The Catholic Archbishop of Bamenda, His Grace? Cornelius Fontem Esua has announced he is pulling out of the Mbororo land in Wumse-Ndzah, unconditionally.
Chatting with Richard Ndeh Lainjong on Radio Evangelium, Cornelius Fontem Esua said the pressures and challenges surrounding his acquisition of the Mbororo land are so grave he could not continue.
He first made the announcement to Catholic communicants at the St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral on 15 April 2014.
He said a certain Achobang claiming to be a human rights activist has threatened to bring in the Boko Haram and Al-Qaida to revenge the grabbing of Mbororo land.
For the records, all submissions from Achobang have been whistle blowing about the looming threat of Muslim fundamentalist groups seeing the Mbororo-Catholic land matter as an attack by Christians on Muslims. This will inevitably lead to retaliation and hostage taking by ransom seeking groups. No good Christian would wish for such a situation.
Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua further found it disturbing that after demolishing Mbororo houses, the Mbororo came to his cathedral to protest instead of going to the Fon of Ndzah who sold the land to him.
The Fon of Ndzah, a retired soldier, has been targeting the Mbororo family for termination. He therefore found the archbishop as a good ally to ethnically cleanse Ndzah. He has personally shot and wounded Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada and Sarli Mamada. They claim it is thanks to the cabalistic protection they have that they did not die from the gunshots.
As the courts were complacent and released the Fon of Ndzah from pretrial detention, he believed he was untouchable and pushed his ethnic targeting to the point of selling the Mbororo land to the Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC) represented by His Grace? Cornelius Fontem Esua.
The Mbororo were never compensated for their land as the Archbishop claims but some were paid money for the houses and crops which were going to be demolished.
The Fon of Ndzah received FCFA 72 million from the Archbishop being the cost of 72 hectares the CATUC claim they needed and had acquired. Unfortunately, they lied to the Minister of Lands, Surveys and State Property that they needed 46 hectares.
After negotiations, headed by the Senior Divisional Officer (S.D.O Felix Nguele Nguele) of Mezam Division, for the Mbororo to share the land with the Catholics, the Archbishop said the 46 hectares he got were too small for a CATUC which had so many faculties.
The fraudulent application forwarded to the Minister of Lands, Surveys and State Property was for 46 hectares to bypass the clause in the Cameroon Land Tenure Law stipulating that only the President of the Republic could grant a temporary land concession from 50 hectares and above.
His Grace? Cornelius Fontem Esua could today be looking for a scapegoat in Achobang to conceal all his reckless and imprudent actions. He decided to go the earthly and very Cameroonian way with duplicity and bribing to acquire the land.
He regretted in the chat with Richard Ndeh that the ringleader of the Mbororo uprising of 19 March 2014 when a caterpillar and truck were vandalized was never caught. He would have wished that Achobang who has been exposing and opposing this crime against humanity was eliminated so that the CATUC would sail through with their crimes.
It should be remembered that the Archbishop conspired with Walters Tarkang, Divisional Officer of Bamenda III to arrest, torture and detain Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada, to force him to collect his own compensation (money for his house and crops).
The archbishop again conspired with Felix Nguele Nguele and Walters Tarkang to demolish 09 Bambili houses (estimated at close to 95 million) on 02 May 2013 to make way for the resettlement of the Mbororo being forcefully displaced and deported from their land.
All the Bambili houses destroyed were built on titled lands. Crops were also destroyed on the land. The 175 Bambili farmers whose farms were targeted have missed two planting seasons, seriously threatening food security in Cameroon.
On 03 April 2014, during lent, Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua commandeered the demolition of Mbororo houses to make way for the CATUC.
SDO Felix Nguele Nguele had told me over the phone he was not going to intervene to halt the demolition of Mbororo houses because it was a private matter between the Catholics and Mbororo. He further said the demolition of the houses did not threaten the peace and order in Mezam Division.
After the demolition of Mbororo houses, Felix Nguele Nguele set up a commission to negotiate land sharing between the CATUC and Mbororo for peace to prevail. This action is that of an epileptic administrator just regaining consciousness from a bout of epilepsy. Or could Felix Nguele Nguele have drunken so much from the archbishop's wine meant to accompany Holy? Communion?
How deaf was the archbishop, land and survey agents, the administration, the elements of the judiciary, law enforcers, and elected representatives of the people of the Cameroons, when I stood on the Mamada hills whistle blowing that there was a commission of serious crimes against humanity at Wumse-Ndzah?
Very belatedly, Cornelius Fontem Esua has decided to pull out from the disputed Mbororo land. He has also announced that he would not be requesting a refund of the compensation for houses and crops paid to the Mbororo.
The Mbororo called me celebrating the unconditional pull out of the Archbishop from their land.
It is not time for celebration for many issues remain to be resolved. There is the reconstruction of the Mbororo houses (that good people tried to prevent their demolition) and rebuilding confidence in all those with shattered hopes.
The compensation the archbishop claims he would not be requesting a refund cannot build the Mbororo houses demolished on 3 April 2014. Who were the property valuators used to assess the value of the houses demolished? The owner of the smallest house (2 bedrooms and parlor) was paid FCFA 475,000. A FCFA 2,000,000 would not build a similar house for Sarli Mamada today. The Bambili houses demolished on 2 May 2013 also have to be rebuilt.
How do we heal the mental wounds inflicted on both the Bambili people and the Mbororo people?
How do we reassure the Mbororo and their Bambili neighbors that no rich man with FCFA 55 billion of church offerings will go around corrupting people to target the weak minorities for forceful displacement and extinction?
LUKE chapter 15, verse 7 says “There shall be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Let me hope Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua is truly repenting from his sins and showing remorse for his crimes. God his creator will receive him into his bosom again. Even though the prelate has decided to set corrupt judges and police to seek me out for elimination, my God who is greater than his tin gods, will protect me and fortify me to keep defending the defenseless. One day, hopefully, Cornelius would be humble enough to thank me for leading him to salvation.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis should retire his servant (Cornelius Fontem Esua) to do penance in a monastery. If not, the prelate who has elected to die in silence shall be forced to speak like any common fugitive. He shall tell the humanity the wrong things he did that they should never repeat.
The International Criminal Tribunal should get ready to investigate the crimes against humanity committed in Wumse-Ndzah, Mezam Division, North West Cameroon.
Fon Christopher Achobang
Social Commentator, Human rights activist
Tel, (237) 74 21 10 66