Fon Shumintang II accompanied by a Cameroonian soldier and D.o of Mbiame

News Feature North-West House of chiefs

Traditional rulers are revered in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. Their ascension to the throne of each village is mostly through succession and after the performance of rites believed by the people to bind the choice of a deceased Fon. Only those who belong to or are authorized by the secret society of the land(commonly known as Kwifon) participate in the rituals that lead to the enthronement of a new Fon. But it is common knowledge that during the process,every king in the region is conferred the power and authority to rule and this makes them the most authoritative in their villages and out of their palaces,they are still treated with utmost respect.    However, on December 7th 2021,something outrageous happened to one of the region's Fons,His Majesty Kevin Yakum Shumintang II of Bambalang, a village in the Ngoketunjia Division of the North-West. Separatist fighters believed to have been led by the self proclaimed General No Pity( Mbashie Clement) himself a son of Bambalang stormed his palace premises and took him away.This would then see Fon Yakum stay in their captivity for one year six months.       Before his abduction, they'd been several others of different Traditional rulers and high profile personalities in Cameroon, even the ordinary people,yet it was unprecedented that his case will take close to two years.    On several occasions, footages of him were shared online, of the various locations he was moved to within the Northwest region of Cameroon. Initially, there were rumors that the separatist fighters had requested for FCFA 20.00000 However there's no official report if he was being continuously held because the said ransom had not been paid,or that it was finally paid.Nonetheless,on June 1st 2023,18months after, The Cameroon Defence forces went into a fierce battle with the separatist fighters in bui Division where The traditional who doubles as President of The North-West House of chiefs (one of the two houses of the bicameral North-West Regional Assembly set up as per the special status granted to the Northwest region as one of the solutions to the sociopolitical crisis that started in February 2016) was being held,and ended up rescueing him from a cave.     The occurrences shortly before Fon Shumintang's release has left some people questioning if it was a jinx on the separatist fighters for carrying out such a sacrilegious act against a traditional ruler.     In February 2023,rumours went viral that the orchestrator of the Kidnap-Mbashie Clement commonly known as General No Pity who decalared himself invincible, was murdered in the Ngoketunjia Division of the North-West by Cameroon's state forces.(Note should be taken that there's been no official communication from Government or the military in Cameroon to confirm if they killed the said separatist fighters or not),but since then,he's not been seen in his usual boastful video outings,challenging the Defence forces or parading his victims.     A few days before Fon Yakum was released, precisely on May 29,2023,another hardcore separatist fighter and brother to No Pity,surrendered to the Cameroon military and requested to join the Bamenda Disarmament  Demobilization and Reintegration Centre.As have been the trend, when a kingpin like Mbashie Sylvester gives up,it further weakens the other non state fighters as there are speculations that they get to make several revelations to the state that lead to the destruction of many camps.     It could be a coincidence that No Pity's alleged murder and his brother gave up on the "course" happened successively before the President of the North-West House of Chiefs was rescued, hence the question of his abduction was a wrong move and a curse to the region's separatist kingpins. However, in his address at the Northwest Regional Assembly a day after his release, His Majesty Fon Yakum Kevin Shumintang II uttered these words,"... and I cannot end without thanking those foot soldiers who came and took me out of that hiding Yesterday...and I pray that my release is a turning point to give us peace in the region because I believe no one except me has been in captivity for up to a year...I think my stay in captivity has paid the price for all Northwest Fons, for the entire Northwest region and I pray God Almighty give us peace in the region."     By Mercy Kusi