CARDINAL CHRISTIAN WIRGHAM TUMI, THE FEDERALISTS AND THE AAC3 SAGA:
BY SIMON FUH NGWA.
Cardinal Christian Tumi is a household name in Cameroon and even beyond because of his enormous contribution in alleviating the spiritual and social life of his community, his country, and the world at large. The name, Christian Wirgham Tumi hit the limelight in Cameroon in mid nineteen ninety when as Archbishop of the Garoua Archdiocese, he was appointed as the first ever and only Cardinal Cameroon has known so far.
There was total consternation within the Cameroonian Catholic Community in particular and the entire nation in general. So much ink flowed and many voices were raised as two camps with divergent interests expressed their views over the appointment. While some devout Catholic Christians, predominantly those of English extraction saw in him a square peg in a square hole and a humble shepherd destined to steer the Lord’s flock to salvation, others, predominantly those of French extraction saw in the appointment an abomination and a sacrilege that an Anglophone should be appointed cardinal to Lord it over a population that is overwhelmingly French-speaking.
The forces of evil immediately went into play to undermine the appointment and some high quarters didn’t hesitate to address petitions to Etoudi against such an appointment. Of course, Etoudi merely rebuked and informed them that the appointment came directly from the Vatican in Rome without any prior consultation with the powers that be in Etoudi. So bitter was their disdain and frustration that it was even rumored that an ostentatious limousine that had been “well prepared” was offered to this humble servant of God but he turned it down in preference for a life of lowliness and poverty to which he had pledged his life as a prelate.
Cardinal Tumi upon assuming office actually proved to be the square peg in a square hole as he fearlessly played the role of the watchdog of the Cameroonian society. He actually constituted a check on the moral excesses of the Biya Regime which made him become a target of scorn and outright hatred by the very persons whose moral lives he set out to straighten. As Archbishop of the Douala Archdiocese, he became even the more critical of the Biya Regime and challenged their excesses without any fear or favour. He would raise his voice where even the most courageous army general will prefer to maintain a complicit silence.
When in the year 2000 Mr. Biya in a bid to please his French masters after the killing of a French butcher, Mr. Nourry in Bonapriso, Douala created the much dreaded operational command, he appointed General Philippe Mpay as head of the killer squad. People took advantage of this killer squad to settle individual scores. Nine innocent youths who had a slight misunderstanding with a popular prostitute in Bepanda, Douala were accused by the prostitute of stealing her gas bottle. Because she happened to have been dating one of the commanders of this killer squad, she alerted her killer boyfriend who arrested the innocent youths and had them summarily executed without any trial. Hundreds of thousands of people were arrested and till date, none of their family members has ever set eyes on them again. The whole nation was so cowed that it needed only a man like Cardinal Tumi to challenge the status quo. He stood up tall and bitterly condemned these killings and made fervent appeals to the international community and Mr. Biya was called to order and he disbanded his killer squad after over seven hundred thousand citizens most of them innocent people had been summarily executed.
With regards to electoral fraud, though so glaring, the entire nation for fear of persecution maintained sealed lips and only Cardinal Tumi had the audacity to speak out. He was so critical of Mr. Paul Biya well ahead of the 2004 Presidential election such that some surrogates of the Yaounde Regime accused him of attempting to destabilize Mr. Biya in favour of his kinsman, Ni John Fru Ndi.This phenomenon got to a point where even The Post Newspaper published an eye-catching caption, “Biya bleeds as Tumi’s needle pricks”.
With such a marvelous output in defense of a downtrodden people, one would have expected cardinal Tumi to even be the more vocal and critical of Mr. Biya’s genocide against his own kinsmen but his complicit silence leaves many unanswered questions.
What might have become of this once very vibrant and fearless critic of the Biya Regime? Has he too been compromised or is he just afraid of being taken to the guillotine as well? The answers to these questions lie squarely on the shoulders of his Eminence but what I know is that he has an inexplicable attachment to the regime in Yaounde and has never hesitated to emphasize his position as a convinced federalist.
As S.C.N.C. National Officer for Youth Affairs, I had the responsibility of delivering copies all of S.C.N.C. correspondences to the U.N. Secretary General to Diplomatic Missions in Yaounde and Douala.
I met Cardinal Tumi for the first time in December 2013 in his Douala Archdiocese office when I went to hand him a copy of a petition addressed to the U.N. Secretary-General on the position of the S.C.N.C. with regard to Mr. Biya’s planned celebration of the 50th anniversary of the so-called reunification of Cameroon. I met him in the presences of a teenage girl and when I explained the purpose of my visit, he told me bluntly that he does not support secession but favours a federation. I tried to point it out to him that the S.C.N.C. was not seceding from La Republique du Cameroun but fighting to restore the confiscated independence of British Southern Cameroons but he refused to give me a listening ear. Mr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, presently in chains in the gendarmerie Headquarters in Yaounde had equally given me a book he had written entitled, “In Chains for my Country”, for Cardinal Tumi to edit on his behalf. Curiously enough, when I explained to him that the content of the book was predominantly on the S.C.N.C. struggle for the restoration of Southern Cameroons’ confiscated independence, he returned the book to me that he won’t have time for such a demanding exercise. I left his office in a dejected mood but consoling myself that he probably did not want to expose his mind on the Southern Cameroons question in the presence of this teenager who might later on expose him.
However, after the eruption of the crisis in November 2016, I again took a copy of the S.C.N.C’s appraisal of the situation on the ground though addressed to the U.N. Secretary-General to him. I thought with the atrocities committed against his people he might have softened his stance against independence restoration but he still stood his grounds.
Ever since then, the situation has degenerated from a crisis to a conflict and finally to a declaration of war by Mr. Biya against his own people yet his Eminence sees nothing wrong in that. We have seen hundreds of villages burnt to ashes, thousands of people killed, hundreds of thousands living in bushes and over fifty thousand living as refugees in next door Nigeria, yet Cardinal Tumi sees nothing wrong in that. Where therefore is cardinal Tumi’s needle that pricks and causes Biya to bleed? How come it thus that this humble shepherd who was acclaimed upon his appointment as a square peg in a square hole has become a round peg in a square hole? What has become of his vow to defend truth and justice and to be the watchdog of society? How could His Eminence on who many looked up to as the Moses of our time be so indifferent to such heinous crimes against humanity? Your Eminence, where is your dignity that you accept to champion a cause together with other fraudsters cum federalists to take your people back into slavery under a regime headed by cannibals? Do you believe anything good can ever come out of Yaounde that you accept to stoop so low to get so little? At close to 100 years, should you still be afraid of death?
My fellow Ambazonians, whoever will be naive enough to think that Cardinal Tumi and his so called federalists mean anything good for us by convening AAC3 can as well start worshipping Lucifer with the hope of gaining salvation in the end.
As for Barrister Agbor Balla, I can understand his plight. Even though he declared on Equnnox TV in Douala that they are asking for federalism and the government is refusing, there will come a time when the government will want the federalism but have nobody to discuss that with, the limbo he witnessed in Kondengui was so unbearable that he had to compromise his stance.
The case of the Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel is a very peculiar one. Even though this celebrated homosexual has had no political commitment with the Yaounde oligarchy, his romance with that occultist group and the fear of losing the favours he used to derive from it as pastor of the Presbyterian Church Bastos Yaounde, has made him ready to sacrifice over 8 million Ambazonians in exchange for a ridiculous government subvention to mission schools. Chinua Achebe in ‘Arrow of God’ says, ‘The mouth that has sucked can never forget the taste of milk’. Any doubt then why this quartet can never let go of Yaounde their source of milk?
Mr. Biya boasted on CRTV on 31st December, 2016 at the start of the Southern Cameroons crisis that no one can ever tamper with the form of the state; i.e. the one and indivisible La Republique du Cameroun. The U.N. and the international community have time without number called on Mr. Biya to call for an all-inclusive dialogue to seek a solution to the root cause of the conflict in his country but he has paid a deaf ear. Is it this federalist quartet with no political clout that will exert any influence on the Yaounde octogenarian monster who represents the human form of Mount Olympus to soften his position?
The restoration of our confiscated independence lies squarely on our shoulders so we should stop hoping for any solution from the people who enjoy watching the genocide going on in our land. I am saying this out of conviction and I seize this opportunity to apologize to Dr. Simon Munzu for castigating him in September last year when he said Southern Cameroons shall never acquire independence through diplomacy. As a refugee in Nigeria, we have had meetings with several delegations from the so called big nations who come pretending to be sympathetic with our plight and promising assistance in the domains of food and protection.
The first of such meetings was with U.S. Diplomats from their Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate in Lagos on January 10, 2018. They promised to provide us protection from arrest and extradition and equally promised us food items. Not long after they left eight Ambazonians were arrested in Calabar in February and no one has heard anything about them till date nor have we received even a grain of rice as promised.
Another U.S. Delegation again this time comprised of two of its congress personnel came knocking on our doors on June 4, 2018 with the same assurances, yet we are still to feel the impact.
Amnesty international has been to us twice, Paris based Newspaper, Le Monde, London based Daily Telegraph have all got detailed reports about the genocide in ground zero yet their reports are always sugar-coated to please the monster in Yaounde.
Most recently in September, a joined delegation of UNHCR in Geneva and the World Food Programme in Rome came to us with their own assurances but paradoxically explained to us that the U.N.is more concerned with other areas like Syria and Myanmaar where the crises are most severe. Curiously enough after the meeting, I cornered one of the top U.N. officials from Geneva and asked him if he sees any solution to the war in Cameroon coming from the U.N. with France, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with veto powers having vested interests in the natural resources in Southern Cameroons and the man replied in all honesty that we should forget about any solution coming from the U.N. He said the most the U.N. will do is condemn the violence on both sides and press on Mr. Biya to call for an all-inclusive dialogue and that will be all. He further emphasized that the solution to our problem will come only from within our territory.
On Friday 2nd November we had another meeting with the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria. When questioned why the U.N. cannot organize a referendum for Southern Cameroonians to determine their political future, a member of his delegation said it is obvious that Southern Cameroonians will vote overwhelmingly for their independence but France will not let go of the oil. So brethren, any need beating about the bush when we know where the solution to our problem lies? The French say,’’ Tous les moyens sont bons quand ils sont efficaces’’; ‘The end justifies the means’. It doesn’t matter what means we Ambazonians employ provided those means will take us to Buea. We, therefore, have the challenge not to allow any masquerade in the name of AAC3 to hold on Ambazonian soil.
Long live the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.
Simon Fuh Ngwa
Kumba II L.G.A
Federal Republic of Ambazonia.