By Macdonald Ayang, November 23, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF party, John Fru Ndi, is mad, accusing security forces of attempting to kill him following an attack on his Ntarinkon residence on Tuesday, in the wake of violent protests that rocked the city of Bamenda at the start of the week.
In a statement issued yesterday, Fru Ndi disclosed that heavily-armed security officers descended on his residence Tuesday afternoon, pounding it with tear gas, and that not even pleas by his son on the soldiers to stop their offensive, yielded any fruits.
Fru Ndi said the attempt on his life came just hours after he had gone out to quell flaring tempers of irate demonstrators who had taken to the streets of the North West regional capital Monday to protest the bad state of inner city roads as well as alarming rents paid for market stalls in the city.
“I made a reconnaissance tour of the town at 5 p.m. following the events of Monday 21 November 2016. Roadblocks were mounted all across town and the population was resolute about fighting for what they believed in. I prevailed on them to protest peacefully. This call was generally heeded to though there were spotted instances of destruction. The total breakdown of peace and calm was only later provoked by trigger-happy officers heavily deployed with orders to shoot and kill unarmed protesters. These officers shot live rounds, tons of gas canisters and used water canons on peaceful protesters and students” recounted Fru Ndi.
About the attempt on his life, the 75-year old narrated: “To make matters worse, once again, I became a target of their calculated designs to eliminate me. On Tuesday 22nd November 2016 at about 1:30pm, some members of the Armed Forces moved to my residence, pounding it with gas canisters and live ammunitions; despite my sons attempt to stop them from shooting, they almost killed him.”
Fru Ndi said Tuesday’s incident was not the first by forces of the regime on his life. He recounted how in ‘the early 90’s, helicopters heavily shelled my residence; several shots were fired at me in Nkwen and my car burnt down by members of the Armed Forces. I was subject to a House Arrest and watched helplessly as my mother was brutalized, kicked in the stomach and dragged in the gutter.”
He contimued; “In Bafoussam, I was shot in the leg and heavily teargassed. In Yaounde, my car was ambushed and bashed by water canons to knock it off a cliff. We managed to escape and sought refuge in the Dutch Embassy. During the Bepanda 9 protests, water canons hit me with the intention of having me killed. I have been attacked by members of the Armed Forces and Administration all over the country in places like Nkolfong, Pouma, Mbanga etc, during political rallies. I have been insulted and called a Biafran by the administration. Despite all these attempts and provocative acts, I have remained steadfast in my quest for a peaceful evolution of our nation mainly because of the fragility of this country.”
Fru Ndi, in his lengthy statement, also lamented the brutality of security forces on unarmed protesters in Bamenda. He said: “When a people who have the right to protest and ask for better from their government are rather met with Marshal Law and brutality, they are left with nothing else but total disobedience, protest and violence. The escalating tide of events in this city is caused entirely by the rather boorish, hawkish and brute response of the forces of law and order.”
He added; “It is such unchecked behaviour that threatens the peace we work for on a daily basis. It is that behaviour that the people of Bamenda and Cameroonians at large are tired of and want change from. This is the story of Cameroon today. From North to South, East to West, there is total discontent and lack of trust in public authorities and the institutions that govern them. There has never been a more defining moment in the history of this nation than now.”
Meanwhile, the SDF Parliamentary Group yesterday also released a statement condemning the brutality of regime forces on the demonstrators in Bamenda as well as the attempt by same on the life of their party Chairman, Fru Ndi.
“We are today most disturbed with the happenings in Bamenda and the North-West region in general where the forces of law and order have launched an indiscriminate attack on its children and civilian population. They are being killed, maimed, wounded and brutalized and
teargas is being sprayed from armed helicopters and water cannons throughout the town and its environs. Contingents of troops have been brought in and are firing live bullets on the population” read part of the statement signed by SDF Parliamentary Group leader, Hon. Joseph Banadzem.
About the attempt on their party boss, the SDF MPs wrote: “Most disheartening and disquieting is the fact that these attacks have multiplied and several canisters of teargas and live bullets have been launched into the residence of Ni John Fru Ndi, the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front. This constitutes a clear attempt on his life and that of his family.”