Cameroonian politicians, Clergies, Civil Society Activists and the public at large are speaking of Cardinal Tumi, as a man of greatness, remarkable faith, haven contributed a lot to change the present face of the country.
In this write up, News Upfront gathers some of the reactions and testimonies following the demise of the first ever Cameroonian, not to say Sub Saharan African to reach that high level of distinction and responsibility within the Roman Catholic Church, “a Cardinal”.
His eminence Christian Cardinal Wiyghan Tumi, is one of those few Cameroonians who will always be remembered positively even after death for his relentless contributions in both the development of the Roman Catholic Church in Cameroon and nation building.
One of his recent strides was the resolution of the Anglophone Crisis which he actually dedicated all his last energy trading his life for a ceasefire deal to be achieved and for the crisis to be resolved.
A period during which he contributed immensely at the Major National Dialogue and initiated an Anglophone General Conference, AGC, to address common issues aimed at seeking solutions to the crisis, but which never saw the light of the day due to external obstacles.
A period again that saw him kidnaped by seperatist fighters in the North West region but he did not stop.
The commitment of Christian Cardinal Tumi did not start with the present Anglophone Crisis.
Cardinal Tumi in the early 1990s was very instrumental in the fight against the one party system in the country. A fight that culminated with the establishment of political pluralism that was abolished in 1966.
It would not be proper to ignore the efforts and personal commitments of Cardinal Tumi in the establishment of a peaceful political game and a society of justice in Cameroon.
Despite the internal and external challenges he suffered, he did not back out. Such challenges and strides are documented in his book titled: “My faith: A Cameroon to be Renewed”.
The testimonies of Tumi’s life speak more of his greatness and unmatched values.
The National President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM party, professor Maurice Kamto, says Tumi was a true and tireless preacher of love and peace between his compatriots.
“… Cardinal W. Tumi, is surely leaving with the frustration of seeing Cameroonians killing other Cameroonians in the North West and South West regions of our country. He has tried almost everything to avoid the occurrence of the armed conflict in these two regions: advice, appeals to appease hearts, offers of good office , etc, ….. His efforts were scorned by extremists in the regime who never wanted him to meet the Head of State despite his constant request”. Kamto said in a release issued hours after the death of Tumi.
The chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF party, Ni John Fru Ndi, described Tumi as a true shepherd of the Lord, a committed patriot, a justice peace crusader, an open encyclopedia of rare standing and a moral colossus.
“We are struggling to accommodate the fact that Cameroon will forge on without the Statesman and Pastor with unparalleled qualities. Cameroonians have missed an opportunity to benefit from the Savvy of this Prelate who selflessly proposed a panacea to end the on-going Socio Political crisis. The only thing we can do as humans at this sad moment is to pray for his gentle soul to find peace at the bossom of the Most High God”. Fru Ndi wrote in a letter of condolence.
The President of the United Socialist Democratic Party, USDP, Prince M.N EKOSSO was not left indifferent following the passing on of Christian Cardinal Tumi.
“The man and Cardinal Tumi of the people. You stood up for justice, reconciliation and forgiveness. Your life was a life well spent. Your unexpected departure from amongst us is a loss which will take some time to be replaced. A Dieu, Christian Cardinal Tumi.” Prince M. N. EKOSSO declared.
Within the ranks of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, the National President, Paul Biya, had not reacted publicly at press time, but the Deputy Secretary General of the Central Committee of the party, Gregoire OWONA, in a social media outing said Cardinal Tumi, is probably the most emblematic personality of Cameroonian Clergymen.
“I submit to the memories of this devoted servant of God for his people through the Roman Catholic Church, and for a Cameroon proud of its roots and committed for peace in his country for everyone to benefit” Gregoire OWONA added.
Christian Cardinal W. Tumi, was a man whose actions contributed to develop the Civil Society sector in the country.
Barrister Felix Nkogho Agbor Balla, a legal luminary and Civil Society Activist, was also touched with the sad news of the death of Tumi.
“Cardinal Tumi died in Douala.Tumi born on 15 October 1930 in Kikaikelaki (Kumbo) was the first and only Cameroonian cardinal. A staunch advocate for a just society, a defender of the rights of the oppressed, suppressed and marginalized. RIP the Peoples’ Cardinal.” Agbor Balla tweeted.
Diplomatic representations in Cameroon are also touched with the death of Tumi, because they saw in him a negotiator to the crisis in Anglophone Cameroon.
“The U.S. Embassy expresses our deepest condolences on the passing of Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala. Cardinal Tumi was the first and only Cameroonian Cardinal of the Catholic Church in Cameroon. A tireless advocate for dialogue and an end to the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, humanrights, and the fight against corruption, Cardinal Tumi, contributed to Cameroon’s democratic development. His legacy as a defender of
peace will resonate for generations. We send our sympathies to Cardinal Tumi’s family, the Catholic Church in Cameroon, and to the people of Cameroon.” Reads a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon signed on April 3rd 2021.
As the highest Raman Catholic Clergy in Cemeroon and Sub Saharan Africa, His Eminence Cardinal Tumi, leaves behind an immense work for his church.
The Archbishop on the Yaoundé Archdioceses, His Lordship Jean Mbarga is aware of the task ahead of them.
“… A symbol of joy of our local and universal church as well as our country Cameroon, Christian Cardinal Tumi dedicated his energy, his intelligence, his life and his commitment at the service of the church and nations. He leaves behind a multi-dimentional heritage.” Jean Mbarga declared.
The President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon , His Lordship Abraham Kome seized the occassion to invite all the christian community in Cameroon, family and friends of the Prelate to pray for a smooth repose of his soul.
According to the Archbishop of the Douala Archdioceses, His Lordship Samuel Kleda, the funeral program would be communicated accordingly and at the due moment.
Worth noting is the fact that the National President of the CRM party, Parof. Maurice Kamto is of the opinion that the greatest official tribute that the regime could pay him, now that he is gone, is to put an end to the unnecessary civil war waged by Cameroonians in the Anglophone regions.
#TeamNewsUpfront join voices with others to pray for the soul of the Archbishop Emeritus of Douala to Rest In Peace.