Letter from the Bamenda Government Delegate to the Fon of Mankon


Ndumu Nji Vincent



REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON                                                                 REPUBLIQE DU CAMEROUN

     Peace – Weak – Fatherland                                                                           Paix – Travail –Patrie





                                       BAMENDA CITY COUNCIL


                                        GOVERNMENT DELEGATES CABINET


Ref. No. 233/L/BCC141/CAB/Vol.1/2012                                 DATE:_______________________

The Fon of Mankon,


Your Royal Highness,


I am privy to a  correspondence, addressed by the Fon of Mankon to the Governor of the North West Region, through the Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam, bearing on above mentioned subject.

1.      That as Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, I unilaterally change the name “Mankon Main Market”  to “Bamenda City Main Market”.

2.      The refusal to sign any document bearing “Mankon-Bamenda”, but do so for documents bearing “Bamendakwe-Bamenda,” “Nsongwa-Bamenda,” and “Ngemba-Bamenda.”

3.      That the Mayor of Bamenda I, and the Government Delegate that I am, make wrongful pronouncements to the effect that Bamendankwe boundary extends into Mankon.

4.      That the Government Delegate should be ordered to replant the sign post indicating the official name of the airports as “Ntambeng Airport Mankon Bamenda”.

The above issues, directed at me, in my personal name capital and as Government Delegate, fall in line with  other similar false accusations, verbal and written, which are perpetually condoned by the Fon, such as the infamous Open Letter of the
“Movement for the Restoration of Mankon Nationhood,” addressed, verbatim, to:

“Ndumu Nji Vincent Delegate to the Bamenda City Council

The Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam

The Divisional Officer for Bamenda II”

It is on this count that I feel much obliged to use opportunity to, maybe, clarify some issues here, while equally commenting on others.

Before delving into any clarifications, I must, first of all intimate that as Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, and contrary to what many ill and reduced-minded persons may believe, I elect never to succumb to the concept of “village.” After all, it is not Professor Ali Masuri, the famous Kenyan writer, who, in “The Africans,” said and I quote: “While the white man has gone to the Moon and is on his way back, the African is returning from the city to the village,” unquote? In the same vein, the Fon and the caucus advising His Royal Highness know that I do not act “village;”  I do not think “village;” and I do not believe “village”

Therefore, on the four points raised against me by the Fon and his royal court advisers, I make the following remarks:

1.      The Change of name of the Market:
              In His Royal Highness’ Letter, I am accused of having changed the name “Mankon Main Market” to “Bamenda City Main Market” without a deliberation or resolution from the City Board as required by Law. Maybe the Fon, guided by his royal college of adviser, may show some proof of same legal documents, which sanctioned the appellation “Mankon Main Market.”  This apart, I would like to reiterate that a s Government Delegateto the Bamenda city council, I am here to administer a City, NOT a village.    
             Furthermore, it remains the exclusive preserve of the City Executive that I head, together with the legislative arm of the City Council (counstituted by Grand Councilors from the Bamenda I, II and III Sub Divisional Council, made up of people from various horizonsnot only from Bamendankwe, Chomba, Mbatu, Mankon, Nzah, NKewn and Nsongwa) to give names to structures erected with public funds.
ON the contrary, if the Fons and people of the various villages that make up the Bamenda City Council area could raise their own funds to erect markets, parks, hotels, et cetera, they  could as well go ahead to baptize these structures anything, including all kinds of names as they so wish.
        Its is from this backdrop that I once more re-emphasis here, that once public funds (as is the case with all the markets controlled by the Bamenda City Council) are used to erect structures anywhere within the Municipality (even inside palaces and shrines), the naming of sais structures is the sole preserve of the public body represented in our case by the City Council and its Board.

2.      Refusal to sign documents bearing Mankon-Bamenda
  Indeed, I have heard so much about this baseless accusation, which smacks of megalomania and irrationality, to say the least. It is an under-statement here to say that the Fon is being ill-advised. At the very best, those who give the Fon such information must themselves suffer from selective amnesia, as I cannot understand this particular indictment.
      What about the thousands of Building Permits and Certificates, which are issued from this very office, not only indicating the names of quarters, but also village and Sub Divisions? The conclave, which advises the Fon, sorrowfully made up of people, who have at one time or the other, occupied top positions in society, worked and lived in and out of this country, even invested in some of those areas without being capable of naming the village, is a shame and a national disgrace to the people of Mankon, for always trying to bring themselves down through such narrow, feudal and primitive ways of looking at things.

3.      Wrongful pronouncements by the Mayor of Bamenda 1 and I, bearing on the Bamendankwe-Mankon boundary.
The fon, nay his committee of advisers, most of whom perfectly know my ways, can only conjecture here! When, where, why and how did we, or would we make such pronouncements? Is the Fon mixing up issues here, or is His Royal Highness so cocksure about what he has written and signed?  For one thing, the Palace should understand that I, Vincent Nji Ndumu, am above inter-village issues. Of courses, I shall not “return to the Village” Mber/It is not the right thinking; and when and where it is not right, Your Royal Highness shall not find me there.

4.      That The Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam should “Order” the Government Delegate to replant a sign post indicating “Ntambeng Airport Mankon Bamenda”
Firstly, the Fon may wish to know that my working relationship with the Senior Divisional Officer, my supervisory authority, is not one of being “order” things. NO! Secondly, I would like the Fon and his cohorts to lets me know how I come in here. If the airport was called “Bafut Airport” during the past celebrations here in Bamenda to mark 50years of the Cameroon Armed Forces, how on earth could that be ever attributed to the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council when Bafut does not fall within its jurisdiction?
Elsewhere  in His Royal Highness’ Letter, a few issues are equally raised t which I cannot pretend to remain indifferent:

In the opening paragraph one reads: “…Issues that will sooner or later disrupt the tranquility in the Bamenda City Metropolis.” The interpretation of this statement leaves anyone living within this  Municipality,  and even beyond, with a high sense. Of fear and anxiety, especially so as this is coming from the National First Vice President of the ruling. Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM. At the very first glance, one has the impression that this allegation is coming from an SCNC activist, or even  from the Bokon Aram. It is my genuine hope, however, that this disruption of transquility may not be within  the Bamenda Municipality but rather within Mankon itself!

Maybe the Fon has forgotten that just a few months ago, and this was just one of several similar incidents, His Royal Highness came to my office for me to arbitrate in a land issue between him and some Mankon People, whose claim was that the Fon had used bulldozer to clear and confiscate land belonging to them. I must confess that I was at pains to find His Royal Highness arguing with a youngster fit be his grandson! As a matter of fact, the other Young Mankon Person, whose and was equally taken, is said to be the Fon’s son – in – law. May be the fon remembers that the debate was so heated that I had to stop the Mankon men, sending them out of my office because of the shame that gripped me.

Ironically in His Royal Highness’ Letter, he writes and I quote: “Mankon people still feel the pain of the loss of their land to the people….,” unquote.

He further writes and I quote: “ They still remember the loss of their land, people and property to the Nkwen people….,” unquote. The Fon concludes on this issue and by stating, inter alia:  “Every evidence of history indicates, that Mankon is not an expansionist Fondom, rather it has been striving to seek every peaceful means with the Administration to protect and defend its boundaries.”

Great words, well pronounced, and pregnant with a lot of significance! From the first two quotations above, anyone reading the Fon logically concludes that his fondom has problems with Bali, Bafut, Nsongwa, Nkwen and Bamendakwe; and I must also add , Akum. This makes for six (6) villages at variance with Mankon. If the Fon’s last quotation above is correct, then these six villages must be extremely belligerent! If the opposite is true, then the pointer cannot be clearer. Judge for yourself, Mber, and maybe, let us know.

From another reading and interpretation of the Fon’s last quotation, especially the mention of “every peaceful means with the administration to protect and defend its boundaries….,” one is tempted to ask if by this statement the Fon means that his Fondom depends on the Administration to “protect and defend its Highness’ entire letter becomes; sans objet; as the FOn cannot accuse the Administration and ask it at the same time to protect and defend him. However, if the case is as presented  by the Fon, and for sure this is the trend,  then our fears and anxiety, as provoked by the opening paragraph of the Fon’s letter, are further confirmed.

Again, how can I not comment on the Fon’s take concerning the location of the University of Bamenda? He writes: “The ongoing argument on the location of the Bamenda University with a Divisional Committee recommending Bambili, that has separate and well demarcated boundary from Bamenda.” What does the Fon really want here? For the University to be located within the Bamenda city council area or within Bamenda? Maybe the Fon and his advisers should be very clear on this isuue, so that we know the Fon wants the University to be located in Mankon ( in which case, it could eventually be called University of Manko), or in Bamenda.

I have not re-read the speech of the Head of State ( National President of the CPDM) during celebrations here in Bamenda to mark 50 years of the cameroo Armed Forces.

But anyone who listened to the Head of State here in Bamenda on the creation of the University of Bamenda shall agree on one thing: The President started by enumerating all what had been done through various crations and transformations at the Bambili Higher Teacher Training College and the Higher Technical Teacher Training College. Then he went further to state that past and current investments for these institutions made them fit to be up-graded into a fully-fletched University; and it was on account of this that he announced his decision to create the University of Bamenda.

Whether the University of Bamenda is located in Bambili or in Bamenda does not cancel the fact that the entire North West Region is loosely referred to as BAMENDA. Therefore, it is only to those who are returning from the City to the Village ( and this breed is non-consequentially) that the University of Bamenda is in Bambili. There, at least, no one is attempting to call it the University of Bambili.


With all due respect to the Palace, I rest my submission.


                                           Sincerely Yours,

                                                                                            Government Delegate,

                                                                                           Bamenda City Council,


                                                                                                            Vincent Nji Ndumu.


–         The Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Yaoundé,

–         The governor of the North West Region,

–         The Senior Divisional Officer or Mezam,.


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