It is now twenty three years the people of this great nation stood up against the authoritarian regime of Mr. Biya. They were galvanised by the thoughts of some few great thinkers of the time, people in the likes of late Dr. Siga Asanga, Albert Mukong, Yondo Black, etc. However, the unfortunate thing that befell the people was the cowardice of these thinkers and this situation saw the ushering into our polical scene of an ordinary trader. The frustration of the time coupled with the wind of change which was blowing from the east gave the people too much hope of pulling down the Biya regime. The people’s minds had earlier been hypercharged by the famous musician Lapiro de Mbanga with his defiant lyrics which being sang in pigeon cut accross the board to the understanding of a vaste majority of Camerooniains.
Thus when on May 26th 1990, the little bookseller in Bamenda mounted the pulpit to declare the launching of a new polical party in a one party state, the already charged population was ready to risk their lives in support of this move. The heavy presence of the police and the military in Bamenda rather than scared the people attracted Cameroonians from all over the country to come and be part of the historic launch. By the end of the day six young people lost their lives. This writer clearly remembers the first victim of the fight, the little Juliette Sikod who was gunned just a couple of meters from where I was standing. The poor little girl from Bali lost her life. And what next her uncle came on air to announce she died of sickness in the hospital, yes he was latter compensated with a seat in parliament !
Many more people were to die, lost their jobs, went on self exile because they identified with the SDF. Government development in some parts of the country were stifled and tribes suffered collective punishment for sympathesizing with the cause of the SDF. Infact all over Cameroon People paid a heavy prize in one way or the other for siding with the party. However, like Juliette’s uncle a good number of people took advantage of the situation and perfected their skills in blackmail. This phenomenon saw the rise of many nonentities, even pure idiots into posts of responsibility. Most of these ignoramouses were propelled into the polical limelight of the country. The best qualification for appoinment, promotion or winning an elective office was tied to your skills at blackmail and policatical giottisme. No doubt we find ourselves today in a country where university ‘dons’ are proud boot lickers and verander boys of politicians. We are today in a country where the youth see nothing in their parents as values to immuliate. We are in country where incompetent people have been propelled to position of authority and have succeeded in ruinning the state to the utter dismay of their mentor. So if Cameroon has become a country of theives, swindlers and grios, it is partly thanks to the birth of the SDF.
By the time the SDF was born the entire anglophone community was yenning for a radical change in the fracophone /anglophone relationship in the country. The anglophones had gone as far as expressing their frustrations with the Yaounde regime by holding the AAC1&2 in Buea, which culminated with the Foncha&Muna UN visite. There is thus no surprise when all the founding fathers of the SDF were anglophones and the party was launched in Bamenda rather than Douala which was a more radical political city. The Biya regime did not take this anglophone challenge lightly as they cashed on the flimsiest excuse to institute a state of emergency in Bamenda. Douala which later became much more radical never experienced such collective purnishment from Biya. From all indications the average anglophone saw the birth of the SDF in the same way the average black South African sees the ANC. The SDF to him was the vehicle to take him to the promise land. It is for this reason any anglophone who identified with the Biya regime was branded a traitor. Anglophones in the CPDM till this day are not trusted by their felow brothers and sisters as they are only being tolerated by their peers because of their financail or political power.
However, it is worth noting that the problems of the average anglophone was identical to that of the vaste majority of ordinary francophones. This situation saw the massive influx of the suffering francophone masses joining the SDF in droves all over the country. These people were all beleiving they were boarding the train heading for the promised land. Unfortunately for the people, the manufacturers of the train had rather than employed a competent driver settled for a vendor to drive the train since they themselves were not sure of the vaibility of their product and were affraid to risk their lives. Today the train is still on the move but in a direction tangentical to its origanal desired path. The founding fathers have all been thrown out of the train to fend for themselves in the wild and the vendor boy is still on the driver seat. On board are folks like himself, folks who can not differentiate the dersert mirage from an oil well for lack of basic knowledge in the sciences. The ouster of the founding fathers and all great thinkers who thought they could join the SDF in order to give the party a sense of direction was no accident. Any progressive fellow who ventured the chairman was readily branded an agent of the regime and accused of dinning with the power that be. This situation was exploited by the chairman and his sorugates by weeping up sentiments amongst the masses to riddicle and humiliate the targeted individual. Ironically when it was time for the chairman to dine with the very power brokers of the regime it was considered normal. For Fru Ndi’s to be an inlaw to the longest serving CPDM parlaimentary group leader and Biya’s confident is very normal. Many Cameroonians in the SDF have died due to lack of standard medical services in the country ; many are suffering from ailments that can not be handled in the country as I write, Fru Ndi has not seen it worthwhile to call on the regime to evacuate these people for medicare out of Cameroon, but the regime hastily put at his disposal all it took to evacuate his beloved wife for expert treatment out of the country when she had her unfortunate demise. Cameroonians had been having accidents where they loose their vehicles and it means nothing to the state but today Fru Ndi’s car is immediately replaced by the presidency after an accident.
Since the famous hand shake in Bamenda between Biya and Fru Ndi, things have never been the same with the SDF. The winning and dinning parties between the two have multiplied by the day, the camaradai has strengthened and the double talk on issues by the SDF is now very normal. It is rather unfortunate that the people’s party has readily become a one man’s property with the CRTV drumming notions like ‘Le parti de Fru Ndi’. It is this type of notions that has gotten into the chairman’s head and make him believe he owns the SDF and thus can do as he pleases. The radical identity of the party has completely disappeared and the SDF today being nothing but an arm of the CPDM. We see this clearly during the Febuary 2008 food riots, the SDF was too scared to be identified with the grevancies of the people preferring to sit on the fence. What a golden opportunity lost by the party to rekindle it’s popularity of it’s hey days ?
Today the SDF has lost it’s steam to the extent that the party has to greatly relly on hand outs from Biya to run it’s campagne ! In the yesteryears the SDF is on record for organising vibrant rallies accross the country from it’s own resources. This was the time when the party had people with brains within its ranks. These people were creative and could readily galvanise the masses to see the need to support the party. The people saw a party that belonged to them, it twas their baby and they were convinced they had to sacrifice to see this baby grow and help them one day. Today the SDF has been hijacked by a gang of selfish individuals who see the party as a source of survival and self agrandisement. Their lack of ideas and incompetences have reduced the party to a begging party. Imagine our beloved SDF is today proudly asking the government to put it’s chairman on it’s payroll and it was no surprise the chairman saw it worth struggling to enter the senate in order to earn the paltry CFA 3.000.000 monthly salary. What a shame that you find some party barons struggling to defend this beggarly posture of the SDF and it’s chairman.
Has the SDF become so poor ? How can a party which prides its self to have the majority of Cameroonians as its militants say it is too poor for it ‘s chairman to accept to stake the polical feature of the party on a secret promise from the devil ? Let us take a simple hypothetical case ; if the SDF have just 2.000.000 militants of the 20.000.000 Cameroonians, this would give the party a minimum CFA600.000.000 a year only on the sales of party cards at the meagre CFA300 per card. With this ammount can the party not be able to pay it’s chairman a decent salary, rent a decent party headoffice and run it’s campaingnes ? Why has the party been reduced to a giant NGO, with the chairman running round the country on European sponsored funds to carry out anti malaria and AID campaigns ? Is this the role of the party ?
Finally the SDF has betrayed the entier anglophone people of this nation. How can one reconcile the fact that a party that was born to fight for the reinstitution of the anglophone dignity would today be represented in the senate by francophones ONLY! Come to think of it some of the so called SDF senators are ordinary coblers, tailors, bike riders, etc. Is the party completely void of intelligent folks that it has gone on record SDF is represented by the scum of society in the upper house in the country ? What serious aguement in favour of the anglophone course can anyone expect from these so called SDF senators ? It is a known fact that all the anglophones voted on the CPDM ticket into parliament have for the past years been defending the dominant francophone position vis a vis the anglophone course, these supposed anglophones are therefore not in the house to fight for the realisation of the anglophone dreams. The few anglophone SDF parliamentarians to date had atleast proven their worth as champions of the anglophone course by their advocacy infavour of principles that promote the anglophone ways.
Fru Ndi’s lack of political vision and his naive approach to petinent political issues of the day has come as a total disappointment and disillutionment to all anglophones. It is high time the entire anglophone community in this country either start thinking of chassing away this polical misfit along with his cohorts who have hijacked and sold the party of their hope for peanuts to the oppressive regime in place or turn to more serious alternatives like the retired Ayah Paul Abime and Kah Wallah who has proofed thier strong stands on national issues and issues that go to uphold the anglophone values. I think it is only by taking such radical and sensible stance that the anglophones in this country can once more hope of reaching the promised land of the founding fathers of the SDF rather than following Fru Ndi to his mirage. By T.P