By Soulemanu Buba
The Mayor of Bamenda City Council, Achobong Paul Tembang, has used the official funeral ceremony of the late Fon of Mankon to seek forgiveness with Separatists who are from the Fondom.
Speaking at the official mourning ceremony of Fon Angwafo III at the Mankon Palace on December 15, the City Mayor said he has forgiven separatists who have wronged him.
He also asked for forgiveness from Separatists during the mourning ceremony attended by several state officials.
“To the sons and daughters of Mankon and the City of Bamenda, the likes of Ayaba Cho and others, if we have offended you in any way please forgive us. To those who have also offended us, we have forgiven you for old things have become new,” said Mayor Achobang.
A notable of Mankon who opted for anonymity said the Mayor’s plea is real and it reflects the plight of many who think forgiveness and reconciliation can trigger peace in the restive North West Region of Cameroon, where an armed conflict has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Rather than seek ways to reconcile political differences with the separatists, Cameroonian authorities have, however, largely favoured the military option, and have been demanding for separatist fighters to drop their arms.
The official funeral ceremony of Fon Angwafo began on December 15 and will last one month.
The ceremony will be characterized by dancing and traditional rites that will officially mark the reign of the new Fon Fru Asaah Angwafo IV, who succeeded his father as Fon of the Mankon.
Fon Angwafo III left Mankon at the age of 97.
Apart from being one of the most renowned traditional rulers in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, he was a longtime statesman and fervent member (Vice National Chairman) of the ruling CPDM party .
Before his ‘disappearance’ was announced on May 29 this year, he had reaffirmed his intolerance of the separatist movement that is being championed by some natives of his Kingdom.