By Tata Mbunwe
Barrister Michèle Ndoki has insisted she is the appropriate person to lead the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) party as Chairperson, instead of Maurice Kamto, the current Chair.
In a statement on her Facebook page on Friday, 19th May 2023, the 50-year-old said she will even win the CRM Presidency, as the party prepares for elections coming up this November.
Her statement came after reports alleged she was quitting the party after she challenged Kamto on the CRM leadership some months back.
“It goes without saying, but it’s better by saying it: I am a candidate for Presidency of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement,” she said.
“I am preparing with those who believe in our project. The most beautiful competition in its history is starting on November 4. Let them continue making noise, we are not going anywhere. And they’re having fun we’re even going to win,” Barrister Ndoki added.
Her announcement on Facebook received mixed reactions from Cameroonians.
Among those who have hailed her for a “brave move”, is CRM militant and human rights lawyer, Tamfu Richard.
“I support the courage and determination of Michèle Ndoki to challenge Maurice Kamto at the upcoming Convention of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement,” Barrister Tamfu wrote.
Christian Miaffeu, another supporter of Barrister Ndoki, said she must start campaigning immediately.
“You have all my support and admiration Mme Ndoki. You must start your campaign today. We want animation at the party,” he said.
Some CRM members have however questioned her ability to lead the party, stating she has been boycotting party activities and barely has as many supporters as Maurice Kamto does.
“Madam, are you serious? What project are you talking about? You are almost absent from party activities and you want to convince the militants to trust you on the basis of what? Anyway MRC is democracy par excellence, apply it’s your right, but you know we don’t feed chicken on market day,” commented Florent Tonya, a CRM militant.
Also, Kennedy Sergel, another Cameroonian who took interest in her statement said: “She is no longer attending MRC meetings. She denigrates the party on a daily basis. She wants to lead the MRC with the support of people outside the movement.”
MMI reached out to Barrister Ndoki for comment on the allegations that she was no longer attending meetings and she clarified that this was not the case:
“it is all part of their propaganda on social media. I work out of Cameroon at the moment, and so cannot be physically present at all meetings. But whenever I am around I attend physical meetings. Also, I do attend any virtual meetings organised that require my attendance,” Barrister Ndoki told MMI.
On the question of whether she has as many followers are Prof. Kamto, she said responded that she believed in the power of building a grassroots movement, which understood the needs of the people:
“I have a lot of grassroots support. If I did not have this, I would not have taken up this challenge. Politics in Cameroon today should be about understanding the needs of the people at all levels. That, unfortunately, is something the current leadership of my party is forgetting. We cannot be a party of social media soundbites. We need to understand the people’s needs and provide workable solutions to be able to lead our country forward,” Barrister Ndoki concluded.
Barrister Ndoki’s decision to run against Prof. Kamto is stirring debates because for over four decades, the current president of Cameroon has not been challenged for his party’s candidacy. However, many are arguing that if the CRM is to be seen as a credible alternative, they ought to appreciate Barrister Ndoki’s move rather than villifying her.