21, April 2017
MESSAGE TO ALL PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN, MEMBERS OF CHRIST’S LAY FAITHFUL AND PEOPLE OF GOODWILL IN THE DIOCESE OF MAMFE
DIRECT SUMMONS TO THE BISHOPS OF BUEA, MAMFE AND KUMBA TO APPEAR IN THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE IN BUEA OVER CRIMINAL CHARGES
Dear Rev. Fathers,
Rev. Brothers and Sisters,
All Christ’s Lay Faithful,
People of Goodwill in Mamfe Diocese;
The Lord is risen Alleluia – Yes he is truly risen Alleluia.
On Monday the 17th of April, 2017, while We, of the Diocese of Mamfe, were celebrating our Priestly Ordinations and basking in our quiet enjoyment in Manyu Division, some people totally unkown to us from Fako Division, namely, Dr. John Lyonga Efande, Ikome Williams Ligange and Alianto Ngala, through their Legal Counsel, Barrister Achu Julius Ngu Tabe, dragged us to the Court of First Instance in Buea, Fako Division and caused the State Counsel of the same Fako to summon the Bishops of Buea, Mamfe and Kumba to appear in Court on Monday the 24th of April, 2017 at 9 am prompt. The seven charges against the Bishops could be summarized in that the Bishops have refused to reopen the Catholic schools and thus supporting the illegal strike of the Anglophone Teachers. These people are requesting that the Bishops be convicted and imprisoned and pay damages of 150 Billion CFA.
Coming at the splash of the Easter Joy, I can only see an attempt to spread the reign of darkness and get the prince of this world attempt to spoil our Easter Graces. But as you all know, the devil is a liar and we shall not give him the opportunity. I can only talk to you at this kind of trying moment in the words of Jesus who said to his Apostles, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me”(Jn.14:1).
As the Bishop of Mamfe, I stand by the Communiqué which all the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province wrote saying that “We have never closed schools and our doors remain open”. The Bishop of Mamfe does not live in Fako, nor does he own schools in Fako and this makes me worried that anybody can sit down in any part of the country and decide that I am a criminal and I have to go to court to prove that I am not. It is all a calculated attempt by some forces of darkness, that we shall get to know sooner than later, to humiliate, intimidate and incriminate the Church and rub the bishops in mud with wanton disregard and disrespect for God, whom these men in spite their human weaknesses, represent. They may end up discovering that they are fighting against God himself(Acts 5:39). It is the reign of the anti-Christ and this is not new. It is a struggle between light and darkness, it is a battle between good and evil, it is a wrestle between sin and righteousness and a confrontation of truth and lies. This is exactly what happened to my Boss who is the Son of a carpenter, Jesus Christ. He was blackmailed and dragged from Annas the High priest to Caiphas and then finally put before Pontius Pilate who unjustly condemned him to death. Shame to death! On the third day he rose again from the dead – Alleluia. Now he lives to die no more. Jesus told us to expect this when he said; “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me”(Jn.15:18-21).
As a true and law abiding son of this country, I will respect the call of the law of the state and appear before the court of Frist Instance in Buea on Monday, 24th April, 2017 at 9.am prompt. I will not waste Diocesan money, which we don’t have, to hire a lawyer and I will not prepare any defense because I believe in Christ who said : “Watch out! Men will hand you over to the local courts. They will whip you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings because of me. You will be witnesses to them and to those who aren’t Jews. “But when they arrest you, don’t worry about what you will say or how you will say it. At that time you will be given the right words to say. It will not be you speaking. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you.”(Mtt.10:17-20).
I therefore call on all Christians of Mamfe to do the following:
Stay calm and restrain from any acts of violence, be it verbal, physical or even psychological, that will only make the situation worse. This is a call I made to all the Motor Bike Riders on the 31st of December, 2016 and to all the Youth of the Diocese during the World Youth Day on the 9th of April, 2017 and I am repeating to all Christians of Mamfe today.
Done on the 22nd of April 2017, which is the 25th Anniversary of my ordination to the Sacred Priesthood
His Lordship Bishop Andrew Nkea