Kingmakers and notables of Buea have in an enlarged Buea Royal Traditional Council Session rejected the selection of Robert Essuka Endeley made a few weeks ago as candidate to succeed late Chief SML Endeley, who died in July 2015 at the age of 92 after serving as the Paramount ruler of the first- class chiefdom of Buea for 25 years, The Recorder has been reliably informed.
The rejection decision was taken, Sunday June 26, during a unique royal traditional council session presided over by Dr. Humphrey Ekema Monono, chairman of Buea Traditional Council.
|Late Chief SML Endeley: who will succeed you?|
The crucial meeting was attended by kingmakers, notables, internal and external elite, matriarchs, and patriarchs of Buea, quarter heads, and some senior traditional rulers invited from some chiefdoms of Buea subdivision.
According to our reliable sources, Essuka’s candidature was rejected for allegedly not respecting required procedure. It is still unclear whether if Essuka now follows the right procedure his candidature will be accepted. With Essuka having been knocked out, The Recorder gathered that one of late Chief Endeley’s sons is most likely to ascend to the throne.
It was a tense and stormy meeting from start to finish showing the camps that exist in the ruling Likenya Family.
The Royal Traditional Council had reportedly asked the Likenya family to propose to them their candidate for the succession to the throne following the death last year, 7th July, 2015 of Chief SML Endeley.
The Likenya family was given up 30th May, 2016 to make known their choice to the traditional council in order for the succession process to go on in earnest according to the Bakweri customs and traditions and in pursuance of the laid-down administrative procedure.
Rather than the Likenya family complying by duly selecting and furnishing their choice to the traditional council, a faction of the family ,The Recorder gathered, hurriedly met and came up with Robert Essuka Endeley, as the man to take the throne.
Robert Essuka Endeley is a US-based son of the late Dr. EML Endeley, the first premier of Southern Cameroons, who himself was never a chief.
After the hasty arrangement, the faction of the Likenya family celebrated rapturously and gave the impression that their choice was final as they reportedly forwarded the name of their candidate to the administration for the rest of the succession process to unfold eventually.
But the faction is said to have drawn sharp criticism for failing to report back to the traditional council which had called on them to designate a candidate for the scrutiny of the kingmakers before engaging the required administrative procedure.
This informed the decision of the royal traditional council to convene an enlarged session Sunday, 26 June 2016 which was opened to the shakers and movers of the Buea dynasty.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, the chairman of the Buea Traditional council, Dr. Humphrey Ekema Monono, recalled that they had duly written to the Likenya Family for a candidate but the family had not formally given them their choice. He underscored that the Likenya family cannot hold Buea hostage, saying that the dynasty is very distinguished in the traditional institution in Cameroon.
He, as chief co-coordinator of the village’s affairs, implored the house to chart the way forward so that the first-class chiefdom of Buea does not remain vacant sine die.
Moved by the power of the opening remarks, Mola Wose Njoh, a kingmaker of the village, said that according to the customs and traditions of the Bakweri tribe, succession is from father to son. As such, he argued that since the late ruler left eligible sons, it was incumbent on the house to choose from among them as customs demand.
He was corroborated by another speaker, Mola Loka, quarter head of Bonya Lyonga. He insisted the Likenya family had shown unpardonable and uncautionable disrespect to the traditional council, so the traditional council should take the bull by the horns to give Buea its rightful leader without any further waste of time- so as not to show a rather bizarre image of Buea to the outside world.
Immediately, the head of the Likenya family Mola Otto Endeley representing the estranged faction stood up to challenge and negate all what had been said. He boasted that they received the letter of the traditional council and went ahead to make their selection but failed to state why they did not report back to the traditional council as required.
As expected many voices rose in support of this or that camp and whether another selection should be made during the enlarged council session.
The procedure earlier taken was generally rubbished without reservation. Even the invited traditional rulers frowned at the irregular conduct of the fractious Likenya family and pleaded that some more time be given to them to meet the traditional council and then make a choice that would be in conformity with the rules and in a peaceful manner. They advised that since the late chief has able sons, it would not be necessary to bend the rules for a choice out of late Chief Endeley’s House.
The kingmakers, notables and the traditional council then rejected the choice of Essuka Endeley as invalid for now, and ordered the ruling family to meet with the enlarged traditional council in another date to make known their choice. The embarrassed faction of the Likenya family was dumbfounded and could not state when they would meet with the traditional council.
No date was given for the next meeting between the Likenya family and the royal traditional council.