Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Confusion of Sashes Sparks Controversy at Misaje Mayor’s Installation

By Fai Cassian
In gold sash left Ngariwa Lawrence (1st Deputy mayor)
On December 4, 2013, during the installation of Sammy Mgbata Nforkemba into his new function as the mayor of Misaje Council, an unexpected incident happened that continue to be the talk of the town.  Whether it was by design or error, the truth is that “Gold Sash” that is tied on the Mayor’s waste at installation was instead tied on the waste of the first Deputy Mayor, Ngariwa Lawrence. There was total confusion when the former mayor, Nkenda Simon Sunde moved up to the scene to signal the error. Yet, it was too late for any rectification. Implicitly, if the wearing of sashes is synonymous to the enthronement of a traditional ruler, questions abound as to whether Mgbata is the true mayor of Misaje council?  
But since that is not our main concern for now, the most intriguing is that Sammy Mgbata’s detractors were already on tree tops describing the incident as bad omen while those of Ngariwa Lawrence say it serves him right given that he has been likened by some of his clan men as “Judas Iscariot of Mbessa” people. The Eye is aware that the Misaje council has been fractionalized. It is no more news that councilors are into two camps. Even though during the installation, supporters of the former mayor Nkenda Simon were present at the grandstand, they all boycotted “item 11” which took place at the newly installed mayor’s residence. Allegations are rife at that Nkenda’s loyalists may not even attain council sessions. Rumours abound that Sammy Mgbata’s detractors have already set up strategies to frustrate all his actions by providing lump-sum to Nkenda’s loyalists to boycott all council sessions. The amount according to what we gathered is three times more than the amount to be paid by the council as sitting allowances to councilors. It should be noted that prior to the installation, councilors loyal to Nkenda Simon boycotted the first meeting convened by Sammy Mgbata More so, it is also alleged the election of Ngariwa Lawrence has split the Mbessa people.  With the mayoral position moved to the Dumbu area per the “gentleman agreement” which stipulates that the mayoral position rotates among the clans of Misaje Sub Division, there is apparently hot air in Misaje council. Sources hinted that the stole of the mayor of Misaje is hot to the point that hid-hop prayers have been organized to cleanse the mess. Yet another also confirmed that ever since Sammy Mgbata was elected, officially son –in and installed, he is yet to step into the office of the mayor that he is. Another school of thought holds that the juju –like oath taking that allegedly took at Nkanchi before the election of mayor is another hidden but unknown threat.  Even so, some councilors we gathered are aghast that the CPDM party executive shared amongst themselves all the executive positions of the council. Sammy Mgbata who is section President of the CPDM party was catapulted to the position of Mayor; the YCPDM President Ngariwa Lawrence was tamed and trapped with the post of 1st Deputy Mayor while the WCPDM President Madame Bolami Brigitte Cheka was compensated with the position of 2nd Deputy Mayor for voting against her blood during the senatorial election. 

Coming up Next:  The Bid for Mayorship, financial stakes and implications

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