The moral compass of humanity lies in our collective and individual consciences. As the depository of the Christian faith His Holiness Pope Francis, the successor of St Peter is the rock on which Christ built his church. This Church is otherwise called the body of Christ. This much, every Catholic Christian believes so also a commanding number of Christians and none Christians generally.
It is sacrosanct that the Church of God is a Church of Saints and Sinners. For this reason, therefore, no one should be rebuked for turning to the Church, in particular the depository of the faith who is the Holy Father the Pope in time of need. That Paul Biya did just that is not subject to controversy, judging by his near pious disposition and that of his spiritually entrapped wife.
This editorial would have been unnecessary had Biya attended the Vatican to seek Christian counsel from the Holy See on expiation and redemption. However, his many personal transgressions against fellow Christians, none Christians and persons generally whom he has over a period of over thirty-four years debased, dehumanized and sacrificed spiritually, physically, morally and mentally for the sake of personal power, worldly glory and vain glory rivaled only by the Biblical King Herod, his visit warrants our attention and commentary.
There can be no gainsaying that the main object of President Biya’s visit to Rome was to meet Pope Francis. The visit to the Italian ceremonial President was merely a stepping stone to attain that objective, although the visit was characterized as a state visit or official visit. The visit to the Vatican to see the Pope may be hard to characterize only to jaundiced eye. It was a public relations exercise in deception and parody. These are tools which President Paul Biya has used over the past three and a half decades to mask his sanguinary brutal dictatorship.
He hoped by that visit, in full glare of world cameras to blunt the growing world scrutiny of the unfolding genocide and crimes against humanity which he has intensified against Southern Cameroonians. He inherited these crimes from his predecessor Babatoura Ahmadou Ahidjo and has pursued them with ferocious intensity claiming hundreds of lives. Under his command, rape, torture, military justice, corruption, indignities, spiritual debasement, witchcraft, debauchery, and sycophancy have claimed several lives and stolen the souls of those coming under his heathenish power.
Before Pope Francis, Paul Biya and his wife, painted pictures of pious devout Christians whose source of power and the exercise of it come from God. A master of deception, he expected the world at large and obviously the Holy Father to subscribe to the deceptive proclivity of his pathological hypocrisy one time too many. But Paul Biya the supposed pious Christian was at that very moment competing with Paul Biya the butcher and slaughterer of armless Southern Cameroonians. In addition, twenty-seven emaciated, tortured, and near lifeless Southern Cameroons youths, were brought before a court-martial to be joined with three Southern Cameroons civil society leaders in a parody of justice whose purport is to formalize the martyrdom of Southern Cameroons heroes. Some of these Southern Cameroonians whose blood Paul Biya is baying for through his court-martial are barely in their teenage years. They are the remnants of hundreds of others were executed in cold blood and interred in unmasked cold graves.
Before the Pope and the world cameras Paul Biya spoke about supposed national cohesion and peace. But we know that the storm of violent oppression and the blood of the armless Southern Cameroons will torment his duplicitous conscience as long as he lives. The symbolism of his visit to the Vatican emphasizes the spiritual nature of the conflict of choice he has brought against God’s people in the Southern Cameroons. Considered against the backdrop of the unfolding genocide in the Southern Cameroons, his duplicitous and tormented conscience will hold him accountable for every drop of Southern Cameroonian blood lost, each Southern Cameroonians daughter and woman raped, each Southern Cameroonian tortured, detained, driven into exile, and every Southern Cameroons natural resource looted.
The patriotic and stoic fervor with which Southern Cameroonians in every household, hamlet neighborhood, and community at home and abroad like one person are resisting colonial rule and oppression should ring a loud bell in the head of Mr Biya and his French slave masters that the decision of the Southern Cameroons to regain its freedom is non-negotiable and is irreversible. The Southern Cameroons has lost so much blood, suffered so many crimes and indignities to even contemplate submitting to slave status again. The rape of our girls and women is a direct assault on the temple of our common humanity. It is unacceptable and we will never ever forget. Not so soon.
If Paul Biya’s visit to the Holy See was to compete for and misdirect the moral compass of humanity away from scrutinizing the crimes he has committed and is pursuing in the Southern Cameroons, then he should rethink his strategy. Southern Cameroons victims might not have had the resources and the diplomatic fiat to attend the Vatican and be received by Pope Francis, as Paul Biya did.
However, the Vatican of our individual and collective consciences is our unfettered faith in the Living God, who is a God of Justice for the poor, the weak and the oppressed. We are comforted that Our Bishops and other men of faith and servants of the Living God spoke clearly and loud on our fate and from the faith that Christ bequeath to us. Paul Biya ignored the memorandum of our Bishops hoping that the Pope will impose a peace and cohesion that Paul Biya hoped and hopes to impose with the barrel of the gun, deception and corruption. The clerics were inspired by the Holy Bible and the reality of the daily spiritual and material lives of the flock they were ordained to shepherd. By persecuting these people, Paul Biya is persecuting the Church and the Christianity to which he deceptively projected himself as belonging to. In his thirty four years of personal power, he has done everything to divide the clergy through bribery, manipulation and gratification. That policy trait has failed so far in the Southern Cameroons.
Through corruption and mystical bondage, he has recruited and corrupted a coterie of genocide apologists to champion his crusade to exterminate Southern Cameroonians. The leading role played by Isa Tchiroma, Fame Ndongo, Laurent Esso, AtangaNji, Mafany Musonge, Tabetando, Owona Nguini and several administrative, military and security genocidal structures deployed to oversee the genocide can no longer be emphasized. The overriding role played of Isa Tchiroma, a survival of massive extermination of Northern Cameroun military, entrepreneurial, political and administrative power elite in 1984 after an alleged coup d’etat in which he was implicated and detained without trial for many years may surprise only the ignorant. This regime has spiritually imprisoned some of its ardent supporters and executioners of its genocidal campaign against Southern Cameroons.
If Paul Biya the gatekeeper of this empire of spiritual imprisonment intended to free himself from that overseer role, he should first have purged his conscience of the ongoing crimes and the past crimes against Southern Cameroonians prior to attending the Holy See. He failed to do so hoping that the spirit of deception which he has relied on over several years to blind and derail the moral compass highlighting his crimes, will bend his way once more time this time around, then he is gravely mistaken. For, as long as Felix Agbor Balla, Hon Paul Ayah, ManchoBibixy, NebaFontem, Maxwell Obenand thousands of Southern Cameroonians remain in jail in La Republique’s detention camps; as long as the blood of Southern Cameroonians remain unaccounted for, as long as Southern Cameroons has not attained its freedom and sovereignty, Paul Biya will never know peace. Southern Cameroons reject the peace of the barrel of the gun, a peace imposed by state terror and a state of perpetual enslavement. The moral compass of Divine Justice will remain sacrosanct and unshakable.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai in Rome