· Achu Chrispo, aged 22, hails from Ni John Fru Ndi’s Village.
· He has lived in Bafanji since 2004 but was exiled on 20th May 2013.
· Given 30 minutes by the fon to leave because he refused to bare false witness.
· He abandoned a petrol retail business worth over 350.000 FRS CFA, he is owed over 200.000 FCFA of debts from Airtime sales, and a big tomatoes farm.
|Chrispo at business place in Bafanji|
It appears that agony, threats and intimidation seems to be the order of the day in Bafanji village in the Balikumbat Sub Division ever since the village saw the enthronement of Fon Ngwefoun II who doubles as a Magistrate. Just last month, a number of newspapers carried with them some information about mismanagement of Bafanji Village development funds, as well as some accusations levied against the fon in which some of his elites in the Diaspora accused him of using his position as a Magistrate and the fon to threaten and even excommunicate elites who opposed his actions in the village .The fon came out forcefully to defend himself in the mismanagement scandal in an interview granted on 3rd June to the Eye Newspaper online but failed to answer some allegations against him. His interview provoked further exposure on recent happenings in Bafanji, bringing to light the case of an industrious Achu Chrispo, a son of BABA II village who has lived peacefully in Bafanji village since 2004 until he was unjustly evicted from Bafanji by the fon of Bafanji after receiving a snake beating from his thugs code named “BIR” who are also accused of other serious incident of human rights abuses. Our reporters got interested in these excommunication orders of the fon, and picked up with two victims, as well as eyewitnesses to recount the ongoing issues in the “Troubled Fondom”.
Achu Chrispo, is a 22 years old hard working young man who hails from BABA II village in Santa Sub Division. He is the son of Late Fomukong Joseph, who was married to Margerate Kuma. He first moved to Bafanji in 2004 to join his brother Akere Patrick who was the pastor of Full Gospel Mission Bafanji from 2003 to 2006.He studied at GBHS Bafanji as the third batch till 2006.He later move to complete school in Bamenda but decided to moved back to Bafanji where he was employed as a Sales Assistance to an Elite , One year after he got employment with Alpha Engineering in Yaounde in 2008. After raising some money, he decided to come back to Bafanji in 2009 to start off a business of his own, where he supplied Calling Credit to retailers, sold petrol, kerosene and Engine oil, until he was forced to leave on the faithful 20th May 2013 when the fon of Bafanji gave him 30 minutes to leave his village abandoning his petrol shop valued at over 350.000frs CFA with creditors owing him over 200.000frs CFA for Airtime Credit, besides a large tomatoes farm he left behind.
As we spoke to Chrispo, he burst into tears recounting how life had been difficult for him and his mother after they lost their father when he was still in his early years. He did recount to us the incidents leading to his exile from Bafanji and lamented how he lost his business and money following this ordeal.
|An example of hard work, Chrispo’s Tomatoes farm|
As the story goes, during the May 20th, 2013 National Day Celebrations in Bafanji, two brothers of the Luweh’s family broke out into a fight at the ceremonial ground, prompting a third party whose name the press got as “Majinette” to intervene in separating the fight. Once separated, one of the brothers fighting whose name the reporter got as David who is teacher and partially handicap, reported his younger brother with whom he had been fighting to the fon. In so doing, he deliberately twisted the incident to implicate the boy who came in to separate the fight. Without any inquiry from eye witnesses, the Fon ordered his thugs (BIR) to bring in David’s younger brother and the boy who helped separate the fight. At his orders, the boys were asked to creep over a distance of 200 meters on sharp gravel towards the fon who sat in the market square and was drinking, after which they were stripped naked, water boarded, rubbed in mud and beating mercilessly by BIR members, most especially by one member called “ Bruce Lee”.
Achu Chrispo who was sitting in his petrol shop had heard shouting outside and came out to see what was going on. Having been at the 20th May ceremonial ground, standing next to David and his brother when the fight broke out, and seeing that Majinette only helped separate the fight, he was the only reliable witness to testify as to what took place. He found the implication and torture of “Majinette” - the boy who had only helped in separating the fight incomprehensible and tried to explain that the boy being beaten did nothing wrong but just tried to separate the fight. He said “What the fon and his BIR are doing is not right because they should have even asked those who witnessed the fight during the incident before ordering any beating action”. On hearing this, one of the BIR went and reported him to the Fon. He went back into his shop, shortly afterwards, the fon sent “Bruce Lee” to whisk off Chrispo from his shop. At a distance, the fon ordered that he go down on his knees and creep on the gravel towards him. Not knowing what he had done, he refused, requesting to know what his crime was. Immediate the fon ordered “Bruce Lee” to take action. He was beaten, his dresses torn off while the fon watched, water pour on his body and the beating left him with an acute chest pain. His former employer rushed in and intervene bringing the matter to calm, and took him to where fon was sitting. Filled with Pride and shame, coupled with the fact that youths around the market jeered the fon about the nasty incident, the fon felt humiliated and so decided to expel Achu Chrispo giving him only 30 minutes to be in Bafanji. Chrispo for fear of his life left behind virtually everything and within 30 minutes was out of Bafanji.
He told our reporters that for all his years that he lived in Bafanji, he has never had any problem with any elite. He said that he sold in a big provision store, and was well settled by the elite enabling him to start off his own business; he described the Bafanji people as very welcoming people and very hard working but that ever since the late fon disappeared, things have changed in many directions with the present fon. Things he said, he can’t recount because it does not concern him. He told us that while a student, he did community work, and together with his football team, they cleaned the palace and around the market square. He however regretted that despite living there peacefully, all what he laboured ended in vain, as he has been informed that his tomatoes farm was all harvested by thieves in the village. Today, Chrispo is without a business and is hanging around the Ndop Area to see how to raise money again and start off his business in another village with his Pastor Brother.
Our Reporters went on the field to get the views of some elites from Bafanji on this unfortunate incident. While some were willing to talk but choose to remain anonymous, others were unwilling because they said that the Fon had threatened in Yaoundé during a visit there that he will set an example on any elite in Cameroon who was sharing information with elites of the Diaspora to write and criticise him on Bafanji Community Face Book Group.
From what we gathered, the elites found the incident involving Chrispo very disgraceful. Speaking to our reporter one elite speaking on anonymity told us that the Fon has disgraced himself as a magistrate, Bafanji Village as a whole and Ni John Fru Ndi. He said, he cannot be a legal mind and goes on banning people from his village indiscriminately whereas he should know what the law says above any other person. He went on to say that he wonders how Fru Ndi will feel if he were to hear that an elite of his own village was forcefully and unjustly evicted from Bafanji when he Fru Ndi was there with a delegation to pay homage and respect to the new Fon of Bafanji during his late father’s memorial celebration.
Other elites pointed out that the matter of Chrispo is only one of the many problems that Bafanji is facing as of now and it’s only a deeper investigation that can uncover what is going on in their village. They posited that Chrispo’s matter was evoked on June 2nd 2013 in Bafanji Meeting in Bamenda in which the fon was in attendance. Elites found the incident unacceptable and he was advised to see the fon of Baba II to address the situation and explain himself to him in a friendly apologetic manner, but they doubts if the Fon has done it considering that he is full of pride and arrogance. They went on to say that the fon has suddenly felt that he is above every other Fon in the region because he is a magistrate and sees himself as above the law.
While Bafanji elites in and around Bamenda were unwilling to comment on this matter, The Press got in contact with one Elite of the Bafanji Diaspora in the person of Lienghotue Gideon of Ireland who has suffered similar fate of excommunication like Chrispo and he granted a damming exclusive interview to different press organs about his situation and the much talked of upcoming memorial services of his parents which is taking a different tone, with the Fon and “Kwifon” of Bafanji demanding that he writes an Article and publish on Bafanji Community Face Book Group and present them with a signed copy as a precondition if the memorial service of his parents must take place.........
Questions as to whether the social media frenzy has also caught even our most sacred secret societies abound high in Bafanji village. However, all attempts to get to the fon of Bafanji for his own side of the story were fruitless.
Up Next: Exclusive Interview with Lienghotue Gideon
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