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Regional News of Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Source: The Median Newspaper

Dr. Endeley’s son elected as Nakuve’s successor


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Prince Robert Esuka Endeley, 41, son of the late PM of former British Southern Cameroons, Dr. Emmanuel Mbella Lifafa l’Endeley, has been chosen by the royal family as their candidate to succeed the late Nakuve Chief Justice Samuel Moka Lifafa l’Endeley, who died in June 2015.

Prince Esuka Endeley beat his cousin Crown Prince Charles Efungani Endeley (the eldest son of late Nakuve Chief Justice SML Endeley) by 10 votes to 3. This was in a closed family election organized recetly in Buea. Prince Esuka Endeley will be presented to the Buea king-makers during consultative talks to be called by the Fako SDO any time soon, The Median can affirm.

As the process to find a successor for the late Paramount Ruler of Buea opens, there are indications that Prince Charles Efungani Endeley, who until now was seen as the heir-apparent to the Buea throne, may not succeed his father as chief.

Prince Charles Endeley was crushingly defeated by his cousin, Prince Robert Esuka Endeley, in a closed family election that brought together the representatives of all the houses that make up the royal family of Buea town, recently. Prince Esuka got 10 of the 13 votes cast, while Prince Charles Endeley shared the remaining three votes with the other three contenders.

The family election precedes consultative talks to be called any time soon by the Fako SDO. The consultation will regroup the king-makers of the Buea paramount chieftaincy clan to select a successor for the late Nakuve Chief Justice SML Endeley.

During that sitting the royal family will present Prince Robert Esuka Endeley to the king-makers as their candidate for the much-coveted Buea throne, it was confirmed.

But it is understood that all is not yet lost for Prince Charles Efungani Endeley, who can still challenge the outcome of the family election and also present his candidature when the king-makers meet for the consultative talks.

That notwithstanding, it is important to understand why Prince Charles Endeley did not enjoy the support of most of the members of the Royal Family. An anonymous family source told The Median that even before their father’s passing, the children of Nakuve Chief Endeley were not very united; and this division greatly compromised their chances during the conclave of the royal family.

The source noted for example that Crown Prince Charles Efungani has not been in very fraternal terms with his junior brother, Prince Alexander Ngomba Endeley, whom the public also tipped as a potential successor to his father’s throne. Prince Charles is also said to be at odds with his cadet brother, Prince Ernest Nako Endeley, who is said to be the most vivacious and jovial of the five sons born to the late Nakuve Justice Endeley.

Another argument that might have worked against the late Nakuve’s children, we were told, is that the Royal family wanted a pure-breeding Bakweri son to become the next Chief of Buea. Incidentally, the late Nakuve Chief Endeley’s children are said to have a mixture of predominantly Bakweri blood and some dose of Hausa blood flowing through their veins. This is because their late mother, Queen Gladys Sillo Endeley (a one-time mayor of Buea) was said to have blood links with North Cameroon.

Also, some quarters in Buea town including notably Vasingi, Bona Lyonga, wondongo etc accused the late Nakuve SML Endeley of not supporting their quest of becoming sovereign chiefdoms. The indigenes of these quarters complain that they have continued to be ruled from the Mokunda Palace, while other much smaller settlements in Buea have grown into fully-fledged chiefdoms with their own chiefs.

Then unlike most of the chiefs that preceded the Nakuve, the latter did not inherit his throne from his father but rather from his uncle, the late Chief Gervacius Endeley. Besides, it is said that when Chief Gervacius Endeley died, it was the Nakuve’s elder brother, Dr. EML Endeley that was picked through a gentleman’s agreement to succeed the late chief.

It however turned out that Dr. Endeley was not physically and psychologically prepared enough to sit on the throne; he therefore declined the nomination and suggested instead that his junior brother Justice SML Endeley be given the crown.

It is believed therefore that by electing Prince Esuka Endeley as their candidate, the Royal family has simply done justice to Dr. Endeley, who magnanymously surrendered his opportunity to his junior brother.

What’s more, some members of the Royal family have still not come to terms with the serial deaths that marked the period leading to the crowning of HRH Nakuve SML Endeley as the King of Buea. Having learnt their lesson, the royal family has adopted a selection process that will prevent the infighting and bad blood that caused heads to roll in the past. And that is probably why they have chosen to go by way of an election to pick a consensus candidate for the succession of the Nakuve.


Popularity versus politics

According to field reports, Prince Robert Esuka Endeley enjoys more support from the indigenous population of Buea town than his cousin Prince Charles Efungani Endeley. This is because the public considers Prince Esuka Endeley as a free mixer and a cut, steeped and dried Bakweri culturalist. It is said that Prince Esuka would readily and expertly sing and beat the drums during traditional ceremonies, and also wrestle during pala-pala festivals.

On his part, Prince Charles is dismissed as aristocratic and withdrawn. He is also not enthusiastic about cultural activities, we learnt.

However, some pundits are already predicting a likely politicization of the succession process, especially given the political divide that now reigns in Buea CPDM. It is believed that Prince Esuka Endeley’s candidature is strongly backed by the Mayor of the Buea Council, Patrick Esunge Ekema, who is Esuka’s childhood friend and age mate.

On the other hand, Prince Charles Endeley is believed to enjoy the support of the more elderly and elitist class including notably the likes of the GCE Board Registrar, Sir Humphrey Ekema Monono, who incidentally is the Chairman of the Buea Traditional Council Development Committee, and Meoto Njie Paul, former Director of Cabinet at the PM’s Office.

But one point should be emphasized here namely that, the Buea Mayor is not in good terms with some Buea political elite, especially those loyal to the very influential Senator Peter Mafany Musonge. Reason why it is feared that Prince Esuka Endeley’s chances of getting the final endorsement of the administration could be compromised especially if it emerges that he is sponsored by Mayor Ekema.

This is because Mayor Ekema’s political adversaries may decide to mount road blocks on Prince Esuka’s path to the throne this, just to prove to Mayor Ekema that they are the ones in control of events in Buea.

But such a move would only be condescending and irrational on the part of the CPDM barons. It could also be a source of real frustration to the royal family, especially given the maturity they have demonstrated by peacefully electing Prince Esuka as their consensus candidate.

Chief Endeley’s piercing aura

Be it as it may, when the Buea king-makers will eventually gather in consultative talks to decide on who becomes the next Paramount Chief of Buea, it would be incumbent on them to pick a candidate that over time, shall carry the kind of aura and also command the respect that the late Nakuve inspired.

With the sterling academic and professional achievements of the late Nakuve Justice SML Endeley, and the respect that he commanded from both the administration and his peers, it is feared that neither Prince Esuka Endeley nor his cousin Prince Charles Endeley could very easily and comfortably fit into his shoes.

Worthy of note however, is the fact that, while Prince Charles Endeley has already retired from the CDC where he did much of his working career, his much younger cousin, Prince Robert Esuka Endeley, is still in active service in the USA, where after bagging a second Master’s degree he now works as an IT expert whilst also pursuing a PHD in Management Information Systems.

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