Colossal crowds turned out to receive the trophy last Friday despite the on-going town and school droughts in the region.
The African football trophy, won by the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon last 5 February in Libreville, Gabon, was paraded in the South West Region last Friday, 24 February, 2017. The trophy, player Robert Ndip Tambe and officials led by Sports and Physical Education Minister, Bidoung Mkpatt, arrived at the 3813 spot in Tiko, gateway to the South West Region, into the waiting hands of Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai. On hand, too, to welcome the trophy amid a mammoth crowd of Indomitable Lions’ fans were the Divisional Officer for Tiko, Ngwashiri, and Tiko’s Mayor, Moukondo Daniel Ngande. The citizens lined the street edges up to the Tiko Council Hall. Echoes of unity, peace and joy discharged from the Tiko Mayor’s welcome speech flew over the mountains and valleys of the South West.
Robert Ndip Tambe, accompanying the trophy, took the stage to thank the population for supporting them throughout their Gabon expedition. He used the occasion to prick the consciences of parents, teachers, pupils and students west of the Mungo to resume school as the Government was bent on solving the problems raised at the spark of the strike action some three months ago.
The caravan carrying the trophy moved from Tiko to Limbe at slow pace through the Mutengene road-junction where crowds gesticulated and danced chanting the chorus of the Lions. The warmth of the Limbe stop-by was equally reminiscent of Ndip Tambe’s childhood and debut in his football career where he played in the local team of Njalla Quan Sports Academy, Limbe, before migrating abroad for greener pasture. Ndip Tambe hails from Osing in Manyu of the South West Region.
Next was the focal point in Buea, capital of the South West Region where the cream of the Region assembled to feast the continental trophy. The crowds saluted the trophy, took pictures with it and wished the best ever to the Lions. In Molyko-Buea, Ndip Tambe jumped out of the military jeep and walked the entire street in front of the University of Buea where enormous crowds yelled out for the cup. Traditional rulers of the South West articulated a message of support and encouragement to President Paul Biya and handed a symbolic gift through Minister Bidoung Mkpatt to the Head of State. Minister Bidoung Mkpatt, speaking in perfect English, thanked the people of the South West Region for the fabulous mobilization. The Minister explained that the purpose of the tour of the trophy through the regions of Cameroon was to give Cameroonians the opportunity to own it and rejoice with it to cement national unity, integration, togetherness and peace to inspire solidarity, patriotism and the dynamic development of the country from all sectors.
Moukondo Daniel Ngande: “This Country Is One And Indivisible”
Mayor of Tiko
“On a personal note I am an elated person to be the first Municipal Authority in the South West to receive this trophy. I want to thank the powers that be who brought this idea for a stop-over in Tiko. Tiko and Dibombari Municipalities are symbols of national unity. They show that this country is one and indivisible. We are in a period that we are talking national unity and Tiko can never be left out.”
Chief Kombe Richard: “The Trophy Has Reassured Confidence”
President of Tiko Chiefs’ Conference
“We are happy to receive the AFCON trophy which has brought pride, happiness and joy to Cameroonians. Being an indivisible nation, I think that it has not just ended in extending joy only to the population of Tiko and Cameroon at large but has reassured more confidence in the national football team. If we can have this population here today to jubilate then let’s keep our differences behind and let our children go back to schools.”
Gisele Egusingue: “Bright Future Ahead In The Lion’s Den”
”Words really can’t explain my emotions. I am happy and as you can see half of the Limbe population is here in the Community Field celebrating the trophy and Ndip Robert Tambe who is a son of Limbe. To assure future trophies, the national team should continue to work in unity and love. I see a bright future ahead in the Lion’s den just from the way they played.”
Metuge Stanley: “It Brings A Spirit Of National Unity”
“It is a very positive emotion that I am expressing to have touched and felt the coveted trophy here at the ceremonial ground in Buea. The trophy brings a spirit of national unity. When it comes to football we all reason together. On the day of the victory, the same celebrations took place in the national triangle because football is a unifying factor in Cameroon.”
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