By Steve Neba-Fuh
Most political observers predicted the political trend Ms Edith Kabbang Walla(aka Kah Walla) was to follow immediately she defied the stance of Social Democratic Front (SDF) , with respect to registration of voters for the upcoming 2011 presidential elections in the Cameroons.
Kah Walla, has just declared her intention to run for president, while resigning from the SDF, amidst allegations of mismanagement of party funds during
the 2007 Municipal and Legislative Elections. She intends to stand for president as an independent candidate.
Though she is relatively a newcomer into the political arena and virtually unknown to the larger Cameroonian populace, especially those in the diaspora, it would be simplistic to discount her impact in a desperate political case like the Cameroons where one is tempted to believe that any alternative leadership will be better than these 28years of Biya's muddled leadership.
If presidential elections worthy of democracy were to be organized, then Kah Walla's announcement to run for president as an independent candidate, would have sent politicians both of the ruling party and the opposition to their drawing boards, but sadly this may not be the case. Unfortunately, the electoral process in the Cameroons is a charade and the ballot box does not expose the wish of the people !
By exercising her rights to run for president, Kah Walla has submitted herself to the scrutiny of the Cameroonian people. It is only through this scrutiny that her ambition will have a ripple effect on the political landscape.
She will definitely appeal to the greater proportion of the Cameroonian populace- women- who greatly influence political course consciously or unconsciously; and the desperate unemployed youth, whose future is opaque. Therefore, she will need to form a strategy and build a following that will not only participate in the electoral process, but will also participate in its aftermath.
It will be a blissful dream for anyone to imagine that someone other than Biya will be declared: 'President(e) de la Republique du Cameroun' in late 2011 , taking into consideration the egoistic distortion of the constitution to enable him to rule for life.
I strongly believe that Kah Walla's slogan:'THE TIME IS NOW' is not limited to any conviction that through the ballot box she could become president , but more to do with how she could galvanize international pressure on the Biya's regime as a post-election strategy ,in case of any popular revolt due to electoral fraud.
This kind of strategy will be unattainable in the present SDF set-up,which is challenging the legitimacy of ELECAM and preventing its militants from registering for elections.
Whatever motives and strategies Kah Walla intends to use now or later, there are three primordial things the common man is expecting her to take seriously as she thinks through her vision and presidential bid:
First, she must address the alleged financial mismanagement scandal levied against her by her former party, in a way that the common man will understand. At this point in time,the burden is on her, not her political opponents. This will help uplift her credibility.
Second, she must give an empathic ear to the oppressed throughout the nation, then a detailed working document - call it 'manifesto' should be published, addressing all matters plaguing the oppressed- from the constitution, economy, management,corruption, amenities etc and how they can be tackled in the short and long term . Moreover, important and sensitive issues like the state of the union should be addressed.
Third, the fulfillment of the conditions to stand as an independent candidate will be a hard nut to crack- a true baptism of fire! Kah Walla would have to form a convincing strategy to lure a synergized consensus into her bid, or else she may just be going to a gun fight with a knife.
Politically, Kah Walla is not necessarily a lightweight as most people who have never heard about her before now tend to believe. For those who have watched her engage in a free-spirited political debate, she is a dynamic seasoned citizen whose ideology and opinions can be captivating.Can the execution of her vision be a remedy for the suffering masses or will she fall prey to the enticing bait of a manipulative regime when the time comes?. Time will tell!
We may value her better than any chill reaction she may get from the other side of the bridge, but because, poverty and hardship know no boundaries, culture or language, 2011 may just be a repeat of 1992. Just that the rigging then gave a semblance of a tight race! This time, it will be well rigged in advance...for how will they allow you to manage the oil in your backyard?