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General News of Thursday, 21 August 2014


Land Grabbing Saga: Chiefs renounce protest

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The Fako Divisional Chiefs Conference has renounced a press release and memorandum which was earlier addressed to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Yaoundé.

On the 4th of August, 2014 a letter addressed to the Minister; “Annulation of the press release and memorandum of 16 July 2014, from the conference of Fako Traditional Rulers stated that, the Fako Traditional Rulers renounce what they said was the deceitful scheme orchestrated by Chief Njie Mandenge of Wonjia village in the Buea municipality and associates, who presented an outdated letter No: 566/MINADER/SG/DDLC/COOP/GIC of April 11, 2006, from the Ministry of Agriculture, which had been invalidated by prior Court Rulings and a final judgment in Arrete No: 02/A/2013 of June 2013 from the Administrative Bench of the Supreme Court.”

The renunciation was signed by Chief Samuel Epupa Ekum, President, Fako Chiefs Conference, after reportedly deliberating with the rest of his members on the subject. Titled ‘Press Release and Memorandum of July 16, 2014’ From The Conference Of Fako Traditional Rulers’ its signatory noted that, conscious of a final Supreme Court Judgment that brings to light the true information on the Bakweri Cooperative Union of Farmers Real Estate and Housing Cooperative Society Limited, BCUF, a private entity, the Fako Chiefs resolved inter alia.

.. “We respect the judgment of the Administrative Bench of the Supreme Court and the wisdom of justice rendered in the case giving legitimacy to the BCUF.”

The Fako Chiefs distanced themselves from one of theirs, Chief Njie Mandenge, averring that he planted intrigues on the July 16, 2014, press release and memorandum. “We recognise the BCUF Real Estate and Housing Cooperative Society Ltd as the only legitimate organisation to manage its affairs and denounce Chief Njie Mandenge’s use of Fako Traditional Rulers Conference as a canopy in trying to bail out himself for personal charges and denounce the purported impression that Fako Chiefs are disrespectful to court judgments.”

The Chiefs exonerated the BCUF Real Estate and Housing Cooperative Society Ltd from any involvement in the CRTV Buea programme; Press Club, stating that; “We wrongly alleged that they (BCUF) called for violence, genocide, secession and public disorder in relation to issue of lands in Fako Division and accuse of Chief Mandenge for misleading the conference of Fako Traditional Rulers to sign the communiqués that tarnished the image of the cooperative, its management and personnel.”

The Fako Chiefs were rather remorseful on any harm that the said press release and memorandum have caused the BCUF, its members and the management.

This turnaround from their initial position by the Fako Chiefs stems from the July 16, 2014, press release and memorandum addressed to the Governor of the Southwest Region. They were signed by the following Fako Chiefs; Mokoto Njie, President, Muyuka Chiefs Conference, Njie Mbanda of Lysoka; Vice President Buea Chiefs Conference, Njie Mandenge; Acting Secretary General, Fako Chiefs Conference, Molive Molungu Otto of Batoke-Limbe, Epupa Ekum; President, Fako Chiefs, Kombe Ndike; President Tiko Chiefs Conference and Chief of Mondoni, Linonge Kinge of Bwiteva Village and President, Buea Chiefs, Patrick Ikoke Moli of Bonjuva Village, Dr Ekoka Molindo, Daniel Kaka Esowe of Bokwai, Johnson Njoke Njombe of Wokaka, George Dikanjo Malumbe of Wovia, Samuel Motulu of Kie and Kama Esimboe of Ewongo.

The Fako Chiefs had before now, claimed that Barrister Ikomi Ngongi of the Bakweri Land Claims Committee, BLCC, had arrogated to himself the status of the Secretary General of BLCC, which gave him the opportunity to go on the CRTV Buea programme, Press Club and stir the peace-loving people of Fako Division against the Government, local administrative officials and advocate for a genocide.

Their memo described Barrister Ngongi, Ndemba Endeley of BCUF and Matute Menyoli of CRTV Buea as gangsters, out to destroy Fako Division. It read in part: “We respect the dignity and rights of others. This collaboration that is seemingly entrenched between these disillusioned members of the Texas-based BLCC and those of the Ndemba Endeley-led BCUF Real Estate and Housing Cooperative Society Ltd is one that may lead to chaos and disrupt the peace that reigns in our Division.”

It continued that; “Ndemba Endeley and his group would want to seize this opportunity to arrogate land in collaboration with Barrister Ikomi Ngongi, Matute Menyoli of CRTV Buea and liquidate as he did when he sold BCUF Ltd property at Dibanda-Buea to the Cameroon Baptist Convention for FCFA 300 Million and more. These gangsters, who are apparently suffering from cultural assimilation, cannot be allowed to destroy our Fako Division.”

The Chiefs of Fako Division saw in the aforementioned individuals; secessionists, who have a plan to intoxicate the population and lead them towards genocide by using the media to propagate their campaign.

“If we allow these devils with their secessionist plans and smear campaigns to continue, we shall surely but sadly witness the extinction of our heritage, our legendary hospitality and legacy,” the memo read.

The custodians of Fako culture in their letter said Ngongi, Ndemba and Matute were; “deceitful and treacherous individuals in all their ramification and style,” adding; “we considered these manoeuvres as calculated attempts not only to frustrate and tarnish the image of our Government but a resolve to destabilise the institutions of this Region and stir trouble.”

The Fako Divisional Chiefs Conference, had in a memo to the Governor of the Southwest Region, dated July 16, 2014 prayed the Government to; “suspend the CRTV Buea programme, Press Club and sanction the moderator and panellists, the activities of BLCC be banned as per the Fako High Court Judgment of Friday, September 26, 2003, and the activities of the BCUF Real Estate and Housing Cooperative Society Ltd be stopped as per the instructions contained in the letter of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development No: 566/MINADER/SG/DDLC/COOP/GIC of April 11 2006, addressed to the Governor, Southwest Region.”

The Post Newspaper stumbled on a confidential letter from Chief Samuel Epupa Ekum of Dikolo Village, Bimbia and President, Fako Chiefs Conference to Barrister Ikomi Ngongi in Buea, dated July 17, 2014, on the subject; “I signed a letter and a press release against your team under duress.” Chief Epupa’s letter partly reads; “This memorandum (that of July 16, 2014, to the Governor of the Southwest Region), was prepared well in advance by the Buea Chiefs and we were made to sign.

I hesitated to sign but the atmosphere was so tense that I had to placate them by signing the memorandum and the press release.

“Mola Ikomi, I am a member of BLCC. I led the BLCC team to the court in Banjul, The Gambia, in all the three sessions. I still belief in BLCC and what they stand for. As a bona fide son of this soil of Fako, I am against the irrational manner in which our land is being controlled by our New Landlords, who are not indigenes of Fako.”

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