31, January 2017
Cameroon Tribune has reported a slight change of position by Moderator Fonki Samuel Forba of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. The respected man of God was quoted as saying that the government should dialogue on what he stated as “points agreed between the State and teachers trade union leaders.” The leader of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) appealed for reason from all stakeholders in the saga rocking the English subsystem of education, reported Cameroon Tribune.
The Right Rev Fonki Samuel’s appeal stressed the need for necessary measures for schools to effectively reopen and ghost town called off as a matter of urgency. Rev Fonki Samuel Forba also appealed to the conscience of all stakeholders to give children a chance to exercise their rights to education. The PCC moderator further issued a political statement for those detained in connection with crimes within this period to be tried in regions where they were arrested. On January 27th 2017, the leader of the PCC saluted the 83 year-old Cameroonian dictator’s creation of the so-called National Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism as a vehicle to bring about national and social cohesion and to create a climate of mutual understanding and patriotism among Cameroonians.
Rt. Rev Fonki Samuel Forba also sounded like the Francophone Roman Catholic Bishops by stating that the PCC cannot be happy that schools have not resumed in the North West and South West Regions. Like a CPDM Section President for Mezam or Manyu, Rev. Fonki committed the problems to God for a quick solution and prayed that the Internet network be reinstated wherever it has been embargoed to restore trust and help the nation’s emerging economy.
Anyone with eyes can see that there’s alarm and opposition to the Moderator out there over the Cameroon Tribune report. Certainly, signs of blowback are not hard to find. We of this publication believe that it’s time to put an end to Moderator Fonki’s ill-advised leadership of the PCC. Never, never and never again has the position of a Moderator been so confusing.
The Moderator’s change of position is understandable. The financial hub of the PCC is based in the Bastos-Yaounde congregation where all the chartered members of the ruling CPDM crime syndicate who are Presbyterians worship. So press briefings such as the Cameroon Tribune story are meant to appease the big men who attend church services with expensive smart phones pretending to be reading a downloaded version of the Holy Bible during service. Apart from the Synod Clerk, the Moderator has not personally condemned the rapes and killings that took place in Kumba, Buea, Bamenda and Kumbo.
A Cameroon Concord News global survey of Presbyterians in the Diaspora, found that the Moderator had an 85% disapproval rating over the Cameroon Tribune story, with just 6% saying their impression was favorable. If we project those numbers for all Presbyterians back home in Cameroon including those in other African countries, it will signal an urgent need for the Rt. Rev. Fonki to end the confusion by resigning.
As a historical matter, every Moderator should and must have a mastery of the Anglophone Problem and the resistance judging from the fact that the Francophone Presbyterian Church has never been one entity with the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon.
In a variety of ways, by calling the Southern Cameroonians arrested as criminals and asking the government to organize legal proceedings against them in West Cameroon territory has encouraged a let-it-all-hang-out style in the struggle, which probably means the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon is helping to criminalize innocent Anglophone citizens and the leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.
The Consortium has nothing to fear from robust and open discussion with the Yaoundé regime to get the schools running again!! Rev. Moderator, this can only be done when All Anglophone Demands have been met including the release of all those detained since 2016. The Cameroon Tribune story is an indication that the leadership of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon vis-à-vis the Anglophone Crisis is moving the goalpost.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai
Cameroon Concord News Group