Controversy over the “Christmas gift” of President Biya to the episcopate  | The statements of Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala during the program “The Truth in the face” broadcast, Sunday, December 29, on the Cameroonian television Equinoxe TV aroused great controversy.

In this issue, the Patriarch of 89 years spoke on several issues including the Anglophone crisis and relations between the Church and the government.

“For Christmas, all the missionaries I think Protestants catholiques- receive gifts from the head of state: a million for bishops, archbishops 2 million and 3 million for the cardinal,” said on 29 December 2019, the Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala.

This statement made on Equinoxe TV, a Cameroonian private television, has provoked many reactions in the press and social networks including putting into question the moral integrity of the members of the Bishops of Cameroon. “We understand why the Church is silent with respect to certain evils of society”, and ironically a user on Facebook while another launches “Cardinal confessed publicly, it is absolved publicly

In this program, Cardinal Tumi also came with journalists on the large number of priests, bishops murdered in Cameroon, particularly the death suspicious of Archbishop Jean-Benoît Bala, Bishop of Bafia (center) in 2017. “the Church has denounced and will continue to denounce the killings but we can not do anything without proof and we do not know who did it and why,” he replied to the insistent questions from three journalists still adding: “I have always taken position in all fairness, this is perhaps why I am still alive. ”

The conflict in the northwest and southwest Cameroon

native of Kikaikelaki in the Northwest region, Cardinal Tumi, 89 years has been involved since 2017 in a fight for the resolution of the crisis by advocating English inclusive dialogue. In October, he was one of the main actors of the Grand National Dialogue convened by President Paul Biya. In November, with Bishop Andrew Nkea, new Archbishop of Bamenda (North West), he went to meet the English speaking populations to send them the recommendations of the national dialogue.

When questioned on 29 December, on the English attack, he felt that “the causes are many,” and “the first is the poor governance of everything public.”

Cardinal Tumi, which is based on a 400-page study analyzing the English attack through interviews with more than 1,000 English-speaking personalities believes that the majority of Anglophones want secession. He said that “federalism is the solution” to the crisis. Addressing the rebels, he advised them to form a political party to lead a political struggle and disarm. “Many separatists have become bandits without a vision,” if he grieves, hence the increase in kidnappings robberies in the far west.

Legislative and municipal elections

Archbishop Emeritus of Douala which displays its skepticism about the country’s electoral system has finally expressed his concern on the eve of parliamentary and municipal elections. “I doubt that the elections of February 9 next can stand in peace in Anglophone regions,” he said before lamenting: “I have never attended a transparent election in Cameroon.”

Lucia Sarr

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