Cardinal Tumi Urges the CPDM Government to Create Conditions to restart Constructive Dialogue.
The Anglophone crisis has necessitated various controversies on its root causes, consequences and possible ways forward. Since the start of the protest in late 2016, the role of the Church can not be underestimated. It should be noted that the Catholic Church had once issued a powerful communique to the government. In which they dissected the Anglophone problem in its entirety.
The crisis which has led to the loss of lives and properties, illegal arrests and detentions, complete shutdown of internet activities in the Anglophone Cameroon deserves a call for concern. Cardinal Tumi who has been very active in spelling the truth regarding the Anglophone problem recently called on Mr. Biya’s government to give a listening ear to the varied perspectives and opinions that surround the ongoing protest. According to sources, former Archbishop Tumi on the 24th of January 2017 made the declaration on air via Radio France International. He emphasized that everyone is entitled to say something and these opinions count in solving the Anglophone problem.
He noted that the ban on the Anglophone Civil Society Consortium and other civil society organizations in West Cameroon was not the best way forward. He stated that he is not against any ban but advised that “repression is not a solution, though there may be extremist in every situation, a majority of the Anglophone want Federalism and not separation.” Why not talk about it, give a room for constructive dialogue, and see what comes from it. He emphasized.
When asked what he thinks about the current crisis, he explains that he is trying to analyze the situation from both camps considering the fact that he spent over 30 years of his life in French-speaking Cameroon. According to him, the people of West Cameroon on the one hand, have become enlightened on the developments which tool place during reunification and thus clamor for a return to Federalism, the central government, on the other hand, is against any discusses of returning to Federalism. This according to Cardinal Tumi is the bone of contention and where the “tension” lies.
Furthermore, on the issue of appointment of French judges in English-speaking courts who have little or not mastery of the English language, Cardinal Tumi adds that it is a clear evidence that the Common Law System is not applicable and practiced in Cameroon. He further stated that there is a need for a reformation in the judiciary system as well as the educational system I’m Cameroon. It should be noted in the Anglo-Saxon educational system of English-speaking Cameroon French lecturers are appointed as tutors with little or no mastery of English. This is one of the main grievances of Anglophone Teachers who believe that only a Federal system will bring lasting solutions.
His response on Federalism shames Communication minister Issa Tchiroma who once said Federalism is more like dividing the country. He gave illustrations from the progress recorded in the Federated States around the world. In this regard, he shunned all forms of violence and calls on the government to return to constructive dialogue.