The Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM, French: Rassemblement démocratique du Peuple Camerounais, RDPC) is the ruling political party in Cameroon. The CPDM party, formerly CNU, has ruled Cameroon since independence.

The CPDM-USA Section is headquartered in Maryland, USA and ensures the ideals of the principles of the party. The section has sub-sections and branches as lower organs under it. The Section applies the statutes of the party as mandated by the central committee and advocates responsible militancy towards a strong and united Cameroon.

A Concise History of Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement in the United States of America.

After many years of unofficially militating in the United States, a journey which started on April 19, 1996 by Comrade Jude Eze Okafor (then of Houston, Texas), the Central Committee of the party officially recognized our militancy in March of 2007. The CPDM Section in the United States was thereafter re-organized and formalized in April 2007 by a team headed by Minister Elvis Ngole Ngole.

And prior to the official re-organization date of April 9, 2007 (a date when the first branch president, Comrade Godwin Namaya was installed in Atlanta), CPDM USA had been militating for over eleven (11) years spanning from two different periods. First, from April 19, 1996 under Comrade Jude Eze Okafor and his benevolent team of Calette Ayuk (late), Dr. Henry Akwo Elonge, Dr. Emmanuel Ewane, Joseph Nfortem Mbu, Cyprain Engwenyi and John Foretia (late); and also from November 19, 2004 to March 2007 another dynamic team was elected in a Grand CPDM conference held at the Marriott Courtyard hotel in Atlanta. It was at this conference that a new Coordinating Team that comprised of Joseph Nfortem Mbu as the Coordinating Chair, Guy Etoundi as Assistant Coordinator (now in Cameroon), Jackson W. Nanje as Public Relations Officer, Dr. Henry A. Elonge as Development Officer, Dr. Augustine Ayuk as Treasurer, Mr. Rex Eseme as Secretary, and Dr. Wilfred Gabsa as Education Officer (now in Cameroon), to re-assess and re-affirm the readiness of its militants prior to the National Chairman recognizing the existence of the new Section.

During the ‘reign’ of Mr. Okafor, CPDM USA, which was not officially mandated by the Central Committee, existed primarily to quell the rising tides of Cameroon’s opposition parties in the United States, whose goal was to tarnish the image of our beloved fatherland, Cameroon, in their quest to fulfil their political expediency. It should be noted that Mr. Okafor and his team were not contacted by the Central Committee or the government of Cameroon to carry out this arduous task of restoring Cameroon’s image abroad, which the Social Democratic Front (SDF) had spearheaded. They did so unsolicited. It was only years later that the CPDM-led government started taking a closer look at the militancy of Mr. Okafor and his team by making little contributions to boost their efforts. It is important to note that Mr. Okafor and his team fought the opposition relentlessly to submission.

Suffice it to note that like any political party Mr. Jude Okafor’s non-affiliated CPDM team had its own power struggle or in-fighting. No sooner had Mr. Okafor left for Cameroon to test the political waters that the search for a new frontman became eminent. On one end, there was Joseph Nfortem Mbu who was favoured by Ambassador Jerome Mendouga (late) and his newly chosen team, pitted against Mr. Cyprain Engwenyi and his team of Elonge, Foretia, and Ewane. This in-fighting led to the convening of CPDM conference in Atlanta in November 19, 2004. The conference was an attempt to reconcile the two factions of the yet-to-be recognized Section in the United States, which was already immersed in divisive and personality conflict politics. Mr. Foretia and Ewane did not attend the reconciliation because of the acrimony that had characterized the aspiring members in the team. It was at this conference that Mr. Engwenyi, who had been the defector leader after Mr. Okafor had relocated to Cameroon erroneously, recused himself from being a member of the team and did not contest for the position of Coordinator giving room to Mr. Mbu to run uncontested and unchallenged. His compatriot, Dr. Elonge, joined Mr. Joseph Nfortem Mbu’s team, elected to coordinate party affairs henceforth. It was under the leadership of Mr. Joseph Mbu that the Central Committee of the CPDM approved a Section in the United States of America three years later in March of 2007. Under Mr. Mbu’s leadership, the Section in the United States was divided into six (6) Subsections: Mid-Atlantic, Eastern, South Eastern, South-Central, Mid-Central, and Western.

The day of reckoning, which militants of CPDM USA had been yearning for, to militate, had now become a reality. The Section that we had been fighting to have since 1996 had arrived; and at long last, we were going to be joining the CPDM family all over the world as proud militants of Cameroon’s ruling party. Hon. Elvis Ngole Ngole was assigned by the Central Committee to lead the Re-organizing Team, which was to supervise the election of executives of the branches, subsections, and the section. It is important to note that because of the vastness of the United States of America, the militants of the party in the United States agreed with the Central Committee that there shall be no Cell (which is the lowest organ of the party) in the new Section. After a very gruelling campaign between Mr. Joseph Nfortem Mbu and Dr. Henry Akwo Elonge (who had left Mr. Mbu’s coordinating team to run against him), who were both running to become the new Section President, Mr. Mbu emerged the victor and was crowned the first-ever President of the new Section in the United States of America. Congratulations. It should also be mirrored that Yaah Patience Tamfu was equally elected alongside President Mbu as the first-ever WCPDM President in the United States. Running and winning elections can never be equated to the ability to lead. The efforts of militants to have the Central Committee extend the party activities here in the United Sates, in which they braved the very cold weather before and during the campaign periods for eleven (11) years, was placed under severe stagnation for over eight (8) years (April 14, 2007- September 2015) for reasons unbeknown to many. The Section was threatened by the Central Committee to put its acts together to prevent it from being closed. During President Mbu’s eventful tenure there were issues that only historians shall be at a vantage point to assess. However way militants may choose to characterize his presidency, Mr. Mbu is a kind and good-hearted individual whose political prowess was thought to have left him when he became President of the Section.

Normally, CPDM Section elections are held every five (5) years; however, the 2012 elections were postponed because of Cameroon Presidential and Parliamentary elections that were to be held five (5) years later in 2012 marking Mr. Mbu’s re-election. The elections were postponed indefinitely until 2015. In 2015 Mr. Mbu did not stand for re-election; rather, the President of the defunct WCPM Section, Yaah Patience Tamfu, stood in contention with Mr. Maxwell Etape (President of the Mid-Atlantic Subsection) both militants from the Mid-Atlantic Subsection. Yaah Patience Tamfu, who was elected into the WCPD Women’s Bureau, was eventually elected president of the Section, succeeding President Mbu as the second elected president of CPDM Section in the United States of America. Congratulations to you Madam President. You will also be judged by your deeds as you begin the journey as President of this vibrant and politically unpredictable Section. Yaah Patience Tamfu’s Section Bureau includes: Sango Sammy Ngalame (Vice President), Geoffrey Mbaku (Secretary), Rene Bondima (Assistant Secretary), Dr. Augustine E. Ayuk (Treasurer), Esther Mbiakoup (Assistant Treasurer), Jackson W. Nanje (Communication Officer), Chrysantus Atanga (Training Officer), Victor Mekang (Economic & Financial Affairs Officer), Bernard Fonlon (Social and Cultural Affairs Officer), Godwin E. Namaya (Officer of Lower Organs), Viviane Lohr (Dispute Officer No.1), Damaris Tumentang (Dispute Officer No.2), Albert Ndeme Ebini (Auditor) and Maxwell Etape (Adviser).

By: Jackson W. Nanje