|MPs, who attended the requiem mass, carrying Lisinge's casket to the hearse|
By Christopher Ambe
Buea-Cameroon- “From dust we came and unto dust we shall return’, according to Genesis 3:19.
So was the case with Hon. Lisinge Arthur Ekeke, a Cameroonian MP for Buea Urban, fondly called Manboy, who died on October 10, 2017 in Buea, after a protracted illness.
The late MP, aged 55 plus, was, last Saturday November 25, buried at his Bonalyonga residence in Buea .
The burial, which was preceded by a funeral service at Presbyterian Church Buea Town, registered a huge attendance of mourners (numbering thousands) who included dignitaries such as Former Premier Peter Mafany Musonge; Hon. Emilia Lifaka, vice-speaker of the National Assembly; Dr.Humphrey Ekema Monono, Registrar of the GCE Board;Hon.Paul Meoto Njie,former Director of Cabinet at the PM’s Office; His Excellency Churchill Monono,adviser at the Presidency of the Republic.
|Late Hon. Lisinge's picture being displayed|
The requiem mass was officiated by a college of Reverend Pastors.
In his sermon, drawn from Psalms 90:12 which says:”God teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise”, the very Rev.Dr. Nyansako-ni-nku,PCC Moderator emeritus, challenged mourners to use any opportunity they may have to do good to others because life is so short and death is certain, noting that we shall only be remembered here on earth for what we have done: our legacies.
“In a world where there is death, there should be no room for hatred”, the preacher said, adding that late Hon,Lisinge “held unto his faith as a Christian despite his ill-health but when God rang him ,he breathed his last”
Rev.Dr.Nyansako-ni-nku opined that by his death, the late MP has been “set free from this evil world. We believe that he is now with God in paradise”
Eulogies came from family members: Dr. Robert Tama Lisinge and Mrs. Estherine Lisinge Fotabong;Hon.Njume Peter-the deceased’s friend; the CPDM Central Committee ,the National Assembly’s Vice President Hon.Emilia Lifaka; the Vice-chancellor of University of Buea(where Hon. Lisinge was a board member);from CMF president Luma Stephen and the congregation.
All the eulogies pointed to the fact that the Hon. Lisinge was a model of a man: likeable, humble, respectable, resourceful, generous, a political guru, forgiving, fatherly and God-fearing.
Hon.Lifaka,who led a delegation MPs to the funeral, regretted that the tough times the National Assembly is going through. She said Hon.Lisinge, was the 6th Member of Parliament who has died during this 9th legislative session. She said the demise of Lisinge was a huge loss to the entire nation, conscious of his resourcefulness and availability for nation-building assignments.
Before the requiem mass,Hon.Lisinge’s remains were removed from the Buea Regional Mortuary and laid in state at his Bonalyonga residence where hundreds of mourners filed past to view the fallen Buea elite.A day before there was Virgil at his residence.
|The hearse leaving the church to the graveside|
Lisinge’s sudden death brought to two the number of Buea Urban MPs who have, mysteriously, died in active service in recent memory.
In 2012, Adolf Ngalle ,Lisinge’s predecessor did not complete his five-year term of office as MP for Buea when he took ill towards the end of his mandate and died.
Lisinge too would have ended his first term in November 2018, everything being equal.
Manboy was said to have adopted humility at an early age as his guiding principle in life.
His friendly and simple lifestyle, pundits hold, favored his election to the covetous position of the representative of the people of Buea Urban in Cameroon’s National Assembly on September 30,2013.
Lisinge had defeated two other powerful candidates (retired senior military officer Ekeke Njuma Moses of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) and IT Engineer, Rudolf Ephungany Lyonga, of the People’s Action party (PAP) at the September 30, 2013 parliamentary election to become the Member of Parliament for Buea Urban.
This fallen law-maker obtained a Bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B) from the then University of Yaoundé in 1983.
Before becoming Member of Parliament, Hon.Lisinge who held a CNCC Diploma –Multimodal Transport since 1985, was the Southwest Regional Delegate of Transport for 16 straight years (1998 -2013), performing his duties to the admiration of both the general public and hierarchy in Yaounde.
He reportedly stayed that long as Regional Delegate of Transport because of his professional dexterity, and the several ministers of transport under whom he served saw no need to transfer him elsewhere.
In fact, Lisinge then as the longest serving regional delegate in the Southwest was Dean of the Region’s delegates for several years until November 2013.
After his university studies, young Lisinge was employed into Cameroon’s Public Service as contract officer in 1986, precisely in the Ministry of Transport.
Working there, he was appointed as the Second Assistant Provincial Chief of Service, Land Transport, Bamenda:1988-1991; he later occupied the post of First Assistant Chief of Service ,Land Transport,Bamenda: 1991-1997.
In May 1997, he was transferred to Buea in the same ministry and he held the position of Provincial Chief of Service for Land Transport until May 1998.And from May 1998,he was appointed Regional Delegate of Transport until November 2013.
Lisinge, the political Leader.
It is said that once a person is well educated and has leadership qualities he can lead anywhere. And that was Hon.Lisnge. This Presbyterian Christian, as a CPDM apologist, gave his best in supporting the ruling CPDM in Buea and that in turn paid off: he was overwhelmingly elected as the President of Buea CPDM (Fako III Section) in 2002 for a five-year mandate. It is no secret that he was actively involved in political campaigns that ensured the victories of the CPDM in all elections in Buea and the reelection of President Paul Biya.
As MP, Lisinge mainly used his parliamentary grants to support education in his constituency and donated didactic materials to over 45 primary and Nursery schools Buea subdivision.
Conscious of the difficulties Basic Education schools encounter, Hon.Lisinge in 2014 publicly vowed at a ceremony to donate didactic materials to schools in his constituency:
“I have decided to sign a pact with Basic Education Sector. This donation will become yearly until my mandate ends. I will continue to give minimum packages to schools here in my constituency”
Even before becoming President of Buea CPDM, Hon.Lisnge had been Vice President of Buea Central Subsection. Hon. Lisinge also served as Councilor of Buea Council for years.
Other leadership positions.
As a devout Presbyterian Christian, Hon.Lisinge once served as Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Presbyterian Church, Buea Town. A lover of football, Hon.Lisinge was one-time President of Prisons Club of Buea. He also served as leader of several other groups.
Hon. Lisinge was married to Esther Namondo, with whom he had three children; the MP was a very caring husband and father, and as such received huge support and encouragement from his wife, children and other relatives.
His Christian back ground transformed him into a generous man.
Education and qualifications.
Born on January 7, 1962 in Buea,young Lisinge travelled with his parents to Nigeria, where he did his primary education at St.Mary’s Nursery School, Lagos (1966-1972: and part secondary education at Birch Freeman High School ,Lagos(from 1972-9175).
Upon his return to Cameroon, this native of Buea-Fako, continued his studies at Presbyterian Secondary School,Kumba (1975-77) and Cameroon College of Arts and Science,Kumba (1978 -80),from where he passed his GCE Ordinary and Advanced levels, before enrolling to the then University of Yaoundé(1980-83),where he bagged a law degree.
Hon. Lisinge was widely travelled in and out of Cameroon. He visited several countries such as China, France and Nigeria, South Africa) for varied reasons including professional ones. The MP loved reading entertaining and educational books; liked research and watching documentaries.
Hon. Lisinge will be fondly remembered but missed by his dear wife, Esther Namondo Lisinge, children, father and mother, relatives, friends, colleagues and the general public.
NB: This article was first published in The Horizon Newspaper,Yaounde,of November 27,2017