By Mua Patrick, February 20, 2017
Cameroon Journal,Yaounde – Militants of one of Cameroon’s leading opposition parties, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, NUDP, are due to converge on Yaounde Saturday, February 25 for the 6th ordinary Congress of the party.
Saturday’s congress is expected to produce fireworks as new leaders of the party are to be elected.
Already, speculations are rife that Bello Bouba Maigari who has led the party since 1992 is most likely to be re-elected national president. At press time yesterday, we gathered that Maigari who hails from Garoua, a stronghold of the party, may stand for the top job unopposed.
“Except otherwise, the current national president will contest the election without a challenger. For now, we haven’t heard of anybody aspiring to challenge Bello Bouba”, a source at the party headquarters in Yaounde told The Cameroon Journal yesterday on the basis of anonymity.
Maigari who is also Cameroon’s Minister of Tourism and Leisure, we learnt, has hardly been challenged in previous elections.
Meanwhile, chances of the incumbent Women’s Wing leader of the party, Mbezele Clotilde, retaining the coveted position, party sources said, currently hang on a scale. We are told she is most likely to be voted out. At least, The Cameroon Journal gathered she will be challenged by two women already being described as heavyweights. Her mandate as national president, we learnt, has been marred with irregularities.
In the meantime, the path, we are told, has already been cleared for Ndansi Elvis Nukam to retain his position as the National Youth President of the party. It is rumoured within internal circles of the party that the youth emancipator cum entrepreneur who stood for the 2013 parliamentary election in his native Misaje sub-division could seek re-election unchallenged.
Elected national youth president in 2012, Ndansi has established an enviable achievement billboard for himself throughout his over five years stay at the helm of the youth wing. In 2014, he led a no-nonsense delegation of NUDP militants to Buea to take part in celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s reunification. He has since been at the forefront of youth activities within the party, crusading across the country to bring more and more youths onboard.
The dwindling fortunes of the NUDP
Established as an opposition political party in the early 1990s, the NUDP won the second largest number of seats in the 1992 parliamentary election that was boycotted by several other opposition parties including the Social Democratic Front, SDF.
Bello Bouba returned to Cameroon on August 17, 1991 and the party’s first Ordinary Congress, at which the party’s leadership and the membership of its organs were elected, then took place between the January 4 and 5, 1992 in Garoua.
At the Congress, he became president of the NUDP, ousting its previous leader, Samuel Eboua. Eboua subsequently left the NUDP and formed the Movement for Democracy and Progress, MDP.
The popularity of the party with an undeniable strong following in the three Northern Regions has since been dwindling. From 68 parliamentarians in the 1992 elections to 13 seats after the 1997 parliamentary elections, the NUDP party today counts less than 6 members of Parliament.