In Cameroon, the opponent, for three decades, of Paul Biya, John Fru Ndi, has just died. The founder of the Social Democratic Front did everything to fight the Cameroonian president.
This Monday, the opponent of Paul Biya, President of Cameroon, John Fru Ndi died. Aged 81, he had planned to retire from political life during the congress, in a month, of the Social Democratic Front (SDF). John Fru Ndi was a strong adversary for the Senegalese president, both at the polls and in the street. It is now Joshua Osih, his successor at the head of the SDF, who will have the heavy task of teasing the power in place.
The death of John Fru Ndi is, however, an opportunity to pay a real tribute to this English-speaking bookseller who, in the early 1990s, came to oppose Paul Biya. If he ran in the 1980s in elections on behalf of the Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDPC), he participated in the creation of the SDF. But from its foundation, in May 1990, the power repressed its opponents.
But John Fru Ndi symbolizes the strength of this opposition. So much so that, in 1992, he finished second in the presidential election. It was the first time that an opponent could run for the highest office. Already at the time, and this will never stop, he demanded the departure of Paul Biya. While he claims to have won, John Fru Ndi decides not to run in 1997, to boycott the election.
He will finally present himself tirelessly against Paul Biya, in 2004 or even in 2011. But in recent years, the opponent has lost his luster. Having lost his radicalism, he wanted to dialogue with power, which his base refused. Nevertheless, John Fru Ndi remained the only credible opponent of Paul Biya for three decades. Ironically, while Cameroon celebrates this man, Paul Biya is considering running for president in 2025.