This in a nutshell is the story of John Fru Ndi and the SDF. The SDF was created in 1990 largely in response to the desire of the people of the Southern Cameroons to be taken somewhere other than where they were in 1990.It received massive support in the constituency for which it was created. But along the way, the SDF stopped listening to the people of the Southern Cameroons by deciding on its own what is good for them. The result is that the people have abandoned the SDF and left it to pursue its own political goals whatever they are at the moment. If the leadership of the SDF looks back, they will discover that very few are stll following their leadership now..
When I look at the declaration of Akere Muna, it is apparent that he has two major problems.
The first problem that Akere faces is defining who « his people » are. Are his people the the Southern Cameroons, LRC, the Federal Republic of Cameroon or who? Those whom you consider « your people »‘are always the base constituency that is pushing you to serve them.
Secondly, when he has defined who « his people » are, he must ask himself whether he knows where they want to go and why he believes he is the right person to take them there through the platform of the AFP. That I’d why he must decide whether his base constituency is southern Cameroons, LRC or what.
I faced the same problem when I was interested in Etoudi palace in 2011. But the first thing that I had to decide in my mind was who are « my people ». My answer was , »Southern Cameroons ».
If The people of Southern Cameroons were my people, where do they want to go? This was an extremely difficult question to answer.
I articulated the doctrine of the « Tontine Union » by which we were living in Tontine Union between Southern Cameroons and LRC. This was a union between people not bound by a union treaty. But governed by some principles amongst which was the idea that, as on a njangi house, the presidency must move from one region to another.
I therefore concluded that in 2004, it was the turn of the Anglophone and Biya’s decision to amend the constitution so that he can run again in ,2011 was a usurpation of the Tontine rights of the Anglophones.
Based on this reasoning, I decided to pitch a campaign for the election in 2011 by laying claim to the turn of the Anglophones for Etoudi Palace for the entire Tontine Union.
That is why approached the CPDM and the SDF with the idea that Fru Ndi and Paul Biya with the idea that they should jointly back me to be the CPD/SDF candidate in the 2011 presidential elections. But guess what?
Fru Ndi and Paul Biya laughed at me until I felt sorry for myself. They called me small boy « sans domicile fixe » because I did not have a political party. My SDF colleagues of yesterday asked me to produce my valid membership card. I got the message.
When the date of the elections was announced, Fru Ndi and Biya were again candidates and the results are now the story of a broken record.
In 2015, I officially announced my intention to run for Etoudi Palace in 2018. This time I spent 12 months preparing a political economic policy reform platform for a new country which I proposed to call: « United Republic of Kameroon ».
I genuinely believed that that this political strategy will serve the interests of my base constituency, the Southern Cameroons. I also launched a new party to be known as UNIKAM. I still continued to believe that we were still in the Tontine Union and the cardinal principle of rotation was valid. But in 2016, everything collapsed.
In 2016 the common law lawyers took to the streets to protest against the linguistic infringement of the francophones into the common law judicial systems in Southern Cameroons.
Before long the teacher’s association followed suit with a boycott against the infiltration of francophones into the English-speaking educational system in Southern Cameroons. The strikes degenerated onto shutdown until the confrontation climaxed on December 20 with clash during which the police opened fire killing several unarmed youth in Bamenda.
At the same time the female hostels in the University of Buea were raided by policemen who brutalized and raped young girls before loading them off on trucks. The strike leaders were arrested for internment, the internet was shutdown and the Anglophone crisis became an international scandal
It became very clear to me that the Tontine Union was in turmoil. I dramatized the crisis in the form of a tug of war between the Boulous of the South region who were refusing to all per the Presidency to rotate to the Anglophones. I also caricatured this tug of war as being so intensely contested that the rope was about to snap.
The reason why December 2016 is important is because it marked the collapse of the Tontine Union which had been in existence since 1961. This was particularly significant for me because as a politician whose base constituency was Southern Cameroons, I could no longer aspire to the Presidency in Etoudi. That chapter was now over because the people of my constituency were resolutely turned away from further links with LRC.
I announced the formation of a new political party to be known as the Briscam Freedom Party. But when the various pressure groups net Lagos to merge into Scacuf, I was chosen to head the economy group. I immediately accepted the assignment as a call to duty by the Southern Cameroons. That is why in the space of just 12 months, I have been changed from an advocate of the United Republic of Kameroon to a restorationist.
Finally on September 22 2017, the Takumbeng women pulled so hard on the tug of war rope that it finally snapped ushering in Ambazonia day on 1st October 2017.
The reason why this narrative is important is because if you want to be a political leader, you have to decide who is your base constituency because they are the ones you are going to lead.
Coming back to the candidacy of Akere Muna, his first and principal challenge is to define his base constituency. It is clear that his base constituency is not southern Cameroons. As a scion of the Muna family that went to the Bilingual Grammar School in Yaounde and has lived and practiced law in Yaounde he would rather that people forgot his Southern Cameroons origins.
He also cultivates the image of a corporate lawyer (not a trial or defense lawyer). He flaunts his closeness to Paul Biya. This is what Akere Muna is bringing into the political arena as a candidate.
His lack of a definable base constituency is evident from the fact that he considers federalism to be the best solution for Cameroon. In espousing this position, Akere is actually speaking for himself. The only problem is that there is no political constituency in the whole of Cameroon which actually embraces the notion of federalism which collapsed in 1972 because no one could figure out how to make the whole idea work.
In a nutshell, Akere Muna will find his candidacy in the same situation where I was in 2011. In that year the media described me as a political vagabond « sans domicile fixe ». Akere Muna will be a candidate of the AFP. But he may still go down as a politician without a constituency.
But honestly I think he could have done a better job of timing than announcing his candidacy at the moment when the news coming in from Mbengwi is that as many as 500 youths have been reportedly abducted from Mbengwi, the Constituency of Wilfred Tassang and taken to an unknown destination.
©October 2017; Nfor N Susungi
Chairman Briscam Freedom Party