How Yaounde Has Terrorized the Church. By Boh Herbert.!

Congratulations are in order to SCNC Chair-elect, Hon. Ayah Paul!

But so, too, a few questions to our faith-based organizations are in order:

So, it is true that Yaounde has so terrorized every Cameroonian, including the once bold and courageous leaders of our faith-based organizations?

So, it is true that the Catholic Church no longer has the stomach to save souls by standing up to Yaounde’s insatiable appetite to take life?

Are these things happening in the year 2014 or in the pre-1960 times?

Times were when the then very young Catholic Archbishop of Yaounde Jean Zoa could openly challenge Ahmadou Ahidjo over the persecution and massacre of Bassas and Bamilekes. He was courageous enough in those dark days not only to condemn from the pulpit but also in editorials in the Church’s “L’Effort Camerounais” newspaper. In one such editorials, Mgr Zoa denounced the deaths by asphyxiation of dozens in what became known as “Les Wagons de la Mort”.

Times were when the Churches offered protection, a safe haven and even a place to escape death to the persecuted across Bassa and Bamileke lands. Remember the late Mgr. Ndongmo? He put himself on the line to the point of being condemned to death, then forced to live and die in exile, returning only in a casket to Cameroon.

Times were when the Catholic Church that is in Cameroon would not hesitate to offer Mount Mary in Buea as a venue for the people of God that are in Southern Cameroons to discuss how to restore their dignity, return to self-rule and agree strategies for defending themselves with the force of argument against the terrorists in power in Yaounde and in colonial control of Southern Cameroons.

Times were in the early 1990s when the Presbyterian Church that is in Cameroon did not hesitate to provide the premises of the Presbyterian Center in Bamenda, month after month, so that God’s children could agree the best non violent ways of ending one-party dictatorship and finding ways of unseating the Evil that misrules them out of Yaounde in the name of Government.

Times were when Cameroonians had so much confidence that citizens almost to a person sincerely hoped that one of the Church’s highest official in Cameroon, Christian Cardinal Tumi , would play Moses instead of just being a Shepherd of Souls.

Those times were clearly before Yaounde went from one-party dictatorship to the hardline terrorists that have now so intimidated our Church leaders that apparently none dares to speak up or speak out; and none wants to be seen offering even a venue for those who are still willing to risk all to speak out in favor of self-rule.

Whatever happened to the bold, courageous Catholic Church that is in Cameroon? Does it not see the example set by its global leader, Pope Francis? Must it call for a bowl of water to wash its hands every time the terrorists in power in Yaounde come calling?

Truth be told: the Churches are less terrorized right now by the terrorist of Boko Haram than it is by the terrorists in power in Yaounde.

Biya Paul