The President of the Bamenda Episcopal conference (BAPEC) yesterday Dec sixth issued a communiqué on behalf of the bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical province concerning the strike actions by lawyers and teachers of English speaking Cameroon.
The Clergy men in the four page document say they have been involve in the struggle to ensure Anglophone educational system is preserved in the past , reminds the government that it is important to maintain and respect our bi-cultural nature as a people for diversity is our strength, the statement reads in part. The bishops regrets the fact that the future of our youths and future leaders is being compromised by prolonged strike actions which is affecting their education, and some of the students will write public exams with other students of the other parts of the country.
The Anglophone bishops also lauded the efforts by government to give dialogue a chance especially the efforts of prime minister who came to Bamenda for two days talks at government own Ayabaw hotel and urge trade union heads to tell the teachers to return back to school and give dialogue a chance and remain focus on academics as they say “Without letting themselves be hijacked by people whose objectives is not academic” the statement reads in part. They also took out time to condemn violence perpetrated by some protesting individuals and caution parents to keep their children at home and they also in very strong terms condemn police brutality and human rights abuses committed by some members of the forces of law and order
Analysis: Is the document enough
The communiqué by the bishops of the Bamenda Episcopal conference certainly is a welcome move by the church, whom many have called to take a stands amidst troubling times in our nation, the church is such a big voice not only religiously speaking but runs so many top class schools in this country and getting to know their stand was necessary. However, critics have labeled the document “weak” and say it’s not enough, they frown at the bishops for taking side with the government and not being strong enough in criticizing the state for its brutality.
Mark Bareta, a Belgian based critic of the government wrote on his facebook page “From every indication after reading this letter, the Bishops are not helping. They are begging the teachers to go back to school while praising the Government for the dialogue process. They said the teachers should not be political. Nonsense.
I, Mark Bara reject this weak Document and call on Southern Cameroonians to reject it.”
Some have accused the Roman catholic church of siding with the “oppressor” and practicing double standards as some of their boarding schools are still functional despite the strike actions and called the bishops call for teachers to go back to classes “sad’ one Facebook user wrote.