By Yerima Kini Nsom
President Paul Biya cum Chair of the Ruling CPDM party, has lauded the SDF Chair, Ni John Fru Ndi, for contributing to the growth of democracy, unity and social justice in Cameroon.
The President’s gratitude is contained in a goodwill message the CPDM Secretary General, Jean Kuete, presented at the SDF Silver Jubilee celebrations in Bamenda on May 26. Jean Kuete who led a delegation of party officials including, Hamadjoda Adjoudji, Jonathan Fru and Regina Mundi, represented President Biya at the occasion.
“President Biya has asked me to salute John Fru Ndi for the contributions he has made for democracy, peace, unity and social justice in Cameroon”, Kuete declared, provoking a thunderous applause from the audience. He said Biya said he (Biya) remains a son of the Northwest in general and Bamenda in particular. He said their presence at the anniversary was a testimony that both the CPDM and the SDF have a common objective to preserve peace and unity in Cameroon.
Jean Kuete said it was a pleasant coincidence that the SDF was celebrating its Silver Jubilee six days after the entire country celebrated the 43rd anniversary of the unitary state. During this occasion, he went on, the opposition party demonstrated its might,especially at the Yaounde May 20 Boulevard.
He said he was happy that all the active forces of the nation came out like one man to condemn the terrorist group, Boko Haram that is fighting to destabilize Cameroon. To him, the SDF – CPDM relationship is based on the common interest of the parties in promoting stability, unity and development of the nation. He said President Biya did not hide his satisfaction when the SDF finally participated in May 20 celebrations nationwide.
In his message, the representative of the UPC party, Hon Robert Bapooh Lippot described Bamenda as a magical town. He said it was in Bamenda that Ndeh Ntumazah, one of the pillars of the UPC party was born. He said Bamenda is coincidentally also the birth place of both the CPDM and the SDF.
He saluted Fru Ndi for leading the SDF Struggle for liberation, the raising of the standards of living of Cameroonians and the preservation of peace and unity.
Speaking for the NUDP, its Northwest Regional Chair, Churchill Achu said Fru Ndi and the SDF brought progress to Cameroon. He called on the Almighty God to continue to protect the SDF Chieftain to achieve his objectives in bringing democracy to Cameroon.
Other speakers included the representative of the Alliance of Socialist parties in Central Africa, Bonaventure Banya, who described Fru Ndi as a model and the man who made democracy a reality in Cameroon. He said the SDF and the party of Etienne Tshisekedi in the DRC, are the biggest socialist parties in Central Africa
In a welcome address earlier, the Mayor of Bamenda II, Fedelis Balick Awah, recalled the dramatic launching of the SDF on May 26, 1990. He showered praises on Fru Ndi for what he said was his unique leadership style, based on honour, love, peace and trust. He prayed God to open the eyes of all Cameroonians to follow Fru Ndiin his struggle for democracy and social justice in Cameroon.
Speakers at the occasion were unanimous that whatever semblance of democracy and freedom Cameroonians are enjoying today is due to the SDF. It was the same view that Jean Marie Viane Bokanali of the Socialist party in DRC shared when he took the floor during a pre-anniversary conference at the Bamenda Ayaba Hotel.
At the same occasion, peace and governance expert and Director of Ecumenical Service Peace, Dr. Richard Ndi Tantoh, equally heaped praises on the SDF. Hear him: “the SDF has made a sustained contribution to democracy in Cameroon. It remains the most credible and popular opposition party in the country.”
He said although the SDF has not gotten to power, it is remembered by all as the party that yelled so loudly for the marginalized and oppressed masses of Cameroon. He recalled that the SDF unleashed an earthquake of unimaginable proportions that shook Cameroon’s monolithic political structures to their roots and led to a slow but irreversible trend towards authentic democracy.
Meanwhile, to further consolidate the peace and unity of the country, the SDF handed over FCFA 13.1 million to the Northwest Governor, as the party’s own contribution in supporting the country’s armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram.