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Cameroon: Biya Sacks Fervent Public Advocate from Ruling Party in Sign of Unease Over Free Speech

By April 20, 2022No Comments
Prof Charlemagne Messanga Nyamnding.jpg

A prominent Central Committee Member of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the CPDM   party has been excluded for life.

Prof. Pascal Messanga Nyamnding who also doubles as university don was dismissed by the party leader, Paul Biya on Tuesday, April 20, in accordance with an April 13 outcome of the party’s disciplinary committee.

The text dismissing him simply talks about indiscipline, but observers think the professor has been sanctioned for his constant criticism of the way his party has managed state affairs.

Last week, Prof. Nyamnding faced the ad-hoc disciplinary committee of the party over recent remarks he made on a television talk show.

He was summoned by the disciplinary committee of his party last week after he said on a TV program that the party is led by “white-collar bandits” who have betrayed President Biya by embezzling public funds, promoting corruption, and mismanagement.

The outspoken critic was accused of inciting the army to rebellion, supporting the teachers’ strike, and publicly attacking certain members of the government. The professor denied the charges against him, insisting he had committed nothing wrong to warrant such treatment from the party.

Former Premier Peter Mafany Musongechaired the disciplinary committee session that saw the sacking of Prof. Nyamnding

Prof. Nyamnding had notably reminded the audience about the party’s failures in living up to its own manifesto.

He talked about rigor and moralization, democratization, and liberalization as well as the resplendence of Cameroon’s democracy.

He said on all these fronts, the party had failed.

“Where is the rigor,”? Nyamnding asked rhetorically.

“Can we talk of moralization when the whole place is flooded with white-collar thieves?” He quipped.

Prof. Nyamnding went further to suggest that there was nothing like social justice in Cameroon and blasted the party for overseeing the death of several money-making structures in the country, such as FONADER, CAMAIR-Co, and Credit Agricole.

He took a swipe at the country’s diplomatic missions; describe embassies as high places for “hawking” foodstuff.

The university don flayed President Biya for leaving ordinary party supporters at the mercy of predatory barons whose only interest is amassing illicit wealth through corrupt deals, with the express intent of overthrowing the president.

“Thirty-seven years after, we should be ashamed,” Prof. Nyamnding asserted.

And so, his dismissal from a party that shuns free speech was to be expected. But the Professor claims he has not been officially notified of his dismissal and says he is calm.

“If this decision is confirmed, it means that the conservatives have won… This is organized political crime,” he told the press.

Prof. Nyamnding who describes himself as a fervent supporter of Biya even if he disagrees with his ministers has said he will have to fight back, noting that the dismissal is an illegal act.

Paul Biya Parts ways with a public town crier who always fights for him on tv talk shows over unease with his use of free speech (C) DW

“I will never betray my political master, Paul BIYA even if I can tell you that he himself is a victim of his own system,” said the political science teacher, not without accusing Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, the all-powerful Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic, of being at the origin of his setbacks.

It’s hard to see how President Biya, who signed the dismissal order will come back on his decision.

Prof. Nyamnding has militated in the party for 37 years.

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