The Buea Council CPDM Group Secretary was dismissed following his porpurted involvement in the boycott of the National Day celebrations by Buea chiefs last May 20, 2019.
Councillor Njie Mandenge, like Motomby Mbome Emmanuel, First Deputy Mayor of the Buea Council, was “dismissed” following a resolution taken at the first ordinary session of the Buea Council for 2019 reserved for the examination and adoption of the 2018 administrative, management and stores accounts.
The session took place at the deliberation chambers of the Buea Council Wednesday, July 17, 2019 chaired by Ekema Patrick Esunge, Mayor of the Buea Council.
It was proposed at the session that the First Deputy Mayor should be sacked from his position on grounds that he has since been absent from his office, boycotted council sessions and has been insubordinate. Motomby was thus unanimously voted out by Mayor Ekema and the councillors in session.
Mandenge’s own “crime” was that he championed the chiefs’ boycott of National Day celebrations in Buea. He was indicted for carrying out anti-patriotic activities that are at variance with the goals and aspirations of the CPDM-run Buea Council.
The South West Chiefs Conference had condemned the South West Governor, Okalia Bilai Bernard for ordering Chiefs to march on May 20 along with their subjects under pain of losing their royal crowns. In a communiqué signed Tuesday April 30, 2019, the President of the South West Chiefs Conference, Chief Mafany Njie Martin on behalf of his peers said the governor did not have to remind them of their civic responsibilities.
"We, the South West Chiefs categorically condemn the demeaning and threatening manner by which the Governor of the South West Region reminded us of our usual civic duties, which we have always performed so diligently without be ordered to do so by whosoever," the chiefs said in a statement in response to Okalia Bilai Bernard.
The regional chief executive had on Thursday April 25, 2019, as he chaired a preparatory meeting ahead of the 47th edition of Cameroon's National Day nationwide celebrations billed for May 20, said chiefs who fail to march with their subjects will be dethroned.
The Governor was apparently calling on the chiefs in their capacity of auxiliary to the administration to contribute to the success of the National Day.
"During the 20th May this year, all the Chiefs will march with a placard indicating their village and with their population behind them," Okalia said, adding that, "If that is not the case; it means those chiefs don't exist. And if you don't exist as a body, as a village, then you should neither be called a village nor be counted among villages."
In a firm tone, he handed down a subtle threat: "If you fail to do what I am instructing, you'll see 30 days after, the consequences of that disobedience."
At the time, the chiefs said their native laws and customs do not allow them as natural rulers to march past the grandstand during official ceremonies.
"We completely dissociate ourselves from such a representation and remind the public that the traditions and customs of the South West people are full of values of respect, tolerance, nobility and unity. We therefore call on our population to remain calm and positive as we look forward to accompanying the State in all national events like we have always done," the chiefs said.
Chief Njie Mandenge is alleged to have been the brain behind the rebuttal and subsequent boycott staged by the chiefs.
In a response attributable to Chief Njie Mandenge that has since gone viral on social media, the “dismissed” CPDM Councillor says he long left the municipal chambers and his dismissal is thus a non-event.
“I have just been forwarded a write-up after receiving several telephone calls announcing my purported dismissal as a councillor from the Buea Council. I want to make it crystal clear that the funny decision is a non-event to me. I had been a councillor prior to my double mandates in the Buea Council at the Limbe Urban Council as far back as 1987,” the statement read, “…how does instigating a conference of traditional rulers to boycott a celebration be it 20th May celebrations, infer with a Municipal Council Session?"