2018 Presidential: MINAT rules, ELECAM reigns!

The recent strategic movement of personnel at Cameroon’s election management body, ELECAM has been linked by wary observers to manoeuvres meant to perpetuate President Biya’s rule via the upcoming presidential election, which the head of state has insisted on advancing his candidature despite growing dissident voices advising the octogenarian to quit the stage before what is left of any ovation completely dies down.
The signs are apparent, even glaring for any discerning observer to see. Pundits read the intension behind the recent move as paving the way for the new Ministry of Territorial Administration, MINAT, currently manned by a Biya fanatic, Paul Atanga Nji to run the election with ELECAM barely fronting.
They claim that listing of the recent appointments by the head of state and internal schemes bespeak wholesale dumping of ex MINTAD upscale functionaries on the election management body. From the Director General Erik Essouse and his assistant Abdel Karimou to internal arrangements that brought in Zang III, retired Fako SDO to replace Barrister Okha Bau Okha as Head of Division of Electoral Operations and Referendums and the Head of Administrative and Finance Division headed by another MINTAD veteran Ngole III Patrice, the stage is said to have been set for manoeuvrability to ensure victory for Biya.
While admitting that simmering incompatibility of attitude to management of public affairs between the Board Chair Enow Abrahms Egbe, another MINTAD old-timer and the former Director General Abdoulaye Babale had reached a head with persistent recourse to the Presidency for solution not yielding any dividends, there is, nevertheless, reason to believe that Babale fell prey to a well-orchestrated plan by opening his flanks to the MINTAD and ENAM boys’ onslaught through opaque management of the institution.
Many informed observers contend that Babale was too much of a neophyte to have lasted in such a sensitive position in the prevailing circumstance of must-win for Biya in the upcoming presidential election. With his henchmen at the Presidency, he kept harbouring the illusion that he could weather the tsunami ENAM boys had prepared against him.
Unfortunately for him, there was someone, a hatchet man, who sorely needed to ingratiate himself to the head of state. And, that person, we leant, is the current Minister of Territorial Administration Atanga Nji Paul, who is alleged to have personally carried the grievances of the Board members and a well-articulated petition by ELECAM staff to the head of state.
The staff demotivation aspect of the petition was deliberately played up to read ploy by Babale to perturb victory for Mr. Biya during the looming presidential election. It is this fear, pundits reckon, that caused the dramatic exit of Babale, warranting his office and those of key associates to be sealed with immediate alacrity and paving the way for the MINTAD and ENAM boys to have a free lease over ELECAM.
When Enow Abrams Egbe, former Governor and Inspector General in charge of Elections at MINTAD was appointed Board Chair of ELECAM sometime last year, it was with a clear mandate to deliver on promise the upcoming presidential elections no matter the odds. This explains why Zang III and Ngole III Patrice were immediately drafted in as Research Officer and Technical Adviser in the Board Chairs’ office respectively, awaiting the opportune moment to ram them down the throats of other board members and staff.
With a serene atmosphere of ENAM classmates and former colleagues at MINTAD prevailing at ELECAM, the stage is reportedly set for manipulation of the electoral process to secure victory for Mr. Biya, whose desperation to perpetuate himself as head of state has been pushing him to ignore the constitutional provision that supports postponement of elections in a situation of heightened insecurity as currently obtains from a war he personally declared against Southern Cameroonian separatists.
By Sampson Esimala

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