Joshua Osih, vice-president of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, has said the message of the party’s Chairman, John Fru Ndi, was misunderstood by the media and the public.
Speaking to Journal du Cameroun, Osih states; “We said that we cannot afford to participate in the celebrations of May 20 and the party’s upcoming 27th anniversary on May 26. We never said we will boycott”.
According to the SDF Member of Parliament, “Boycotting means trying to punish the party. We are not saying we are boycotting. We are simply not celebrating. The UNC did the same thing on 20 May, 1984. At the time, the militants did not celebrate May 20 after the attempted coup d’état. So we are not celebrating does not mean boycott. It means we are against”.
“We are simply saying that we cannot afford to go and celebrate while we have not solved the fundamental problems of the nation. The ongoing crisis is on its way to becoming a blank academic year for our children. We have people who are in prison just because they wanted to improve the state of the country. For all these reasons we say that we have nothing to celebrate, “Osih said.
John Fru Ndi, SDF chairman had earlier signed an internal circular letter to all party members in which he stated that the party will not celebrate this year’s national day.
Fru Ndi had blamed his party’s stance on President Biya’s inability to provide solutions to the pertinent problems being posed by respectful trade unions and associations, his willingness to provide Cameroonians with an inclusive electoral code and general government inertia which he says is at the core of today’s deep socio-political crisis that rocks the very foundation of the country.
The Chairman had also picked holes with the government’s nonchalance in resolving the Anglophone crisis. Fru Ndi’s letter to militants had aroused many reactions especially from militants of the ruling CPDM. Most of them wondered why the position to boycott whereas they could have just made their grievances heard while marching on May 20.
Since then, other political parties like Kah Walla’s Cameroon People Party, Ayah Paul’s People Action Party, amongst others have stated their various positions to boycott the May 20 celebrations.