By Tata Mbunwe
The leadership of Christian Penda Ekoka’s party, ACT-AGIR Movement, has said they do not want members of Prof Maurice Kamto’s Cameroon Rennaisance Movement party to participate in the late chairman’s funeral activities.
A recent communique signed by ACT-AGIR movement’s vice president, Prof Yap Boum, states that Ekoka will be buried this Saturday, August 28, and the party will want to bury its late founder and chairman in serenity.
In the release issued in collaboration with the late Ekoka’s family, ACT-AGIR movement leadership says CRM members who had been slandering the politician before his death should “refrain” from his funeral activities.
“As many of you know, the last moments of our President’s life were marked by an extremely violent, unhealthy and unjust cabal orchestrated by members and supporters of his political ally.
“This episode deeply hurt CPE who was surprised at the silence of this ally. Taking note of this situation, the ACT-AGIR movement, in perfect solidarity with the family of our late President, asks the authors and actors of this abject cabal, in the name of decency, dignity and above all respect for the memory of the illustrious disappeared, to refrain from any participation in the various ceremonies organised on the occasion ofthis great loss,” an extract from the release reads.
The release states that the party’s action is necessary to “prevent any slippage and will allow us to devote all our energy to paying homage to Christian Penda Ekoka, whose life deserves to be celebrated in all serenity.”
Before his death on August 8, Christian Penda Ekoka was not in good terms with his political ally, Maurice Kamto, with whom he had been strongly advocating for a regime change in Cameroon.
The ACT-AGIR Movement party which Ekoka founded in 2018 formed an opposition coalition with Kamto’s CRM party against President Paul Biya during the 2018 Presidential Elections.
When they failed to win the elections, Ekoka joined Kamto in a demonstration against the election results which landed both politicians in prison, although they were released some months later.
After working closely as political allies for several months, the relationship between both politicians began turning sour by January 2021 due to misunderstandings over COVID-19 funds collected under Kamto’s Cameroon Survival Initiative.
Maurice Kamto had placed Penda Ekoka in charge of the initiative he created on April 3, 2020, to gather funds to help the population overcome COVID-19.
Ekoka, an economist, had accepted to manage the initiative and all was going well until when financial inaccuracies were recorded in the first audit conducted on the funds.
However, the divide between Ekoka’s ACT-AGIR and Kamto’s CRM became pronounced when some CRM militants accused Penda Ekoka of intervening in CRM affairs despite not being a member of the party, as the politician had allegedly asked Kamto to reorganise the CRM party.
Before his alliance with Kamto, Ekoka had been serving as an adviser to President Biya, a position he held from 2010-2018.
Ekoka passed away on August 8 at a hospital in Canada where he had been taken for treatment.
Learning of the tragedy, Kamto said Ekoka was a “brilliant economist” and death was a blow to their liberation struggle.