By:Mbah Lucas Tebo
Still thinking who is the man in-charge of grand Fako, look no further than it’s firebrand mayor, Ekema Patrick Esunge.
The landlord of the chief town of South West region, Buea has been rising steadily and sailing through the turbulent and uncertain waters of the division which is a politically red hot potato in the Anglophone regions of the country.
Former premier, Peter Mafanyi Mussonge might still be the old fox in the house and still holds and pulls quite important strings in Yaoundé but his influence is fading and really fast and it’s a matter of time for the Mayor to take his rightful place among the table of the Mfoundi base elites
He does not certainly see himself as the leader of the all important division in a country where politics of regional balance is very much practiced and what you give to the country’s coffers supreme.
In his own words, mayor Ekema did not position himself as the front runner of the division, but he did not also think influential Musonge is either.
He had kind words for the former University of Buea Vice Chancellor now secondary education minister professor Nalova Lyonga and he thinks she is the new Fako leader.
But such public display of political humility from a man who has been accustomed with pride and self confidence and bask in his own arrogance with relish in the face of aggressive elites who wants to maintain the established political dynamics where he is not among the decision makers might throw the spotlight to the soft spoken by defiant academic don who was credited for putting UB to order even though how she did that still remains a matter of debate.
The political romance between the two is not yet known to the public and many still wonder why mayor Ekama picked her as the leader in a division where most of the elites by the mayors’s own words are now “political refugees in Yaoundé”.
But one thing is certain, the two have never known to clash at least in public
Ekema might not enjoy enviable popularity from the locals of his division of origin but he enjoys a rock star status among the elites in Yaoundé and in Cameroonian politics that is all that matters.
Despite haven’t been rocked by multiple and life threatening scandals from within and without, the man fondly called the political Maradona has been undeterred, dribbling his opponents at ease and always finding a way to score an important goal when it matters most to save and turn around his crumbling political fortunes.
He has been tagged by secessionist as “number one enemy of the land” and by fellow elites as arrogant and ungrateful son of the land, but Yaoundé authorities and those out of the region have welcome him with open arms, praise him in public and call him “exemplary and patriotic Cameroonian”
The scandal-plaque mayor has survived multiple attempts to assassinate his political career even from those many would have thought will quickly joint forces with the chief Ambazonia critic and fight the common enemy.
His resolve has been mind-blowing and his defiant exemplary. He still remains the most vocal voice against what he calls “enemies of the state” and insists political dialogue is the way out and must take place within the established structures of the state, in what sounds like a refrain from government barons
He has snubbed smear campaigns against his person and continues to march on with his self-declared manifesto even when most at times he looks isolated and abandoned by his associates but Yaoundé has been noting the impact and his hard work has started paying off.
His foresight has been tremendous as he had abandon what many now call a sinking ship with Anglophone elites to create his own world based on his own playbook and evidently its working for him-at least for now
He is highly credited for among other things the release of the seven kidnapped Fako chiefs by the Ambazonia armed separatists after he brace the storm and organized a rare protest march pass in Buea on August 31st calling for their immediate release after one died in captivity.
He prides himself as the only Fako elites who still lives in “ground zero” as all the others have become political refugees in Yaoundé in his own words and he has vowed and fought to end punitive ghost town albeit little success.
He has enjoyed visits from some top government officials in the past, the inner cycle of the President of the republic and he is unarguably the most famous Mayor in the country and one of the most famous names in Cameroon’s political chessboard even thou he is just about to begin
As Fako elites continue to fight and hide far away from home as the Anglophone crisis which most of them have chosen to be lips tide worsen, Mayor Ekema is seriously gaining political grounds back home and even though he might not currently enjoys wide spread support in his base, he might as well be the only elite the people know and the last man standing for Yaoundé to rely on for any kind of political favor.