Forever Chairman

Dr. Joseph MFONYAM

July 27, 2023
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Tribute to Chairman, H.E. John Ni Fru Ndi

A friend and brother: Chairman, my friend, my brother! We have walked quite a road together since the days you were a bookseller at Ebibi Bookshop. We have prayed together and you have been at my side during difficult moments, especially at the funerals of my brother and my mother. You took time from a NEC meeting just to accompany and comfort me and my family from morning till late in the afternoon celebrating the life of my mother. I can still hear you as you spoke during the funeral service. You have been a true friend and a brother; and as the Bible says, A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Prov 17:170).
A man of faith, courageous and caring: Chairman, Fru Ndi was a man of faith. He made sure God was honoured and worshipped in his household. Family worship was a regular spiritual exercise. Once when I visited him during the when he was the target of many enemies, especially when he faced the danger of being killed, he bared his arms and said to me, “Look at my arms, there is no cutting, no mark or scarification! God is my protector.” Whether at home or on his campaign trail, he trusted the promises of God in His Word, as it is written: The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore (Ps 121:7-8). It was because he trusted God and loved justice that he was so courageous, and so could challenge people, battle tanks and whole armies, as he fought for the rights of the oppressed. He cared for the people and those around him.

A generous and just leader: He never ate alone, food was on his table, no matter the number of people, and everyone ate. As a leader, he was like Nehemiah, in the Bible, who said: The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. Moreover, there were at my table 150 men, Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us (Neh 5:15, 17).

From humble beginnings to a leader among the great: He was born among the poor of the poorest in the village, but by hard work and diligence he rose to power, and so felt for and resonated with the people. And his aim was to give to the people what they deserved. He, as a good democrat and just leader, wanted power to devolve to the people: Hence the moto and slogan of his party, the Social Democratic Front: POWER TO THE PEOPLE! And so it came to pass with him as the Bible says: He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people (Ps 113:7-8).

His last days: I visited him when he was sick and was in intensive care at the General Hospital, Yaounde; and when I held his hand to pray for him, he said to me, “Doc, your friend is in trouble.” I responded, “It will all be well.” And when he was evacuated to the hospital in Geneva, we continued to pray, praying that he would be well and be there a little longer for his family and his party. Alas, the Lord saw that he had done the work he had been called to do. And as his life has been a blessing to many! He is himself now also blessed, as it is written, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them!” (Rev 14:13). And so, it is indeed well with him.

My prayer and hope: It is often the case that what an honest and just man could not do when he was alive, will be done, and done even more so, because of the legacy he leaves behind. This was the case with Jesus Christ, He told His followers that they would do even greater things than He did while on earth (Jn 14:12). So, it is my prayer that the family of H.E. Chairman Fru Ndi, his friends and his party, the SDF, would carry on the work that he started and was doing till his death. I am praying that His death would bring love, healing and peace to his family, the party and to the nation of Cameroon.

Word for the children: Just as King David exhorted Solomon, his son, your father is saying to you: “Know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chron 28:9). And in the words of Paul I say to you, Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Philippians 2:4; Ephesians 4:32).

Dr. Joseph Mfonyam

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