The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front-SDF Ni John Fru Ndi was on air yesterday September 11th 2020 from his basement in US.
The political heavy weight and former Chief Opposition Leader was the main guest on the famous programme on My Media Prime TV ‘Prime Hour’.
While Fru Ndi abruptly left the show due technical issues, his few minutes there gave an idea of his thoughts with respect to recent happenings back home.
Fru Ndi’s long stay abroad, one of the longest since he became such a huge political figure might have robbed him of his once legendary sense of relating with his militants or those left of it and indeed the dynamism here back home.
In an exclusive interview with Kum Leonard, Fru Ndi distanced himself from planned nation-wide protest to be led by Kamto to oust Biya.
He cautioned his supporters to ignore the calls for protest and said they will only be risking their lives as they will be met with bullets.
It was not readily clear if the National Chairman was trying to stoke fear in the hearts of most of his former militants or that he was just being fatherly.
For a man who once enjoyed a rock star popularity, Fru Ndi certainly knows what it means to be famous and indeed popular.
What he even knows better is/are the repercussions of citizen protests in Cameroon against a government which makes no secret of its intention to use lethal force even on peaceful protesters.
After all, some of his supporters lost their limbs, others paid with their lives when his party was launched in the 90s in Bamenda and remain abandoned till date.
Fru Ndi, drawing from his own experience of treating those who protest for the interest of greedy politicians said protesters in the name of Kamto will be shot and after the protest everyone will be abandoned to their families – and this coming from a man who knows how to abandon shot and wounded protesters, even those who don’t support him have to take his advice seriously, even if they don’t like the adviser in question.
Fru Ndi’s request or should I say warning however has been met with overwhelming criticism as many point accusing fingers at his own record(s).
Fru Ndi and his party had long lost touch with their Millitants, most of whom come from the now war-ridden Anglophone regions of the country.
His supporters in the Anglophone regions especially North West , tired of SDF’s inability to effect any meaningful change had silently and publicly divorced the party, ridiculing its nationalistic persona it so strenuously tried to portray and making the party a laughing stock in the country’s political chessboard.
“Who are the supporters he is talking about”? One user wrote on the TeboPost website.
“Fru Ndi is really living in a dreamland”, another added as a barrage of criticism followed his comments about protest.
Fru Ndi who was already suffering from tumbling political fortunes even before the Anglophone crisis with his penchant for power which was so evident and the personality cult he built around him within the party now faces the prospects to be shamed and relegated to the footnote of political history in the country.
Supporters and sympathizers had already lost faith in the national chairman and his party and when he finally gave the ailing and unappetizing party to Osih, Osih’s arrogance married with the party’s blunders in the phase of a historic crisis facing the better of the party’s base killed and buried the party.
SDF’s Demise was epitomized in the subsequent polls which followed after the crisis, with Osih emerging a distant 4th at the 2018 Presidential elections with many laughing at the number of ballots cast and many former party bigwigs surrendering the seats to a roaring CPDM in the twin elections a year later while some died in the process.
Fru Ndi has since taken refuge in the US, speaking once in a while from his basement as reports of tense battles between soldiers guarding his Ntarikon residence and armed seperatist fighters rage on in his home.
Fru Ndi left the country after a string of humiliating encounters between the historic opposition figure and armed seperatist fighters in a place many once looked up to him as their own President and like a god.
Truth be told that SDF has no political leverage and those who call themselves militants are party bigwigs.
The population has lost trust and confidence in the party and its leadership. Many are bordered about the ongoing war in their neighborhoods and how to survive the next day it seems.
There is little apetite for political activities especially in the Anglophone regions and East of the Mungo,well, nobody really talks SDF.
Kamto has opted for a different approach, fronting election boycott and now popular protest to oust Biya from power. While government and SDF speak in one voice, many who might not necessarily support a popular revolt, but are hungry for change might only see the SDF as an agent of Yaounde.
After all, many argue that the party has participated in almost all elections in the country since the 90s and many say nothing has really changed in the country -if there is anything, it has worsened.