Saturday, December 28, 2013

Two Young Men Wanted Dead or Alive for Addicating Obnoxious Traditional Rites (Enthronment)

 By Baweson Ngwanyi

The kingmakers of Bangang village in Bamboutous in the Western Region have held a certain Kamnga Jean who is supposed to be the second chosen leader of the tribe as prescribed by tradition for attempting to run away from the village. However, to the utter dismay of Bangang villagers, their supposed heir to the throne of Bangang, Ndemeni Cosmas suddenly disappeared and could not be located by the royal hunters who searched everywhere for him to no avail.  As the search  intensifies, anxiety is said to have heightened on the part of close relations and tempers flared on the part of King Makers who felt that the family is willfully making things difficult for them by flouting tradition. Kamnga Jean, the then second choice we gathered was whisked off by jujus and his whereabout is unknown.  Kingmakers, we gathered have maintained sealed lips over the issue.For fear of persecution and excommunication, Kanmga's family is being traumatized in silence.
Another pathetic is reported in Bui, in the North West Region. The story goes that a self-styled chief and his gang  invaded the Ngashong Mbam palace wrecking havoc as they carted away all the artifacts. Tongues are still waging in Ngashong Mbam over the invasion of the palace. According to what we gathered a certain Binsiyuy Ivo Nkoye, who claims to be the rightful heir to the throne masterminded the attack. According to a complaint lodged at the office of the   Divisional Officer of Mbiame, Binsiyuy and his gang stormed the palace with plans to eliminate the newly enthroned fon. Reports hold that the young men ransacked and looted the Ngashong Mbam palace in the face of helpless women and men when they could not lay hands on Ngalim Michael, the supposed heir to the throne of Ngashong Mbam. It is alleged that Ngalim Michael sneaked out of the village and rushed to the DO’s office to inform him but he was not in town. He then rushed to inform the judicial police, public security and the gendarmerie brigade in Mbiame. The heads of the two police services immediately rushed to the Ngashong-Mbam Palace to witness the attack.Matters came to a head when the security officers said they could not arrest the looters without an authorization from the DO for Mbiame.
The Fon of Ngashong-Mbam died on October 30, 2008, and as tradition demands all his children were summoned three days after his death to discuss succession issues. One of his sons, Ngalim Michael was chosen as the heir to the throne. Ngalim Michael was soon after taken to the secret forest for traditional rites in the course of which he was sexually assaulted by one of the kingmakers. After a series of rituals, he was finally presented to the villagers as their new chief on 12 December 2008.Ngalim Michael did not like the traditional rituals and reported himself to his pastor, Ngang Denis. A day after he reported the case to the pastor, the Man of God’s house was attacked and ransacked.
After several trials and tribulations, Ngalim Michael is said to have escaped to Douala from where sources say he succeeded to escape the wrath of the king makers of Ngashong Mbam who have vowed to snuff life out of him for desecrating their tradition. The recent bloody uprisings in the village have been put directly on the run away Ngalim Michael who is said to be at the centre of the calamity .For this reason, the kingmakers say even if he refuses to come to the village and is spotted anywhere on the national territory, they will meet him wherever he is and execute their mission either physically or any mysterious means. Ngalim whose whereabout is unknown is wanted for abdicating the throne. One of the sisters who preferred not to be named told this reporter that they are afraid that their brother was killed by the looters. "We have not heard from him since he left the village. I don't know whether he is still alive or not", he cried out.
Even though human rights activists have been advocating for the abolition of obnoxious traditional practices, it has constantly felt on deaf ears. To better understand the reason for the flight of these youngsters it will be good to shed light on the nature of royal inheritance especially in the West and North West Regions where tradition is highly respected. Examples of people running away from enthronement in these two Regions in Cameroon abound. Being a Traditional Ruler in some of the tribes of the North West and West Regions is not an experience that any youngster looking forward to furthering his studies and getting propulsed in the world would want to pass through. Examples of Natural Leaders running away from their thrones in these parts of the country abound. One of the well known Cameroonian University Dons Dr. Anthony Ndi was sort after in the same manner to become the Ruler of his village years back when he was the Principal of Government High School Limbe in the South West Region of Cameroon. How he eventually escaped the throne can be attributed to his influence and network of influential and strategically placed friends. Constant flights from thrones are due to the type of life you are supposed to lead once you are enthroned. With the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, it is pathetic that once enthroned the young fon inherits everything including wives of the dead leader. More so, the new fon also undergoes certain ritualistic initiations with strong spiritual undertones that any normal modern kid will not endure. Though the intensity of these traditional practices are reducing, they are still practiced to a great extent in these Regions. In some areas, the enthroned fon would have to keep a close watch of the “Kwifon or Ngomba” for seven years. During the seven years, he would not visit their home except at nights for meal. Nobody would be allowed to see his face except those who have been initiated into the secret society. One family member who spoke to us on grounds not to be named for fear of being excommunicated from the village said the leaders of the village have refused to understand that some obnoxious parts of tradition should be dropped yet continue with impunity to frustrate young men in the name of tradition

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

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