By Divine Providence, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon, and the Executive President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention visited the Archbishop of Bamenda when the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference was in session. They took advantage of the presence of the Bishops to discuss the current socio-political crises that have paralysed the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon since November 2016. Without any intention of establishing a permanent structure or association, they came up with the following statement:
Mindful of the fact that all the Churches run schools, thus rendering a great service to the State and to parents, whose children they educate and evangelise, Church leaders unequivocally state that they were neither consulted nor did they give any express consent for the initiation of the strike or its suspension.
The Teachers’ Trade Unions, which initiated the sit down strike, have officially suspended the strike, but schools have not resumed. For some people, the schools have not resumed because Church leaders have not asked members of their respective Churches to send their children back to school. It is important to note that even Government schools, over which Church leaders have no authority, have not effectively resumed in this part of the country.
As far as confessional schools are concerned, it is our Divine Mission to teach and the right of the children to be educated. Therefore, we state that we did not at any point in time ask our respective schools to close and that the doors of our schools remain wide open to welcome pupils and students, when parents bring their children.
We think that the non-resumption of schools in the North West and South West regions is a pointer to more profound socio-political issues that need to be identified and addressed sooner than later. It is important to note that the oppressive, intimidating and unbearable attitude of some civil servants, such as the attitude of the Governor of the South West Region, has further hardened the hearts of the common people. Furthermore, the inhumane treatment, torture, rampant arrests and the complete shutdown of the Internet and consequently of businesses and services that depend on an Internet connection for a smooth functioning have aggravated the situation.
As pastors, preachers of the Good News and mediators of social justice and peace, we earnestly appeal to the Government and the people of Cameroon for a change of heart and to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue. We further call on our Christians and people of goodwill to pray fervently for wisdom and understanding to seek true and lasting solutions that will guarantee justice and peace. We pray that all Cameroonians may experience the presence of the Risen Lord, the Prince of Peace, for, “in His days, justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.” (5Ps. 71/72:7)
Given in Bamenda, this Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba Rev. Ncham Godwil Chiatoh
Moderator, Executive President,
Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Cameroon Baptist Convention
+George Nkuo +Cornelius Esua
Bishop of Kumbo, Archbishop of Bamenda
President of BAPEC
+Immanuel Bushu +Andrew Fuanya Nkea
Bishop of Buea Bishop of Mamfe
Vice President of BAPEC
+Agapitus Nfon +Michael Bibi
Bishop of Kumba Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda