Politics

UB Masters Student, Paul Efome, Elected Limbe City Council Mayor

Fako SDO congratulating the new City Mayor

Fako SDO congratulating the new City Mayor

By Francis Tim Mbom

Paul Efome Lisombe Mbole Ngale, a final year Masters student of Political Sciences, was, on Friday, March 4, elected new Limbe City Council Mayor.

He was elected to fill the vacancy left following the death of the former City Mayor, Andrew Motanga Monjimba, on January 5. Motanga’s burial on February 26 was immediately followed by an announcement from the SDO of Fako Division, Emmanuel Engamba Ledoux, convening all the councillors of the Limbe I, II and III Councils for an extra-ordinary session on Tuesday, March 2, for the election of a new City Mayor.

The announcement seems to have caught the members of the Central Committee of the CPDM Party off-guard as they quickly caused the SDO to shift the date. But it made several Councillors who had been nursing ambitions to replace the former City Mayor to seize the opportunity and announce their candidacies.

Among them were Mayor Chief Daniel Woka Ngale Ndive I of the Limbe II Council. He was widely tipped to be the front runner. The Mayor of the Limbe III Council, Barrister Nseke Luma Dibotti, also floated his candidacy. Former South Delegate for Sports and Physical Education, Councillor Ekema Abel, also joggled his candidacy and even bolstered it with a manifesto of what he intended to do for Limbe if elected.

The Acting City Mayor, Mrs Karen Nora Tanga epse Wouapit, didn’t need to announce anything new. She had been known to be a fervent contender to replace her deceased boss.

But, albeit all these declarations of intent, it is the ‘sacred’ Central Committee of the CPDM that has the mandate over the running of Limbe City Council that had the trump-card as to who was the one to finally fit into the shoes of the former City Mayor.

First, they barred all Mayors and their deputies from running. This move automatically quashed the ambitions of the Limbe II Mayor, Chief Daniel Woka Ngale and Mayor Nseke of the Limbe III Council.

Thus, when Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo landed in Limbe on Friday, March 4, nobody could immediately tell as to who “the high instructions from the Head of State” had decided to be voted as the new Mayor.

From the morning hours when he landed, a series of closed-door meetings were held at the SDO’s office. 

At 2pm, the time that was scheduled for the extra-ordinary session, Fame Ndongo’s car drove into the Limbe City Council Chambers. The Councillors who had to vote were ushered into the deliberating Chambers in of the City Council, while Fame Ndongo and his Central Committee team climbed upstairs into one of the Council offices, probably to finalise issues concerning their mission in Limbe. They stayed upstairs for another two long hours as some of the Councillors, out of restlessness, tiredness and the general unknown, kept shuffling in and out of the deliberative Chambers.

At 3.56 pm, Fame Ndongo and his delegation came down stairs. The press, at this point, was barred from going in. After some moments, a Councillor came out and hinted that the Central Committee has already invested the Candidate as designated by the Head of State. The press was then called in as the SDO of Fako was also invited to come and oversee the conduct of the election.

When Engamba got in, the Councillors elected the eldest Councillor, Rebecca Lifanda, to chair the electoral session. She proceeded to ask Councillors for nominations. Councillors responded by nominating four candidates: Paul Efome Ngale, Oscar Quan, Chief Daniel Ngale Ndive and Karen Tanga.

This was not what was expected. Thus the SDO quickly drew the attention of Lifanda who immediately called for two minutes suspension of the session. The press was again asked to leave the hall. The newly nominated candidates were called up for another brief conclave. 

After waiting for some 10 minutes, the session resumed as the press shuffled back into the hall.

The eldest Councillor, Rebecca Lifanda, asked the four nominated candidates if any of them had anything more to say about their nomination. Senior Councillor Paul Efome accepted his nomination. Councillor Oscar Quan declined his nomination while Mayor Chief Ndive also declined his nomination while announcing his support for candidate Paul Efome. Karen Tanga also stood up and declined her nomination and said it was for the good of the party.

The session ensued and resulted with the election of Paul Efome Ngale as the New City Council Mayor. Fifty-seven Councillors voted for him while 16 casted null votes.

Reacting to his election, Efome Ngale said: “I want to use this opportunity to thank the Head of State for having bestowed his trust in the youth and especially my humble person.”

He thanked Prof. Fame Ndongo and his team for their mission that has led to his election. He also thanked fellow Councillors for the confidence they have entrusted to him.

In a word with the press, he stated that he knew there were challenges; but said he was also confident that there were also many opportunities available that will enable him and his collaborators to overcome the challenges and make Limbe a better place for all.

The new City Mayor is the younger brother to the Mayor of the Limbe II Council. But this issue is not a strange phenomenon in Limbe, because, while Samuel Lifanda Ebiama served, at the time, as the Government Delegate to the Limbe Urban Council, his maternal cousin, Andrew Motanga, was the Chairman of the Council. He was, in 2009, appointed to take over from Lifanda, his cousin.

Mayor Ndive Confident Of New City Mayor’s Ability

Mayor Chief Daniel Woka Ngale I of Bobende said he was very confident of that the new City Mayor was going to “make Limbe great again.”

“His output at the level of my Council as a Councillor has been very, very positive. And his contributions is responsible for the successful level that we are today in Limbe II. Thus, I think going on to manage a structure like the Limbe City Council will be no problem to him,” Mayor Chief Woka said.

The new City Mayor, besides being a Councillor, is the Scribe of the National Youth Council and a final year Master’s Degree student of Political Science at the University of Buea. 

It is expected that he is going to tap from all his experiences and in addition to his Political Science knowledge on how to successfully manage a people and their resources in the improvement of the people of Limbe.

“I have seen him grow; I have seen him handle very complex situations. And this one won’t be an exception… I know he is a unifier. He will unify the people of Limbe and development will be one of his major focuses,” Mayor Ndive said.

The new City Mayor, Paul Efome, will have to work in collaboration with Karen Tanga Nora epse Wouapit as his 1st Deputy and Emmanuel Kouctchou as the 2nd Deputy.

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