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Senator Bochong Francis Nkwain Dies 

 By Yerima Kini Nsom

Senator, frontline member of the Central Committee of the ruling CPDM party and a pillar of the Biya regime, Hon. Bochong Francis Isidore Wainchom Nkwain, is dead. He died at the Yaounde Central Hospital yesterday Sunday October 19, after a brief illness. According to family sources, the former Minister of Mines and Power passed on at about 10 am. He is said to have been hospitalized in the evening of Wednesday, October 15.
The Senator was last seen in public during the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, CPA, which took place in Yaounde recently. Bochong Francis Nkwain who hailed from Njinikom in Boyo Division of the Northwest Region, belonged to the rare breed of officials who articulated the CPDM ideology with erudition and conviction. He leaves behind a widow and children including Senior Journalist, Anne Nkwain Nsang of the United Nations Information Centre, UNIC, and the wife of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Special Duties, Mrs. Bernice Mengot
Francis Isidore Wainchom Nkwain was a household name in Cameroon’s political scene and an iconic and phenomenal personality on whom a lot of ink has already flowed. He was a personality with an eventful past; a trained teacher who has had very little time to exercise his profession (was in active teaching for less than 15 years). Born on April 19, 1931 at Sho in Boyo Division, Francis Nkwain attended the St Anthony Primary School Njinikom from 1938 to 1945, before proceeding to the Teacher Training Colleges, TTC, of Bambui and Kumba respectively, where he obtained the Teachers Grade III and Grade II Certificates. In 1957, he gained admission into the Institute of Education at the University College of Ghana. 
What was so formidable of Francis Nkwain’s trajectory is the fact that he had never looked for a job since he left school. Francis Nkwain is a phenomenon who started teaching in 1946 at the age of 15 upon graduation from primary school (taught at St Patrick Primary School Wum). His teaching career came to an end in 1960 when he enrolled to study Sociology and Administration in the University of Ghana. From this moment, fortune smiled at him and has propelled him to almost all ranks of the Diplomatic and Administrative set up: upon the recommendation of the Rt. Hon. J.N. Foncha, he was integrated into the Public Service of the state. His first major assignment came in 1964, when he was appointed 3rd Secretary at Cameroon’s Permanent Mission in New York. Francis Nkwain was transferred to Lagos in 1966, as 2nd Secretary and Cultural Attache at the Cameroon Embassy; later appointed Deputy Director of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; transferred to the Cameroon Embassy in Moscow in 1984, as Second Counselor and in 1986, he moved to Washington D.C as 1st Counselor.
After this brilliant career at the international scene, the hierarchy decided that his services would be needed, this time in the Government. He then started another phase of administrative responsibility, moving from one Ministerial Department to the other. He was appointed Minister Delegate in charge of Relations with National Assembly on December 4, 1987; Minister of Mines, Water and Power on May 16, 1988 and Minister Delegate in the Ministry of External Relations on April 9, 1992. 
From what precedes, there is no doubt that Francis Nkwain is a man of timber and caliber, which justifies why the hierarchy of the state took particular interest in his ability and capabilities to handle salient issues. He is highly credited for Cameroon’s admission into the Commonwealth of Nations in November, 1995; a task he personally and diligently executed at the behest of the highest personality of the state. Francis Nkwain is a personality who, by dint of hard work and merit has caressed and sojourned in the various diplomatic and administrative ranks of the state apparatus.
A staunch Catholic, confirmed on May 3, 1942 by Bishop Rogan, Francis Nkwain has not waned an iota of effort to see the Njinikom Deanery raised to a Diocese. It is a struggle he started with his former classmates, Bishop Paul Verdzekov and Pius Suh Awa, (both of blessed memory) alumni of the St Anthony Primary School Njinikom, what Bochong Francis Nkwain fondly refers to as the “triple heritage of the St Anthony’s Njinikom”. 
Bochong Francis Nkwain emerged from the background to become a frontline politician at the death of Hon. Augustine Ngom Jua, former Premier of West Cameroon and Member of Parliament for the Menchum Division (Boyo Division did not exist by then). Not only was he appointed to replace late Hon. Jua, but he was put in the Bureau of the National Assembly to take the seat of Jua. A frontline militant of the CPDM party, Francis Nkwain was voted into the Central Committee in 1988. He later became the Coordinator of the party’s activities in the Northwest Region, and following the setting up of the Senate, he was appointed Senator by the President of the Republic in 2013.

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