A story is trending in the net titled “A SORRY TALE IF TRUE: Fru Ndi Confronts Asonganyi, Refuses to Shake Hands, Says Fact in His Book Are False.”
My book “Cameroon: Difficult Choices in a Failed Democracy,” was effectively launched in Bamenda on August 19. Judged by the standards of what happened in Yaounde, Douala and Buea, it was also a very successful event.
Ni John Fru Ndi attended the launch and refused to shake hands with me when I went to greet him; I had a warm handshake or embrace with every other person around him.Ni John FruNdi was given the opportunity by the Chairman of the occasion (Dr. Ngwanyam) to unveil the books at the start of the launching proper – this was the decision of the Chair of the occasion not mine, although I found nothing wrong with the decision.
Ni John Fru Ndi used the statement he made before unveiling the book to make all types of disparaging statements about my person and my family! He probably felt that since issues about his wife – the late first lady of my former party – were discussed in my book, he had the liberty to talk about my late sister who was not even a member of the party. He unveiled the book alright, but took no copy.
My sister Emefua died on 19 August 2001 at the Mary Health of Africa (MHA) hospital Nveuh (Fontem). I was far away in Yaounde when she died so her remains were preserved in the mortuary of MHA. A week before she had to be buried, I went home and spent time making necessary preparations. On the day of the burial we removed the remains at 8:00 a.m. and laid them in state in our compound which is a 15-minutes’ walk from MHA, for some three hours; the remains were buried at about 10:30 a.m. and we kept the celebration of her life for a future date. After that we entertained the population; a majority of the population left after that except members of my family with whom I had to hold a family meeting at 7:00 p.m. I left the compound briefly around 2:00 p.m. with Hon. Ndobegang and we went and sat at the veranda of Pub Sengalaise, an off-license bar of an SDF militant which shared boundaries with the Constituency Office of Hon. Ndobegang which was by the roadside; we were sharing a drink. It is when we were sitting there that the cars of Ni John FruNdi appeared where we were sitting – I had no information that he was coming (as he confirmed in his statement at the book launch). Since the drinks for my evening meeting had been packed in Hon. Ndobegang’s car by three SDF Vanguards in uniform that accompanied us to the place, we visited Hon. Ndobegang’s Constituency Office briefly and then drove back to the compound. While my wife made arrangements for their entertainment, he made a brief statement of greetings to my family members and others that were still in the compound. They were then entertained and we went to the graveside of my sister where we were led in prayers by I think Dr. Azefor (RIP) or Mr. Atekwana; they left for Bamenda immediately after that.
When Fru Ndi took the microphone at my book launch he said the following among other things: “I left Bamenda and went with a delegation to the funeral of Asonganyi’s mad sister and waited for over 45minutes without seeing him. When I asked they told me he had gone to buy drinks. When I went to see him he was drinking a bottle of beer while the sister was lying on a bamboo bed and I asked Asonganyi if he found no SDF militant who could handle those errands for him.”
Fru Ndi had made a similar statement at a NEC meeting in 2005 when we had some misunderstandings. I was embarrassed but I did not care to respond. This time around, he repeated the statement in hopes that I would react and my reaction would probably lead to a disruption of my book launch. Since I was the host of the event, I did not react.
My sister’s remains “lying on a bamboo bed” is a reference to a woman of Fru Ndi’s fertile imagination! I do not think that any family in Lebialem still uses bamboo beds; talk less of laying your dear one in state on a bamboo bed! My sister was lying quietly in her grave when he arrived in our compound.
In his interview I published as Appendix II in the book that was being launched, Rtd Justice Nyo’Wakai (RIP) concluded as follows:
“Let the world judge us by our language and conduct. It is a sad experience that at the highest hierarchy of the Party we find people who are strangers to the truth.
God save the SDF and Cameroon.”
God save the SDF and Cameroon.”
Mr. Fru Ndi should know one thing: He is the one seeking to be President of Cameroon; for now, I am just an ordinary citizen trying my little best to ensure that our country is governed on a rational basis.