By Soulemanu Buba
The Public Independent Conciliator (PIC) for the Northwest Region, Tamfu Simon Fai, has cautioned the region’s Mayors against managing their Municipal Councils as though it were private property.
The PIC, who is government’s watchdog for Municipal Councils, gave the warning on Tuesday, March 21, in Bamenda, as he presented the 2022 accounts of his office.
Tamfu Fai noted that he has received 77 complaints from the public against Municipal Councils in the Northwest since the office went operational in 2021.
He received 30 complaints in 2021; 44 in 2022 and 3 in 2023 making a total of 77 complaints.
Meanwhile, amid the raging armed conflict in the English-speaking regions, which has forced many Mayors out of the Municipalities, the PIC tasked the government to create an enabling environment for Mayors to return to their Councils.
In the Northwest Region, many Mayors have relocated to the regional capital, Bamenda, from where they are running their Municipalities.
But the Independent Conciliator believes they can be effective if they return to their Councils.
“The government should create an enabling environment so that all Council personnel and Mayors can return to their Council areas as per section 144 of law No. 2019/024 of 24 December 2019 to institute the General code of Regional and Local Authorities to better serve the population. Otherwise, Councils should put in place alternative arrangements to cater for the every day pressing needs of their populations,” said Tamfu Simon.
He also invited the population to fully engage in Council activities in terms of community development.
The Office of the Public Independent Conciliator was created only in the Northwest and Southwest Regions in 2019 as one of the measures towards resolving the ongoing Anglophone Crisis.
It’s mission is to check the excesses of Municipal Councils and ensure that the don’t violate the rights of citizens in the discharge of their duties.
The officer also settles disputes between the population and Councils.