The Bishops of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) finally wrote an appeal letter in relation to the strike action going on in the English-speaking North West and South West Regions of Cameroon after many calls that had been made on social media for them to address the situation.
Many and diverse interpretations have been given to the said letter. Some claim the letter paints a picture of the Bishops being in support of the government, while others say the Bishops were biased as the letter gave a blind eye to the lawyers.
“AN APPEAL BY THE BISHOPS OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF BAMENDA CONCERNING THE SIT-DOWN STRIKE ACTION CALLED BY THE TEACHERS’ TRADE UNIONS OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING
SUBSYSTEM OF EDUCATION”, is the title of the letter written and signed on December 06, 2016.
Below is one of such reactions by as captured a letter penned by Tikiri Lagonu Bruno.
Our dear Bishops,
We welcomed with euphoria and great expectation, your letter on the situation of Southern Cameroon.
Reading through the lines we find it so diplomatic and does not hit the hammer on the nail as expected. You seem to be afraid of taking a stand on this issue. You know the truth of what is happening to your sons and daughters.
We do not expect the other Bishops in the Francophone zone to speak on our behalf. We placed all our hopes in you, expecting you to speak on our behalf. We feel so sad that this is far from being the case.
That letter is not different from what the pompous and far from reality sons and daughters or elites of the North West Region wrote. Everyone seems to be defending his or her interest.
Dear Bishops, will you stand and see our culture, your culture assimilated and annihilated? We are fighting for the future of our Children and not refusing their right to education as you say. Keeping quiet or taking 50-50 positions sadden your flock.
We are having only one hope for the Church in this fight, Christian Cardinal Tumi. Papa if you do not take a stand on our behalf then we shall conclude that we have been abandoned by the church we respect and cherish.
We do not mean to disrespect you if we misinterpreted your letter. If we are reacting it is simply because it is not the full truth. Truth has no approximations. TRUTH IS TRUTH. If Jesus were to be here, how would he talk? He will cry not only for peace but for JUSTICE.
Our dear president, we do not want war, we do not want our culture annihilated. Our children are suffering and some have lost their lives. The videos are all there. These are clear facts. Technology has exposed the wicked intentions in people’s houses. Itchy water was spread right into the houses of students in their hostels. Dear Bishops who did this? Neither the lawyers nor the teachers! The hostels of our students were broken, some were raped, they were assaulted. Many more things took place and were sent to the media.
This situation of violence from the military and we are sure, supported by the regime in place stirred up the population. We will not give up until justice is done. We uphold the values of justice and peace. We encourage you our dear Bishops to support us. Bravo to our Lawyers and Teachers. Do not give up. We shall support you until justice is done for us. We shall remain a pacific thorn to the flesh of the government until Anglophones are liberated. The lawyers did not send anyone to the streets. The teachers too did not. The stubborn and the wicked government that is refusing true dialogue is totally responsible for that. We are not fools and we refuse to be manipulated. We hear slangs from some brothers on the other side of the country as if we are causing disorder. We are not. Remember that the &sickness attacking coffee will also attack cocoa& as the saying goes.
Before ending I wish to observe, dear Bishops, you said nothing about the lawyers! Are they not part of your flock? You seem to be interested only in the teachers. It seems you are threatened by teachers only because your schools are business oriented. Your letter is very clear.
AN APPEAL BY THE BISHOPS OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF BAMENDA CONCERNING THE SIT-DOWN STRIKE ACTION CALLED BY THE TEACHERS’ TRADE UNIONS OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING SUBSYSTEM OF EDUCATION.
The lawyers are really disappointed. We expect you to also say something. Will your universities never from lawyers? Do you not need lawyers for issues that may concern the church?
Please, our Shepherds we need you more than ever. We need your support.
I am your brother,
Tikiri Lagonu Bruno.