An Elite of Esu village in Menchum Division of the North West Region of Cameroon has blasted the call by Abdoulahi Aliou, Senior Divisional Officer (SDO), requesting applications from those interested to run for the position of the Fon of Esu.
The elite reacted bitterly stating that the position of traditional ruler is not an elective position and not subject to any call for submission of candidatures.
Menchum SDO had on the 8th of June 2023, in a press release, said “He was informing prospective candidates to the throne of Esu, to file in their candidacy in his office for arrangements and consultation talks at the palace of Esu which he shall personally preside over.”
Many have qualified Abdoulahi Aliou’s outing as synonymous to “calling for prospective candidates to seat for a competitive entrance examination into a professional school.”
“The position of the Fon of Esu like any other Fon in the grass field is not an elective position. It is hereditary, this is not politics. Our culture and traditions have been in existence for generations,” the elite from Esu who opted for anonymity fear of reprisals told MMI.
He further said, ” The process to enthrone a new king has always been in place and the king makers are solely responsible to do that in accordance with Esu customs and traditions, customs.”
Qualifying the action of the civil administrator as sacrilege, he noted that, “the people of Esu are still mourning their Fon who was brutally murdered and the throne is covered with blood . The village and seat will need to be cleansed per the tradition and customs before a new Fon is enthroned.”
“The SDO is not a king maker and his office isn’t in our palace. The press release is sacrilegious and should be retracted and apology tendered to the people of Esu. The people of Esu are peaceful people and this press release can cause divisions, conflicts and calamity if the customs and traditions of the Esu land are not respected,” the elite went on.
This is coming at a time when the House of Chiefs charged with debating such matters is functional in the region — but opted for silence.
Other elites of Esu village have challenged the North West House of Chiefs “to take their responsibilities and ensure that the traditions and customs of the grass field are respected and ensure the non involvement of administrators in the culture and customs of the grass field.”
Fon Kum Achou II was attacked and brutally murdered on March 9th, 2022, by Separatists Fighters.
The throne has remained vacant since then.
By Ndi Fungwe and David Atangana