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Awing Praised For Its Development Strides 

By Francis Tim Mbom — Tons upon tons of tributes and praises showered the people of Awing, Saturday, November 17, as they gathered at the Fon’s Palace to celebrate 50 years of their development under the Ndong Awing Culture and Development Association, NACDA.

Awing was indeed celebrating fifty golden years in which her people have been able to cable electricity to the village, provide potable water to the entire village, open up roads, build and equip health centres and schools, connect to the Internet, promote sports, develope several infrastructure among them cultural halls and above all beautified their Fon’s Palace.

“This is an opportunity for me on behalf of my High Commission and my Government to recommit to the people of Awing and just to say…Thank you very much and congratulations,” the British High Commissioner, Bharat Joshi, said. Bharat Joshi, who was in Awing for his very first time, was amazed by what the self-reliant development spirit of Awing people has been able to make life better for them.

The High Commissioner was impressed by the fact that the people of Awing can conveniently get whatever they want without entirely relying on Government. “Only you can make your country an emerging economy by 2035. We can only help but we can’t tell you how to do it,” he said. The Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon, Urs Berner, clad in the Northwest traditional attire, said he very satisfied with the strides made by NACDA.

Muna Offers FCFA 2 Million

Meantime, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Ama Tutu Muna, who was expected to preside at the occasion, did not make it. She was represented by the Inspector Number I in her Ministry, Joseph Lobe. While disclosing the financial support sent by the Minister, Lobe said Muna had been assigned to pilot a Chantal Biya Foundation, CERAC, mission that was in Nso on that same day. Lobe congratulated NACDA and the entire Awing people.

“I want to express my congratulations to the job so far done by NACDA. You have contributed a lot to change the image and the lives of the people of Awing. We are behind you,” he said. He promised that in the weeks ahead a team from the Ministry of Culture shall, if the Minister so accords, be in Awing to prospect the possibilities of setting up a cultural museum there.

The Fon of Awing, Fon Fozo’o II, had made a passionate plea for assistance from the Minister to help erect a good museum that can accommodate some 1000 pieces of artefacts and arts works which he said cannot be put on display due to lack of space. As to which way forward for NACDA after 50, Professor Paul Mbangwana, it was “peace, harmony and concord.”

Mbangwana said there was need to harness the Diaspora support from their sons, daughters and well-wishers in order to make even greater strides in what can make Awing a better haven to leave in. “NACDA should consult constantly with the vital elements in the Diaspora since the remittances from here can be a vital element to boost their development. Let us take advantage of this new dawn in the life of NACDA,” he said.

He added that the famous Awing Lake was a tourist pearl yet, it has not been harnessed to a point of magnificence where tourists anywhere in the world would be hungry to visit. “If Government provides the enabling environment, maybe through roads,” then NACDA will do the rest that it will take to lure tourists to this Lake side. The development of the Awing Lake can transform the whole of Santa Subdivision and the rest of the Region for a better tomorrow,” Prof. Mbangwana said.

He ended by calling on the Government to grant Awing a self-administrative unit. The occasion was punctuated with awards of recognition of service to NACDA by all the past Presidents conducted by the current President, Peter Ntsonkefo’o Akote. Akote, on behalf of NACDA, used the golden jubilee celebration to thank all the past presidents who have offered their all to enliven the life of the Awing Man.

Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, Akote’s immediate predecessor, emceed the occasion. He praised the efforts that Awing has made through NACDA and said they have been so successful, especially for the past one decade thanks to the support of their Fon, whom he said was a man “of peace, love and harmony.” Nico Halle added that NACDA’s achievements have also come as a result of the sages offered them by their Fon.

Fon Fozo’o was joined in the celebrations by other Fons from the Northwest among them Fon ES Gahyam II of Baligham, Fon Mbanyang III of Guzang, Fon Angafor Mombooh III of Bambui.
The Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, the Consul Generals of Nigeria to Cameroon for the Northwest and Southwest Regions and that for the Littoral and West Regions, were also present at the celebrations. Former Governor, Fai Francis Yengo, was also among the dignitaries who attended the Awing golden jubilee.

To all of these people, the Fon gave gifts a bag “Made in Awing” out of thread extracted from raffia palm leaves. He thanked all for coming and for all their contributions and support to their golden jubilee. The day was spiced with colourful and exhilarating displays by juju and traditional dance groups, a female ballet dance and a fashion parade amidst other traditional entertainment.

First published in The Post print edition no 01391

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