By Bouddih Adams
The new Consul General of Nigeria to the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, His Excellency Lawal Bappah, MNI, has been named “Eyole”, which means peace seeker in Bakweri (Mokpe) language.
HE Lawal Bappah was named ‘Eyole’ by the Chiefdom of Great Soppo Buea, on November 11, at the Great Soppo Palace to which he paid a visit.
After the Chief of Great Soppo, HRH Etina Monono and his Traditional Council dressed the diplomat in Bakweri regalia; the Chief raised his royal staff and pronounced: “In the name of the gods of Fako, I name you ‘Eyole.’ The Great Soppo community reacted with deafening applause.
One of the Great Soppo Notables, explaining the title Eyole, said: “We want to prove to the world that Great Soppo is great indeed. This period is a very dicey one, and your mission is to bring peace. Eyole is someone who pacifies. When people are fighting, he does everything to bring peace.” To HE Lawal, he said: “Wherever you are working, try to bring peace. And God will put His hand, and you will succeed.”
Earlier, Chief Etina Monono had traced the relationship between Cameroon and Nigeria right back to pre-colonial epoch. He described the diplomatic relations between Cameroon and Nigeria in this post-colonial era as affectionate.
In his speech, he said: “Fako has a long coastline linked to Nigeria. This visit of the Consul General to the Great Soppo Chiefdom is a diplomatic visit. The relationship between the Nigerian Consulate and the Great Soppo Chiefdom has always been cordial and healthy.”
He said all Nigerian Consuls General commissioned to Southwest and Northwest usually pay visits to Great Soppo. He disclosed that, of Buea’s 220,000 population, 50 percent is resident in Great Soppo and that 12 percent of the population of Great Soppo are Nigerians. He appealed to the Consul General to help in the development of Great Soppo in the areas of water and health.
HE Lawal Bappah enthused: “On behalf of my Government, the Consulate will always do its best to support Great Soppo, the Southwest Region and all of Cameroon. I really appreciate the welcome accorded me here. I look forward to a better relationship.”
Some Bakweri Chiefs like Chief Mandange, Chief Eko Nganji, Motowo, Mokwa, Ilongo, and Njombe joined their Great Soppo brethren to receive the diplomat.
Two artists; Prince Mbgake and Soft Touch, alongside the Nigerian Women, Bakweri Choral Group, MECUDA Mukonge, Bakossi Ngone graced the occasion with song and dance.
Chief Etina Monono announced at the end of the ceremony that the Consul General had brought bags of rice as gift, to which he, the Chief, will add some so that each family in Great Soppo gets a share as Christmas rice.
Before his assignment to Cameroon, HE Lawal Bappah has served in Nigerian missions in Beijing – China, Ghana and Morocco.