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DO Stops Limbe Chieftaincy Consultation Talks 

By Francis Tim Mbom

Some Limbe Chiefs left the Limbe Council I Conference Centre Wednesday, July 8, downcast following an order issued by the Divisional Officer, DO, stopping them from proceeding with consultation talks to choose their Paramount Chief. The choice of a paramount chief wavered between Prince Jesco Manga Williams and Prince Samuel Ekoh Manga Williams.

The chiefs from Batoke, Kie, Bonadikombo, Mokindi and others had been invited by Chief Samuel Epupa Ekum of Dikolo (Bimbia) who is head of the Limbe Sub Divisional Chieftaincy Advisory Committee. "We and the founding families of Limbe (Victoria) shall conduct consultations relative to our tradition and thereafter present our report and recommendations to the administration as to who is qualified to take over the vacant chieftaincy stool of Victoria now Limbe," Chief  Ekum wrote.

He went on to state that the administration shall then put up a date to conduct final consultations relative to the conclusions of the Limbe Chieftaincy Advisory Committee. "It should be noted that the administration does not designate traditional rulers but recognises them as presented to them by the king makers," Chief Ekum said. But the Limbe DO, irked by the chiefs’ move, wrote an order on July 8 restraining the Committee from proceeding with the planned pre-consultations.

The DO told The Post on July 9 that the Chief Ekum-led Committee has not got the competence to hold such talks. He said the paramount chieftaincy palaver was a thing of the Manga Williams family and whenever they will be ready with a candidate, they would then get in touch with the administration and the latter shall in turn decide when the consultation talks can hold.
The DO further stated that the Chief Ekum and his colleagues were acting at variance with the law guiding the procedure to designate a first class chief and this, he said, could stir up unnecessary disorder.

Prince Jesco Charges

Two days to the said meeting, Prince Jesco told The Post that he was not going to attend the talks. He had denounced the Ekum-led Committee as illegal and said "I cannot be part of an illegal meeting."

Jesco did not end here. He has dragged Chief Ekum to the Limbe Court for what he says is an illegality being trumped up by the Chief. He said as per the law, the powers to decide on the Limbe chieftaincy palaver resides with the Prime Minister and not the said Advisory Committee.
Flurry Of Applications

Meantime, the announced consultations provoked yet new applications from other indigenes of Limbe who are equally laying claim to the stool. The stool has been vacant since July, 2005 since the former Paramount Chief, Ferguson Billa Manga Williams, died.

Immediately after Ferguson’s death, a controversy as to who replaces him erupted with several contestants filing applications to the Fako Administration for consideration. Amongst them were Prince Jesco Manga Williams, elder brother to the late Chief.

Then came David Nanjia Carr, head of the Carr family who said his application was based on historical facts that the Limbe or Victoria paramount chieftaincy title once resided with his grandfather before it receded to the Manga Williams. Then too, there has been the natural consideration of the son of the late Paramount Chief, Samuel Ewonde Ekoh Manga Williams who, it is said, should naturally receive the powers to rule.

Still on the list of contestants has been Wilson Tommy Essombe, aged 75. A retired staff of CDC, Cameroon Bank and other services, Essombe is pegging his contention on grounds that his late grandfather, Joseph Wilson, was "Chief of then Victoria from 1858 to when he died in 1906."

The Post also gathered that there is one other contestant from Bomboko, far west coast of Limbe, who is also tussling to mount the stool that has been vacant for four years.
With the DO banning the consultation talks, there is every indication that the contestants are in for another long drawn tug of war.

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