The South West Regional caucus of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) is rocked by internal strife ahead of major elections.
The political cracks of the party came to the fore recently, during a Regional Executive meeting that held in Kumba. During the meeting, the South West Regional Chairman of the party, Martin Forcha Ndobegang, was dethroned.
The decision to topple Forcha Ndobegang, who is also the Mayor of Kumba II Council, as Regional Chair, according to many, is not unconnected to the conflict of authority over which of the three SDF Mayors in Kumba(Kona Makia, Abel Ebako Ndoh and Martin Forcha Ndobegang), should be calling the Divisional shots of the party.
The recent event to rob Ndobegang of his Regional Chairmanship was just one out of a myriad of attempts. On November 1, 2013, a controversial communiqué purportedly signed by SDF First Vice National Chairman, Hon. Joshua Osih went viral on media platforms.
In the communiqué, Mayor Forcha was sacked from the SDF for defying party orders and challenging the candidate invested by the party in the last municipal elections.
In July 2014, Martin Forcha was again replaced as SDF Ward Chairman of the Fiango East Central Ward by Lawrence Nguasong.
After years in political limbo, he was readmitted into the party on Saturday, February 20, 2016, after a NEC decision. After his readmission into the party, Forcha was later appointed into the Committee assigned to reorganise Electoral Districts in the South West Region.
The Mayor of Kumba II and Hon. Mbah Ndam, who was leading the delegation charged with reorganising the Region, braved the odds and organised all the electoral districts in the Region. It was during the reorganisation exercise that the municipal authority decided to vie for the SDF Regional Chairmanship which he won on November 12, 2016, with the support of the Mayor of Tiko, Daniel Nganda Moukondou.
Then, Moukondou saw in Forcha an ally after he fell out with Mayor Makia and the MP for Kumba, Hon. Bolevie Mbanya Petnga, during the reorganisation of the Tiko Electoral District. Then, the Mayor of Tiko accused Makia and Petnga of failing to reorganise his district. But the politicians quickly made up for the sake of the Regional Chairmanship of the party.
On January 6, 2018, Moukoundou attended a Regional Executive meeting at the Kumba III Council hall, where another attempt to depose Ndobegang as Regional Chair flopped.
During the January 6 event, a ‘no confidence vote’ motion was raised against Forcha by the SDF Mbonge District Chairman, Harison Toto Itoe, but the motion was squashed, before he(Forcha) was later dethrone in Kumba during last week’s meeting.
According to the sympathisers of Mayor Forcha, the municipal authority is being target for advocating that anybody who wants to occupy any posit of responsibility in the party must begin from the Ward.
Forcha’s utterances did not go down well with militants of the party who were already bracing up to leap into the political limelight in the anticipated elections. There was therefore the need to get Forcha out of the way before the elections.
During the Kumba meeting, Forcha was dethroned in his absence and Daniel Moukondou, Mayor of Tiko was chosen to replace him.
Speaking after his election, Moukondou said his predecessor was shown the door because he failed to convene a Regional meeting to clarify some financial misdemeanour bordering on the party’s recent Bamenda Elective Convention.
As the internal bickering within the party surges on, militants are hoping that the National Executive Committee(NEC) of the party will step in to quell flaring tempers before the party is ruined in the forthcoming elections.