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I Was Frightened After My Appointment – Ekondo Titi DO 

Interviewed By Elvis Tah

Edwin Nkenya Ngwana, erstwhile Social and Cultural Affairs Adviser at the Southwest Governor’s Office, says though he received news of his appointment as Divisional Officer, DO, with joy, he also nursed fears of going to Ekondo Titi in the volatile Ndian Division. In the following interview, he talks about the fears and how he is living with them. Excerpts:

The Post: You are one of the recently appointed DOs. How did you receive the news of your appointment?

Edwin Nkenya Ngwana: I received the news with a lot of joy because it was a kind of recognition from the Head of State and a mark of appreciation for the good work I had been doing in Buea.

Were you aware that you were going to be appointed DO?

I remember we were in an evaluation meeting on January 24, 2011; I received a phone call from a friend that there were appointments. I was not very warm about it, but I got to my car and turned on the radio and I got the name of my colleague who was the Legal Affairs Adviser at the Governor’s Office, Denis Atkalia. He was appointed DO in a locality in Dschang.

That was when I started taking the issue seriously, but I wasn’t expecting my name because the announcer was already getting towards the end and that was when I heard my name. After the appointment, I went back to the office and we had another meeting with some officials from Yaounde. When I got home, the house was full and there was a lot of jubilation.

From Social and Cultural Affairs Adviser to DO; what is your job description, and how different is your work now from your former post?

If I have to compare the two functions, I will say they are never the same. When I was Social and Cultural Affairs Adviser, I was a collaborator of the Governor. I received direct instructions from him, but, as DO, I am the head of an administrative jurisdiction and so I initiate, supervise and evaluate projects.

You were posted to Ekondo Titi in Ndian Division, considered as a very volatile area because of the constant pirate attacks on Government officials; did you at one point consider your appointment a mixture of blessing and misfortune?

I was really frightened a few days after my appointment and, to worsen matters, four days after my installation, there was a pirate attack at the Mundemba Beach in Ekondo Titi, where two of our military men were killed. So, it frightened me, coming to head such an administrative unit. But then, we are at the service of the people and for the few months that I have been here, I am gradually weathering the storm.

I have come to understand that the pirates are not super humans. I have the forces of law and order at my disposal, so, the fear is no longer there. But then, the pirate issue is a very serious one because we live in a border area where we don’t know who is who. However, since I came here, there has been some calm and Government too is doing its best, especially in the current talks between Cameroon and Nigeria to make sure that there is total collaboration in the fight against pirates.

Can you describe a typical day of your life as DO of Ekondo Titi?

[Laughs] A typical day in my life is a very tedious one, because in the morning I get to the office with a plan of action for the day but you realise that other things keep cropping in. But then, the maintenance of peace and security in the area is my preoccupation. I also try to solve local problems and report to hierarchy and also make sure that the people are happy. I initiate certain projects to instil confidence in the people that the State is also represented at their level and that they are protected.

You want to tell us a bit about your family life?

I was born in Buea and I grew up in Bagangte in the West Region. I spent some time in Ndop, Northwest Region, which is my village of origin and a greater part of my life in Yaounde, where I attended university and ENAM. I am happily married and a father of two. During my quiet moments at home, I enjoy playing with my kids.

I also like reading, playing volley ball and basket ball. When it comes to meals, I enjoy eating corn fufu and huckleberry. As an advice to Cameroonians, especially youths, they should be law-abiding and hardworking. They should be hopeful because all those who are hardworking always have their place.

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