Is The SDF Selling The Peoples Struggle For a Billion FCFA + Four Parliamentary Seats & Councils?
**The SDF-CPDM Shady Pact Busted**
Early this morning my phone rang and when I picked it up, it was an old time friend and an SDF councillor to one of the local councils in the Northern Zone. In his usual polite calm voice, he greeted and apologized for the very early morning call, then reluctantly ask if we could talk or if he could call later. Knowing him so well, I knew he would not be calling at that hour for nothing. It’s ok, we can talk, I answered while stepping out of bed, and pressing the phone tight to my ear, just to make sure I did not miss a word.
Eric, there’s a problem and I am not sure what to do, he stated. What’s up, I quizzed. The rest of the story is narrated below, after spending much of today speaking to over 5 different SDF councillors across different municipalities and one party hierarchy member to corroborate some of the very worrying stories I was told in the early morning call.
Apparently the SDF party hierarchy has decided to turn against the very people that propelled the party to where it is today. It should be recalled that late last week, the party made a 360 Degree U-turn on an election boycott stance it had adopted and promoted just a week before, without explaining to the public it’s rational for making such an abrupt and costly U-turn.
Just a few days ago on a one-on-one interview with Chris Anu, I watched with fallen jaws as the SDF chairman John Fru Ndi, in his usual arrogance waffled on screen from a London dining room, as he struggled to justify his party’s position on the boycott U-turn policy, only to end up saying nothing reasonable to all the questions he was being asked. Those who watched the interview will agree that, they left with many more questions for the chairman and the SDF than they did before the interview.
My dozens of phone calls and chats today have revealed a rather very disturbing picture of what exactly the SDF party hierarchy is up to. My early morning call corroborated earlier information I had received alleging that the SDF party leadership had stroke a deal with the Yaounde regime last week, in a highly secretive meeting coordinated by a regime minister and CPDM central committee member Grégoire Owona for the regime, and the SDF VP Josua Osih on the other hand.
A well-placed source privy to that was discussed in the said meeting has disclosed to me that the regime has agreed to allow the SDF maintain all their current parliamentary seats in both the Northern and Southern regions of the Southern Cameroons, while in addition to that, the SDF will be given three extra parliamentary seats in the Southern Zone and one more in the Northern Zone as political gains from the deal. In order to ensure and guarantee a smooth execution of the planned sham elections in the middle of a war, the SDF requested regime for funding needed for use at the local level to prepare the grounds for both the parliamentary and municipal elections.
Knowing fully well that most parts of these territory are ungovernable as a result of the ongoing armed conflict that has led to the death of more than 7000 people, with over half a million people internally displaced, with over 80 thousands seeking refuge in Nigeria, the question is, what exactly did the SDF mean by requesting for “funds to prepare the grounds for the elections”.
Well, I can authoritatively confirm to you that the SDF’s game plan is on two folds. While their justification for requesting the money is to reach out to and help councillors with the compilation of their files (which is currently being secretly done) their real ground game is even more selfish and devilish than many might have been second guessing.
The core of their plan involves using part of the money (200 million FCFA of the promised 1 Billion) received from the regime last week to buy off some of the restoration fighters on the ground including some cash strapped vulnerable “Generals” with the hope of killing the struggle in their different municipalities. The argument being presented to some of the fighters as I have gathered is that, switching sides is more lucrative now than waiting any longer, and that while they are being killed on the ground, “their so called leaders in the diaspora are embezzling and fighting over money raised for fighters facing the bullets and dying on the ground.
This will form the core of the SDF’s election campaign narrative on the ground. In order words, it is now evident that the election campaign will not be the usual fight to gain parliamentary seats (as their seats are already secured in the deal brokered with the regime) but rather, it will be a campaign to use the money and kill the people’s struggle. Anyone who listened to the SDF chairman in his recent interview will not be surprised with this revelations. If the fighters are smart, they will do exactly what the SDF preached back in the 90s, i.e do not reject any money brought to you. Take it and use it dutifully, in a manner motivated by the duty at hand. It is your stolen money as Fru Ndi was prone to saying back in the days.
What got me frustrated was the realization that while the local SDF councillors where being arm-twisted into toying the line with an ill-adopted and selfish 11th hour party policy, which will certainly endanger most of their lives given what is at stake, the party hierarchy has skilfully kept them in the dark on what their real motives for making the last minute U-turn is.
While most of the councillors I spoke to maintain a similar line of narrative that, though they are being arm-twisted into taking part in the sham municipal elections by the party, not participating in the elections will mean the CPDM will take over their councils. This is the lame argument some of the councillors have been brainwashed with, by the party while keeping the truth away from them. While one may be tempted to see reason in some of their claims the question is, how many councils are fully functional across the territory.
Upon listening to these councillors and the concerns they all expressed, I realised they were helpless and were being forced onto this self-destructive and suicidal mission by their party hierarchy. It was this point that I decided to speak to the SDF party leadership, with the hope of getting their own side of the story and to corroborate it with what the councillors were stating.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts with others, I was able to get the party top bra Hon. Mbah Ndam on the phone. I started by reminding him that just a few days ago, he was the one on screens advocating for a boycott of the both the municipal and legislative elections, what has suddenly changed at the 11th hour? He told me the party had a strategy that precipitate the U-turn and that it was confidential at the moment. He was adamant on that it was a strategy that will work, though refusing to reveal what the strategy was, and only telling me to wait for a few weeks.
Quizzed on the allegations from the councillors that they are being forced to stand in for the elections, which one would wonder how they would be held, if not for the fact that we now know a deal has been brokered. To this he said all councillors were adults and that none could be forced to do what they didn’t want to do, however he continued, any sitting councillor or mayor who decided not to comply with the party policy of going in for the elections will be replaced. This I reminded him was a subtle threat and strong enough to be considered as exerting due pressure on those councillors.
When I seeked for confirmation from him to corroborate what the councillors were giving as a party excuse (fear of losing seats and councils to the CPDM) to go in for the elections at a time when the regime had been cornered and was under enormous pressure to resolve and end the ongoing conflict, to this he asserted that the argument was too simplistic and the councillors were not privy of the party strategy as it was still confidential. This response sunk my jaws even further, as I wondered aloud how on earth a party could be making such a dangerous decision which was putting the lives of the councillors at risk, while keeping them in the dark on why they were endangering their lives.
I asked Hon. Mbah Ndam if it was ok to conclude that the SDF party was, by its actions was enabling and validating the ongoing genocide on Southern Cameroonians, as the world could righty interpret their participation in the elections as a sign of normalcy returning to the territory, when indeed the reality is such that he Mbah Ndam is unable to visit his constituency.
Again, his response to this was another question; what will the boycott achieve or how will the SDF’s none participation impact the struggle? I had a response for him on this one, as I told him the mere fact that his party boycotts the elections will pass a strong message and let the international community know that things are not getting any better and hence the urgent need for more steps to be taken to pressure the Yaounde regime onto the negotiation table.
It should be noted that as I write, the SDF party is actively compiling files and urging councillors to send forward copies of their ID cards and birth certificates so the party can then quietly complete the application process on their behalves.
One is tempted to ask if the 245 million FCFA that the SDF party has been receiving from the regime every year since its creation has not changed the lives of the average party Joe on the street, why will the party chose to sell away the people’s three years struggle for a Billion, at this crucial moment? On whose side is the SDF party? Are they standing with the people or against the people?
My humble advice to all concerned councillors and mayors being arm-twisted into this dangerous shady game is to ignore the party policy and stick with your people. Choose wisely. Do not feel threatened by a party leadership that is misleading you for selfish purposes, while keeping you in the dark. You and you alone will be the one to go back and meet the people, so choose wisely.
Call your mayor and councillors and give them wise advice.
17 November, 2019