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By Ferdinand Efome in Buea for Fako UK/Fako News Centre
     28th May 2013

The new mayor of Buea municipality is Patrick Ekema. Mr Ekema who was first deputy mayor to former mayor, Mbella Moki Charles, was installed on Monday 27 May, 2013, at the Buea council hall, to complete Charles Mbella Moki’s term of office.
The installation was not without controversy. More than half the number of councillors boycotted the installation because they did not want Patrick Ekema to be the next mayor. They said Patrick Ekema had not attended council sessions for a very long time especially after he fell out with the then mayor, Mbella Moki Charles. The councillors instead wanted the 2nd deputy mayor, Mrs Lifongo, to become mayor. The Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) for Fako, Zang III, said that the council did not keep official records of Patrick Ekema’s absenteeism from council sessions and as a result, he was going to install him (Patrick Ekema) as mayor.

While transferring powers to the new mayor, the SDO of Fako Division, Zang III, told councillors that he was expected to have installed Mr Ekema as mayor of Buea a day after the Mr Mbella Moki assumed his new office as senator. According to the Cameroon electoral code, both positions are incompatible. Although the majority of the Councillors boycotted the installation ceremony, the SDO went ahead with the installation of Mr Ekema, reminding the councillors that the installation ceremony was a working session and not a council session.

Therefore, being the first deputy mayor of the Council, Mr Ekema was installed to take over from Mbella Moki Charles as the legitimate successor.
However, the former mayor now Senator Mbella Moki Charles, was present to officially transfer powers to Patrick Ekema who will have to complete Mbella Moki’s tenure expected to end by the end of this year. Elections of municipal councillors and members of the House of National Assembly are being awaited in Cameroon.
The President of the Republic has extended the mandate of the current councillors and members of the House of National Assembly twice because the elections management body, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), adopted biometric technology to recompile the electoral registers in Cameroon. Because of time constrains, the elections that were expected to hold in 2012 were suspended.



The next council elections will be held within the next twelve months, if things move smoothly. After the elections, the councillors of Buea municipality would hold elections to elect a new mayor. Will Patrick Ekema stand for election to be mayor and if so, will he win the election? There is no doubt that some councillors would stand for the mayoral post which means Patrick Ekema will have a massive battle on his hands. He has to convince those who doubt his ability to govern Buea that he is not a weak administrator. The population of Buea is increasing everyday with so much development from the private sector and government and as a result, it has attracted some of the best and some of the most dangerous people from other parts of Cameroon. If Patrick Ekema shows the councillors and Buea populace that he will grab the bull by the horns without fearing anybody as his predecessor did, be vocal and put the interests of Buea residents first, then he has a good chance of continuing as mayor, but if he doesn’t, he would be the shortest-serving Buea mayor in the history of the town.

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