By Innocent Chia
Robert Ndifor Tamukong has been ushered in as the new President of Minnesota Cameroonians following elections on Saturday August 13, 20011 at 5801 John Martins Dr in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Winning over 60 percent of the vote of registered MINCAM members, the incoming President acknowledged his rival and pioneer outgoing President, Esq. Michael Fondungallah and his team for their vision and leadership over the last three years. Beyond the acknowledgement however, concerned Cameroonians within proximity that have been monitoring the otherwise remote election heaved a sigh of relief when the incoming President extended an olive branch to the outgoing team. Both campaign teams were accusing each other of crossing over the fine line of political civility and linguistic probity on the last stretch of the campaign.
Speaking infront of a crowded hall during the MINCAM Gala night culminating the weekend long events of the association at the Eritrean Community Center, Robert Ndifor Tamukong said "there is no losing side here. The Cameroon Community are the winners..." adding that his team will be working with the outgoing team not only during the transition period, but on so many projects already begun by the outgoing team. The following appeal from local resident, Professsor Immanuel Tatah Mentan, whose wife Charity retained the Post of VP, captures some of the schisms and tensions within the organization. Above all, it is a prayer for what MINCAM can be and should be.
1. The independence and meticulous execution of its mandate by THE MENYI MBA ELECTORAL COMMISSION;
2. The serene campaigns and voting of the renewed MINCAM EXECUTIVE with the conspicuous injection of fresh and youthful blood into its ranks;
3. The eschewing of sterile factional politics;
4. The youthfulness and dynamism of MINCAM;
5. The unconsolidated structures of MINCAM;
6. The fact that MINCAM needs to acquire political teeth in Minnesota without further delay;
7. My deep concern for MINCAM to become a very credible organization within this state, and; finally,
8. My dislike for hateful and hurtful political gerrymandering "sit-tightism" in political office,
I therefore sincerely appeal to all members of MINCAM:
a. to extend a hand of warm welcome to the renewed and strengthened office-holders ;
b. to carve out a nitch for Cameroonians in Minnesota by articulating a clear vision accompanied by engaged action. It is noteworthy here that it is never enough to “seek ye first the ( political) Kingdom” since it is not evident that “all other things will be added unto it”;
c. to ensure that the highly feminized MINCAM becomes one of people, not an mere assembly of feuding groups;
d. to ensure that the MINCAM electoral politics become a model, even for the incurably "sit-tightist" regime in Cameroon,
I wish to state unwaveringly again that my appeal is not intended to tamp down the democratic principles we all cherish. It is mainly to ensure that we do not inject the politics of bitterness into our midst. We all know that splittist politics can very easily derail us, or alternatively, throw the MINCAM baby out with the bath water. Such political faux pas would raise us inevitably up to scorn in Minnesota.
I am appealing both as a concerned member of MINCAM as well as an incurable democrat of the Jeffersonian or Madisonian persuasion. Political wisdom enjoins all democrats to see the good in what is annoying, even that which is most uncomfortable, in what others say and do. But, we should not rock the boat in midstream. Else, all of us will perish.
Thank you for affording the time to read my heartfelt appeal.
Tatah Mentan-FLOOR MEMBER