Buea (National Times)-Traditional rulers of Cameroon’s restive South West Region surfaced from their hideouts Tuesday May 14th at the Moungo bridge to usher Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute to the home soil while their palaces remain uninhabited .
The chiefs came out weeks after a misunderstanding with Governor Okalia Bilai over their participation at the May 20th National Day celebrations.
As Prime Minister touched down into the Region, his peers who have been in exile for over a year lined up and received him. The scenario speaks of royal fathers who had relocated to nearby communities just to answer present at the Prime Minister’s visit.
Among the Chiefs were Senator Nfon Victor E. Mukete, king of Kumba and paramount ruler of the Bafaw tribe. There was the visible presence of Chief Nfor Tabetando of Bachuo-Ntai village in Manyu. Dr. Chief Atem Ebako of Talangaye village in Kupemuanenguba Division. Chief Robinson Tanyi with roots in Mnayu was also among the scores of Chiefs who received the PM.
Most of these Chiefs have been on ‘exile’ escaping the horror of the crisis in the North West and South West Regions. It is common knowledge that as the peace mission of the Prime Minister comes to an end this weekend, the royal fathers will go back into hiding pending the return of peace.
The traditional rulers have received their peer pending the May 20th celebrations wherein Governor Okalia threatened sanctions if they do not hold placards to march past the grandstand with their subjects. This was on April 25th.
Chief Martin Njie Mafany, President of the South West Chiefs Conference (SWECC) had issued a statement castigating the remarks of the Governor. He declared that, the traditions and customs of the South West does not permit such performance.
The Governor came back weeks after fireworks clarifying that, his declarations were taken out of context. Okalia reassured that, traditional rulers remain key collaborators of the state. It is left to be seen what happens across the Region on May 20th.