Assembly though sessions have been moved to April and September when Parliament is on recess.

Senator Vanigansen MoChiggle, Leader of the SDF Campaign Team 

It is even more shocking that the SDF list leader went asking for the names and contacts of Regional councillors only when campaigns have been launched. A list he didn't succeed to get. 

Of the seven senators, Donga Mantung and Ngoketunjia lost their Senators to the cold hands of death. Five Senators are still alive. If they attended regular council and regional assembly meetings, will they need someone to give them the lists of either municipal or Regional councillors? 

This puts to question, where have they been since their election into office in 2018? Do they understand the reality of the Region? The difficulties of the North West man to better advocate for Greater autonomy to the people of the region?

Even the SDF councillors wondered aloud where these Senators have been for the last five years. They did not pay an official visit to them neither did they attend their sessions to get first hand worries of the decentralised services of the state for better advocacy in the Senate. Why now? 

Philemon Yang cautioned the CPDM councillors that the opposition political party is selling illusion to them while the CPDM is selling reality.

In 2018, the SDF won elections in the North West largely because the councillors at the time complained that the 2013 Senators did not do enough. The CPDM Senators handed one motorycycle per council. 

While many saw their action as insufficient in 2018, it is even more insufficient in 2023 for the councillors elected in 2018.

They have never gone back to those same councillors and even when it was evident that the SDF had lost all councils but for Bamenda III, the Senators did not bother.

For the SDF to pull up a surprise, they will be needing at least 650 councillors of the CPDM to vote for their list.

Described to be bush hunters, Lucas Ngu Afong, 2nd Deputy Bamenda City Mayor says is not impossible to get the councillors.

But the CPDM have been mobilizing strategies to keep their councillors around arms length so no one strays into a 'strange land.'

Of the 7 Candidates of the SDF, four are incumbent while the 2018 list leader, Senator Nkeze Emilia has been dismissed from the party.

The constituency is the region and these are the aspirants:


Bui: Emma Lafon
Donga Mantung: Ngafeeson Emmanuel
Mezam: Neba Ndosiri Bridget
Menchum: Sekedi Bomeh Kobenge
Momo: Enwe Francis
Boyo: Fointama Hilda
Ngoketunjia: Mbufong Carl Moses

For the SDF, this is how their list is lined up

Mezam: Vanigansen MoChiggle
Menchum: Buh Sule
Boyo: Ajuoh Ngam Honore
Bui: Kinyang Georges
Momo: Amboufei Diana
Donga Mantung: Bunyui Emmanuel
Ngoketunjia: Mafogho Inusa

The SDF believes they have a better team and says the councillors know in their hearts that they're right. 


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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