By Stephen Ngam
In addition to dodging bullets from marauding state terrorists from LRC, Southern Cameroonians across several localities in the country now have a new colonial ploy to contend with: to defend their millennial chieftaincy traditions against LRC intervention. Several people we talked to have manifested their ire at the colonial regime of La Republique’s overzealous administrative authorities for “trying to create disorder within our communities” by creating new chiefdoms and changing the hierarchical classification of others.
A glaring example comes fromBaba 1, Ngoketunjia Division, where the colonial Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) recently created a fondom at Muokang village. This sparked protests among the denizens of Baba who wrote against the SDO to the colonial administration in protest. A Prince of Baba I Village, Melo Iliasu Esq., came out openly to rubbish the decision of the Senior Divisional Officer of Ngoketunjia which he challenged for creating two new Fondoms in a small village like his.
“The creation of the two villages in Ngoketunjia is an attempt by the government of Cameroun to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of the people of Ngoketunjia. The law must take into consideration the society where it is to be applied. This administrative act is so strange to the people of the North West in particular” he declared. Prince Melo Iliasu added that “the one time united Babungo will now be divided into two. This village is one of the smallest villages around the area. The size of this small village shows that nothing positive influenced the creation of the Muokang village just some few meters from the Babungo Fon’s palace”, the prince said.
A similar case was witnessed in Bum sub Division, Boyo, where the colonial DO, working in complicity with LRC’s SDO for Boyo, tried to create new fondoms in Bum. This attempt was failed due to the massive outcry of the population who protested the action and the newly appointed chiefs backtracked into oblivion. The people of Bum told the colonial authorities in no uncertain terms that cheifdoms have never and will never be created in their community by decrees signed by individuals. They reminded the LRC colonisers that unlike is the case with French Camerounese chiefs created by France, Southern Cameroonians have age old, time tested criteria for the creation, recognition and classification of chiefdoms in their respective tribal communities.
Asked to know what motivated their creation of these new chiefdoms, a source at Cameroun’s Ministry of Territorial Administration declared that “government creates chiefdoms where there is need and where it deems necessary and for any fit purpose”. Therefore, as typical of any colonial administration, the LRC government arrogates to itself the right to decide how Southern Cameroonians are to be governed. Needless to say, such powers are only to be used to divide communities and appoint surrogates to implement its anti-people policies in our communities.
A contextual analysis shows that the forthcoming regional elections could be the reason behind this chieftaincy creation frenzy. In fact, traditional rulers are promised new significance since, article 101 of LRC’s French teleguided electoral code provides for traditional rulers to constitute an electoral college to vote regional representatives and governors in its decentralized constitution.
This article originally appeared in THINK LIKE A SCCOPPER Volume 1 Issue 6. Please, click to read the full publication. Think like a SCCOPper Edition 6.pdf