‘Old wine in new skin’. These were the words many used to describe Andrew Montanga Mojimba on February 25, 2020 after he was voted pioneer City Mayor of Limbe.
This was after he had served as the government delegate to the Limbe City Council, for 11 years — a position he guarded ‘jealously.’
During his close to 15 years as the number one official in Limbe, late Montanga succeeded to transform the town into “a haven, a paradise of cleanliness and order,” according to sources.
He also sold the culture of the town, through the annual Limbe Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC, uniting thousands for the purpose of sharing and displaying cultures and traditional beliefs.
Man of more actions than words
Late Mayor Montanga through his actions, spearheaded government’s drive to limit the activities of Separatists in his area of command. Even during peak periods of violence that continue to characterise the armed conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, the town of Limbe has so far been one of the most “peaceful” in the restive English-speaking regions where a bloody conflict has ensued for over five years.
Hailed by many
“Very nice man, your works will be remembered in Limbe,” wrote a social media user, Ngong Adrian, following the Mayor’s demise.
Montanga’s death he added, is a “…. big loss for the South West Region…”
Adrian is not the only one with kind words for the Mayor’s legacy. “We’ve lost a great and an iconic man, may his soul rest in peace,” said yet another social media user.
Despite often seen as putting the city first, the official’s gold did rust, after close to two decades of living in power.
Motanga was one of the only two government delegates to be retained as City Mayor after the reconstruction of City Council structures — one of the major outcomes of the Major National Dialogue, (MND).
The other, Victor Nkelle, Mayor to the Kumba City Council passed away just weeks ago.
Mayor Montanga who died while on sick leave was no stranger to controversy. The late City Mayor was embroiled in a series of power tussles withing the council, many of which could be heard loudly whispered behind closed doors.
Most recently, a standoff was reported between the First Deputy Mayor and the Secretary General of the council, both officials now expected to hold the fort in this time of the Mayor’s demise.
Added to his woes, was the budgetary session of the council which failed to take place as stipulated by law.
In its Wednesday January 05 2022 issue, The Guardian Post Newspaper reported that the City Council is still without a budget though the law stipulates it should have been voted by December 15, over 20 days ago.
The paper also added that council staff have been threatening to express their grievances through a strike action.
While the lion man of Limbe has finally gone home to rest, it is a chaotic house he has left behind — a big vacancy to fill and very large shoes to be occupied by his successor.
(C) Mimi Mefo Info