“Some 27 years ago, touching Fru Ndi in Ntarinkon, would have brought out not only those in their 20s but also the old women called the “Takembengs”!!
Mothers in their 50s and 60s who were willing to see profound change in Cameroon! They would have flooded the streets across the region in their numbers with peace plants and taken over the Chairman’s palace!
“That generation is all gone with age and a new one is ruling the turf! They have their own drive and methods! Today Fru Ndi is just an old man in the quarter who can be dragged around like a pig … and not a single SDF militant dares to venture out!”
The above picture is one painted by venerated journalist Omer Songwe. It is indeed a kaleidoscopic representation of what Ni John Fru Ndi, National Chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, party has become – hot pap gone cold.
Chairman Fru Ndi, the god that used to appear in the moon in the 90s, a man who lost an election but was invited at the inaugural of a US president. That is the kind of man that was dragged in mud like a pig by armed men young enough to be his great grand children.
Armed men fighting for the independence (or the restoration of same) of a country they call Ambazonia have since made Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions ungovernable.
State Armed forces in the country have engaged them in running battles that have left over 2,000 known deaths, and produced over 600,000 internally displaced persons and refugees.
At least 210 villages have been burnt, kidnappings, killings, arbitrary arrests and a reign of terror are the new normal.
Fru Ndi’s kidnapping was among the latest weird stories.
He was kidnapped for the second time in two months by Ambazonia separatist fighters. Though the reasons being propounded for his abduction look flimsy, it tells of a people who have refused to respect their own.
Chairman Fru Ndi gave up his life to restore democracy in Cameroon when he launched the SDF. It is the free speech he so vigorously fought for that gave voices to those who have today dragged him in mud.
One need not be a rocket scientist to know that Fru Ndi’s SDF party has not championed the Ambazonia movement as some would have wished and that he has openly objected to Ambazonia demands for SDF Members of the National Assembly and Senate to withdraw from the parliament in Yaounde.
They say Fru Ndi got to prominence because he was an Anglophone and must therefore give back to the Anglophones who today want a new destiny – or have a few taken up arms to impose their will on the Anglophone majority?
Ambazonia sees Fru Ndi as a big fish to fry. Or is the struggle about Fru Ndi? After burning down is FCFA 100 million worth Baba 2 residence, his sister was kidnapped and then his brother abducted along with two employees of the Chairman. An attempt was also made to burn the Chairman’s Ntarinkon residence.
Fru Ndi was first kidnapped in Kumbo on April 27, 2019 as he went to bury his political Godchild, Hon. Banadzem Lukong.
Spin doctor of the regime of President Paul Biya’s CPDM party said at the time that Fru Ndi had faked his kidnapped to get political capital. Some CPDM militants and regime songbirds went was far as saying that Fru Ndi went to review the troops – Ambazonia fighters. Others said he had gone to give money to the separatists, while other posited that he had gone to give directives to the fighters as to the next step.
Many are Biya supporters who said Fru Ndi might have used his April abduction to regain political weight at a time the SDF he founded is suffering from kwashiorkor. When videos of Fru Ndi in captivity emerged, the chairman could be seen pounding his chest and rejecting demands made to him by the separatists.
His detractors took his tough talk to mean that he has controls of the boys, coupled with his claim that he had given them wise counsel. This claim was to be confirmed when Fru Ndi said he would mediate between the separatists and government. It was then concluded that the SDF chairman controls the boys and can thus ask them to lay down their weapons for a fee from government.
Fru Ndi was in the South West Region recently and challenged the Buea-Kumba road known to host deadly separatist fighters. He even visited the family of the 4-month-old baby killed in Muyuka recently. In Muyuka, Fru Ndi walked around fearlessly, only to be dragged out of his own house days after.
That he was taken after the Archbishop of Bamenda, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua may suggest that the ‘boys’ are working on instilling fear in the minds of those who may well be called on the dialogue table in Switzerland as the case may be.
The way Fru Ndi was treated for 30 hours from Friday to Saturday is prove enough that Fru Ndi is not Amba and that Amba can even eat its own.
Mimi Mefo Info Editorial