Mankon sons, daughters unveil basketful expectations from new fon

By Raymond Dingana

If the new Fon of Mankon, HRH Fo Asaah Angwafo IV ever had it at the back of his mind that fitting in to the shoes of his father was going to be a bed of roses, then he may consider a rethink.

Though the 50-year-old monarch has been embraced by the population of the first class chiefdom, much is expected from him as he seats on the stool his father, Fon Angwafo III sat on for 63 years.

As tens of thousands of people turned up at the esplanade of the 300-year-old royal Mankon place in Bamenda, North West region of the country on Tuesday to witness the official traditional public presentation of the new monarch of the Mankon people, some sons and daughters of the fondom expressed their expectations which range from peace to socio-economic development.

According to Anye Nde Soh, a son of Mankon, the road leading to the fondom is an issue the new traditional ruler should look into.

Fo Angwafo IV (sitting)

“There are some very important things that are lacking in Mankon. The road to the palace is an eyesore, we lack potable water around here, electricity is another issue that needs to be fixed by the new fon. We are expecting him to provide a modern road leading to the palace and also look in to the challenges I have raise above. He is a young Fon and I know he will handle those problems, “Nde Soh said.

Like Nde, Bih Bernadette, a daughter of Mankon thinks the palace needs a benefitting tarred access road. To her, the road to the palace does not honour the traditional identity of the traditional institution and discourages tourists from visiting.

Help achieve peace

The traditional public presentation of the new traditional ruler of the Mankon people was folkloric, but one ritual was missing. There was no gun firing as would have been the case. This is because the government had banned the firing of guns due to the ongoing armed conflict in the two English speaking regions of the country. Some Mankon people hope and wish their new traditional ruler should help bring peace. Such is the expectation of Akwa Edna.

“We need to see him make his impact felt by those suffering because of the Anglophone crisis. I know he can do something alongside other traditional rulers of the two troubled regions of Cameroon,”Akwa intimated.

Another Mankon son, Anye Edwin said he expects their new traditional ruler; an educationist to lobby for amenities like schools and hospitals for the chiefdom. To him, besides being an educationist who should understand the need for such facilities, the new fon is young and energetic to lobby for his people.

Hitch-free coronation

Mankon had been one of the epicenters of gun battles between government forces and armed separatist fighters in the city of Bamenda. However, the atmosphere during the coronation of Fo Asaah Angwafo IV was void of any major security challenge. No gun shots were heard albeit the presence of soldiers at the venue of the coronation. Many inhabitants of Bamenda had prior to the epic coronation ceremony expressed fears it could be marred by exchange of gunfire between the military and armed separatists.

Cross section of Mankon denizens at enthronement
Cross section of Mankon denizens at enthronement

Nature also seemed to have been happy with the coronation of Fo Asaah Angwafo IV as even the rain that threatened to disrupt the ceremony did not eventually fall albeit the drizzling described by notables of the palace as showers of blessings. According to Fru Joseph, the gods of the land were able to cause the rain to fall elsewhere and not disturb the event.

Born on December 12, 1972, Fo Asaah Angwafo IV is an accountant by training and a school administrator with a DIPET 2 certificate from the Government Technical Teachers Training College (ENSET) of the University of Douala.

Prior to his designation as the 21st traditional ruler of the first class chiefdom of Mankon, the discrete educationist was serving as principal of Government Technical Collage, Nkeung in Nkwen, Bamenda III Sub Division.

Besides his role as school administrator, the new traditional supremo of the Mankon people is also into  gardening and animal rearing, a passion he picked up from his late father Fon Angwafor lll who was a trained agricultural technician and practicing farmer.

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