The old prelate accuses Prime Minister Philemon Yang of refusing a frank and sincere dialogue with the strikers of Bamenda.
Cardinal Christian Tumi has just responded publicly to the crisis that is shaking the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon. In an interview broadcast on 6 and 7 December 2016 on Radio Balafon, an antenna emitting from Douala, the prelate said that there is indeed an Anglophone problem in Cameroon.
The former Archbishop of Garoua and Douala believes that it is possible that those who govern us unconsciously may not know that there is an English-speaking problem. He recounts to illustrate his anecdote about the former French leader Charles de Gaulle. It is learned that responding to a claim, the latter had asked his Cameroon interlocutor: “English for what?“.
Christian Tumi argues that the fate of Anglophones in Cameroon has changed. “Since then, we have tried to efface what is Anglo-Saxon unconsciously. I repeat, unconsciously, “says the man of God. He echoes an opinion 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 argues 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 people who go on strike, you have to be open. Not coming as an authority, “he protests.
Cardinal Tumi criticizes the fact that Philemon Yang received during his first stay in Bamenda the groups affected by the crisis on an individual basis. He would have liked to see the Prime Minister receive those who went on strike, talk to them, listen to their grievances. The free spirit Tumi swears he has “never been against the regime.” But explains that as a Cameroonian he had to express himself according to the situation before him. Because, he says, as a priest, he is a leader where he is and must propose to society what is good.