Public eye started opening on CPDM—SDF romance when Gregoire Owona, CPDM Assistant Secretary General visited Fru Ndi. Though could also be an ordinary visit, public affairs commentators see the visit as rapprochement. Other CPDM top-notch militants, including former secretary general and minister of territorial Administration, Rene Emmanuel Sadi have been to Ntarikon.
When the late Clement Ngwasiri and Ben Muna allegedly wanted to tear the SDF apart, the CPDM government didn’t allow it. Meanwhile they were quick to split UNDP and UPC into factions.
Again when Fru Ndi’s wife collapsed in Yaounde, same Owona was dispatched to the then Omnisport residence of the SDF chairman with tens of millions in what political pundits see as an evidence of rapprochement. According to Chronicle newspaper, the balance (after Fru Ndi’s wife died) was used to buy flowers whereas under normal circumstances, the SDF chairman could have deposited it back into the public treasury.
Then Minister Delegate at the Presidency in Charge of Relations with Assemblies, Gregoire Owona told French language CRTV magazine program “Dimanche Midi” that although Biya and Fru Ndi had never met, the SDF chairman had secrete dealings with the Biya regime.
It is alleged that SDF vice president, Joshua Osih used to take care of presidential trips. We did not succeed in our attempt to get him comment on this. However, as an aeronautic engineer, he could have been doing (or perhaps still doing) the job any other Cameroonian would do but those with political lenses see it as an evidence of growing rapprochement between the regime and the leading opposition.
However, the turning point was the famous handshake between the CPDM national chairman and president of the Republic, Paul Biya and the SDF chairman in Bamenda in December 2010. Since then Fru Ndi was invited to Agric Show in Ebolowa in 2011, the Unity Palace every end of year and was handed a car from the Presidency when he had an accident on his way to Yaounde. The car is still in his keeping with the “carte grisse” of PRC.
Again a visit of the director of the Civil Cabinet, Martin Belinga Eboutou to Fru Ndi’s Yaounde residence when the SDF chieftain threatened to come out with machetes to stop the organisation of the senatorial elections in the country has been seen by many observers as a sign of rapprochement.
This is what Fru Ndi told a sister publication prior to the senatorial elections, “The SDF on our own will make sure that these elections don’t take place. I am going to tell my boys to sharpen their machetes. I think we’ve had enough in this country. It is very unfair for the Cameroonian people. I think they want war; we are not going in for war. We are taking the machetes to make sure those elections don’t take place.”
And after the visit of the director of civil cabinet, the chairman immediately changed his stance. “I have told the SDF militants in particular that we are having discussions with Mr. Biya. And these discussions, he sent his emissary to talk to us and looking at the senatorial election which is the upper house, we’ve discussed not only at the level with Mr. Biya but also at the level of the party. And we’ve come to a conclusion that we should participate in this elections not withstanding,” the chairman said.
Many observers have been suspecting that president Biya’s emissary brought some “brown envelops” to the chairman, what NewsWatch cannot independently confirm given the sensitivity of the issue and lack of adequate evidence.
Also, Chronicle newspaper reported that the SDF was not sure of having a single senator anywhere nationwide. “But CPDM chairman and head of state, President Biya fabricated pretext” so that the SDF could have 14 senators from the Adamawa and West regions.
How the SDF managed to pick seven senators from the Adamawa is still a strange surprise to many given that the nationwide party as it is claimed had very little or no following in the Adamawa at the time of the election. We cannot independently confirm reports that the CPDM party used its “good friend” the SDF to disappoint “stubborn ally”, the NUDP in the Adamawa.
The SDF emissary to the Adamawa mission who is a Member of Parliament did not accept our request for a comment on the issue.