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News Analysis: The Tottering Steps Of NOWEFU’s Exco 

By Peterkins Manyong

While the human being has the advantage of being the most intelligent of all God’s creatures, his offspring is disadvantaged in that, unlike most animals, a human baby doesn’t start walking soon after birth.

It takes eight months for a well fed, medically attended to human baby to attempt walking. The human being’s slow rate of growth is, however, adequately compensated for by a relatively long life span. The Executive of the Northwest Fons’ Union, NOWEFU, is eight months old. By dint of the fact that it has only a four-year life span, it should have long not only walked, but actually leaped around like an antelope, to complete the arduous task ahead of it. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

When Northwest Fons elected the present Executive, with Fon Francis Aneng of Bafmen at the helm, the understanding was that he would immediately bring sanity into the house of commotion which NOWEFU had become following the fracas between his predecessor, Fon Chafah and Fons’ Spokesman, Ntumfor Nico Halle. The fact that Ntumfor sent FCFA 500.000 to facilitate the holding of the November general assembly confirmed his attachment to Northwest Fondom.

But instead of stretching the peace plant towards Ntumfor, the Fon-Aneng-led Exco did something immeasurably ridiculous – it went ahead to appoint eight "Special Envoys" to perform Ntumfor’s role. The NOWEFU President’s argument was that Nico Halle had complained of being drained through the Ntumfor title .The "Special Envoys" would, thus, provide the financial assistance the Union desperately needed. It obviously never occurred to the mind of His Majesty that nobody ever becomes a philanthropist by appointment.

People of good will provide for the needy not because it is their duty, but because it is their nature to do so. Some of the "Special Envoys" certainly had goodwill and were likely to be very generous with their ideas. But parting with cash which was the essence of the appointments, was a different matter altogether. That is why instead of shouting "Hurrah! We have won" in the New Deal tradition, many of them rather questioned the rationale of the appointments done without prior consultation.

When it became clear that Northwesterners were not enthusiastic about the "Special Envoys", Fon Aneng’s Executive made a feeble attempt to seek reconciliation with Nico Halle. NOWEFU desperately needed Nico Halle back because they wanted him to raise funds for the completion of the NOWEFU Secretariat in Nkwen. By implication they saw him in no better light than a money-generating machine.

Visit To The New Prime Minister

The raging controversy surrounding NOWEFU is the recent visit to the PM of over 50 of its members. If they went there as fathers, then there is no justification for their crucifixion on the Calvary of public opinion. But there is something fundamentally wrong in visiting a son on whom the pollen grains of power have just been sprinkled, in such prodigious numbers and with unmistakably mercenary motive.

True, the Prime Minister’s portfolio carries with it enormous pecuniary advantages. Simon Achidi Achu practically spoiled visitors, Fons especially, with cash beginning from the day of his appointment. PM Inoni reportedly did no less for traditional rulers. Achidi Achu was appointed to calm flayed nerves in the Northwest, then in the heat of political turbulence. Inoni is a traditional ruler who knows what his colleagues are going through in the face of the worsening economic situation.

But Yang is neither on a pacification mission nor is he a Fon. His value judgment being different, if he is not very eager to look majestic in the awe inspiring Northwest regalia, or the red feather, it is certainly not because he underrates them. It might simply not have been the appropriate occasion. His apologists argue that if this was done while he was yet to take up residence at the Star Building, what would the Fons confer on him when he comes, visiting?

Fon Aneng’s Good Sense

From the analysis above, it may erroneously be misconstrued that Fon Aneng is a bad leader. Far from it. It just happens that he is so preoccupied in consulting others that he sometimes forgets to consult himself. Rotcod Gobata advises us not to take down gentlemanliness like okro soup and swallow a cockroach.

A leader should not take just any advice given to him because it sounds plausible, or because he wants to be seen as one who listens. Good music produces a sweet sensation. But the dancer should not forget that the stone from the schoolboy’s catapult hits only the little bird gesticulating in the middle of the road, not the drummer in the nearby bush. "Good nature and good sense must ever join; "To err is human, to forgive, divine" .

Fon Aneng proved that he is under the influence of this philosophy in a recent press interview in which he described himself as "the most unlucky NOWEFU President" for working without Ntumfor. But he would have done better by inviting Ntumfor for genuine dialogue. Many women have lamented the loss of husbands with whom they lived a life of turbulence. That does not, however, mean wishing for the resurrection of those husbands.

Fon Aneng should also resist the temptation of placing his troubles at the doorstep of journalists instead of working with them. NOWEFU’s Exco will meet in Bambui Palace tomorrow, Saturday, July 25. The renewal of confidence in the Union depends on the decision(s) taken during that meeting.

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