A new chapter in Cameroon‘s political history
By Christopher Ambe Shu
For those who have monitored the political history of Cameroon since the rebirth of multi-party politics in 1990, with the launching, on May 26, 1990, of the Social Democratic Party (SDF), Cameroon’s Leading opposition party, headed by Ni John Fru Ndi, it had never happened- until December 10, 2010 in Bamenda:
President Paul Biya, who is chairman of the ruling CPDM since its creation in 1985, and who has ruled Cameroon for about 28 years had his first handshake and face-to- face chat with opposition leader, Ni john Fru Ndi,20 years after the launching of the SDF.
|Fru Ndi & President Biya:face-to-face for the frist time|
The two political leaders, probably suspicious of each other or due to sheer arrogance exhibited by one or both of them stayed apart against public opinion that they should meet and dialogue for the of country’s socio-economic and political growth.
Although apart for decades, both leaders would claim that they were all fighting for the interest of
Both accused each other of not wanting to engage in meaningful dialogue.
But Fru Ndi took advantage of President Biya's planned visit to Bamenda(headquarters of the SDF) last week for celebrations of the 50th anniversary of
's Armed Forces to announce that his intention to meet the Cameroonian President(and even to offer him lunch). Cameroon
And it finally happened, to the surprise of the entire
and foreign observers, that on December 10, 2010(Human Rights Day), both men met, shook hands, discussed, and cracked jokes at the Presidential Residence Up -Station in Bamenda. Cameroon
"The Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, who was accompanied by a very important delegation... met the Head of State. Ni John FRU NDI and President Paul BIYA had their first ever face- to -face encounter and handshake after nearly twenty years of confrontation on the political scene of the country. After they had intimate discussions for over thirty minutes, the delegation accompanying him was ushered in to greet the Head of State”, according to a report posted on the website of the Presidency of the Republic.
John FRU NDI was quoted as saying after the meeting: "It was a nice meeting and a good opportunity to dialogue. We have come together and started the dialogue, but because of constraint of time, we will continue the dialogue. We discussed frankly and he repeated the statement he made on
24, so the discussions will continue." France
Fru Ndi and Biya met outside Yaoundé, political capital of
Cameroon but many political pundits say there is need for another encounter in Etoudi, the official residence and office of the president of , which positions the SDF has been fighting all this while to occupy Cameroon