Two North West traditional rulers die in car crash

Calamity stroke the North West royal family in the early hours of yesterday as two of the region’s traditional rulers,…

Calamity stroke the North West royal family in the early hours of yesterday as two of the region’s traditional rulers, on their way to Yaounde, died in a ghastly road acci- dent. The two traditional rulers from Momo division, Fon Dr. Akam Thomas of Kai village and Fon Thaddeus Njokom of Mbengwi met their doom at about 4 am yesterday when the Toyota Rav4 in which they were had a head-on-collision with a 30-seater transport bus that was on its way to the West region. Details of the ghastly accident that occurred at Bantoum near Tonga are still sketchy.

Going by The Guardian Post daily newspaper, eyewitness accounts however have it that the two traditional rulers died on the spot of the accident while their driver who showed signs of still being alive was rushed to hospital. It was not clear by press time last night if the driver finally kicked the bucket or is still alive. Meanwhile the remains of the two fons were ferried to their respective villages in Momo division for burial in strict traditional manner.

It should be recalled that going by the North West tradition, a fon’s corpse is never kept in the mortuary. Going by same North West tradition, fons are buried almost immediately after they are declared ‘missing. ’It can therefore be said with- out fear of being contradicted that both Fons Dr. Akam and Njokom are since yesterday resting in their graves. There are conflicting stories as to why the fons were travelling to Yaounde at such ungodly hours.

While it is being rumoured that the fons were travelling to Yaounde at the invitation of their peers from the South region for yet undisclosed reason(s), The Guardian Post reported other North West traditional rulers who pleaded to remain anonymous that the Momo fons were heading to the nation’s capital at the invitation of the minister delegate in-charge of the supreme state audit office, Mbah Acha Rose Fomundam.

She had reportedly invited some prominent rulers from Momo division to a meeting in Yaounde in view of the upcoming gen- eral assembly of the Meta Fons’Union. Sources say the other Momo fons who were also on their way to Yaounde in the early hours of yesterday morning immediately made a U-turn back to their respective fondoms when news of the tragedy reached them. All attempts to get Minister Mbah Acha Rose admit or deny that the fons were travelling to Yaounde on her invitation were futile. Meanwhile until his ‘disappear- ance’ yesterday, Fon Dr. Akam, a retired lecturer of the University of Buea, was the secretary general of the North West Fons’ Union, NOWEFU.

The mandate of the Senator Fon Teche Njei’s-led NOWEFU executive had since expired but they have refused to hand-over power to a new executive. Tongues have since the news of the tragic death of Fon Dr. Akam (about 67 years) and Fon Njokom (70 years) been wagging; with many baptizing the development as a bad omen for Momo division. It makes meaning to recall that it is the first time in the history of the North West region that traditional rulers ‘dis- appear’ in such tragic and disgraceful manner. It is also the very first time in the history of North West traditional institutions that a fon’s corpse is exposed to the public. Little wonder therefore that some North West traditional authorities are already calling for some rituals and cleansing in the respective villages of the late fons.

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