The President of the National Episcopal Council, NEC, Archbishop Samuel Kleda has ended a tour in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon where he met with stakeholders in the education sector of the Catholic Church. His ‘seductive’ tour was aimed at watering down the tension within Catholic Bishops and Christians in the region after a recent court summon.
Archbishop Kleda met with bishops of Mamfe, Kumba, Buea and Bamenda where he discussed the way forward. He was accompanied on his mission by Mgr Abraham Kome, Bishop of Bafang and the head of the sub commission for Justice and Peace and Fr Jervis Kebbei, vice Secretary General of the National Episcopal Conference, acting as notary and translator.
The men of God expressed surprised at the fact that activities in Public schools were also paralyzed and not only catholic schools.
In the respective areas Samuel Kleda urged the stakeholders to ask parents for a smooth return of their children to school, that dialogue is the only way out of this impasse, he admitted to have met strike leaders in January National Episcopal Conference, NEC, meeting in Mamfe, called for an end to hatred, suspicion civil disobedience, as well as intimidation and arbitrary arrests.
The man of God said true peace, which is fullness of life, is built on solidarity and fraternity. He also affirmed that NEC has asked the state to respect the rights of all Cameroonians and apply their very 1996 constitution on decentralization. Archbishop Samuel Kleda regretted that summons of Anglophone bishops could create new problems not solution to older ones.
HE ended by saying parents should help church foster its mission of education by taking children to school. Whereas all problems are important, schooling is urgent; because time waits for no one.
However after his visit to the two English speaking regions, Fr5 Jumbam wrote a lengthily missive to him in which a selected text says, “If situations were still as they used to be (by bishops not being able to be taken to court in the face of a pernicious silence demonstrated by their brother bishops), I would not hold my pen to write you and I would not have the heart to write this letter to so high an authority as you. Your public silence on the matter of the Bishops of our Church Province being taken to court has provoked this letter from a priest of the Church you belong. We are not unmindful of the history of La Republique du Cameroun when it concerns bishops betraying bishops.”
It is not yet clear whether Parents will send thei children to school as recommended by Samuel Kleda.