Thursday, October 23, 2014

MANGOH JONES TANKO! THE FALLEN BAOBAB

By Wamey Panky
 On that fateful Sunday after noon the news of the sudden death of the one time Mayor of Nkambe Mangoh
RIP Mangoh Jones Tanko
Jones Tangko spread like whirl wind. It was quite difficult to believe especially by those who had fellowshipped with him that morning in his Nkambe Town Baptist Church. Even those at the Mbor- Abi meeting where he collapsed and checked-out on the spot, could not believe but felt he was just unconscious. It was until his corpse was taken to the Nkambe mortuary that many believed that Pa Mangoh was no more. Many were beaten by shock, the wife went to a comma and was quickly rushed to the hospital and only discharged the next day. She entertained counseling from medical experts.
            Militants of the Social Democratic Front, (SDF) party especially of the Nkambe electoral district received the shock with very heavy hearts. Many considered it a political earthquake within the party in Donga–Mantung Division while others considered it as an unprecedented storm that had swept away their political monument. Still others wept that Donga Mantung Division had lost their mobile – library.
            It is still hard to believe that the icon is no more. His great things  live behind him. From his political history, Mangoh Jones Tangko was one of the main actors and advocate at the official launching of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, party in Bamenda on the 26th of May 1990. So, because of his political choice, Mangoh suffered heavily from the claws of late Hon. Samuel Ngeh Tamfu, the then CPDM Poli-bureau member and Member of the Central Committee. He suffered punitive transfer as he was catapulted to the Northern Region just as he returned to Nkambe to saw seeds of the SDF. This action intended to frustrate and wither the young implanted SDF in Nkambe and Donga-Mantung rather favoured multiplicity of militants and forestalled trust and firmness. He later suffered salary suspension that rendered the life of his family more miserable yet he buried his faith in the party with wanton resistance.         
            The people’s messiah
            During the first Municipal elections in 1996, the SDF party won the Council and Mangoh Jones Tangko became the Mayor. He was like a destined messiah for the people of Nkambe. In fact because of his hard work and devotedness to the party during the following elections of 2002, 2007 he was continuously returned in the office of the Mayor.
            As a family head, Mangoh said he was a happy father because his last daughter had just succeeded into IRIC, and without him, her elder brothers and sisters could assist her to complete her course. “If I die now, I will have no regret because I have left a worthy legacy to my children. I remain thankful  to God Almighty for making me an achieved man. I will advise others to trust in God by doing the right” These were his last words with this writer, two weeks before his demise. He satisfactorily retired as a teacher, a Mayor and as Mangoh Jones Tangko to rest in God’s kingdom. He only bowed out of the Office during the 2013 September Municipal elections where the CPDM by, hooks and crooks won the Council. It was like God’s design for Mangoh not to die in Office, because he died some 13months after.                                              
Mangoh Died Smiling 
            From conversations and his writings, Mangoh Jones Tangko accomplished his ambitions, consequently died with no regrets  but smiles.
 He had hinted this writer (as his one time teacher of History) that while he was still a school boy, he had the ambition to be a teacher and to rule/lead his people. He said, he was happy that he became a teacher, built-up so many Cameroonians and just retired to rest at home. He added that when in 1996, his people preferred him as their Mayor, it was just a dream come true.
            He boasted that he had a successful life as a Mayor, leader of his people. He said, he had development records in every village of his Municipality: In the domain of education; classrooms were constructed, benches supplied and teachers recruited in schools under the council payroll;  roads were constructed, bridges and pipe-borne water supplied in other villages; some palaces benefited zinc and other material from the council. He encouraged environmental upkeep by nursing ornamental trees and not only planting them on the main street of Nkambe but also shared to villages to plant especially for water shade. He initiated the construction of the Nkambe Modern Municipal Stadium; constructed the most admirable Nkambe Grandstand, and the Nkambe Town Green which remains an edifice of the millennium in Donga-Mantung Division. This and many more for sure kept Mangoh smiling at death.
Mangoh’s last five years as Mayor, history holds, was not without thorns. He flaunted his agreement with party hierarchy to step dawn from his Mayorship in favour of the party’s candidate. He divided councilors overnight with thick envelops and carried away a favoured majority that through the ballot box imposed him back as the Mayor. Mangoh, the hardliner, despite the famous article 82 slammed on him, opened several administration doors and stayed on against the party’s wish. As a die-hard militant of the SDF party, despite the humiliating 8.2, he remained steadfast to the party. During this crisis many struggled in vein to convince Mangoh to cross carpet or form his own party. No one could defeat his faith in the SDF party – so he remained steadfast and died as a staunched SDF militant whose vacuum created will only be filled by God. As democratic and flexible as the party’s dogma, Mangoh was reconciled with the party, and was blessed by the party to continue the reign. The party was admired by many


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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