|Senator Bochong Francis Nkwain|
A member of government for ten years, he served successively in three government positions from 1987-97 as Minister Delegate in Charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Minister of Mines, Water and Energy, and Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations in charge of the Commonwealth. He was one of the 30 appointed as senators by President Paul Biya in 2013.
The 83 years old politician gave up the ghost at the Yaounde Central Hospital on Sunday 19 October 2014.
Family sources say the senator was admitted into the hospital on Wednesday 15 October 2014.
Senator Francis Nkwain began his career as a teacher with the Catholic mission, then becoming a diplomat in the Cameroon civil service. After serving for a while, Nkwain told this reporter that his career took a leap when the choice of former president, Ahmadou Ahidjo fell on him as arithmetical replacement of former west Cameroon prime minister, Hon. Augustine Ngum Njua as member of the national assembly from their common constituency, from their common constituency, then part of Wum Division and later Menchum with another Member of Parliament from that constituency and his choice fell on Nkwain.
Narrating his political career when he was just appointed as senator, Nkwain told this reporter that five years after Ahidjo forced him into politics; the terrain became too rough for him.
“And I decided to go back to my diplomacy and leave the political ground to those who felt it was their field”, he said.
Nkwain was rejected by home politicians who nick-named him ‘Atangana’; that he came from Yaounde.
He returned to his diplomacy and served as a Counselor at the Cameroon Embassy in Moscow, and Washington before his government career began.
At the death of Minister Awonti Joseph Chongwain, Nkwain was recalled home and appointed. He was then appointed Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of the Assemblies on December 4, 1987 in replacement of late Awonti. He stayed in government until December 7, 1997.
He late served most recently as board chair of the University of Dschang, until last February.
Back in politics, following his appointment into the government and a vocal supporter of the ruling CPDM at its lowest moments in the 1990’s, Nkwain faced rejection in his constituency where the main opposition SDF was very popular.
He was nick-named “Atangana” because of his support for the ruling party considered to be the political platform of the Beti ethnicity who occupied most strategic government and party positions.
In the political wilderness for 16years, Nkwain however played active roles as CPAM Central Committee until 7 December 1997 when he retired from active politics.
Nkwain has never hidden himself as an apostle of President Paul Biya.
His death brings to two, the number of senators who have died since the upper house of parliament was set up. Senator Fon Fontem Njifua of Libialem passed on earlier this year.
The president of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji paid a condolence visit to Nkwain’s family on Sunday evening.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde.