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Chief, Villagers Clash Over TB Joshua 

By Francis Tim Mbom
 
The fanatical “disciple” of the self-proclaimed prophet T.B. Joshua of next door Nigeria has invariably placed the Chief of Botaland in the West Coast of Limbe on a war path with his subjects.  He would neither pour libations nor perform other ritualistic chores because of his fanatical belief in the famous television evangelist. It has therefore taken the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Fako, Zang III, to warn that for peace to reign in the land, Chief Peter Mbella Metombe, must re-embrace his people and revert to performing yearly rituals according to the traditions of the people.
Zang III was addressing the Chief and the villagers at the Conference hall of the Limbe II Council on Friday, August 1, 2014.
 The SDO was attempting to reconcile the Chief and his subjects who have been on war path over the Chief’s religious fanaticism.
Chief Mbella, who is an ardent Christian, has practically found it   difficult to serve God and still carry on with the tradition of his people. 
According to the villagers, Chief Mbella no longer performs traditional rites or rituals in the village, such as the pouring of libation, the offering of the bi-annual sacrifices to appease the sea god, ‘nyango na muna,’ among other things.
The refusal of the Chief to perform his traditional role as ‘Chief priest’, the villagers told the SDO, is the main reason that has pushed them to rebel against him.
  The rift between the villagers and Chief Mbella came to the fore last April 12, when his villagers recorded a dismal performance in a canoe race in Limbe. The villagers said their poor show in the race was because the Chief blessed them with “anointing water” instead of performing the age-old traditional rites of offering sacrifices to the sea god.
  Chief Mbella, in an earlier story published in The Post, had told this reporter that he got his “anointing water from T.B Joshua’s Synagogue Church of all Nations.” He added that he has realised that relying on traditional practices or rituals did not help his predecessors and so he has decided to rely solely on God. Reasons why he has decided to abandon traditional practices, such as performing the ritual that his village canoe racers were asking him to perform last April 12, and concentrate on Christian practices.
But the SDO, on August 1, told the Chief that, “you must restore the traditions of your people. Chiefs are custodians of their people’s cultures and traditions and one of your major roles as Chief is to ensure the survival and continuation of the customs and traditions of your people. If you have abandoned your tradition now, it means even your own son who will succeed you shall also follow your footsteps and the tradition of your people will automatically die,” the SDO added.
The SDO also went on to urge the Chief to form a new Traditional Council as well as a Land Management Committee. 
The villagers had also accused their Chief of not being transparent in sharing the 17 hectare piece of land that was recently surrendered by CDC for the expansion of the village. 
In response to the allegations, Chief Mbella said he decided to share out the plots in a manner that, villagers who had benefited from the first land surrender were not given more.
Chief Mbella refuted allegations of trying to abandon tradition. According to him, his reason for abandoning his subjects is because they are too stubborn. But the SDO further advised Mbella that, as a Chief, it was incumbent on him to ‘exercise humility.”
Meantime, Chief Samuel Ekum of Dikolo advised  Chief Mbella to designate someone who can carry on with the duty of performing the yearly rite of appeasing ‘nyango na muna,” if the does not want to do it.
Chief Ekum, President of the Fako Chiefs Conference, revealed that the Bakwerians traditionally pay allegiance to two gods, ‘Efasa Moto’ god of Mount Cameroon and ‘nyango na muna,’ god of the sea. 
According to Chief Ekum, ‘nyango na muna’ had a great role to play as far as influencing the abundance of the fish population in the sea. “Besides, it has been a long held believe here that once this sacrifice is performed at sea, fishermen who go to the sea the following days or weeks catch fish in abundance.”
Chief Ekum advised the Chief not to abandon the tradition, but to do it in the manner of giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.
  Meantime, the SDO urged the disgruntled villagers to stop attempting to dethrone their Chief. 
According to Zang III, the power to dethrone Chief Mbella resides with Rene Sadi, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation.
  For his part, Mayor Duncan Molindo, called on the villagers to desist from things that tend to split them and strive for unity and development. 
 “Right now our village is divided in camps, which is not good. If we continue like this, then, we can never progress,” Mayor Molindo stated.

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