The Catholic Bishops of Cameroon have been in Mamfe since Sunday January 8, 2017 for an annual seminar. Yesterday, the national broadcaster CRTV reported falsely that the bishops of Cameroon have pleaded with teachers to call off the strike. The bishops are still consistent with their appeal for dialogue. And the bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda – which corresponds geographically to the English speaking part of Cameroon – have not reneged on their Memorandum to the Head of State, in which they proposed a way forward, based on history.
A Bishop was actually interviewed, Tuesday January 10th: Mgr Samuel Kleda. He was not talking on behalf of the Bishops. When the Bishops will finish with their annual seminar, they will issue a communique based on the seminar (which is focused on the family). That is when they could, as a conference, make a statement about the situation, at least following the normal trend.
Furthermore, what Mgr Kleda said, talking in HIS name, was: “il faut que tout soit fait pour que les ecoles reprennent… ” How does that boil down to an appeal to teachers to call off the strike? It’s a call for what needs to be done to resolve the problem, so that schools can resume. This has been the call of everyone: honest and frank dialogue.
Sadly, instead of going to dialogue with the teachers and lawyers, government went for traditional administrators, parents and school administrators, using the national broadcaster to skew information. (By the way, can someone help tell CRTV management that in our dispensation, steeped in social media, radio has lost invisibility as one of its advantages? Thanks.) And even with that, what is the time table of the meeting of the ad-hoc commissions set up by government? And some people think there is any inkling of seriousness from the side of the government?
Yesterday, the Bishops were embarrassed in Mamfe after getting the news over CRTV! Now it’s on other media outlets. IT IS FALSE. Government could well start preparing for a greater embarrassment, following previous failure and ridicule last week in ill-advised moves and outings.