BY AYUKETANG BLESSING
Ekondo -Titi, in Ndian Division, South West Region of the Republic of Cameroon, now has a new Traditional Ruler. He is HRM Chief Atia Nawango Manfred. He was selected by the King makers of the area after a consultative talks in Ekondo-Titi, under the watchful eyes of the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO of Ndian Division, Fowang Lawrence, Saturday, August 22, 2020.
The new Chief also doubles as 4th grade Magistrate and Senior State Prosecutor for the Court of First Instance and High Court of Buea, following Decree No 2020/422 of 10 August 2020 bearing on the appointment of State Counsels in Cameroon, signed by President Paul Biya, Chairman of the higher Judicial Council.
Justice Atia Nawango Manfred it should be recalled takes over from the late Chief Esoh Itoh, Paramount Ruler of the Balondo Tribe and 2nd Class Chief of Ekondo -Titi, and former Board Chair of PAMOL Plantation PLC, (who was brutally murdered in broad day light allegedly by Separatist Fighters in what was considered as “Murder in the Cathedral”, for he was killed on the sidelines of a church service at the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, Ekondo- Titi congregation in 2018, at the climax of socio-political tensions in the restive South West region.).
HRM elect, Justice Atia Nawango Manfred, considered as a soft spoken, humble, transparent and God fearing man with indisputable leadership skills as a super scale jurist, was cautioned by Ndian SDO to respect decree No 77/245 of 15 July 1977 governing chieftaincy in Cameroon.
Though the selection of Justice Atia Nawango Manfred as 2nd class chief and Paramount Ruler of the Balondo people is coming at a time when the area is struggling to cope with the armed conflict rocking the South West and North West Regions, and the COVID 19 pandemic, the SDO qualified him as a square peg in a square hole and called on all the King makers and Traditional Rulers of the Balondo Clan to respect and give him the necessary support so as to pilot the traditional affairs of the village and clan without fear or favour.
Ahead of his installation, the new Ekondo- Titi custodian of the tradition is expected to among other things, as an auxiliary of the Administration, to transmit the directives of the Administrative authorities to his subjects and ensure that such directives are implemented, help (as directed by the competent administrative authorities) in the maintenance of law and order in the economic, social and cultural development of the areas under him etc. HRM Justice Atia Nawango is equally called upon to, in accordance with the native laws and customs settle disputes or arbitrate in matters arising between his subjects. However, in terms of short comings in the performance of his duties, HRM just like any other traditional ruler, will face sanctions such as call to order, warning, ordinary reprimand including suspension of all allowances for not more than three months and above all deposition.
The cross section of Balondo chiefs who assisted in the selection exercise of the new 2nd class chief of Ekondo -Titi and Paramount Ruler of the Balondo, people expressed hope, satisfaction and optimism that the new leader is a square peg in a square hole and that he is up to task.
HRM Justice Atia Nawango is a graduate from the University of Yaounde where he obtained with distinction a Bachelors post graduate degree in English Private Law. He made his mark at the National School of Magistracy and Administration and came out in flying colours as a Magistrate. He has worked in almost all the judicial divisions of the South West Region as magistrate. Before his recent appointment as the State Prosecutor of the Buea High Court and Court of First Instance on August 10, 2020, the 4th grade magistrate served as Senior State Counsel for Limbe.