The Post Newspaper (Buea, Cameroon)
Charles Mbella Moki, Mayor of Buea Rural Council, has praised the Fako people living in the US for their vigour, while condemning political witch-hunting.
In a keynote address delivered at the 11th annual convention of Fako America, FA, in Laurel, Maryland, recently, Mbella described FA as "a real laboratory of ideas and truly an open space to find acceptable solutions to some of our existing difficulties."
hoHe lauded the numerous initiatives undertaken by the organisation to reach out to the Fako community in Cameroon, and urged it to "open its doors and listen carefully to various groups showing concern for the preservation of our beloved culture as well as the welfare of our people, and to expand bridges that will provide constructive partnerships with the homeland."
In what was apparently a veiled reference to the ad hominem attacks directed at his person in the wake of the key role he played in ending the recent University of Buea crisis, the Mayor made a passionate appeal for a strong stance against the forces of division: "The time has come for us," he said, "to turn from finger-pointing to clasped hands."
Calling for a new political ethos in Fako Division, Mbella continued, "Let us stop the political scape-goating and destructive witch-hunting. We must turn to each other and not on each other, and choose common grounds, not battlegrounds.
Ultimately, we must judge people by their worth and values and their contributions. There is no prescription that can cure a society that is divided against itself," he pontificated.
The Mayor used the opportunity to remind the audience of those qualities that have made Fako Division a socio-political and economic force to reckon with in Cameroon. He described Fako as "an abode of hospitality and peace"; "a land in which very brilliant pages of Cameroon's history have been written," and "a land of fertility aplenty, with flora and fauna... with vast plantations of tea, rubber, palms, cocoa, coffee, banana, plantains, yams, pepper, growing on our rich volcanic soils."
He urged the Fako Diaspora to maintain an active interest in Fako Division in order to ensure that Fako remains a jewel on the Cameroonian crown.
Regarding the current political dispensation in Cameroon, the Mayor urged the Fako Diaspora to play an active role in satisfying the people's yearning for a leadership that would "chart a new beginning and proclaim a way forward."
Mbella won the hearts of Fako Americans when he pointed out that; "at a time when the Cameroonian nation looks on Fako for leadership, our sons and daughters everywhere must embrace the challenge. We need change agents that should not be pulling us backwards.
The type that can be one another's keeper, a Fako leadership that will fight for Fako and not fight Fako." The speech was greeted with thunderous applause, with Mbella being elevated to the star of the night.
Mbella was in the United States at the invitation of Fako elements in the United States. FA is the national organisation of the Fako Diaspora community in the United States.
The convention that took place from July 1 to July 3, included a grand cultural evening on July 1, which brought together traditional groups from across the US.
The FA General Assembly was also graced with the presence of Mola Njoh Litumbe, who gave a detailed presentation on the Bakweri Land case, which is currently before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Another convention highlight was a speech from Prime Minister Inoni, which was read to the Assembly by Dr. Sam Moki, the President of Fako America.