New DO tasked to restart economic activities in crisis crippled Bafut

Mezam SDO Presenting New Divisional Officer

The Prefect of Mezam Division, Simon Emile Mooh has challenged the incoming Divisional officer for Bafut sub division, Mezam division in the North West region to ensure that economic activities in the subdivision are revitalized. 

Bafut sub division is rich in agriculture. The ongoing crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon has however caused a drastic drop in its agricultural production. The greatest quantity of ginger sold in North West markets was hitherto farmed in Bafut, making ginger one of the major cash crops of the sub division. The cultivation of cocoyams and rice in lower Bafut was also a booster to the agric economy of the sub division. 

In 2015, the government of Cameroon began the experimental phase of highland farming of rice in the subdivision. 

Bafut equally plays host to tributaries of River Mezam, a major river from which Mezam division derives its name, which has become a bedrock for river sand exploitation, employing hundreds of youths and serving as a major source of income generation to the Bafut Council. 

Being one of the epicentres of the anglophone crisis that has rocked the English speaking parts of Cameroon since 2016, it's economic opportunities cannot be harnessed to its full potential, greatly dwindling it's economic prowess. 

Simon Emile Mooh therefore instructed the incoming Divisional Officer to work with the mayor of the municipality as one man to ensure that economic life returns to the subdivision.

"You must collaborate with the population to ensure that life returns to Bafut. You must work without favoritism and also ensure the security of the people and their property." Emile Mooh said.

The incoming Divisional officer, 32 years old Fokou Njukeng Andrelys is a holder of a BSc in Law and political science from the University of Dschang. He has served as support staff at the Regional Delegation of the Public Service and administrative reforms North West before moving to Mamfe where he served as the 2nd Assistant SDO for Manyu from March 2020 to the 15th of October 2021 when he was appointed Divisional officer for Bafut.

Fokou Andrelys 

Fokou Andrelys replaces Diobe Elumba Didacus Elumba who served in Bafut for over a year and five months.

Mayor Ngwakongoh Lawrence 

In his welcome remarks, the mayor of Bafut council, Ngwakongoh Lawrence noted that the new DO is coming at a time when the third wave of COVID-19 is ravaging lives in some parts of the region. He said it is a priority for Bafut sub division to be COVID-19 free.

He also called for collaboration to see how the council can effectively restart revenue collection in the subdivision, an activity which has been halted for more than three years now. 

According to mayor Lawrence, for anything to work in Bafut, the council and the administration must ensure that the separatist fighters lodged in camps around the subdivision are dislodged, and only then can normalcy return.

The new DO was greeted by an IED detonation at Nsem, a locality found some 3 kilometres to Bafut central town. Some   particles of the explosion flew to cars accompanying the Senior Divisional officer.

Installing him into his post of responsibility, the Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam told him; constant harassment and stopping of people from using the Bafut forest road to Menchum Division needs to be brought to a halt.

As the New DO sets in, his first mission as instructed by the SDO for Mezam is to set up vibrant vigilante groups for information sourcing, so as to give the crisis what he terms a befitting burial.

 By Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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