Tension is reportedly mounting in the Eglise Evangelique du Cameroon, EEC as Christians are currently at daggers-drawn positions. Different ethnic groups are challenging the legitimacy of the Church’s Executive Council.
The leadership tussle has plunged the church in to a legal battle fueled by conflicting newspaper reports. The crisis has ignited a Bamileke – Sawa rivalry; two ethnic groups that hitherto dominated the EEC leadership.
When the church became self supportive and autonomous in 1957 the dominant and populous communities the Bamouns, Bamiliekes and Sawas through the church board alternated leadership roles. The end of an election that marked fifteen years of Bamileke supremacy, paved the way for the Sawas to develop high expectation to gain power.
Rev. Pastor Richard Priso Moungole was tipped to replace Pastor Isaac Batomen Henga as President of the Church. Apparently the outgoing Rev Henga from the Bamileke community violated the tacit agreement in favour of Rev Pastor Jean Samuel Toya another Bamilieke. Correspondingly, the elections organized in Ngaoundere were teleguided in favour of Rev Toya against the Sawa candidate, Rev Moungele.
By some strange happenstance, Rev Moungele took legal action against his opponent in a Douala court on charges of electoral fraud and embezzlement. The church is presently divided and Christians are gradually boycotting their places of worship.
The Secretary General of the EEC however remains optimistic that a solution could be reached. The argument which was initially religious is gradually turning to a socio-political crisis between ethnic entities that earlier lived in peace and harmony.