Reporters covering the Elective Convention of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon and political observers in the country were left bemused when the emissary of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) to the Convention, Gregoire Owona, clad in his party paraphernalia emerged at the Bamenda Congress Hall.
The arrival of the CPDM emissary, who doubles as Cameroon’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, accompanied by the Governor of the North West Region, Adolf Lele L’Afrique, has let tongue wagging caselessly .
The social media has gone awash with photographs and comments about the reception accorded the CPDM bigwig.
A journalist captured the scene in these words: “Political Romance at the Congress Hall.” Apparently to him, the arrival of Owana at an important Convention like that of the SDF depicts the political romance between the SDF and the CPDM.
Commenting on the reporter’s post, Sen M F Charlie alleged that the SDF has always been a concubine to the CPDM.
Another keen observer, Leslie Ngwa asserted that: “The CPDM usually invites the SDF at their conventions. It’s just that people don’t usually see that as the news and hardly take photos. Politics is not war…neither is it hatred. Gregoire made a speech at the Presbyterian Church during John Fru Ndi’s 70th birthday. In principle, cordial relationships between opposition personalities is not unique to Cameroon. If the relationship helps improve our situation it is good, if not – it is a liability.”
But Courage Formou Courage feels rather confused: “Now we are confused!!! There are occasions and instances where these images would be appropriate. So is CPDM a guest party to a main rival party’s convention? It is like seeing McCain in a Democrat party convention, wrapped in republican colours. Image get power,” he writes
“Courage Formou Courage have you been following up events in this country closely or you see them and just ignore them and are interested only in events that you can use in stirring controversy and discredit the SDF. Whether you like it or not Fru Ndi is the one political leader who has shown great leadership throughout this struggle. He has been at Etoudi several times to present this matter to Biya one on one. He has mounted unimaginable pressure on the international community for the release of Agbor Balla and the rest. Him and his Parliamentarian and Senators visits them in jail on monthly bases while some of us spend our time on Facebook criticising him. Recently he was the first to mobilise resources to visit refugees in Nigeria. He has ceased every opportunity to condemn the killings and bloodshed by the military. Now I see what Boh Herbert meant when he said Fru Ndi has gotten to a point where whatever he does good or bad people will always find reason to chastise him. …”
The reactions are as diverse as the people who have them. Whatever the case, Owona’s presence at the SDF Convention in CPDM regalia has not gone unnoticed, but the meaning given to his presence at the convention depends on which political divide either the reporter of political commentator is looking at.