The President of the Republic of Cameroon has paid tribute to one of the last men standing; reunification architect and fallen statesman HRM Senator Nfon V. E. Mukete, who slept in the Lord on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
In a condolence correspondence addressed to HRM Mukete IV Ekoko through the Governor of the South West Region on Monday April 12, 2021, H.E. Paul Biya said “It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of your father and relative, His Majesty Nfon Victor Mukete in Yaoundé”. The Head of State in his tribute observed “I salute the memory of this emblematic figure of the political scene of our country”. President Paul Biya noted that “As you know, I personally knew the centenarian patriarch, Nfon Victor Mukete, with whom I had relations marked with mutual esteem”
While regretting the passing of the late statesman, President Paul Biya says the late eldest member of the Upper House of Parliament,Paramount ruler of the Bafaws and Kumba in Meme Division, South West Region Senator Nfon V. E Mukete, “…was undoubtedly one of the last privileged witnesses of the independence and reunification of Cameroon. I was able to appreciate his great wisdom and his constant commitment to peace, concord and national unity”.
The Head of State continued that “His very long rich experience in the political field, in the economic sector, as well as his status as a traditional authority, have always earned him consideration and respect. Indeed, the Senator and oldest Member of Parliament was active until the last days of his life”.
According to the Head of State,“The death of this personality with a unique destiny is an immense loss for the Meme Division, the South West Region and Cameroon, of which he will remain one of the most eminent sons. May his exceptional career and his patriotic legacy serve as a source of inspiration to the younger generation”.
The President of the Republic of Cameroon concluded his tribute to the late Senator Nfon V. E Mukete who died at the age of 103, in Yaoundé ” I wish to express my sincere condolences to you, the Mukete family, the Bafaw community, and members of Parliament. I equally convey the deepest sympathy from my wife”.
It should be recalled that when the death of the late statesman was rumored in the early hours of April 10, 2021, many thought it was April fool, until the communiqué endorsed by Senate President Senator Niat Njifenji Marcel confirming the exit of the eldest member of Senate was made public on state radio.
Just like in his Bastos residence in Yaoundé where close friends, collaborators and members of government went to sympathize and condole with the deceased’s family, a cross section of the population of Kumba equally answered present at the Nfon Mukete palace in Kumba town.
Reacting to his demise, the Senior Divisional Officer, S.D.O. for Meme, Ntou’ou Ndong Chamberlain, in tears hinted that he received the news of the passing on to glory of the emblematic statesman with shock and consternation because Senator Nfon V.E Mukete was very active in the just-ended Parliamentary session. He observed that for his about five years in Meme Division as representative of the Head of State, the late Paramount Ruler of the Bafaws was his all-time technical adviser to ensure that peace returns to the restive regions of the North West and South West. The S.D.O. concluded that the late statesman played a great role to see that boys in the bushes drop their arms and go to the DDR centers.
According to HRM Senator Andreas Lekunze Nembo, Paramount Ruler of Bamumbu in Lebialem Division, the late centenarian patriarch was just a wonderful man full of wisdom and energy. He hinted he worked closely with the Late Nfon Mukete when he was President of the South West Chiefs’ conference, since he was member of the Agriculture and Ruler Development Committee.
Nfon Victor Esemingsongo Mukete, born on November 15, 1918 in Kumba was a traditional chief in Cameroon. He was a minister of information in Nigeria before the reunification of Southern Cameroons with the French Cameroon from 1958 to 1959. He was also a Senator before he passed on.
Nfon Mukete attended Government School Kumba, 1926-32 and then proceeded to the prestigious Government College Umuahia, Nigeria on a government scholarship for his secondary school studies from 1933 to 1938.
In 1939, after Government College Umuahia, he proceeded to Higher College Yaba. Most of the students that went to Government College Umuahia went on to Yaba College which was the only science-based institution of higher learning at the time. He also attended University of Manchester, England, 1948-51 and Christ’s College, Cambridge University from 1951 to 1952.
He was an agriculturist and botanist by training.
Nfon VE Mukete was the supreme leader of the Bafaws. He sat at the Nfon palace in Kumba.
He was the author of a book, My Odyssey: History of the reunification of Cameroon with Authentic letters of Key Players.
Nfon Victor Mukete was a member of representatives in Nigeria, appointed the Federal Minister of Research and Information 1958 to 1959. He was the oldest Senator in Cameroon.
The late statesman leaves behind about seven sons who are currently making Cameroon proud both at home and abroad. The children include:- Hon Abel Mukete; the estate manager of Mukete Estate LTD, Geoffrey Mbe Mukete; the CEO of MTN Cameroon and owner of Spectrum TV, Prince Ebarko Mukete Colin; one of the cadres of the African Development Bank, Dicko Mukete; the former Mayor of Kumba I Council under the CPDM ticket, Prince Ekale Mukete; former National Youth President of the CPDM, Prince Akpo Mukete John and the benjamin HRM Mukete IV Ekoko; a business guru and Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce to whom the late father handed the throne in March 2020.