by Fonban Emmanuel (Journalist/Filmmaker/Activist)
Today, I was reflecting on the Catholic meditation of 15 October 2020 presented by Fr.Blessed Ambang, a regular anchor of that spiritual program on Radio Evangelum in the Diocese of Kumba.
Connecting that homily to the war which has been hitting hard on the English speaking territories of Cameroon otherwise known as Southern Cameroons, it is evident that all of us away from the war zones are promoters of the war and the killings that are conducted in these territories. From the Gospel of Luke 11:47… Jesus said “”Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs”.
In this Gospel, it shows that even though we are not the ones doing the shootings in the English speaking parts of Cameroon, we are participating in the killings. I quote Fr. Blessed in the Catholic Meditation of 15 October 2020; “They were silent while the killings were going on only to come and show remorse by burying. Jesus says, No! that is no remorse they were doing no good deed by trying to bury. They came and buried while they were silent when the killing was going on”
This aligns with what we do on daily basis. We wait for the killings to be done just to come and condemn the killings on social media and then pretentiously go to sympathise with the bereaved families.
Without necessarily condemning or discouraging us from opening a new page, we have failed and it is possible for us to right our wrongs by coming out as people of good conscience to stop these killings. It is possible for us to bury our interest and speak truth to power so that we can find a lasting solution to the war and stop the bloodshed.
If we continue to protect our interest and hide the truth or twist it, then we are guilty of the killings in the English speaking regions of Cameroon, then we are among those sending our mothers and children to bushes to suffer, then we are among those burning the houses and we are among those raping women in bushes and we are among those who killed children in Ngarbuh.
Truth is bitter but we must speak it so that we can get peace.
Beneath truth, lies a sustainable solution that will bring peace, the ideal living together, and all that we long to have.
If we continue to put FEAR and PRIVATE INTEREST as a reason for encouraging the status quo, then as they are doing the killings, we are participating in it.
“When you see someone maltreating people and you keep silent to come after and console those being maltreated, then while those maltreating were doing the killing, you do the burying,” said Fr. Blessed Ambang in the 15 October 2020 Catholic meditation.
It has been days now the Nigerian movement against SARS has pushed some Cameroonian entertainers to come out from their shells. Will this start with a hot fire and die a natural death?
It is important that everyone distances themselves from the killings and this is only by pressing power to call for a ceasefire and then get back to the table with the right parties to the war for a frank dialogue or negotiations to get out of the conflicts.
It is possible for us to end this. The indifference has been too much. The crocodile tears have been too much. Now let us work from the positive segment of our conscience. This needs nothing but collective action. This can save thousands of lives.
Let us all remember the children that have been given birth to in bushes on leaves of cocoyams or plantains in Southern Cameroons. Let us all remember children who were killed in Ngarbuh, let us all remember the grandmother, who was burnt alive somewhere in the South West or Southern zone. Let us remember those that have been killed innocently. We had the powers to give them life but our indifference motivated by fear or selfish interest closed our mouths as the killings were going on.
Let us move from social media to something physical. Let us all do something. If we all work righteously in this, we will reinstate ideal peace and we will once again live happily.
Let every eye that reads do something.
TOGETHER WE WILL ARISE AGAIN AND SHINE