Personality of The Week: Chief Justice Benjamin Mutanga Itoe; Paramount Ruler of the Bakundus.

Leadership and influence get their real meaning when they go through fire, tough times and the same voices that power them remain relevant. Such is leadership that is beyond the traditional kowtowing that many always seek to get from fellow human beings.

Until a man’s influence and leadership distinguish themselves, any other person can pass for someone who has what it takes to lead a people. Talk it is often said, is cheap, but taking action is where the problem lies.

This week, the Bakundu people, spread across 35 villages in Meme Division, eroded the jinx which the crisis in the North West and South West Regions has placed over common community initiatives. 

They staged the 42nd congress of the Bakundu Cultural and Development Union, BACDU, in Bombe Bakundu, Mbonge Subdivision of the South West Region.

The March 15-17 gathering, organised under the theme: “Revival, unity and development of the Bakundu people”, was a huge success. 

The historic nature of the gathering and the salient issues trashed at the meeting have remained topical. 

But even more honoured for rallying his people to open a new era for shared development, wellbeing and political engagement in nation building is former minister and traditional ruler of Bombe Bakundu, His Royal Highness Chief Justice Benjamin Muntanga Itoe.

In the brackets of the millions of people who read The Guardian Post, the most glittering media house, in terms of journalistic excellence in the Economic Community of Central Africa, ECCAS, the leadership of Minister Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is historic and prodigious.

Our readers say they admire his doggedness and leadership, not because such community gatherings are not common but because since the crisis in the North West and South West Regions sparked, most people have surrendered their culture and common destiny to chance. 

For showing rare wisdom and courage in not only contributing to peace but rallying the Bakundus to unite and further revive their development, His Majesty Chief Justice Benjamin Mutanga Itoe qualifies to enjoy respect as a veritable leader. 

Beyond the Bakundus reiterating the genuineness and his undisputed place as their Paramount Ruler, Chief Justice Benjamin Itoe, groomed in royalty, fashioned in excellence and living as a testimony of uncommon service to humanity, our readers say, is a fine character of Cameroon’s Personality of This Week.

Our readers, among them Bakundus, say Chief Justice Benjamin Itoe, a longtime torchbearer,‘Tata Nganga Mataka Wa Bankundu’ of the Bakundus since 2012, has proven his worth. 

They said for staying with his people through the thick and thin of the armed conflict in the English-speaking Regions, he is undoubtedly a tested and proven leader. He believes the future can be better than the present and he has been working towards it. 

Chief Justice Benjamin Itoe is a true representation of the change he wants to see among his people and Cameroon. He is not among those who want things to change but are not changing themselves. 

He has remained consistent in adapting to contemporary challenges, putting his wealth, influence and wisdom not just at the service of the nation but at the service of his people.

Your Personality of The Week is a great Statesman, who has always made things happen. Chief Justice Benjamin Itoe is always on the lookout for good opportunities for Cameroon and his people. 

When the odds are against the nation and his people, Chief Justice Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is always very clear on positions. He is not an ambiguous character. He is a person who has walked golden paths nationally and internationally.

When it comes to serving country and the Cameroonian people, he has shown surpassing loyalty. He is not ashamed of identifying with the political agenda of President Biya. 

What is more, Your Personality of The Week has, for decades, been counting the blessings people of Meme have received from the Biya regime, before pressing for more.

He is a patriarch of refined fortunes who has stayed on top for long. He has the wherewithal and influence needed enough to give direction, not just to the population of the 35 Bakundu villages but the South West Region and beyond.

This incredible pathfinder is also being celebrated for his consistency in resisting evil among his people; reshaping the future of the Bakundus and the nation. 

In the face of the deadly separatist crisis, your Personality of The Week has, in all these years, been a guide for thousands of young people and families.

The Bakundu Paramount ruler is the centre of influence in directing development initiatives and shaping the political involvement of his people in nation building.

His Majesty Chief Justice Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, a sublime character who has known excellence at the highest levels of life, is enjoying huge support because of the decades spent in empowering his people. 

The large-scale support he is enjoying from his kith and kin is linked to his paramount role in holding the Bakundus, Meme Division and Cameroonians together.

Your Personality of The Week is among the few golden loyalists President Biya has received uncommon support from. 

His Majesty Benjamin Mutanga Itoe has made waves in the past and is doing same today with huge potential for more in future, because he has never stopped aiming for the top.

While many spend time crying over spilled milk and errors of the past, His Majesty Mutanga Itoe’s unprecedented move to rally the Bakundus on the path of peace, reconciliation and redynamising development, admirers say, makes the former minister a paragon of hope.

He is revered among the Bakundus because as a man whose experiences touch global heights, His Majesty Benjamin Itoe is so passionate about the wellbeing of not just his kith and kin but all who live across Bakundu villages and his native Meme Division in general.

At a time when people have been gagged by fear and doubt, His Majesty Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is the voice of possibility the Bakundus continue to look up to.

He is known as the man with unrivalled positive energy. His Excellency Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is a personality who is goals driven. 

In his quest for peace, unity and development, Benjamin Mutanga Itoe knows patience is power. 

His outreach campaigns to get young people who have taken up arms against the State out of the bushes is no hidden agenda. 

As a father and an inspiring community headman, he has never left a leadership vacuum among his people, especially during trying times.

This revered Statesman and celebrated former minister, makes his resounding debut on this esteemed platform for possessing the rare ability to feed the mind of his people with the fire not to quit.

He is being solicited in every initiative in Meme, especially among his Bakundu brethren. This is because His Majesty Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, has put in decades of his life, raising men and empowering his people. 

The growth of others is what has always preoccupied this untiring brave star and first-class patriot. 

Those who know Benjamin Mutanga Itoe say he is a consummate dealer in hope. On this score, they say he needs no titles to measure his weight, influence and place within Cameroon and beyond. 

When it comes to rallying people for community development, his name is written in gold. In the judiciary world, the name Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is also pegged in a class of its own. In the realm of public service, he comes in as a dove-like character with uncommon humility.

Many say he has been on several platforms of honour, because as a leader, he knows the way, goes the way and shows the way always. His presence, it is being said, has always left institutions and communities better. 

Even in his absence, many say most of what this Statesman has done will benefit even generations yet unborn. His leadership philosophy has produced phenomenal results because it is more participative, directive and enabling.

Your Personality of The Week, it is being said, is the kind of leader with unusual support. He is a man who is being listened to at all times. 

Many say and rightly so, that even if he were not to have titles, the Bakundus would have still been according him the kind of respect he is getting today. He has operated with his people on the basis of trust, commitment and obligation. 

Your Personality of The Week is in the realm of bliss and unrivalled honour for being the man unlocking the potentials of the Bakundus. 

While others see power as a tool to control, your Personality of The Week uses it to empower and give strength to others. 

His Majesty Benjamin Mutanga Itoe is not among the lucking lot fuelled by greed. He takes delight in sharing everything God has blessed him with indiscriminately. His Excellency Benjamin Mutanga Itoe relates with people by heart and not by head. 

He is a courageous and skillful leader who has never relapsed in seizing opportunities to change things for the better.

For the records, His Majesty Benjamin Mutanga Itoe who doubles as President General of BACDU, is a household name in Cameroon. He Was born in 1942, in Bombe Bakundu, Meme Division, South West Region.

His educational career extended to the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where he obtained a degree in law in 1967. He enrolled into the Nigeria Law School and was called to the Bar the following year, precisely on June 25, 1968. 

Benjamin Mutanga Itoe returned to Cameroon and studied at the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM. He was of the 1969 batch. 

He was first posted to Buea as Attorney General before moving to Bamenda in the same capacity at the Court of Appeal in 1972. He worked in the North West for 13 years.

He returned to the Central administration of the Ministry of Justice serving as Deputy Director in charge of the Directorate of Legal Professions. Benjamin Mutanga Itoe was later promoted to Director of Penitentiary Administration in the Ministry of Territorial Administration. 

He moved from there to become Minister of Transport in 1984. In 1985, he was moved to serve as Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals. After four years, he was sent to serve as the pioneer Minister of Tourism, a position he occupied till April 1992.

Your Personality of The Week was pioneer adviser of the Supreme Court. He is one-time President of the Administrative Bench of the Supreme Court. His prowess earned him an international request.

With the approval of the Head of State, Paul Biya, the United Nations Secretary General then named Chief Justice Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, Judge in the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone. He served there for nine years as head of the tribunal.

He is among those who drafted the country’s 1996 constitution and the criminal procedure code harmonising the civil and common law procedures applicable to both the Francophone and Anglophone judiciary systems.

Between 1981 and 1983, he was Board member of the National Social Insurance Fund, NSIF. On August 1, 2014, President Biya appointed him Board Chairperson of the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC.  He served there till May 27, 2021, when he was replaced. 

The Senior Statesman is serving a second term as member of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, NCPM. 

The holder of the decoration of Grand Officer of the National Order of Valour, is also a member of the Central Committee of the CPDM. 

He is the boss of the Permanent Divisional Coordination team of the CPDM for Meme. Married and a father of six children, Your Personality of The Week is a phenomenal patriot and untiring nation builder. 


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