Cardinal Tumi Speaks Out On Form Of State
Tumi Speaks Out On Form Of State
Revered vocal catholic priest, Christian Cardinal Tumi also Archbishop Emeritus of the Douala Archdiocese has shared his view on the form of state best needed to address Cameroon’s challenges.
Tumi, in what is known to be a rare outing shared his view in an interview granted Municipal Updates. He talked of what he thinks needs to be done to arrest especially the crisis in the North West and South West regions.
The cleric is of the opinion that “effective decentralisation” is another way to address Anglophone concerns.
To Tumi, apart from the trumpeted two state federation, there are other ways to get problems solved. What matters, he furthered, is the content and not really how they may choose to call it.
The cleric added that if federation must be an option then taking off with two state will be good, but not for a long run. This, Tumi suggested could lead to a five, ten and even twenty state federation depending on the historical experience.
The difference from Tumi’s sudden historic change is that, in the past, he advocated strictly for a two state federation. Today, he thinks effective decentralisation within the present geographical dispensation is possible.
This is one of the major turns since solutions to the Anglophone crisis preoccupied the polity.
This new version of Tumi’s perspective is expected to boost government’s readiness to effectively transfer resources to regional and local authorities as stipulated in the law on regional and local authorities.
Tumi in the exchange hailed the well-designed decentralisation program and hoped that if well implemented will meet the aspirations of the people in the North West and South West Regions.
Quizzed on if decentralisation could end the crisis outside a two or ten state federation, Tumi replied; “I think so,” reacting to the second option that “Not necessarily.”
“What I believe now is that decentralisation I mean effective decentralisation is good.” Otherwise, he said, “Also, creating a state, a two state federation and history will tell us how many to create even five, ten or twenty”.
The Decentralization idea was initiated in the 1996 constitution but never implemented. In 2004 a legal framework was elaborated. Since then government timidly began implementing the decentralisation drive.
In 2008 Cameroon became regions. Many scholars have opined that should decentralisation be effectively implemented then the question on form of state will become of minimal interest.
On how he tried to cause Anglophones to reason as one, Tumi disclosed that: “One day I was lying on my bed for siesta thinking about what is happening in the South West and North West of our country. If there is any part of the country that I know so well, they are the two regions. I went to school in Mankon, the capital of the North West. I went to school in Buea, the capital of the South West. I have experienced life in the two regions. And I can talk about those two places. When I listened over radio, I arrived at the conclusion that we are no longer speaking in the same language in what we want. So the idea of all Anglophone conference came into my head. But I said this time it will be founded by the elderly religious leaders. I was thinking of retired people like myself. But to my surprise I found that there were very few,” the cleric said. “…We went down to senior religious leaders. I think we were about 12 of us. I invited them to Douala in my house and told them what we should do now for our country. We proposed a questionnaire to Anglophones to all regions all over the world. There were only three questions; we wanted to know the causes of the problems in the two English-speaking regions, we thought introducing moral instructions in school will help because the army and the boys were misbehaving. So put the question: do you think moral instruction should be introduced. We were surprised 92% of the people thought it was a worthwhile thing to do. The result was a book of 400 pages and resume of 12 pages. The meeting was for all Anglophones to come and decide what they want in this republic”.
Message To Diaspora Amba Leaders
To Diaspora separatist leaders, Tumi stated that; “They can do nothing. I don’t believe in them. They don’t have the means. What can they do? There are other Cameroonians outside there who have started fighting against them too. Some are exploiting these boys back home to enrich themselves”.
He further revealed that, “I was told that some of the amba boys send money to Europe and America. That is exploitation again. And they use that to get their houses in Europe, America and Cameroon. In Bamenda now they talk of the new rich.”