10, December 2016
Cardinal Christian Tumi has reacted publicly to the crisis that is shaking the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. In an interview on Radio Balafon, a Douala-based radio station the prelate said that there is indeed an Anglophone problem in Cameroon. The former Archbishop of Garoua and Douala believes it is possible that those who govern us unconsciously may not know that there is an Anglophone problem. He recounted to illustrate his anecdote about the former French leader Charles de Gaulle who reportedly questioned his Cameroon interlocutor: “English for what?”
Christian Tumi argued that the fate of Anglophones in Cameroon has changed. Said the prelate “Since then, we have tried to erase what is Anglo-Saxon unconsciously. I continue to say unconsciously.” The retired Cardinal added that Ni John Fru Ndi would have led Cameroon in 1992 if he was a francophone. “You know very well what happened in 1992. Many Cameroonians are now convinced that the winner of the elections in 1992 was an anglophone: Fru Ndi. And many are convinced that if Fru Ndi was francophone he would be President of Cameroon at least since 1992. True or false I do not know.
Returning to the crisis in recent weeks in the North-West and South-West, Christian Tumi noted that it is not well managed. “The Archbishop of Bamenda told me that the Prime Minister had received them. And he told me that he thought they were willing to sacrifice all day to thoroughly discuss this problem. The Prime Minister received the leaders of the religious denominations for about thirty minutes. He told me that he said, “This is what we should not do, that’s what we have to do.” It is not dialogue. In dialogue one must assume that the other can have the truth that saves. We must listen to it and have what I would call intellectual honesty and accept the truth, whatever its origin. Whether it comes from the opposition or the people who are on strike, you have to be open. Not coming as an authority.”
The Cardinal criticized the fact that Philemon Yang received during his first mission to Bamenda the groups affected by the crisis on an individual basis. The Cardinal would have liked to see the Prime Minister received those who went on strike, talk to them, and listen to their grievances.
By Sama Ernest with files from CIN