By Chris Mbunwe
After one year in office, the Mayor of Nkor-Noni Council in Bui Division, Francis Wache and Councillors, have recorded some impressive strides in Development.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, October 19 in Nkor, Mayor Wache enumerated projects realised within one year; opening and grading municipal roads, building of bridges and gutters, construction of market toilets and urinals, construction of Council registration office, donation of textbooks to primary and secondary schools, reception of books from the Fomuyoh Foundation for the Nkor Council Library, the reviving of the Council giant generator that was abandoned by his predecessor for seven years, acquisition of modern computers for the Council, offering of holiday jobs, opening of Noni Community Radio, rehabilitation of water schemes, creation of municipal forest by planting 8,075 of ‘Prunus-Africana’ and Mahogany and the construction of classrooms.
Recently, the Council organised a two-day training workshop for Councillors on “Nkor-Noni Council on Challenges of Decentralisation laws and team work.
” To select budding football talents and promote unity, the Council organised a football competition that involved all the villages. The winners of the cup finals and the municipal marathon race received FCFA 100,000. The best teams and players of the tournament received more encouraging prizes and were greatly applauded as the first of its kind in Nkor Council. In the football final, Lassin FC defeated Nkor FC 3-2 to grab the Mayor’s Unity Cup 2014.
Two other giant projects soon to be completed are the new ultra-modern Council chambers with about 40 rooms which Mayor Wache described as a jewel, and the new Gendarmerie Brigade Post.
“Since we got into office, the good things have been coming and are here. Some with assistance from Government and our dearest partners like the PNDP,” Wache remarked.
On health, the Council is also constructing the mother-and-child care clinic very close to the Nkor Hospital.
“When I was installed and during my first meeting with my Deputies and Councillors, our worries centred on what magic we were going to use and lobby for a resident medical doctor, several years after the other doctor abdicated. We now have a new resident medical doctor,” Wache stated.
“Why are all these things coming to Nkor now, no person can point a finger at any other person but this team of Councillors, who, most often, even use their little financial resources to carry out projects in their constituencies for the good of all the people, whether you belong to CPDM or SDF. But the difference is very clear; that those calling the shots now are the SDF and the benefits are there for those who want to count,” Wache enthused.
“If there is somebody whom I should pay great tribute to, is the SDF National Chairman, who chose me to serve my people, guided by God to whom we continue to praise and thank Him for all of these,” Wache averred, recalling that when thieves hacked and bloodied him in 2010, in Buea, he saw death so close.
“By then, who could have been thinking that by now I will be serving my people when the hoodlums wanted to drag me six feet deep?” he quipped.
He sounded very optimistic that, with the donation of text books to primary and secondary schools of Nkor and the opening of a new Council Library, the results in the end-of-year exams would improve throughout the subdivision, coupled with the fact that the minimum package distribution to primary schools was carried out in good time.
As concerns the salaries of Council workers, Wache said, after clearing the debts he inherited, he has paid salaries up to September.
“We do not owe any staff. What we are battling with now is the situation of pensioners who retired and are still owed,” remarking that it won’t be long for the situation to be resolved.
The challenges Nkor Council must solve hinges on bringing electricity to Nkor, extension of potable water to some enclave parts of the Subdivision and maintenance of roads. Wache said one of the greatest achievements is the bridge at the border with Nkor and Nkambe which has facilitated inter-trade and inter-marriages as many farmers have been trooping into Nkor.
Another thorny issue is the Oku-Noni road, which is in a very deplorable state. It takes five hours to travel from Nkor to Babungo in Ndop, Ngoketunjia. Inhabitants of this area, full of potentials always refer to themselves as those who live at the other end of the world as Nkor shares boundaries with Nigeria.
“My fervent plea is with the Government to assist in rehabilitating this road to boost the economy of Nkor-Noni and Oku. We can’t continue to talk of generators, using same breath, Nkor-Noni people will celebrate unendingly the day Government extends electricity from Kumbo or Oku to Nkor. We have been in the dark for hundreds of years and nothing or very little is being carried out in the name of feasibility studies,” the Mayor stated.