By Yerima Kini Nsom
The Chairman of the opposition SDF party, Ni John Fru Ndi, has chided all those who made derogatory comments against him for dancing with Madam Crescence Owona, the wife of the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Gregoire Owona, during a funeral at the latter’s residence in Yaounde recently.
He made the censure during a party organised to celebrate his 81st birthday at his residence in Yaounde on Thursday, July 7.
Reacting to the avalanche of negative comments that his detractors emitted when the video went viral on social media platforms, Fru Ndi made it clear that he did not have any apology to tender to all those who think that he did not have a right to dance with his friend’s wife. To further challenge his detractors, he still took the visiting Madam Cressence Owona along as he nodded to the rhythms of the Mbaglum traditional dance with a majestic choreography.
“I have just danced Mbaglum with the wife of Gregoire Owona. He said Madam Owona had come to represent her husband who could not come because of pressing State duties. If I have another opportunity, I will dance with her again and again,” Fru Ndi said. According to him, those who wanted him to be treating Gregoire Owona as an enemy for the simple reason that he is of the ruling CPDM party, got it all wrong because politics is not enmity.
Hear him: “It should be registered that if Gregoire Owona has any problem and needs my presence, I will be there. Gregoire is my friend, he helped me so much when my wife collapsed here in Yaounde. He is the one who stood his ground and, in less than two days, this woman was on her way to the Geneva Medical Centre. When she died, Gregoire was in Bamenda to mourn with me.” On account of this, the SDF chieftain said those who say he should not go to sympathise with Gregoire Owona when he loses a relative, are wicked. He said his friendship with the Minister transcends their geopolitical differences. He said he would not hesitate if a friend from the CPDM invites him to an occasion.
Fru Ndi commented tersely on the crisis currently rocking his party. He said: “I just feel sorry for those who are giving me hard times within the party because I have made it abundantly clear that by next year, I will retire. I sent some young people to the field to organise the party and bring in young people. But they are some old people in the party who are blocking these young people from coming in.” He told the young SDF militants that he has done his assignment and it was up to them to decide whether to allow the old guard to destroy them and the party or not. The SDF Chair boasted that he is the only party leader who never went into the Council, the National Assembly and the Senate to fight with other militants for positions. The Chairman regretted that the young men at the time that he sent to these State institutions are the very ones who are giving him an ultimatum to organise an extraordinary convention and leave immediately. He insisted that the party’s convention can only take place next year as earlier planned.
Rejoicing the fact that he has clocked 81 years on earth, Fru Ndi said: “I keep thanking God daily. So, from midnight today, I will be thanking him for today and begging him to give me another day.” Fru Ndi said the fact that he was celebrating 81 years, was a big favour from God because, most of his age mates were no longer alive. He said he will be celebrating his 82nd birthday next year if God decrees that it should happen. He said the sumptuous birthday party was organised by his children, including some SDF MPs and officials.
“I contributed little or nothing. If the children can do this for me, then, I can say that I am a happy man, I am a blessed man. I thank them”, he said.
One of the personalities that attracted so much attention at Fru Ndi’s birthday party was the former Secretary-General at the Presidency of the Republic, Prof Titus Edzoa. While welcoming him and his wife, Fru Ndi said his friends cut across the political rainbow of the country and that he will never allow dirty politics or politics of hatred and animosity to destroy him.