By Faison Jr in Ndu
An atmosphere of insecurity now looms in Ndu, Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region of Cameroon following hostilities between some Christians of the Cameroon Baptist Convention-CBC and members of some traditional secret groups. According to information gathered, the tension in the air is as thick as nimbus clouds. Sources say the car of the field pastor was destroyed yesterday night and that it was thanks to the timely intervention of the administration of Donga Mantung Division and some elite that flaring tempers shrink back.
Yet, eyewitnesses’ account that as late as 10 pm; there was serious confrontation between members of two traditional secret groups and some young CBC Christians. The church according to information gathered is accused of plagiarizing kwifon and Bsoh sounds into church songs. Members of the secret traditional groups according to information gathered have vowed that they will not allow Christians of the CBC to destroy the traditional institutions. A school of thought holds that traditional practices have been so rampant to the point that do not respect human rights while another school of thought holds that the CBC church has exaggerated its attack on traditional setups to the point that every time a masquerade is passing, some Christian always challenge its authority by standing while everyone is expected to bow down. More so, traditionalists are aghast that the CBC church has gone as far banning Christians from attending village development meetings, funeral celebrations and even participate in community works. Besides, the church is also accused of trying to destroy traditional norms such as refusing Christians to sell the local liquors like sha, white mimbo and even beer. The truth is that the long accumulated grievances between the CBC and traditionalists have finally found a crack to explode to violence level. Happening ahead of the upcoming CBC national convention expected to take place in Ndu, there is doubt as to whether the stalemate would not jeopardize the smooth running of church activities. What is however very annoying steams from the fact that traditionalists have time and again argued that when the first missionaries arrived in Mbum land, the very traditional societies that they want to destroy stood for them. “Our tradition is part of our identity and we will not accept the church to ruin it” one old man is quoted to have exclaimed yesterday night.
There is this story that the “ngiri secret society” in one of the villages in Donga Mantung Division has intensified a manhunt for a young CBC Christian who is alleged to have disappeared from the village. Members of the occultic group according to what we gathered are accusing the Church pastor for masterminding the plans for him to escape and also providing funding for him to go to school contrary to their wish that he should remain in the village to serve the village secret society.
According to a close family member who preferred not to be named, Ngeh Emile Molar disappeared from the village after his family got a hint that plans were underway for him to succeed his late grandfather. His family was placed under strict surveillance by members of the sect. However, a member of the family earlier hinted this reporter that Emile Ngeh was raised in a typical Baptist church tradition reasons why his family doesn’t understand why their son should be forced into a sect because one of their grandparents was a member.Yet, they cannot openly challenge the decision of the 'ngiri secret society", for fear of being victimized or chased out of the village.
The very dreaded leader of the group "Shey Tobby" is quoted to have said that if found Ngeh Emile Molar must be initiated to take the seat of the grandfather because no-one is above the decision of the members of the sect. And since the young man disappeared from the village, there have been threats of very high magnitude from some members of the occultic group to the point that his parents were fined to pay seven calabashes of wine, seven fowls and seven goats. Even with the payment effected, a close family member hinted that they are not at peace since ever-since information started circulating that the young man was studying at the Yaounde II University. The family is regretting that their son who loved to be an agriculturalist and was always ready to work on their farm and or supervises work after school has left a vacancy in the family. But the father hinted this reporter that he would prefer his son out of the village than to serve a sect.
|Ngeh Emile Molar, Victim of obnoxious traditional practices|
The most pathetic thing is that if Ngeh Emile accepts to be enthroned, he will be kept in an isolated secret house for seven years which implies that his eucation will be frustrated. After seven years, he would then be presented to the public and will be honoured with the title of “Shey Ngiri”. During the seven years, according to traditional norms, he will have no contact with any other person, visits the parents only at night and is forced to wear only one dress. Being a student, Ngeh Emile’s future is on a scale giving that if he accepts, the next seven years will be wasted. However, youths have been expressing their anger on some of these traditional practices that deprive them of their rights. It is considered as an abuse of human Rights.It is also alleged that a young man, whose name we got as Nfue Richard is reported to have been beaten to the point of near death by members of the sect who was a housemate to Ngeh Emile at Yaounde II Soa. According to what we gathered, members of the secret society got wing of the information that Emile was studying at the Yaounde II University and decided to send for his arrest. Fortunately for the young man, when the gurus arrived his small house, he was not at home. When the members of the so-called ngiri sect stormed the suspected house that night, they fell on the wrong person and gave her the beating of her life before realizing that it was the wrong person. The population that gathered as well as forces of law and order could not intervene due to the very spiritual nature of the young men. According to a village source, if anyone dared to intervene, he or she may lose his or her life in very mysterious circumstances.
A story is told how a uniform officer lost his manhood after detaining one the children of a village elder caught in petit theft. As of date, the whereabout of the young Emile is unknown even to members of the family. The fact that elders continue to impose certain traditional practices on young boys and girls is creating a lot of conflict like was the case in Ndu where another secret societies clashed with young Christians.