Friday, May 15, 2015

Shooting to Death of Traditional Ruler: SDO’s Decisions Spark Controversy

An atmosphere of cloudiness looms between two villages (Njap village in Nkambe Central Sub Division and Kamine village in Misaje Sub Division) of Donga Mantung Division after the shooting to death of Fai Ndingansi (quarter head of Njap village in Nkambe Central Sub Division) on March 31, 2015. Matters came to a head, last May 9, 2015 when the fon of Kamine (Misaje Sub Division) resurfaced at Ngong quarter where the mortal remains of the said traditional ruler was laid to rest to carry out rituals on his grave. Tension is reported to have reached crescendo when the fon of Kamine insisted that he was acting on the instruction (Prefctoral Order) issued by the Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung Division, Ngone Ndodemesape Bernard. According to what we gathered, Fai Ndingansi’s family resisted on grounds that would be an abomination and in the depths of despair for an outsider to carry out rituals on the grave of their family head. Yet The Eye gathered that Donga Mantung SDO has issued a query to the Fon of Njap on grounds that he disrespected his Order.
This is so because on April 8, 2015, Donga Mantung SDO issued a Prefectoral Order to temporarily regulate the performance of traditional rites in the said disputed piece of land. Prefectoral Order N0 094/PO/E27/C.111 SASC 8 April 2015 stipulated that the Fon of Kamine had three days to carryout cleansing where Fai Ndingansi was shot to death. Yet the Fon of Kamine surfaced 28 days after the date line had long expired. Many have interpreted the move as lack of respect of the Prefectoral Order on the part of Kamine Fon given that Article 1 states that “the Fon of Kamine village has three days maximum, with effect from the date of notification of this Order to carryout cleansing rite in the area where Ndingansi was shot on March 31st …..”
The most controversial part of the Prefectoral we gathered lies in the fact that SDO for Donga Mantung, Ngone Ndodemesape Bernard in Article Three states that “the Divisional Officer for Misaje and his security collaborators shall administer the quarter, in account of proximity during the period of suspension” yet Njap people say the decision is not justifiable at all. They have been heard arguing that lack of access road to Ngong should not serve as a bridge for the area to be handed to a different village under such a pretext. The same Prefectoral Order also suspended all traditional rites, customary funerals, crowning/enthronement of a new sub chief suspended till further notice. It is alleged that the area under dispute is said to be rich underneath.
A classified source hinted this reporter that Ngong has being a quarter of Njap and this could be justified given that during the 1961 Plebiscite, the people of Ngong voted at the Njap Palace and during all the elections they have been voted at a polling station located at Fiengong. More so, Fai Ndingansi I, who died in 1976 we gathered was crowned by the fon of Njap. He was buried in Ngong and all the funeral rites were performed by the people of Njap under the supervision of the then Fon of Njap. Apart from that, Ngong has been paying all taxes (Jangali, Poll taxes) in Njap since 1964. The map of Njap also indicates Ngong as a quarter. These and many other evidences abound that someone is using land dispute as a camouflage to put out of sight those who masterminded the shooting to death of Fai Ndingansi III.   
In rejecting the rituals being carried out on the grave of their subject, the people of Njap we learnt have urged that the Administration, Fon of Njap and Fon of Kamine should move to the area, Ngong and pour libation to see who owns the place. A school of thought holds that the truth could only be established through the pouring of libation given that rituals are obnoxious acts that could hold the spirit of the assassinated sub chief to go after those who ganged up to kill him. The fear, we gathered steams from the fact that even the assassin spent days wandering in Ngong until he was napped. This we gathered it was due to the fact that on the night of March 31, 2015 when the sub chief was shot, a libation was pour calling on the gods not to allow the perpetrators quit their land.
The Fon of Njap is alleged to have decried that it is not because of inaccessibility or motorable road through Njap village that the fon of Kamine will take advantage to occupy part of his village. He discarded the proximity claims, adding that if such were tenable, Furu-Awa and Akwaya would have been administered from Nigeria for proximity reasons. It should be noted that Ngong has had a history of hostility. It said that at one moment someone was found death in the house under strange circumstances. In another instance, another person was shot to death, his wife beaten to death and the perpetrator was only slammed a three years jail term. The latest being the shooting to death of Fai Ndingansi.  All the victims have been from Njap village.
The most disheartening is that three of the four suspected murders of Fai Ndingansi were granted bail while the key suspect, a certain Nigerian national Shagari (who shot the said traditional ruler to death is currently in detention in Bamenda).  It should be recalled that Shagari was caught by the population of Njap the following morning in possession of the gun he used to kill the sub chief. His arrest also led to the arrest of three other suspects. Shagari according classified sources is Mbororo man from Nigeria and is said to be a renowned cow thief in Misaje; purportedly ringleader of a gang that has been terrorizing cattle traders between Bum Sub Division and Misaje Sub Division.
Land Dispute Key Suspect
The unfortunate incident is said to be linked to land dispute between Njap village in Nkambe Central and Kamine village in Misaje. The story goes that on March 31, 2015, the said quarter head while asleep late into the night got an uneasy barking from his dogs. As any normal thinking human being will react when strange things do happen, he got up from bed, opened the door to find out what must have provoked his dogs. That was when he was shot. The misguided individuals, as he (the quarter head recounted before giving off the ghost disappeared) leaving him on the floor. News circulated through numerous phone calls. Determined youths, men and women of Njap stormed the area. Allegations abound that some libations were also performed to block the assassin from leaving their land. While villagers launched a manhunt to get the killers, Fai Ndingansi was hurried to the Nkambe District Hospital on Achaba where he finally died. Before giving off the ghost, the said traditional ruler is said to have narrated what happened to the hearing of all. News of his death circulated like wildfire. Allegedly, the said traditional ruler had deposited two complaints against some individuals who have been threatening his life. The said individuals classified source say are under serious investigation. It is alleged that the anti-terrorism law looms large on suspected killers and accomplices. Last year, one traditional ruler was also killed by his brother over disputed palm bush in neigbouring quarter. While putting to rest the assassinated quarter head, the people of Njap performed a libation calling on the ancestors to take charge and their responsibility to make sure that anyone who participated in one way or the other in the killing (or got wing of the info that led to his death should be dealt with accordingly).

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

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