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Villagers Accuse Chief Of Confiscating Community Land 

 By Francis Tim Mbom

 
CameroonPostline.com — The villagers of Botaland have accused their Chief, HRH Peter Mbella Metombe Molinga, of having registered a 17 hectare “new-layout” piece of land in his name, instead of that of the village. But Chief Mbella has explained that, that by law and as the Chief of the village, he had to secure a land certificate for the said piece of land and could not do so without using his name as the Chief.
 
He insisted that he was going to judiciously share the land and shall be very keen on those who did not have a share in an earlier parcel of 222 hectares that was surrendered to the village before he became Chief, some three years back. He said his mission was to “straighten the village” from its wrongful path and steer it towards the path to development, peace and respect. 
 
Chief Mbella, however, said most of the youths of his village have abandoned school and taken up fishing and dealing in ‘funge’ (illegally imported fuel from Nigeria). He vowed to take them off the ‘funge’ business, because, the easy money generated from it has made the youth to become disrespectful to elders, at the expense of good morals which, he holds, often come with education. 
 
The villagers have also pitched battle against the Chief, over the use of ‘anointing water” in place of traditional charms. The battle surged last April 12, during a canoe race competition, one of the sporting events in the Limbe Festival of Arts and Culture, where the Botalanders ended up, unusually, in the last position. Botaland had been largely expected to win the first spot, owing to their prowess and historical record. The results were, from first to last: Wovia, Mondoli, Bimbia, Botaland and Batoke.
 
The take-home was, respectively: Wovia FCFA 750,000; Mondoli FCFA 500,000; Bimbia FCFA 300,000; Botaland FCFA 100,000. But since the close of the canoe race, the Botaland youths, who made up a bulk of their village’s canoe pulling team, have been at odds with their Chief. “They have accused me of having used but anointing water to bless the canoe paddlers, instead of using what they believe in,” Chief Mbella said.
 
He told the press that that was the main reason why his villagers have risen against him.
He said he had to report the unruly villagers to the Limbe State Counsel. The State Counsel, consequently, ordered for a probe, which resulted to the summoning of six of the villagers to the Limbe Gendarmerie Brigade for questioning. The villagers, in reaction, on April 21, marched to the Limbe Gendarmerie Brigade where they demanded the release of six of their fellow villagers.
 
Chief Mbella said his decision to use anointing water was due to the fact that he had come to believe that their reliance, over the years, on the powers of their traditional gods like “Nyango na muna” and others, has not taken them anywhere. The morning before the race, armed with his “anointing water” from T.B Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Chief Mbella, blessed his village team at the Down Beach seafront.  
 
“When I went to pray for the boat, I told them that it is Jesus Christ who has all the powers…and that, ‘‘if you reach the sea, any difficulty that comes your way, take this mineral water bottle, which I put some of the anointing water inside, and call the name of Jesus Christ…say Jesus open the way; save us! Then pour some on the water,” Chief Mbella recounted. “But the Botalanders went to sea and only came back in the fourth position.
 
“They went there in drunkenness as they had been drinking the whole night; they could not paddle, but came back to say it is the anointing water that has made them to fail,” Chief Mbella said. The Chief said, even before his village team took off for the race, he already, started witnessing the opposition to the ‘victory anointing’. He said, after his anointing water blessing, some members of the team quickly pulled out some concoction which they started licking. 

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