The Evolution of the Bamenda Municipality

Before the independence of Cameroon in 1960, there were two Native Authority (NA) structures that administered what was known as the Bamenda Province: the Bamenda South Eastern Federation of Native Authority for the Tikari tribe, with headquarters in Ndop, today known as the Ngoketunja Division; and the Bamenda South Western Federation of Native Authority, with headquarters in Mbengwi, to serve the Widikum tribe, which occupies the whole of today's Momo Division and part of Mezam Division, more specifically, the Bamenda Central Sub Division and the Santa Sub Divisions.


In 1962, the Ngemba Council was carved out of the Widikum Council to take care of the Ngemba tribes of Mezam Division.  The headquarters of the Ngemba Council was in Mankon Town.  The Ngemba Council was responsible for the Local Administration of  Lower Ngemba, made up of Mankon, Chomba, Mbatu, Nsongwa, Ndzah, Mumdum I and Mundum II; and Upper Ngemba tribes, made up of Awing, Bilgham, Ndzong, Santa, Mbei, Pinyin, Baforchu, Baba II, Alateneng and Akum.


In 1964, the Mankon Urban Town Council was carved out of the Ngemba Council to serve the Urban Areas of the Mankon Town. The quarters concerned were Ntambeng, Ntamulung, Mulang, Musang, Ntarinkon, Ngomgham, Nitop, Ntatru, Atuakom, Atuazire, Azire “A” and Azire “B.” This split was not very much welcome by some of the Mankon people because part of their territory was to be administered by the Ngemba Council and part by the Mankon Town Council. In 1968, the name was changed to Mankon Area Council and covered the whole of Lower Ngemba Area.


There was a Referendum in Cameroon in 1972, which saw the two Cameroons united to form the United Republic of Cameroon. After the Referendum, the name of the Council was changed to Mankon Rural Council.  In November 1977, the status of the Council was raised from a Rural to Urban Council.  It was now called the Bamenda Urban Council, with a special status where the Administrator or the Executive Officer is appointed by the State. The Nkwen and Bamendankwe villages, which were formerly under the Tubah Council, were brought in to join the Bamenda Urban Council, while the Mundum I and Mundum II villages, which were part of the Mankon Rural Council, joined the Tubah Council until the most recent developments.

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