When Jua (PM of West Cameroon) made it known in 1967 that Kwifoyn fell "under traditional competence and therefore, did not constitute a body capable of enacting laws for the Kom people, (ref. Saghaah Kom, 4(1967) 2 he wanted to bring home the idea that kwifoyn was a traditional institution worthy of due respect BUT that it could not function as it did in the pre-colonial period, as an executive and legislative institution.
Kom/Bum Area council had replaced it.
In Kom, Kwifoyn still thought it had the power to limit people's freedom, ban them and maintain law and order as the POLICE.
It is true that Kwifoyn was largely composed of non-literate retainers who were unaware of the erosion of their power.
The Europeans did not interfere with the basic structure and functions of Kwifoyn. Indeed its activities were encouraged and supervised. The colonial administration kept the traditional executive arm of government almost intact. It was the policy of the colonial Administration to find out what were the worthy or good aspects of kwifoyn so that these could be used to good account to suit the needs of the people (Evan, 1926:39)
Culled from Traditional Government and Socal Change
by Dr. Paul N Nkwi
- Does anyone have copies of Saghaah Kom dating back to the mentioned dates?
- Is it better to be arrested by 'Kwifoyn' or be given 'cafe' by a 'gendarme'?
- Can the 'wisdom' of our elders (ancestors) be compared to 'literacy' as defined by 'Europeans'?
- Why will the so-called 'Colonial Administration' take away legislative power from kwifoyn and leave them with 'supervised executive power'?
Was this really to "be used to good account to suit the needs of the people"?