97 year-old Fon Angwafo III of Mankon is no more! To be accurate dead and very few Southern Cameroonians will mourn his passing. Many deep within the Mankon Kingdom have opined that they will spit on his grave. The legacy of the man who ruled Mankon for over 60 years will forever be dominated by his monstrous destruction of a onetime prosperous African kingdom.
For over 40 years, the former First Vice National President of the ruling CPDM party developed casual cruelty and callous disregard for the lives of Bamenda children and this policy was and remains completely in keeping with the cruelty and barbarism of the French Cameroun Biya-led government that has been a brake on Cameroon progress and development for far too long.
Yet, though Fon Angwafo III’s solid defense of infanticide may have guaranteed him a first-class ticket on an Albatross plane to hell, going by the gushing tributes to his legacy which have emanated from corrupt Cameroon media houses and government officials, you would think that Fon Angwafo III died a martyr for Anglophone children’s rights and decency.
Fon Angwafo III’s conduct as a traditional ruler in politics was shameful, disgusting and disgraceful and leaves British Southern Cameroonians in no doubt that they have all along been led by men for whom brutality is a virtue and compassion a vice.
His anti Fru Ndi/SDF stance and his support for the state of emergency in Bamenda immediately after the 1990 presidential elections were positively medieval in scope and in their impact on the Bamenda society. A Cameroon Post Newspaper 1998 analysis of this impact, revealed that as a direct consequence:
Hundreds of people died in the North West
Hundreds of Bamenda children died or were made ill
One thousand children under the age of 5 suffered malnourishment in the entire North West Province.
When mortality in under five-year-old children rose in Bamenda, Fon Angwafo III was pictured holding an umbrella over the head of Governor Bell Luc Rene who was later nicknamed Bell Luc Grenade-as he reportedly ordered the use of thousands of grenades against civilian population in Bamenda.
All Cameroon government military operations in Bamenda from 1990 till date were heartily defended by Fon Angwafo III. Indeed, so cruel and vicious were his actions that he requested Biya to sack Professor Ephraim Ngwafor and replaced him with his biological son Fru Angwafo as minister.
Fon Angwafo III’s legacy, it should be pointed out, is not completely dominated by his stance on the killing of Bamenda children and elderly persons. Fon Angwafo has a river of Bafut blood on his hands too, given the fanaticism with which he pushed for raids by Francophone army soldiers on the Bafut palace. Yaoundé and its Francophone dominated military did so, without bothering with the inconvenience of seeking the North West Fons approval.
The grim result was that Cameroon government troops raided the Bafut palace and killed palace guards including some royals.
Before his passing on Saturday May 21, 2022, the Southern Cameroons Interim Government estimated that 3000 people had been killed with a further 1500 injured. In addition, several houses and apartment buildings were damaged by Francophone soldiers under the watchful eyes of Fon Angwafo III of Mankon.
Not for nothing that the late Kum Set Ewin of the Herald Newspaper described all French Cameroun wars in Mezam as “Fon Angwafo’s Wars”. He was their most zealous advocate within a Biya regime that is chock-full of evil men and women – for whom morality is measured not in championing the virtues of peace but in pushing for war.
Fon Angwafo III is going to his grave at age 97 as one of the most notorious leaders of the ruling CPDM crime syndicate who became one of the most servile apostles of French Cameroun hard power, responsible thereby for creating countless Southern Cameroons war refugees.
Born on May 1, 1925, into the prominent and influential royal family of Mankon in the Bamenda Grass field region, Solomon Anyeghamotü Ndefru attended the Agrey Memorial College Arochuku, Eastern Nigeria, from 1945-1950, where he obtained the Senior Cambridge Secondary School Certificate.
He enrolled at the University College Ibadan, Nigeria, and graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture in 1953. Until he was enthroned as the twentieth king of Mankon in 1959, he was the Chief of Agricultural Technicians in Wum, Menchum County.
Fon S.A.N. Angwafo III of Mankon was reportedly one of the most educated traditional rulers at the dawn of independence. He served Cameroon in various capacities including as First National Vice-President of Paul Biya´s Cameroon People´s Democratic Movement (CPDM). He accompanied the Francophone dictator to Auckland, New Zealand, in 1995 when Cameroon was admitted into the Commonwealth of Nations.
Mankon has been greatly affected by the conflict in Southern Cameroons with scores of private homes and shops across Alachu, Matsam, and Muwatsu destroyed.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai