|Posted by SDF Party Cameroon/ Le Partie SDF Cameroun on May 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM|
We Shall Attend SDF Reconciliation Forum – Maïdadi Saidou
Former 1st National Vice Chairman of the SDF, Saidou Maidadi Yaya, who banged the door on the party after the twin elections of 2002, has announced, in a recent exclusive interview with The Post, that he and colleagues who resigned with him will attend the announced Reconciliation Forum of the SDF. But, Maidadi, who is also Chairman of the AFP party, said they would attend only if certain preconditions are met. Excerpts courtesy The Post newspaper:
The Post: What is the situation of the Alliance des Forces Progressistes, AFP, party?
We have held our National Council meeting in Douala and elected the first National Executive Bureau, which, in turn, has worked on the organisation of provincial structures. At the same time, grassroots structures have started seeing the light of day. Implantation of the party is not going on at the same speed all over. That is normal. But, in all the five regions having a Vice President, the organisation at the grassroots is going on well. That is why, in the Grand North, and, specifically, in the North Province, the AFP has not less than 60 functional cells. Currently, teams are on the field in the Adamawa and Far North for the same task. In the Littoral, Centre and West Provinces, divisional structures are already in place.
You seem to have lost your political prominence since you resigned from the SDF. How do you feel?
You should understand that, before joining the SDF I had a sufficiently remarkable past. I joined the SDF with a name – MAIDADI – one of the most prominent families in Garoua that has equally served this country. Maidadi, my father, was the first black SDO of the Kaélé Division in 1960. He later occupied the position of Governor and retired as the Minister in charge of Relations with the Assembly after 57 years of meritorious services. I joined the SDF with a culture of opposition that started in 1977, coupled with political training and experience as evidenced by my militating in the French Communist Party, the Revolutionary Communist League of Alain Krivine and the Federation of Students of Black Francophone Africa that was led at the time by Alpha Conde of Guinea. I entered the SDF with training and experience in trade unionism since my time in France. It is because of convictions and well-defined principles that I joined the SDF. It is for the same reasons that I quit.
What really caused your resignation?
It is still early for me to give the real reasons for my quitting the SDF. Clarifications will come soon, perhaps at the Reconciliation Forum, if it actually holds. The running of the party after the twin elections was just the last straw that broke the camel’s back. But you should understand that Mr. Fru Ndi had taken the party back to the Northwest and he stopped all democratic debate within the party. Voting had stopped in the party for years.
Don’t you think it would have been better for you to stay in the party and fight to change what is wrong?
When we were still in the SDF that did not imply there were no problems! We tried to fight from within to try to advance things. But when the National Chairman (because he is the Chief Executive) takes the liberty to cancel a decision of NEC that did not please him through a press release, it had to be understood that there was nothing else that could be done within the party. I had to quit to avoid becoming another Brutus.
How did your resignation help the democratic struggle?
Within the SDF, it helped a lot, at least, for some time because Mr. Fru Ndi relaxed his determination to eliminate a number of party officials whom he thought had become too powerful, and who were not playing the stooge. Our resignation also caused discussions in NEC to be more lively and exciting even though it is more a formality than any other thing. Out of the party, by initiating the rebirth of the opposition, we have jolted opposition leaders out of their stupor and lethargy to finally accept to come together once again.
You got some FCFA 29 million for the campaign of the 2002 twin elections. What is your reaction to allegations that you embezzled the money?
The financial report I made after the elections shows clearly how this money was used. The money was spent in four main areas: the compiling of files of all the candidates (because it is the party that took charge); campaign logistics, notably functioning and hiring of vehicles; allowances paid to militants who represented the party at polling stations (FCFA 3000 per militant making FCFA 6000 per polling station). All these expenses were made in line with the provisional budget established long before the elections. I submitted three copies of this report to the party.
What is it you really have against Fru Ndi?
Strictly speaking, I don’t have anything against Mr. Fru Ndi. When I was in the SDF as his Deputy and very close to him, I was the most loyal servant, collaborating honestly with the boss to the extent of accepting, at certain moments, to being used. But that was normal because, for one thing, loyalty is a family culture and, for another, our vision, defined at the beginning, was maintained. The day I realised that the train was intentionally being derailed, I decided to quit. My former boss has never come to terms with my departure. He seems to be saying that he does not understand my departure because we were very close and he had a lot of confidence in me. We are in politics and, to me, politics means conviction and commitment and not subterfuge and manipulation. It should be understood that, even in marriages, there is divorce. And it is not because there is a divorce between a couple that one of the spouses should try to kill the other.
Would you have boycotted Parliament if you won in your constituency? How would a boycott have helped the present struggle for change?
I had a very privileged position in the SDF: 1st Vice National Chairman, Chairman of the Finance Commission, influential member of the Strategic Commission and the Advisory Council and Adviser to the National Chairman: a virtual Dauphin. That did not prevent me from dumping all that and leaving because my conscience could no longer tolerate the new orientation of the party. Posts don’t interest me. What interests me is my commitment to make Cameroon a State of law where the people would have their full sovereignty. It is the determination to make Cameroon a country of liberty, justice and solidarity. The boycott of Parliament was going to help us protect the Presidential election. With 42 MPs and more than 60 councils, we still could not save the SDF from the electoral debacle in 2002 and you want to tell me that it is with half of those MPs and after losing the big councils that we would be able to do that? Who are we fooling? Have we forgotten that the problems of the SDF started when we started getting into State institutions?
In the context of the rebirth of the opposition, is reconciliation in the SDF imperative?
Reconciliation in the Coalition cannot be overemphasized. Today, no party alone – and this applies to party leaders as well – cannot pretend to solve the problems of Cameroon and Cameroonians…
Are you going to attend the Reconciliation Forum?
We are going to attend the Reconciliation Forum in order not to be considered intolerant, egoistic and diversionary. We are especially going to attend in honour of the countless militants and sympathizers of the SDF who still believe in the SDF and us and because we still consider the SDF our child. But to avoid possible manipulation by the Fru Ndi camp as well as those who are opposed to him from within, we are airing this clarification to serve as evidence. After this clarification, if they still believe we can contribute effectively to this Forum, let them invite us officially so that we can work on the preliminaries.
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