Members of the South West Chiefs’ Conference (SWECC) have elected a new bureau, with Senator Nfon V.E Mukete at the helm. The election took place at the Kumba City Council Hall during a two day general assembly meeting that ended on Saturday May 31, 2014 in Kumba. Much earlier, the paramount ruler of the Bafaws had been elected to lead the Meme Chiefs’ Conference.
Following SWECC’s principle of rotatory leadership, Chief Ekong William Sakwe of Big Nganjo was elected as Vice President, since it was Meme’s turn to hold the baton after Lebialem.
The electoral college of 60 chiefs, representing the six divisions voted Chief Frizt Gerald Nasako as Secretary General, to be assisted by Chief Tanyi Robinson. Chief Akama Gabriel emerged as Treasurer, while Chief Mbi Orock took up the post of Financial Secretary. The post of Public Relations Officer was lifted by Chief Ejage Francis who will be closely assisted by Chief Eseme Elis. Chief Njombe Njote and Chief Molindo Ekuka are Social Secretary and Vice Social Secretary respectively. The positions of Auditor went to Chief Forjimetaw and Chief Etane, while the Legal Advisers were maintained.
All seems not to be well with SWECC, with some chiefs purporting that their darling conference is declining, The Guardian Post has learnt. On the first day of the confab, traditional rulers shared disparing views over money that was given to SWECC by the head of state during the celebration of Cameroon’s 50TH anniversary of reunification in Buea. While others advocate for the presidential gift to be used to revamp the abandoned secretariat construction project, a greater majority argued that the money was meant to be shared.
Another group of chiefs, amongst them Chief David Motase Ngoh of Bakwa Supe, expressed worries that SWECC is lagging by not being self-sustaining. Chief Motase, like the other chiefs, was not confortable with the fact that SWECC depends largely on donations from elites and contribution by members. In the near future, each village in the South West, will contibute 100 000FCFA for the construction of the house of chiefs, The Guardian Post was hinted. Chief Motase believes a focused leadership at the helm of SWECC will put in place income generating activities and make the group financially viable.
Reacting to a pronouncement made by Chief Dr. Atem Ebako, few independent observers at the Kumba come-together of traditional rulers were indifferent as to the declining nature of SWECC. Chief Dr. Ebako of Talangye noted that between 1994-1997 when he was Secretary General of SWECC, attendance at general assembly meetings usually hit 800. However, the number of registered chiefs by the time he was talking was barely 140. This recent increasing drop in attendance, left many with the impression that SWECC is back-pedalling, since villages have scarely gone extinct or their chiefs die without successors.
Whatever the case, the custodians of tradition, settled on a number of issues, pertinent among them, the construction of SWECC secretariat.
Speaking shortly after assuming the chieftain of SWECC, Nfon V.E Mukete, acknowlegded that for years, SWECC has gone to sleep but they will put on their thinking cap to ensure they make memorable contributions. Nfon Mukete promised that the SWECC secretariat will receive highest attention during his two year mandate.
Decrying the perenial problem of roads in the South West Region, especially rural roads, Nfon Mukete said he will follow authorities to see what is happening about the Kumba- Mamfe road.
Last weekend’s gathering was attended by a cross section of elites and chiefs, with the conspicuous presence of the new fon of Fontem, Fon Asaba Njifua II.