By Aminateh Nkemngu
All roads in Lebialem Division early this month led to Bamumbu, Wabane sub division in Lebialem Division for the burial of the former Special Adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office, Jacob Ketuma Lekunze who died about two months ago in Yaounde. Far from what many expected would be a “high profile burial” ,with a state decoration for the man popularly known as ”Mr Bakassi” for his relentless effort to ensure that priority projects for the Bakakssi peninsula were realized in the supreme interest of the population there, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Committee in charge of special projects in the area, it turned out to be the opposite.
The death and subsequent burial of Prince Jacob Ketuma Lekunze has once more demonstrated that the body politics of Lebialem division needs to be properly reviewed and people centred options taken in order to avoid future embarrassments of the ego of ordinarys Lebialem people.
That a prophet is never known in his own homeland may be true except in the particular case of Prince Jacob Ketuma Lekunze who, it would appear was neither a prophet at home or anywhere else he sojourned when he walked the face of the earth. For fear of blistering treks to the very much enclaved Bamumbu in the northern part of Lebialem, the remains of Prince Jacob Lekunze were left in a Yaounde hospital for two months while waiting for the rains to go. Many a person who have travelled to that part of this country hold that a bridge linking the sub division to Batibo in the North West Region has collapsed and movement of any form of locomotives is not possible. So the two months abandonment of the corpse, it would appear was to give way for minor improvements on the terrible road. And behold the day of burial finally came. Newspaper reports hold that the remains of Prince Jacob Lekunze were abandoned to his family members and a few colleagues from the Prime Minister’s Office .The DO Misaje ,Nkweti Simon who hails from Wabane suffered a ghastly car accident while returning from the burial and we speak,his car is beyond repairs.Thank God for sparing his life.So where was Prince Lekunze a prophet? At home where he could not reach and nobody knew where he was coming from or in Yaounde and Bakassi where nobody knew where he was going to? There are some recondite things that push us to mull over the strange absence of man’s kindness towards man , or better put of man’s wickedness to man.
Curiously enough, on the same evening that Prince Lekunze was buried, Lebialem CPDM Elite were seen in Bamenda floating a CPDM Magazine produced for the burial ceremony. The curious question this writer asked the spin doctor carrying the magazines was “how many Lebialem denizens resident at home or better put, local people spoke in the magazine ?The obvious answer was non. Rather it was a bunch of CPDM elite with insignificant positions in Yaounde who had planted their photographs in the magazine as if to say “we are fighting for this man’s job”. This same bunch of zealots who absconded from their own homeland shortly after the burial of their kinsman were seen that same evening hanging out in the corridors of a prominent Bamenda hotel after a merry-go round journey to Wabane.
In all fairness ,this was a second slap on the face of the ordinary Lebialem man in less than three months after the humiliating sack of Paul Tasong as Secretary General in the Ministry of the Economy ,Planning and Regional Development.
The question that comes to mind is whether the CPDM in Lebialem is a “dance of the vampires”. In 2011,Lebialem division ended up with over 80 percent score for the CPDM, the best in the South West Region, so to say. Whether these results were manufactured in a laboratory or were the wish of the people is a question to be answered. But retributive justice has led to the division losing two key positions from the same party they so much love in less than one year. So was it a prayer of the people?
As a division that owes all its good things to Christendom, there is no gainsaying the fact that the population of Lebialem undeniably turned to God to hear their prayers and deliver them from the evils of all season bad roads, information hoarding , influence trafficking, eye for eye politics and above all sidelining of local people from the “dog eat dog” sharing of the crumbs of CPDM loyalty.
In an election year like 2013,the population of Lebialem needs adequate information and knowledge especially on a key issue like voting. The local people must be allowed to speak freely, chose their local leaders freely and above all drive and sustain their own development. In so doing, they will cast out the spell of believing that only a particular party can bring development to the very much enclaved area.
As we speak, the masses of Lebialem are still to hook up to the train of biometric voter registration. Is this a ploy to declare another 80 percent victory or more for the “great national party” in upcoming elections? In the past, the masses of Lebialem have been hoodwinked to believing that the magic wand for their worries is in the CPDM. The question remains ”where is it”?.The people of Lebialem must not perish because of the vampires. Please, let my people go.
Aminateh Nkemngu is a Development Journalist,
Founder, Executive Director, The Community Initiative For Development Communication, CODEC,BP 78,Menji,Fontem,Lebialem Division
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