May 7, 2023, made it one year and five months since Separatist Fighters abducted the Fon of Bambalang in the restive North West Region.
Reports say, the traditional ruler has been turned into a cook and errand boy for the fighters.
Surprisingly, Fon Yakum Kevin Teuvih, who doubles as President of the North West House of Chiefs, is being held by a native of Bambalang, the self-proclaimed General No Pity.
For nearly one and a half year, the throne of Bambalang has been vacant, traditional rites at a stand still, and the people without a shepherd.
“More disheartening to us is the level at which their Fon has been subjected to and the Government’s seeming indifference getting the traditional ruler released,” an irate Bambalang villager told MMI.
“It’s over a year Fon Shomitang from Bambalang was kidnapped by No pity and his fighters. Since then, nobody is saying anything about his whereabout. I hear he has been reduced to a cook, where he is. Can a state be very weak up to the extent that law abiding citizens are slaves to hardened criminals?” questioned a Bambalang native who spoke to MMI.
Since Fon Yakum Kevin was abducted, the North West Regional Assembly, in which the House of Chiefs found, has exerted very little pressure on the government to secure his release.
The House of Chiefs, where he was President, has also failed to pressure for his release.
“Something is seriously wrong somewhere. Bambalang is home to the popular Ghogomos… Kevin Yakum (Fon Shomitang) is President of the North-west House of Chiefs. Can all the Chiefs not organize an uprising on the behalf of their President? Must government be part of it? They are keeping him in one of our villages,” our source furthered.
Fon Yakum Kevin Teuvih was kidnapped at his palace in Bambalang, as he prepared to launch the Mbaw Yakum Annual Cultural Festival in Bambalang, which had not held for four years.
Amid speculations that he had been killed, he surfaced in a video on November 13, 2022, and revealed he was being held by “General No Pity”.
In the video, which was visibly masterminded by the separatists, the traditional ruler said: “I came out today to cry because I have been held by No Pity and he has vowed not to release me until his family members are released. I am using this medium to cry and to plead on the powers that be that they should facilitate the release of his family members so that I can be freed.”
The Cameroon army has launched several operations to free him but to no avail. One of them, which was launched in January 2022, left at least four civilians dead, according to media reports.
Many Cameroonians however, think the government is not doing enough to get him released.
By Tata Mbunwe