Speaking after President Paul Biya’s recent message to the nation, the Fon of Mankon says he is among those who voted for a united Cameroon during the February 1961 plebiscite and will not want the country separated.
His words: “I am happy President Paul Biya spoke to the nation. We as traditional rulers at the base have suffered a lot. When you are fighting our army, you are fighting us. And you’re our children. It’s terrible. I hope they will listen to the president’s call for peace to reign.
“Do you think I will support somebody from my own Fondom who wants to divide? I cannot allow Mankon to be divided. Will I support somebody who wants to divide Cameroon? I will see Cameroon as one as I voted in the plebiscite when I hand Mankon to the next Fon. I hope all of us will support his [President Biya’s] idea of dialogue and make a contribution.”
Born on May 1, 1925, into the prominent and influential royal family of Mankon in the Bamenda Grassfields of Cameroon, Solomon Anyeghamotü Ndefru attended the Aggrey Memorial College Arochuku, Eastern Nigeria, from 1945-1950, where he obtained the Senior Cambridge Secondary School Certificate.
He later enrolled in the University College Ibadan, Nigeria, and graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture in 1953. Until he was enthroned as the twentieth king of Mankon, Fo Angwafo III, in 1959, he was the Chief of Agricultural Technicians in Wum.
Fo S.A.N. Angwafo III of Mankon is one of the most educated traditional rulers at the dawn of independence. He has served Cameroon in many capacities. He has served as First National Vice-President of Paul Biya´s Cameroon People´s Democratic Movement (CPDM) since 1990. He accompanied President Paul Biya to Auckland, New Zealand, in 1995 when Cameroon was admitted into the Commonwealth of Nations.
Mankon has been greatly affected by the conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regiona. On May 15, following the killing of two Air Force soldiers by suspected armed separatists, blood flowed in Mankon as scores of private homes and shops across Alachu, Matsam, and Muwatsu, three neighbourhoods in Mankon, were torched. The Minister of Defense, Joseph Beti Assomo in a communiqué said those found guilty of the burnings will face the law.