Cameroon’s oldest Senator is no more. Nfon Victor Mukete died today in the nation’s capital Yaoundé at the age of 102.
Apart from being a regime baron and Paramount ruler of the Bafaw people, what else is known about him?
Full names Nfon Victor Esemingsongo Mukete, he was born on November 15, 1918 in Kumba, South West region.
After attending Nigeria’s Government College Umuahia on government scholarship, Nfon Mukete went on to attend Higher College Yaba.
He went on to study at the University of Manchester in England, (1948-51) and Christ’s College, Cambridge University (1951-52).
One would think as an agriculturalist and Botanist he was going to foster a career in his area of training. Nfon Mukete however would later dive into politics.
He went on to serve Nigeria’s Minister of information, when Southern Cameroons was still governed as a trust territory.
Even after independence and reunification with French Cameroun, Nfon Mukete did not lose the will to serve, but remained in the politicking business till his death.
One of his most iconic outings was recorded in 2019 when the Senator mounted the rostrum at the Senate, making a series of declarations over the Anglophone crisis which has now escalated to a full blown war.
“The reunification of this country places the two official languages at an equal scale but some people because of money want to kill the English language. That was the beginning of trouble. This has caused some people to pick up arms and defend the English culture,” he said, as his peers listened.
Recalling that he was already way past his prime and had seen enough to know what was required, he explained that virtues of honesty, integrity and justice alone could save Cameroon from the sandstorm that was about to befall it.
“… I love this country and I fought for the reunification of this country. Let us demonstrate honesty, integrity and justice for the good of this country…,” he urged.
To him, a proper solution was effective decentralisation where every region “… should be able to provide water, electricity, build roads and provide other social services to people of the region”.
While his position did not resonate with every Anglophone given the already-dicerse and in some cases, extreme schools of thoughts over the conflict, Chief Mukete’s utterances were seen by many to be a display of bravery in a setting where many would only be handclappers.
Serving for years as politician, one of the late Senator’s most recognised works was his book, My Odyssey: The Story of Cameroon Reunification With Authentic Letters Of Key Players.
The book remains a point of reference in many regards today, especially with the demise of the now late ruler’s political contemporaries such as ST Muna, JN Foncha, EML Endeley and others.
Chief Mukete may be no more, but his actions like those of President Biya and his close aides live on and will continue to affect Cameroonians in several ways for ages to come.
Mimi Mefo Info