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Bakundu Chiefs Dismiss Benjamin Itoe From Development Union 

By Maxcel Fokwen

Chiefs of Bakundu extraction in Meme Division,Southwest Region, have issued a memo dismissing Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, from his position of President General of the Bakundu Cultural and Development Union, BACDU.
The memo, a copy of which The Post procured,has also disbanded the entire BACDU executive headed by Itoe, who is Board Chairman of the Cameroon Development Cooperation, CDC.

Article6 of the memo, sanctions the BACDU President “… for his insolence toward the person of the Paramount Chief and Chiefs, Mr. Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is hereby fined two large cows, 36 crates of beer, 36 bottles of whisky, 36 heads of tobacco and 36 bags of salt,” the memo reads.

The decision was the highpoint of an emergency extra-ordinary General Assembly of the Bakundu chiefs in Kumba on April 9, focused on addressing issues affecting the Bakundus.

Speaking during a press briefing at his Kumba residence on April 10, the President of the Bakundu Chiefs Conference, Hon David Motase, disclosed that the BACDU President has been found wanting by the traditional rulers, reason why they (chiefs ) had to step in to restore order.

Motase added that the 6-point memo, which has been forwarded to all administrative and security offices, is meant to stop Benjamin Itoe who he described as their subject, from creating more problems within Bakundu Land.

Asked why the abrupt sanction on an illustrious son, the Motase said it was not an impromptu decision. He stated that, “the item has been on the agenda of the chiefs even before he (Mutanga) was appointed Board Chairman, but I kept on telling the chiefs to calm down. Even in our last meeting, the chiefs brought up the issue but I still requested them to exercise patience to see if things could change. So, it is not immediate,” Motase argued.

Chiefs To Manage BACDU

Article 4 of the same memo spells out that, following the suspension of the Itoe as President; the executive committee of the Bakundu chiefs will run the activities of BACDU. The memo declares that there is no village or elite association, including BACDU, that is above chiefs or chiefdoms.

In Article 2, the chiefs annulled a fine of two large cows and 10 crates of beer that was levied on Peter Ekolle, another Bakundu elite, by BACDU under the leadership of former Minister, Benjamin Itoe. The BACDU constitution, according to the release of the chiefs, has also been suspended.


Motase Justifies Support Of Other Chiefs

On how binding the decision is on the Bakundupeople and the chiefs, the former Member of Parliament averred:“When a President dismisses a minister, nobody questions him.” He said there are 36 Bakundu villages with over 200,000 Bakundus.

According to a roll call attached to the memo, some 22 chiefs have signed the decision spelt out in the document, but Motase explained that, about five chiefs have died leaving the conference with 31 chiefs. Asked why the last name on the list of chiefs, KingsleyEsue, has no corresponding signature like orders, Motase said it was an error.
Other problems

Other problems identified in the chiefs’ memo include threats from Itoe to deal with Motase for daring to oppose his(Itoe’s) meddling in chieftaincy issues, insults on Bakundu chiefs and the manner of transfer of power from late Chief Henry Namata Elangwe to Itoe as BACDU President.
Itoe took over BACDU on April 28, 2012, at Marumba Botondoa,during the 37thCongress of BACDU.

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