Cardinal Christian Tumi, the leading moral voice in Cameroon’s search for peace in the restive English-speaking regions of northwest and southwest has called on Anglophone separatist fighters to defend their ideas peacefully, lay down their arms and give peace a chance.
Speaking in Yaounde on Thursday, Cardinal Tumi declared: “Come out of the bushes. You cannot do anything for your country, your brothers and sisters as long as you are in this situation (in the bush)”.
“Me, I can tell you that I trust the head of state’s words when he says ‘if you lay down your arms and come out of the bush, we will welcome you’.
“To be able to conquer power, you must form a political party and start fighting with ideas which could be called your philosophy and policy,” he added
Recalling how he and the Fon of Nso, Sehm Mbinglo, were abducted by separatist fighters on November 5, 2020, Cardinal Tumi revealed that they were captured on their way from Bamenda to Kumbo.
“Once we were kidnapped, we were taken through a road I do not know. They took a bush path, a small path” the Cardinal narrated.
‘We did not know where we were going and continued until nightfall. Suddenly, we arrived somewhere in an abandoned house. There was nothing in the house,” Cardinal Tumi who is a native of Kikaikelaki in Bui Division of the Northwest Region where he and the Fon were abducted further revealed.
The former Archbishop of the Douala Archdiocese revealed that while in captivity, he resigned himself to fate.
“I sat there calmly. I internally decided to accept the situation. When you accept a situation, you are ready for anything”, Cardinal Tumi declared.
The Cardinal said he was released on November 6, 2020 without being brutalized by the separatist fighters. The Fon of Nso Sehm Mbinglo was released days later.
Cardinal Tumi is the prime mover behind the convening of an Anglophone peace conference which has been in gestation for about two years now.
The said conference is yet to come to fruition because the authorities in Yaounde do not seem to approve of it most probably because it is not at their own initiative.