NSODA President Shey Wilfred Banmbuh speaks out


Following a recent succession crisis at the head of  the  Nso Development Association (NSODA), BamendaOnline met the incumbent president retired UN country Director Shey Wilfred Banmbuh recently at his plush resident at the Foncha Street neigbourhood in Bamenda to find  out what actually is the crux of the crisis.

He spoke to Abongwa Fozo and Akumbom Elvis McCarthy. Follow the excerpts and the complete audio interview at the end.


BamendaOnline: We learn that there is a succession crisis at NSODA is that true?

Sheyi W. B: If anybody came to you and told  you that there is a succession crisis that man is anti development in Nso, that man or woman doesn’t like Nso, that man or woman does not like the Fon of Nso, that man or woman wants Nso destroyed. There was never, there would not be at least not when I am the head of NSODA, it is a blatant lie.

BamendaOnline: Elections were said to be hijacked and that this was done in consonance with the Fon of Nso how true is this allegation?

Shey W. B: Again like I said, if anybody would accuse the HRH the paramount Fon of Nso of complicity in fraud, that man should be tried by the Nso people. Our Fon is a respectable man, honest, peace loving for if he were not for instance, some of the Nso boys would be behind bars for challenging his authority, for trying his life one would say, and yet he says at the end of the day you are all my children make a confession, be honest and we can move together. Then to go and be an accomplice in a rigged election is enough fraud not only with the Fon of Nso but every daughter and son of Nso who loves his ethnic group.

BamendaOnline: You are still the president of NSODA after your term of office was due over. Can you explain why this is still possible?

Sheyi W. B: Beautiful! I am still the president because the Fon of Nso decided it should be so. May I ask you a question? We would have long gone on council elections; I have not heard anybody who says that Paul Biya was bribed to say there should be no elections while certain things are done to ensure free and fair elections. Why don’t you journalist call him a bad president?

My dear friend in every elected post you don’t go to an election when things are not properly set. We do not go to an election as you might have heard if your informants are honest to you they would have said that certain title holders from the “nwerong” and “Ngirri” societies literally were fighting the Fon of Nso.

BamendaOnline: But you knew that your term of office was finished and the Fon of Nso insisted that the executive be return in place why did you not refuse?

Shey W. B: Because I am a man of peace. It is like saying why  did they councilors not go to the president and say our term is finish, we are packing is that what you are telling me that they should have gone into election when there is no peace? My friend I am prepare to sacrifice my  life for the good of the Nso people despite the machinations,  despite the stupidity I am hearing,I am prepare to work with the Nso people and literally I would say here proudly that I submitted my resignation to the Fon, I submitted it to several nso groups and the answer was stay on unstill the is some peace and tranquility in Nso. My friend, I don’t think in terms of myself, I think in terms of ourselves and if I think in terms of ourselves if ourselves  is going wrong I should die with the sinking boat. That is why I am there.

BamendaOnline: So many people think that the position of the president of NSODA is so lucrative one, and that is why they are clamouring for it can you say if this is true, do you make money as the president of NSODA?

Shey W. B: Hmmm! anybody who thinks that there is money there is somebody who does not contribute who does not know the working of NSODA, because if you are contributing you would know how much is there. May I tell you that when I took over three years ago there was not a single franc in the bank? And I made a wonderful Ngonnso festival. I when out fund raising myself with other colleagues, There has never been one like that the last year one was the same we go begging. And anybody who says we have money in an organization where there is no membership contribution, in an organization where there is no donation either from the Nso people themselves or from outside that man must be what I hear children call in the road a Joker. How do you say there is money when you are the one to contribute to it. You have contributed nothing and you say there is money? Let it be known not only by the Nso people but by anybody who love Nso people that I have single handedly run the affairs of Ngonnso for three years with my own, I repeat my own personal resources and if there is any Nso man out there who think this is not true I would like to have an open interview on any radio and I would pay for it.

BamendaOnline: It is alleged that 5 million frs was given to NSODA by the ministry of culture and an account was not given how that money was used?

Sheyi W. B: This must have happened not during the last three years. I am not saying it did or did not but what I am saying is that I came back to this country 31st December 2008 and ran a Ngonnso festival in January 2009. The ministry of culture is next door find out from them whether they did give money. The ministry of culture has never during my time, I repeat never supported the Nso Cultural festival and if there is any body in the ministry who think this is a lie, again I would like to meet that person. I don’t know about the money you are talking about.

BamendaOnline: For the past three years you have been at the helm of this association can you briefly tell us some of the achievements you have been able to accomplish?

Shey W. B: I will sit on top of the tree, on top of the tallest building in Nso and said we have done it and we intend to do it again. Before I came on board the fon of Nso was  riding in a car meant to carry coffee, a pickup truck, he has one of the best vehicles now in the Northwest region, I don’t say in Nso, in the Northwest Region, two the palace is been given a facelift, three his office is nearing completion, four he moves easier than he ever did before and five we are still working hard on a scholarship scheme which again those critics of mine were not able to support. In the last Nso Cultural festival we made a plea and put a basket out there  to start Nso education Fund, my dear friend the proud Nso man gave us 21 000 frs but we have not given up.

BamendaOnline: Shey Mbambuh you made mention that you single handedly sponsor the activities of Ngong Nso where is your money coming from and how do you intend to get back this money?

Shey W. B: If I said I single handedly run Ngonnso then it was a slip of the tongue. I said I single handedly financed the activities of NSODA, Ngonnso is a feast which is very big. My money comes from my own personal resources and if I intended to get this money back I wouldn’t be clamouring to retire or to resign all I am saying is that let another Nso man or woman step into my shoe and do it, then it might be lighter.

BamendaOnline: For how long do you still intend to remain in office now that the fon has said the present executive should remain in place for some time?

Shey W. B:  Ah! I want to tell you I would like to leave this evening. This evening I would like to go but he won’t let me go but I can’t be here forever. I promise that once the dust settles with this kind of threats to my fon, I promise that once the Nso palace becomes what it should be, and when I talk about this I feel sorry that I visited the Bamilike country and very small fons,  I thought somewhere I was in Etoudi. Not long ago, the Nwerong was in Baba. When it comes to population we are several times more than the Baba people. My friend I challenge you go up to their palace. All this proud nso people who hit their chest when the go there the cry. My wish is that they would team up with me and we give the fon of nso a befitting palace and work on the farm to market road. If the Nso people came we would do that in six months. If every Nso man would give us only a thousand frs we would make more than a hundred a twenty million a year. That would give us a beautiful palace. So any Nso person who talks to you the question you should ask them is, what is happening to the development in Nso are you one of the financiers? If they say yes, then calculate how many of them and then come back and let me refund the money I would have embezzled.

BamendaOnline: Lastly they are many who want to step into your shoes and now they find it difficult to do so what message do you have for them?

 Sheyi W. B: The message I have for them is Come on board lets develop nso, come on board let’s keep the peace and I would give you the baton tomorrow not the day after.

BamendaOnline: Thank you.

Thank you so much too.

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