Cameroon: Traditional Ruler Dethroned for Rejecting Biya's Covid-19 Gift

The Divisional Officer of Mvengue Subdivision, in the South Region of Cameroon has reportedly instigated the firing of the Chief of Minkan village, Mr. Evina Engoto, accusing him of contempt to the person of the head of state, Paul Biya.


The Chief was dethroned days after the administrator met with shock and embarrassments when he went distributing sanitary kits donated by Mr. Biya to village chiefs in his native South Region.


In a video footage that has gone viral on social media, Mr. Evina Engoto thanked the head of state for the gesture but told the Divisional Officer that he would prefer hand sanitizer gels instead of the 10-liter bucket. The Chief made clear to the head of state’s representative, amidst rebuffs, that he had no need for the bucket. 


The administrator hushed him down saying gifts from the head of state must be taken on oath, because they represent a sovereign act. Such “sovereign” gifts and gestures, he said, shall neither be criticized nor commented upon negatively. 


“...As a traditional ruler, you have to receive and thank the head of state instead of rejecting with negative comments....," he fired at the Chief.


A few moments later, as he walked on to the next recipient in frustration and anger, the administrator warned the traditional ruler to be a disciplined local authority else he will see to his dethronement.


In line with this threat, the Senior Divisional Officer issued a prefectural order on May 21, on recommendation  of the Divisional Officer of Mvengue, dethroning Mr. Evina from his office of Chief of Minkan village. The act of dismissal was read on the National Broadcaster, Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) during a French Language newscast.


Locals in Minkan have reportedly cried foul, lamenting that things had attained a level where even a traditional ruler had no choice to make, let alone the ability to freely express his views.


On his part, Valsero, a social critic, sympathizer, and supporter of Prof. Maurice Kamto, the man who insists he won the 2018 Presidential election, said there was no point sympathizing with Mr. Evina. He held that these were the same chiefs who would not allow any other political party, excepting the ruling CPDM to gain any access into their villages.


These chiefs, he said often went round duplicating identity and voters’ cards of villagers to record 100% ballots for the CPDM and maintain the regime of Mr. Biya. Valsero noted that, for close to 40 years this has been the case and today “he wants to make a choice of what he is given”.


The Social Critic predicted that in the future, divisional officers would be flogging “these types of chiefs in public places”.