Visit of the South West Chiefs' Conference to SONARA


“We Africans often say that, it is only in times of difficulty and distress that you know those who care about you. As true Custodians of our land, and Guarantors of our Customs and Traditions, you have come from all corners of the region, to prove your love and concern for SONARA workers, during this difficult moments which they are passing through. This is eloquent testimony of the fact that, YOU ARE FOR SONARA, AND WITH SONARA, AT ALL TIMES. It clearly shows that you truly understand the economic importance of SONARA to our nation as a whole. We are honoured and grateful for your visit”.

These were the opening words of Jean-Paul SIMO NJONOU, General Manager of SONARA, while welcoming the traditional Rulers of the South West Chiefs’ Conference, and those of Fako, who both came to SONARA on Thursday 12 June 2019, to sympathize with the company, following the fire incident that ravaged parts of the production units on Friday 31 May 2019.

In a voice full of emotions but filled with hope, Simo Njonou, recounted the story of the unfortunate incident and the efforts made by the entire staff with the joint support of partners from other fire-fighting brigades within the country, and people of good will which combined effort helped a great deal to contain the fire, thereby reducing the extent of destruction on the production units.

Visit of the South West Chiefs’ Conference and Fako Chiefs’ Conference to SONARA

The General Manager however revealed Government’s assurances to take quick measures aimed at rehabilitating the affected parts of the units, noting especially the fact that steps have been taken to continue to supply the national market in petroleum products through imports. SIMO went on to say that the Head of State, through the Prime Minister, Head of Government has decided that there shall be no layoff of workers, who of course, since the day of the incident continued working.

On their part, the chiefs, through their both presidents, extended words of sympathy and comfort to the entire SONARA family through the General Manager, stating that no right-thinking man can have a sound sleep when his house is on fire. This explains why they all came out in their numbers, from all corners of the region, to stand by SONARA, during this moment of great distress.

Here are excerpts of the keynote delivered by the Chiefs:

Considering the prompt sensitization campaign carried out by government which involved chiefs, quarter heads and the civil society in a bid to calming down the population and instruct them on the dangers of fake news and negative propaganda;

Considering the Head of State’s strict instruction that a thorough investigation be carried out to ascertain the cause of the fire incident;

Considering our desire to see the jewel and pride of the country (SONARA) get back to its feet as quickly as possible;

We the Traditional Rulers of the South West Region, custodians of our customs and traditions pledge to stand by all government effort to help SONARA surmount its present predicaments,

We equally pledge to lend our traditional wisdom and know-how where and when needed”.

The chiefs also took the commitment to stand by the management of SONARA, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, the President of the Republic and the People of Cameroon, as well as stand shoulder to shoulder, to rebuild SONARA.

After the speech sessions, the General Manager and his guests had some intimate discussions and interactions, during which they exchanged on some pertinent ways to strengthen their cooperation and collaboration the more.

To SIMO NJONOU particularly, the chiefs pledged their unflinching support, availability and willingness, at all times, to assist him in whatever way he may deem necessary, in the accomplishment of his daunting mission during and after this trying moment.

The twin visit, ended with prayers during which the chiefs called on the Omnipotent God, to protect SONARA from further disaster and give the staff and its management team the needed courage, strength and wisdom for them to be able to carry on the necessary repair works hitch-free, in order for the company to stand back on its feet.

The custodians and guarantors of the traditions of the land, also used the opportunity to invoke the gods and ancestors of the area, to protect SONARA, Cameroon’s economic backbone.


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