The Southwest Chiefs’ Conference, SWECC, for quite some time now has witnessed cracks within, splitting it into camps. The camps depend on who the custodians of tradition publicly back, whoever they pledge their allegiance to, as well as who best serves their interests.
The rift between the Chiefs has been compounded by the delayed election of the President of the Chiefs’ conference, which has dragged on for long, since the mandate of the reigning President, Senator Nfon Mukete,expired way back in 2016.
The delayed election has particularly made things difficult for the Chiefs of Fako, whose Division is almost operating as a lone wolf among other SWECC member unions. Recently, the installation ceremony of the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea, Prof. Horace Ngomo Manga, of the Iroko tribe in Ndian Division, Southwest Region, highlighted the bitterness amongst the Chiefs.
Fako Chiefs were noticeably absent at the installation, and this sent a strong signal and message to their other SWECC colleagues.
In a SWECC enlarged executive meeting, following the event, other chiefs lashed out on the attitude of their Fako colleagues, referring to their attitude as“egoistic”, “uncalled for”, and “juvenile”. Others interpreted it as Fako Chiefs been annoyed over their daughter, former VC, Dr.Nalova Lyonga, who has gone on retirement, but has not been replaced by another Fako native.
The issue that irked many SWECC executive members, was described as a self centred move by Fako Chiefs, “who want any post in the Region to be given only to their sons and daughters.” The Chiefs took turns to criticise their Fako colleagues for boycotting the installation ceremony of Prof. Manga, one of their sons and kinsman.
According to the Chiefs, their Fako colleagues are mired in discrimination and greed. The Chiefs observed that instead of being happy that a Southwester has been appointed, the Chiefs of Fako were annoyed that the former VC was retired, and that the new one was not from Fako.
As the traditional leaders frowned and fumed, Senator Nfon Mukete sat mouth agape, wondering and asking how Chiefs could go as far as boycotting such an important ceremony where their presence and active participation was needed. The Chiefs opined that their Fako counterparts should have been at the installation ceremony to hand over gifts to their outgoing daughter and incoming son.
“What would they have done, if it was a Francophone or someone from the Northwest that was appointed as Vice Chancellor of UB?” one of the chiefs broke out in anger. The issue might have also added to the reasons that pushed the SWECC executives to withdraw Fako Divisions’ hosting right to the next elective general assembly. The wrangling among the Chiefs may escalate and cause wider cracks. Courtesy: The Post