Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thousands Pay Homage to Retired UN Worker, Mayor, Soldier (Emimi Nnekwe Emmanuel)

By Fai Cassian Ndi
The Presbyterian Church Ako was jammed to full capacity by mourners, friends, colleagues and admirers of late Emimi Nnekwe Emmanuel, a retired soldier (who served Nigerian and Cameroon Army, the United Nations Commission for Refugees, and the Ako Council as mayor.
Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry, Secretary of State for Mines, Industries and Technological Development in his eulogy described late Emimi Emmanuel as a statesman, administrator and refined politician. He said the former mayor was a good example of a patriotic Cameroonian who had served the country and the international community in various capacities. To Dr. Fuh Calistus, the passing away of Emimi Nnekwe Emmanuel was a great lost to the CPDM party, the Mbembe people and the entire Ako/Misaje Special Constituency as a whole.
Hon. Ntoi J.E.Kay testified to mourners that late Emimi Nnekwe Emmanuel principally was his father, mentor, close friend and a reliable political collaborator. To Hon. Ntoi, the departed hero was a common denominator and a unifying factor that earned him numerous titles like “ICON, WHITEMAN MAYOR and UN” in Mbembe land, Cameroon and across the borders. He
added that the late mayor of Ako died as a devoted Christian, “infact a man whose generosity was vertical and horizontal with no bias to age, gender, tribe, political party, religion, poor and needy, colour etc. A political figure, who had a reserved affection for the CPDM party he supported”. Hon. Noti J E Kay in his concluding testimony emphasized that by human evaluation, late Emimi was an upright man and the rest and more important is left to the Creator, the Almighty God. “His death does not contradict God’s appointed time as the greater teacher Ecclesiastes reminds us in his 3rd Chapter-verse 2:- “There is time to be born and time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot”.
On his part, Hon. Abe Micheal Ndra summed the life of the great man in three words: he was credible, transparent and trustworthy man. “He has left a vacuum that it will take the people of Mbembe time to fill. We will always feel his absence in the life of this municipality”.
In the more than 10.000 people who attended the funeral mass at the Presbyterian Church Ako, everyone had a story to tell about the retire UN worker. Those who knew him when he was mayor of Ako for close to 12 years 8 months had their own story while those who knew him when he was in the Nigerian Police, Army and the Cameroon Army also had a story to tell
about the soldier he was. His party colleagues also had their own story while the kids who always turn around him in his small store in his residence had their own story. Even this reporter who braved the road from Bamenda to Ako to pay his last respected to the Whiteman mayor as he was fondly called has his own story. In fact as Ntoi Victor puts it, Emimi was a man of few words but he was a man of action. He was a philanthropist of great magnitude who did not like to see anyone suffering when he could help.
Nveya Ernest, YCPDM Section President for Ako described late Emimi as a political giant. “When Pa Emimi was ill, you saw what happened, the CPDM lost elections in Ako. It was not because he did not deliver the goods but because he was the political strategist that was able to read and understand politics. Ako will live to remember him through his innovative ideas. He constructed the Ako Border market that is second only to that of Kioy-si and above all, he is on record to have constructed the first storey building in Ako town (our council chambers)”.
Njoh Jonathan, former Secretary General of the Ako who worked with the late mayor for over 10 years described late Emimi as an exemplary politician and municipal administrator. “He was very strict but compensated hard work, transparency and truthfulness. I learned a lot from him. He was a man of exceptional charm that pulled people because of his way of living, kind and full of humility. Since I started working with him, I never saw him in any staff’s office and above all a man of the people, father who would always give advice to the youth”.

Everyone that knew him was in Ako today March 23, 2014 to pay him the last respect. VIPs present during the ceremony included amongst others, Dr. Fuh Calistus, Secretary of State for Mines, Industries and Technological Development, Ngone Ndodemesape Bernard, SDO for Donga Mantung Division, Hon. Abe Michael, MP for Ako/Misaje Special Constituency, Dr. Ngomfe Loma-David, mayor of Nwa, Bunyui Jonathan, Mayor of Ndu, Martin Fon Yembe, 1st Deputy Mayor for Ndu Council, Ngabir Paul Bantar, Mayor of Nkambe Council, Sammy Mbgata, mayor of Misaje Council, Akio Augustine, Mayor of Ako and his deputies, Ngi Christopher Alternate Senator for Donga Mantung Division, the Sub Divisional Officer Ako, former Mayor of Zhoa council, Dr. Tamo-CPDM resource person for Misaje, Divisional and sub divisional delegates, service heads, buyam-sellams, achaba riders and thousand others who were buried in the crowd.

Emimi Nnekwe Emmanuel Whom I knew
Every time I think of the “Whiteman Mayor” of Ako alias UN, I always take my memory back to the day of his installation when he was elected as mayor for the first mandate. Former SDO for Donga Mantung Division Mboki Godlive Ntua who performed the installation rite said he was flattered by Emimi taste for beauty. Unlike others who would go extra miles using obnoxious practices, late Emimi Emmanuel was a popular choice of the people. As Nveya Ernest confirmed it, late Emimi was a choice of the people of Mbembe both at home and outside given that he was a special friend to everyone, civil servants, administrators, fons and even children.
Born on June 15, 1935 in Ako of father Nnekwe Turura and Gimbiya Yarafa, young Emimi attended primary school at Abong Nigerian border village and Takum still in Nigeria where he obtained his Standard Sixth Passed Certificate. In 1951, he enrolled at the Government Secondary School Katsina-Ala (Nigeria) and due to his job ambitiousness; he obtained brilliantly the entrance into the Nigerian Police. While in the police corps, he obtained entrance into Ikeja School of Post and Telecommunication where he graduated with an International Senior Certificate as a wireless operator. In 1956, he requested that he should be transferred to the Nigerian Army and it was accepted. In 1960, served with the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in the then Congo Leopole Ville, Kingshasa during late Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and TSOMBE Crisis. He was one of those who campaign for reunification. When it finally happened, Emmi Nnekwe was transferred in 1961 to the Cameroon Army. From 1966-1980, he served as Chief of Transmission Center in the following military sectors, Bafoussam, Douala, Ebolowa, Bertoua and Buea where he retired on December 31, 1980.
In 1981, obtained another lucrative job with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,
Cameroon Branch office where he served as Chief of Service for Telecommunication for Central Africa. In 1992, he requested for anticipated retirement with the UN and was granted pension with the UN diplomatic status.
Back in Ako, he was the first CPDM sub Section for the entire Ako Sub Division from 1993-1996 and from 1996 up to March 21, 2013 when he died; Emimi was the Vice CPDM Section President. In 2002 the won the Ako Council and he was elected mayor. In 2007, he was again reelected for a second mandate which he served up to 2013 when he fell sick.

Pa Emimi aka Whiteman mayor has received many distinctions and decorations. He was decorated with the Public Force Medal and the Cameroon Order of Merit. He was happily married and had 9 children and 12 grand children. He was perfectly bilingual. 

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

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