Buea Chiefs react to Gov Okalia’s ‘threats’

NEWS 09 May 2019
Buea Chiefs react to Gov Okalia’s ‘threats’

By Ikome Christie-Noella Eposi
Traditional rulers of the Buea municipality have been reacting to the statements said to have filtered out of the 1st preparatory meeting organised by South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, during which the governor has been quoted to have ‘threatened’ the Buea chiefs with dethronement, if they fail to rally their subjects and march for fatherland, come May 20.
The president of the South west Chief’s Conference, SWECC, HRH Chief Martin Mafany Njie, Chief of Liongo village, was the first to react four days after the information from the preparatory meeting spread like wild fire. Under the canopy of the South west Chief’s Conference, he released a memo, in which Southwest governor Bernard Okalia Bilai was condemned for his ‘hate and demeaning’ speech, forcing the SW Chiefs to march during the upcoming national day.
Also, His Royal Majesty, Ewome Eko John aka Moja Moja I of Fako, Chief of Bwassa village organised and staged a protest march across the municipality on May 3, alongside the dreaded traditional NGANYA masquerade. From Bwassa to the Independence square and to Buea town, HRM Chief Ewome said the protest march is also geared at showcasing the rich Bakweri culture.
Talking to the Press after the exercise, the traditional ruler said the governor, ordering Buea chiefs to march is an abomination, a taboo which must be unsaid through an apology by the SW governor.
“The purpose of this march is because the people of Fako have been crying ever since the governor made a statement that the chiefs of Fako should turn up and march on May 20 or be dethroned. Mr Governor, you have to withdraw your statement. Can you tell the chief of your village to march?” HRM Chief Ewome questioned.
“Enough is enough. We do not intend to bring any violence but we need to be respected. If we chiefs want to march, we do not have to be told or forced. It is totally against our tradition to subject a chief to act against his will”, he added
The chief undertook the march alongside other traditional rulers and a host of village natives and supporters.

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