Cameroon: Chief V. E Mukete, one of Cameroon’s founding fathers dies at 103

Cameroon’s upper house of parliament has lost one of the oldest member of parliament, Nfon Victor Mukete, who also doubled as the paramount Chief of the Bafaw clan in Meme Division, South West Region.

Nfon Mukete died at age 103 today, Saturday 10th April 2021, at the regional hospital in the nation’s political capital Yaounde after suffering from a brief illness late on Friday night,  according to family sources.

 

He was one of the main architects of Southern Cameroon’s independence by 1961 and reunification. He wanted that British Southern Cameroonians should be treated with equal status like their brothers in the French-dominated regions.

The late Paramount Chief played an active role during the 1961 plebiscite after he had served as a minister in Nigeria when British Southern Cameroon was being administered as an integral part of the eastern regional house of Nigeria.

 

During the Eastern regional crisis, he joined his voice to the other Southern Cameroonians who staged a walk away from the eastern regional assembly.

 

He later pushed for an independent Southern Cameroon during the late 1950s. When the United Nations gave only two options for British Southern Cameroonians to either join the Federal Republic of Nigeria or the Republic of Cameroon, he worked harder to see that British Southern Cameroon joins French Cameroon with equal Status.

By late 1961, the late Chief was not pleased with the treatment given to Anglophones and requested the president of Cameroon Amadu Ahidjo to respect the agreement signed at Fumban in 1961.

 

He constantly attacked Cameroon’s government to respect the 1961 agreement. When things became worse after 1982, under a new President, Paul Biya, he again wrote so many letters demanding that the voices of the anglophones be heard and that the government should respect the 1961 agreement.

He also made his position known in books, as he authored so many books detailing the historical facts of British Southern Cameroon and their union with French Cameroon.

By the late 1980s, he added his voice to all Anglophone Conference, a conference tasked to look into the sufferings of British Southern Cameroonians in the union with French Cameroon and propose ways in which the government could help address the problems.

 

Supporters of Biya’s regime criticized him for standing up for anglophones and stated that the late Chief advocated for secession, which he said were politically motivated.

As a father figure of the Anglophones, he continued with his advocacy. By the late 2000s, when Cameroon’s president created the upper house of assembly, he was appointed one of the country’s pioneer senators.

 

He became the oldest senator in the upper house and promised the Anglophone community that he was still dedicated to ensuring that they are fairly treated in the union.

Despite being appointed, he remained vocal and criticized the government for marginalizing British Southern Cameroonians.

When the Anglophone crisis started in 2016, he called on the president to quickly resolve the conflict by addressing the form of the state and respecting the 1961 agreement.

 

He stated that a two-state federation will resolve the conflict and that if the government continued to use force, the Anglophones might change their demands to complete restoration.

On September 22, 2017, thousands of anglophones during the peaceful protests stormed his palace. They requested that he told Yaounde that it is time for complete restoration of the state of British Southern Cameroon. 

He received them and promised to channel their complaints.

 

Surprising to many, he later became controversial last year when he shifted his position that a two-state federation will not be a solution to the crisis.

He also criticized the Anglophone diasporans for sponsoring armed conflict in the Region. 

 

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