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Foning’s Death Is A Big Loss To Cameroon – Fru Ndi 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, has asserted that the death of Francoise Foning has created a vacuum, not only in the CPDM, but also in Cameroon’s political landscape.
Fru Ndi made the statement while extending his condolence message to Foning’s family and the Secretary General of the Cameroon’s People Democratic Movement, CPDM.
According to the SDF Chieftain, “Madam Foning had children with the late Mayor of Douala V, Jean Nkwate Ledoux, who was an ardent proponent of the SDF, as such; some of her children are members of the SDF family.”
Nkwate, Francoise Foning’s first husband, joined the SDF in the early 90s, after his separation with Francoise and became the Mayor of Douala V when the SDF won the 2006 Municipal Elections.

Elimbi Lobe’s Diatribes Against Foning

Fru Ndi’s reaction came in the wake of a series of vicious attacks on late Foning, a few days after her death, by the 1st Assistant National Secretary for Communication, Abel Elimbi Lobe, who is also a Councillor of Douala V.
To Elimbi Lobe, Foning was a failure and an inconsequential in all aspects of life.
According to Elimbi, his only regret about Foning’s abrupt demise is that she died when she was still politically famous in Cameroon.
Elimbi made the pronouncements on a TV station in Douala, when he was invited with other political party leaders to talk about the fallen Foning. Elimbi’s pronouncements were termed inhumane by local political observers and members of the TV panel. This later on sparked a wave of bitter reactions from the Bamileke Community in Douala.

Bitter Reactions

In the Douala V Electoral District which is an SDF fief, Bamilekes vowed to boycott the SDF party if Elimbi is not disowned by the District. The Bamilekes said Elimbi and some of his Sawa brothers are using the SDF to wage an anti–Bamileke campaign.
Pro-Bamileke newspapers in Douala also reacted furiously towards Elimbi’s pronouncements and what was seen as his anti-Bamileke mindset. The Publisher of Ouest Littoral, Benjamin Zebaze, in an article published in the January 29, 2015 issue of the paper, chastised Elimbi Lobe for indecency and political hatred? He lashed out at Elimbi for manifesting hatred for Foning even after her death; “No doubt, Elimbi is failing in politics. You can not succeed in politics when you hate people,” Zebaze said.
Many SDF officials in Douala, especially those who are Bamileke, like Foning, were also very furious at Elimbi.

The Chairperson for Information and Communication in the SDF Shadow Cabinet, Jean Robert Wafo, said the vicious pronouncements made by Elimbi were his individual pronouncements, not from the SDF. He said the SDF is a humanist party and considers it an obligation not only to respect humanity, but to respect also the dead. Wafo said: “I always had respect for Madam Foning, even though we did not share the same political convictions. She was a committed CPDM militant even at her death.”
Rodrigue Carlos Ngoualem, who headed the SDF list during the 2013 Municipal Elections in Douala V, said Cameroon has lost a great politician.

SDF Does Not Celebrate Death

In the wake of indignation among the Bamilekes in Douala, following Elimbi’s pronouncements, Fru Ndi quickly disassociated himself and the party from the assertions. Fru Ndi stressed that neither the SDF nor him can be happy that somebody has died. Without calling names, Fru Ndi said “any body or group of persons, who made any statement and were happy that somebody died did so as individuals and not as the SDF.