Councillors, Chiefs Vote Massively
By Prince Oebn and Peter Tasi
The Sunday December 6 regional election entered the history books as a turning point in the political life of Cameroon with councilors and traditional rulers nationwide voting massively.
Coupled with this, traditional rulers in the South West and North West regions voted to put in place a House of Chiefs, nursing hopes for a new beginning.
Despite the CPDM party running unchallenged in the North West Region, the councillors alongside their peers of the opposition SDF took part in the exercise.
With the putting in place of these special status structures in the South West and North West region, many stakeholders are looking forward to see what really the constitutes the special status accorded the two regions.
In accordance with section 243 of the Electoral Code, regional councillors would serve as delegates of divisions and while traditional rulers would represent their peers.
The imminence of this election which is the first of its kind in the institutional history of Cameroon, is envisioned to crown the decentralisation process initiated some years back in keeping with 1996 constitution.
This election comes after the February 9,2020 municipal elections and legislative polls. It is also in line with resolutions of the Major National Dialogue of 2019 which accorded a special status to the Anglophone regions.
In strict respect of the laws in force, polling stations opened at 8:00am with the authorities of the region in place to ensure all went well.
North West Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique said of the exercise: “I want to thank the Head of State to have given the special status to the region. Today, the councillors are implementing the special status. I am very happy to be here to witness this special status which is historic to our nation. I congratulate the electors, political parties, ELECAM and the defense and security officers who have ensured a hitch free electoral process.”
The paramount ruler of Mankon Fon Angwafor II after casting his vote told the press that unity and development is much expected with the coming of the Regional Council and the House of Chiefs.
“Once we work together and know of our problems, then we shall put all in order,” the Fon said.
In the Lebialem division, South West Region, Minister Paul Tasong took time to accompany his party flag bearers to the polling station. His presence was described by many as a mark of trust and seriousness in the election.
Other councillors were confident that the coming of the Regional Council will solve a lot of problems the region is facing.
The participation of SDF councilors in the electoral process in Bamenda, observers said is proof that despite political disagreements, there’s the need for peace, unity and development in the North West region.
In the North West for example, a total of 1063 councilors voted in the region and while 384 traditional rulers did same to put in place a House of Chiefs. This was same in other parts of the country.
The regional councillors are entitled to a term of office of five years and they are eligible for re-election.
Hitch Free Regional Election In Meme Division The pioneer regional election exercise took place in Meme division, South West region without any hitch. Some 147 municipal councillors from the five councils in Meme division took part in the exercise.
They voted in two polling stations on the campus of the Community Development Specialization Training School kumba.
The voting exercise went on hitch-free with in strict respect of barrier measures to first COVID-19. The Senior Divisional Officer for Meme division, Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong, who assessed the voting exercise expressed satisfaction in the conduct of the process.
Voting started as early as 8 am as stipulated by the law. Security of the electorates was guaranteed as security operatives were present on the election ground.
Meme division is expected to produce 15 councillors for the South West Regional Council. In the meantime, some 80 traditional rulers from the division equally voted for three of their colleagues to go to the House of Chiefs.
The chiefs also voted on the campus of the Community Development Specialization Training School kumba.
The three chiefs to represent Meme division include in the House of Chiefs are; Chief Ndoh Oscar of Kake I Bongwana; Chief Elango Akama Sona of Dikomi Bafaw and; Chief Mukete Kenneth Elondo of Bai Sombe.
The CPDM Party Divisional Coordinator for Meme division, Chief Justice Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, was equally at the voting ground to assess the effective conduct of the exercise. Worthy of note is that, all the five councils in Meme division are CPDM-run.