SDF Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, ‘Goes Home’ as Grand Cordon of the Cameroon Order of Merit

By Bakah Derick

The Chairman of Cameroon’s frontline opposition political party; the Social Democratic Front (SDF) has been buried in his native village Baba II in Santa Subdivision, Mezam Division North West Region. Late Ni John Fru Ndi who died on June 12 with over 33 years at the helm of the SDF was buried on Saturday 29 July 2023 after being raised to the Dignity of the Grand Cordon of the Cameroon Order of Merit. 
To decorate the Chairman posthumously as representative of the President of the Republic was the Vice Prime Minister, Jean Kuete. 

The decoration was part of an official funeral decreed for Ni John Fru Ndi by longtime political rival President Paul Biya. 

The official funeral according to Cameroon legislation is organized and conducted by the government to honor the life and service of  prominent public figures. The funeral also pays tribute to the individual’s contribution to society and the country. Apart from the decoration were lying-in-state, military honors and a procession to the burial site.  
Speaking at every public event during the three-day funeral, SDF party officials appreciated the Chairman for his commitment to giving direction to the SDF; a party he founded and launched in May 1990. They have all promised to keep the party on the frontline position. 

The ruling Cameroon’s People Democratic Movement (CPDM) had representation at the event but made no statements officially. The leadership of the UPC party scored chairman high for promoting democratic values and peace in the country. 

Speaking in Baba II, the family of the late SDF Guide announced the creation of a Fru Ndi Memorial Foundation in the coming days with the objective to promote peace and other values their father stood for. 
The Late Chairman had a three-day funeral featuring an inter-religious at the Yaoundé Multipurpose Sports complex in the evening of Thursday 27, July 2023 and a wake in his Yaoundé residence. The funeral convoy left the nation’s capital on Friday 28 and made stops in Makenene, Bafoussam, Mbouda before arriving Bamenda for a rally at the Commercial Avenue, a Church service in Presbyterian Church (PC) Musang and a wake keep in his Ntarikon residence before burial on Saturday in his native village Baba II. 
Ni John Fru Ndi’s Fact Sheet

Born: 7 July 1941 in Baba II Cameroon
Attended elementary school in Baforchu and Santa
1957: Studied and worked in Nigeria
1966:  Was in Business including a bookshop (Ebibi Bookshop)
1973: Lost his Wife Susan Fri Ndi
1979: President of PWD and led team to Cup of Cameroon Final 
1987: Elected Lions Club International Bamenda Branch President
1988: Ended tenure as PWD and Lions Club International Bamenda Branch President
1988: Contested parliamentary elections primary in the now Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) in Mezam
1990: Founded and launched the Social Democratic Front (SDF) in Bamenda
1992: Elected SDF National Chairman during convention in Bamenda 
1992: Contested and narrowly lost the Presidential elections in Cameroon 
1992: Placed under house arrest till October same year
1993: Attended Inauguration of US President Bill Clinton
1997: Led SDF and others in a boycott of Presidential elections 
1999: Re-elected party Chairman 
2004: Lost Presidential Elections
2004: Lost his second wife Rose Fru Ndi and created foundation in her honour 
2011: Lost Presidential Elections 
2013: Contested and lost Senatorial Elections
2018: House burnt by those his party called separatists. 
2019: Abducted in April on his way to Kumbo to bury his party member of parliament Hon Banadzem and in September from his residence in Ntarikon 
Died: 12 June 2023 Age 81

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