Editorial Feature Presidential 2018

One picture, a billion message: The picture that put the final nail on Osih’s campaign coffin?

By: Mbah Lucas T.

When Osih made history in March 2018 national convention of the Social democratic front the SDF, easily shrugging off opposition from veteran Mbah Ndam and co to succeed the ageing Fru Ndi to run as the flag bearer for the country’s chief opposition party, many  had been sounding the trumpet of victory both for Osih and the party.

SDF supporters and sympathizers were quick to drum home the message that they are the only Democratic Party in the country and positioned themselves as the springboard in the country’s political landscape in a nation where political leaders are power drunk

Many had been clamoring for a change of guard at the helm for the opposition party, decrying the ineffectiveness of its national chairman and party founder Ni John Fru Ndi and questioning his penchant for democratic values as he held on to power amidst swirling criticism.

Many say he was no different from those of the ruling party who had stick to power and continue to give deaf ears to the cries of the people.

But when hen Fru Ndi finally decided to bow out of the stage although not completely as he still held the position of the national chairman of the party, many welcome the move as the birth of a new political era of the party and indeed the country’s democracy or what is left of it.

His 50 years old political protégé who has been rising steadily within the ranks of the party, anchoring his unquestionable loyalty to the Ntarinkong landlord who commands an avalanche of power in the party and sailing his way through the complex political dynamics of the party is now the new face of the party.

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Many youths could identify themselves with him and some say he was the man many who could be relied on to dethrone the ageing head of state who will be contesting for the 7th mandate after being in power since 1982.

The impact of the ravaging Anglophone crisis

The problem though is the South west born Osih whom one of his parent originates from Switzerland took over the baton of command at a time when the base of his party has fractured, marred in a man-made political crisis which many have blame politicians for its escalation.

Osih was at the country’s lower house of parliament when the crisis started and apart from some hard talks behind the scene, Osih, like the other 179 members of parliament excerpt fellow party comrades Hon. Joseph Wirba of Jakiri special constituency (now on self-imposed exile) toll the line and were afraid to speak up for the people they represent.

The reaction of politicians across the political divide betrayed the people most of whom have been very loyal to his party and what started as a simple protest quickly spiraled into an armed conflict due to governments heavy crackdown and opposition’s inaction and some SDF MPs shamefully dribbled their electorates in a cheap and PR stun last year that they had resign from parliament in solidarity with the people which turnout to be a hoax.

A simple public protest has transformed to a full armed battle with hundreds death, tens of thousands displaced and villages razed as the world looks on according to international and local right groups

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Osih had launched his campaign during the week end on August 19th 2018  had rollout a brilliant  14 points manifesto even as separatists forces have banned elections the entire Anglophone regions where SDF normally strive, killing the hopes of any kind of victory come October 7 as the party struggles to win voters from CPDM hard lands.

The picture which speaks volume

The latest controversy however has been one of the campaign pictures by the SDF flag bearer.

Dressed in the western region’s traditional regalia in front of arguably one of the most symbolic and iconic symbols of the world- the French Eiffel tower in Paris, the picture has drawn a tsunami of criticism on social media.

The importance of the iconic Eiffel tower is very much grilled in the minds of most Cameroonians and its representation painful even for those who have never seen an airplane or sea in their lives but thinks and believes most of their sufferings and predicaments have come from the former colonial master of former east Cameroon, France.

English speaking Cameroonians who constitute 20 percent of the population mostly located in the two English regions of North west and South West and were colonized by Great  Britain believes that the French government has partnered with the current regime to rob them of their resources, marginalized them and impoverish the people of that part of the country, ideologies  which has led to the Anglophone crisis ravaging the country today as some now call for an autonomous state of Southern Cameroons called Ambazonia.

Osih has been tough himself on the issue, denouncing the massive influence France wields in the country’s political decision making  and has vowed to fight and liberate the country from the European supper power’s clutches in the past.

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Many say France, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council continues to block third parties and shield the government at international level from being questioned about its activities back home especially with the alarming Anglophone crisis which continues to kill many and the people are desperate to have a country free from post colonial dependency.

The iconic tower in the blue background in one of Osih’s campaign photo with the inscription Osih 2018 reminds Cameroonians even across the linguistic divide about the uncherished role played by their colonial master in the past which they still continue to do so today with impunity  and gives the impression that Osih at the Unity palace will be a dejav vus for the French government and consequently the continuation of the current policies which has failed so many and benefited so few in a web of corrupt systems anchored at the Eiffel tower in Paris.

Many have already taken to social media to criticize the candidate for the picture. But given the huge role the foreign government plays in the politics of its former African colonies including Cameroon, the SDF firebrand might just be accepting the reality that he cannot ascend the top job of the land without the blessing of the French especially as many say his boss Ni John Fru Ndi and political mentor lost the 1992 elections because he threatened to “part-ways” with  the French.


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