By Sama Jonathan
John Elufa Manga Williams who is fondly called Johnny Manga Williams has begun his journey as the paramount ruler of Limbe in the Fako division of the South West region. The new traditional ruler of the first class chiefdom was officially presented to the administration on Saturday June 11 during a crowd-pulling ceremony in the seaside resort city.
The Ikanea, (The great warrior) as the new traditional ruler is called ascended to the throne that has been vacant for 17 years, becoming the third monarch of Limbe. He succeeds his uncle, Ferguson Bila Manga Williams who journeyed to meet his ancestors on July 9, 2005.
The official coronation ceremony at the Limbe Centenary Stadium was watched by four members of government including Paul Atanga Nji, Minister of Territorial Administration, Ibrahim Talba Malla, Minister of Public Contracts, Nalova Lyonga Minister of Secondary Education and Paul Tasong, Minister Delegate in the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development.
Speaking during the event, the City Mayor of Limbe, Paul Efome hailed the new monarch for his philanthropic gestures and wisdom. He said the population expect their new traditional ruler to maintain peace and ensure smooth coexistence of the cosmopolitan people of Limbe as well as to indeed rekindle the flame of Limbe’s cultural heritage.
Other speakers who took the rostrum talked of how John Elufa Manga Williams won the heart of the people of his community having served as Paramount Chief Elect.
The Chair of the Organising Committee of the Coronation, Paul Luma Haddison, said the presence of Minister Paul Atanga Nji and his inter-ministerial delegation sends a strong message to dreamers that matters relating to the throne of Limbe had long been done and dusted. He particularly appreciated the Senior Divisional Officer of Fako, Engamba Emmanuel Ledoux, for his efforts to clean the much dust that had covered the file of the Limbe Paramount Chieftaincy stool over the years.
Enter The Ikanea
In a breathtaking speech, the new traditional ruler said he was elated that the event is taking place at the Centenary Stadium, a place where his grandfather, HM John Nambeke Manga Williams poured libation during the 100th anniversary of Victoria, 64 years ago.
While describing the people of Limbe as a hospital, hard-working and tolerant people, The Ikanea was specific that the simplicity of the people should not be misconstrued as weakness, for Limbe is not a no-man’s-land.
He revealed that: “The road to occupy the throne has not been smooth due to several distractions,” but was grateful to the Kingmakers and the administration for doing justice to history.
HRM John Elufa Manga Williams appealed for the support of all and sundry to help him achieve his vision for the Limbe Chiefdom and the city by extension, which, he mentioned, include among other things, the construction of a befitting museum, construction of a multipurpose cultural centre and to ensure proper respect of traditional rulers and the institution they incarnate.
Chief John Manga Williams, the man
Chief John Elufa Manga Williams holds an HND in Business Administration from Calabar Polytechnic in Nigeria and a Diploma in Public Administration from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. He recently completed a masters’ degree programme in risk management at Atlantic International University.
He is former YCPDM section president of the then Fako I section, councillor of the then Limbe Urban Council and Limbe I council.
The entrepreneur is married to Gwendlyn Iyowe with whom he has three children.
He is also into philanthropic activities, succoring Internally Displaced Persons, widows and the homeless.