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Bamenda I Gets First Female Mayor 

By Chris Mbunwe — Mezam SDO, Felix Nguele Nguele, November 28, commissioned Caroline Bi Bongwa, as the first female Mayor of the Bamenda I Subdivisional Council in Mezam, Northwest Region. Addressing the public at the ceremonial ground of the Bamenda Military Camp, Nguele Nguele said the installation of Caroline Bongwa as the Mayor of Bamenda I Council was special, because, the council was won by the CPDM party, from the grip of the SDF since its creation.

“That apart, this is not a woman of mean quality, drawn from her qualifications and her rich experience. It gives me no doubts that she is a square peg in a square hole. She is going to carry this council to greater heights,” the SDO said.

He spelt out the functions of the Mayor to include representing the council in law courts on civil matters, preserving and protecting council property, managing council revenue, opening municipal roads, recruiting, assigning and dismissing council staff. Bongwa was challenged to complete the new council hall and move her office into it, extend electricity and mwater to enclaved areas of Bamendankwe village.

“Madam Mayor, time for politicking and elections is over, you are a Mayor for all – not CPDM party – so get to work immediately and ensure that you block all leakages as finances are concerned, keep embezzlers out of the council, collect land taxes from those who have constructed comfortable mansions all over the station area, work closely with your Deputies and let the people feel the presence of local government,” Nguele Nguele told the new Mayor.

He praised the out-gone Mayor, Simon Cho Ngwen, for projects realised during his tenure, wishing him well in his new functions. Speaking on behalf of Bamendankwe elite, Prof. Martin Ngoh Ndumu described the event as historic because the CPDM has broken the old tradition and voting a woman to a post mostly occupied by men.

He said Bamendankwe is the only village that has a council to its self and, fortunately, it is the seat of the Northwest administration. Unfortunately, Ndumu said Bamendanke remains the least developed village within the Bamenda City Council when there are a lot of potentials, namely; animal husbandry, agriculture and land where industries can be constructed.

“This village is very unfortunate, though it is the headquarters of Northwest administration, there is no pipe-borne water in most neighborhoods and no tarred road to the village,” Ndumu said.
Talking to the press shortly after her installation, Mayor Bongwa thanked those who voted wisely during the September 30 elections, saying she will follow strictly the functions as prescribed by the SDO.

“My two assistants; Denis Sangbong Ngwa aka Lion, and Leon Teukem,  are young, energetic men who will spare no efforts to see that development take roots in Bamenda I Council. I was voted on the CPDM party platform, but as Mayor, I will work for the interest of all the inhabitants of Bamendankwe, the seat of this Council,” the new Mayor said.

First published in The Post edition no 01485

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