Story By Beng Emmanuel Kum, of The Guardian Post
The call from the traditional ruler of the Bamendankwe people was made during his maiden official visit to Yaounde on Sunday, November 13.
The colourful event, which brought together sons, daughters, elite, traditional dignitaries from the nocks and crannies of the political capital, as well as the Fons of Bangolan, Babungo, Mbengwi and Bamumbu, was celebrated at the esplanade of the Yaoundé VI Council.
HRH Fon Forcherisi III, who is on the second lap of his nationwide tour after the South West region, since his enthronement in September 2020, expressed his joy to commune with his people in Yaoundé.
He also invited his Yaoundé-based subjects to continuously hold strong to their customs and traditions, which are the bases of their development.
“It is a big privilege and honour for us to continuously work for the interest of our people. Today, I am particularly pleased with the fact that, these are people who left Bamenda several hundreds of kilometres away, they find themselves in the Centre region and still remain very attached to our customs and traditions,” Fon Forcherisi III said.
“Today is a day of the manifestation of culture and tradition of the Bamendankwe people. And you know the tradition is what we hold very close to our hearts, because it is a common unifier for us sons and daughters of Bamendakwe,” he added.
“We are struggling to see that we put ourselves as a community towards the path of peace, solidarity, unity, love and to see how we continuously stand for the development of our communities. This is an opportunity for us, to pass this message across to the people,” the Fon noted.
“The message is to continuously hold strong to our customs and tradition no matter where we are because it is the basis of our development. It constitutes the main tool of our development. We are here because there is an identity in culture and tradition and I feel we have to protect it we have to preserve it for the future generation,” he added.
Fon Forcherisi III also sent across a strong message of peace to his subjects back home. The dynamic, level-headed and illustrious traditional ruler, who succeeded Fon Forsuh Nforgwa II, his father, beseeched his subjects to be frontrunners for the return of peace in their community and the entire North West region.
He insisted that “the voice of each and every one matters a lot in this process to see that we bring back peace to our community”.
“The message is to continuously stand for peace to return to not only our village, but also our region. This is because if there is no peace, it is difficult for people to come out in this manner to manifest their customs and tradition,” Fon Forcherisi III disclosed.
Bamendankwe indigenes pledge support
Speaking earlier in a welcome address, the Yaounde branch president of the Bamendankwe Development and Cultural Association, BAMEDCA, Ngwamulah Phannel Nwafor, said the Fon’s visit to Yaoundé was a blessing to Bamendankwe indigenes in Yaounde.
Ngwamulah Phannel thanked Fon Forcherisi III for his commitment to foster development in the village.
He added that despite the plea for government’s continuous support, BAMEDCA will not go to slumber but is bent on contributing to the development of their beloved village. He said there were several projects in the pipeline and solicited support when the time comes.
“Days like this are rare in our communities especially in Yaoundé. The Bamendankwe people in Yaoundé should come together and work hand in hand with those back in the village. I am more than excited receiving the Fon here,” he said.
Ngwamulah’s call to heed to Fon Forcherisi III developmental plans was re-echoed by the Mayor of Bamenda I Council, Mbigha Felix.
“We are inviting them to come back and see that we all put our hands together to develop the community. The council is for the people and they are part of that council and they should come back so that we should jointly promote and develop the community,” Mayor Mbigha said.
“We want Bamendankwe to be a ‘Small London’ and we see it coming already. We are coming to encourage them to come back so that we stand together as one to see that we develop our community,” he added.
Appreciation to government for developmental projects
Dr Neba Bridget, an elite of Bamendankwe, used the occasion to thank the government for the developmental projects carried in their community.
She cited the foundation stone of the liquefied petroleum gas filling station, the numerous roads available and the modern football field being constructed in their community.
“The Fon, being an auxiliary of the administration, is here and we women and elite of Bamendankwe want to use this opportunity to thank the government through him for the multiple projects the government has carried out through him in our village,” she said.
Dr Neba also called on other elite and indigenes of Bamendankwe to put all hands on deck to see that peace continues to reign in their community.
“Fon Forchesiri is bringing peace to the people of Bamendakwe. In the North West region, Bamenda I subdivision stands out for the peace that reigns there. He is coming with the message of peace to his people. That we the people of Bamendamkwe in Yaoundé should join him to continue, so that the peace that reigns Bamenda I can be sustainable,” she added.
The population of Bamendankwe indigines residing in Yaoundé is estimated at over 1,000 persons. They are divided into 10 quarters; Mendong, Ntaffi, Nsimeyong, Melen, Mimboman, Etoudi, Eleveur, Omisport Centre and Ekounou. Each quarter is headed by a quarter head, all accountable to the Fon’s representative.
The Fon’s inaugural visit to Yaoundé was animated by several traditional dance groups.