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Senate Pays Homage To Prof. Jikong Stephen

The House met in plenary on Friday, December 12, 2014, to bid farewell to its colleague.

His Royal Highness, Professor, Senator Jikong Stephen Yeriwa, who passed on in Yaounde on November 15, 2014, at the age of 65, was laid to rest on Saturday, December 13, 2014, in Jator village, Nwa Subdivision, Donga-Mantung Division of the North West Region. The obsequies were attended by Senators, Members of Parliament and elite from the division and beyond.

Earlier on Friday, December 12, 2014, the Senate met in plenary to pay homage to the fallen colleague. In his euology, which was read out as the whole House remained standing, Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifenji, paid tribute to the man he described as “warm and considerate towards the humblest, uncompromising with others as well as himself, discreet and always striving for perfection.” He said Senator Jikong “absolutely dedicated his entire life to the service of others, aiming to substantially improve the living conditions of his compatriots.”

The late Senator, Marcel Niat Njifenji pointed out, through his research work, contributed to shape the identity and the bilingual vocation internationally recognised of the University of Yaounde I where he rose to become Associate Professor of English. The Senate President acknowledged that it was Jikong’s passion for service and love for neighbours that contributed to his becoming the traditional ruler of Jator village and promotion to Secretary General in the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms, and later Technical Adviser in the Prime Minister’s office.

Professor Jikong’s political commitment in the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM party, where he was Member of the Central Committee, enabled him to impose himself as an actor to be reckoned with. Not believing in revolution, he confronted real political resistance in his native North West Region by “striving to teach the patience of reform, consistency of action and the tenacity of effort,” Marcel Niat Njifenji disclosed.

Following the eulogy, the Vice Prime Minister, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Amadou Ali, cabinet ministers, senators and MPs, took turns to pay their last respects to the body of His Royal Highness, Jikong Stephen Yeriwa. The casket was then accompanied out of the Senate chambers – just like it was earlier welcomed in – by 10 senators representing the country’s 10 regions.  

Reacting to the death of Senator Jikong, Hon. Cyprian Mbaya Awudu, Member of Parliament, Donga-Mantung Division, said he was “a father, brother and the senator for my division, Donga-Mantung. He was a university lecturer who also had a good career in the Civil Service, becoming Secretary General in the Ministry of Public Service and Technical Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office. We were members of the same church – the Etoug-Ebe Baptist Church, Yaounde. He did everything to disenclave his area and assist his people. I believed he worked so hard and time came for God to call him home.”

According to Mbella Moki Charles, Senator for the South West Region, “Senator Stephen Jikong stood for the hope and aspirations of the people he represented. He brought into the Senate a special air of importance, carrying along a personality that depicted his preparedness for his legislative duties. He was calm, very intelligent and only spoke when it was necessary. And whenever he spoke, the value of what came out of his mouth was a volume of substance, contributing to the growth and welfare of the nation. He was also a man of the commonwealth – he advocated the common good of the greater number and was a blend of modernity and the combined story of our history. It’s a pity that he died at a time we needed him much in the Senate. I pray his colleagues will continue the good work he began. We shall miss him; the people he represented will miss, but Cameroon will miss him even more. May his soul rest in peace!” he concluded.    

Fuh Calistus Gentry, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industries, Mines and Technological Development and elite of Donga-Mantung Division, described Professor Jikong as “a very special person because he came into the Senate at the right time as the right person to represent Donga-Mantung Division and the North West Region as a whole. He fitted into the picture intellectually and politically. We believe that he made his region very proud because Donga-Mantung Division delivered the goods through him.”

Paul Tchatchouang, Vice President of the Senate, Senator from the West Region said the late Senator was a discreet man who only spoke when it was necessary. He added that the Senate has lost someone whose rich profile would have helped it to accomplish much.        

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