Friday July 21, 2017 will surely always remind Emvoutou Bita Benoît Williams, the outgone Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Menchum Division in the North West region what the consequences of ruling people with high handedness can yield. The occasion was the handing over and installation of the new prefect, Kamga Charles by Governor Adolphe Lele L’Afrique.
It was amidst severe weather and general morosity that the adieu event unfolded. The rainstorms appeared to have garnered energy from the gods of Lake Wum, Lake Ilum and the Ewombong deep at Nzalla River to cleanse the land of the evil litter left by the erstwhile prefect.
In an additional show of dissatisfaction for a job not well done, the Lord Mayor of the Wum municipality, Dighambong Anthony Mvo was unequivocal in his speech. He pointed out the disservice Emvoutou has done to the division in his four years, eight months and sixteen days stay in the beloved Menchum. Citing amongst other things, the burning of the military camp and eventual incarceration of youths, a situation he said could have been avoided had Emvoutou done his job as father of the Division, the mayor told him in clear terms the ills that befell the Division during his reign. Emvoutou was also reminded of his laxity in handling land disputes, increase crime wave, influx of contraband goods and farmer/grazer conflicts. He advised him to avoid the statement “Heeh, vous croyez que” in his new administrative command unit which had virtually become his nickname in Menchum.
“I want to thank you Mr SDO for the good moments we shared together, especially those of exercising your supervisory role over councils in the Division. You will at least be fondly remembered by your usual expression of “Heeh, vous croyez que…” We however, would hardly forget as it always sharply brings to our minds, the ugly incident of the burning down of the military camp here in Wum in January 2016 by some angry youths, a thing total collaboration would have avoided. Michael Jordan wrote ‘Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championship.’”
To the incoming prefect, Kamga Charles, the mayor prayed him to foster development in the Division and to achieve this; he must create a good relationship with the hospitable and hardworking population of Menchum. He told him to accompany the councils in the decentralization process rather than making them his financial farm as many believe characterized his predecessor.
“It is with great joy, hope and enthusiasm that I welcome Charles Kamga as our 32nd Senior Divisional Officer, of course just less than the age of Jesus Christ. We are certain therefore that we are receiving someone today so closed to Christ. Menchum Division has been fondly and rightfully described as a nursery for administrators wishing to move to higher heights in their administrative career. In order to achieve this, President Paul Biya in an interview on Cameroon Television on February 19, 1987 said and I quote ‘It is not enough to be a graduate from the Advanced School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), but to cultivate the intellect, to be abreast with development, which is the only way in which we can have an administration that meets the needs and expectations of the people,’ end of quote.
Mr Senior Divisional Officer, for you to therefore achieve all of these, the panacea shall be: create a cordial relationship with the local population; live with your people, by your and for your people; organise skills and help people live together; engage in the fight against the serious security threats and curb the rampant cases of robbery, consumption of marijuana, child trafficking, rape, trading in contraband goods etc. so common with us; give a lasting solution to the long standing farmer/grazer conflicts; let your supervisory rule over councils not be seen as an arm or domination over the later but rather as a way of accompanying the mayors to accomplish the drive for decentralisation and development and most importantly, work very closely with all and sundry to better manage the socio-political crisis currently prevailing in the two Anglophone regions of our country.”
Mayor Anthony Dighambong used the occasion to appeal to the presiding Governor, Adolphe Lele L’Afrique to intervene for effective construction works to begin at the hydroelectric power project for a dam over the Menchum Falls. “This of course amongst other goodies would enable the nightmare on the Bamenda-Wum road to be a thing of the past,” The Voice, local weekly reported.
Installing SDO Kamga into his functions, the Governor told him that Menchum is a land of promise, milk and honey with vast forests, in-depth natural resources begging for exploitation as well as attractive tourist sites not to mention the numerous lakes, undulating landscape, hot springs and the famous Menchum Falls. He therefore advised him to reform the socio-economic and cultural life of the people as he has done in his previous stations.
“Do all to collaborate with your inhabitants and more especially the traditional rulers whom I have earlier pleaded to join hands with you so that you develop your jurisdiction.” He equally told him to join hands with the population to curb the rising rate of crime, drug abuse, arson, prostitution in the beloved Division.