By Andrew Nsoseka
The Cameroon Baptist Convention, CBC, has joined other convenors and Church leaders canvassing for the All Anglophone General Conference, AGC, scheduled to hold in the days ahead in Buea.
In a recent meeting held in Buea and hosted by the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, the new development, according to its coordinator, Elie Smith, was the coming in of the leaders of the Baptist Church, to join their colleagues of Catholic, the Presbyterian, and Muslim faiths, in seeking a peaceful and lasting solution to the ongoing Anglophone crisis that have crippled life in their communities.
Speaking to the press, Elie Smith noted that, it was the first time the convenors are holding a meeting in Buea, which he said was aimed at evaluating what they have been able to do so far, thus meeting in Buea, where the planned Conference will take place, was ideal.
“We are also happy to see that the Baptists have joined us, which means that the group is growing, and it is getting the support of all the religious groups in Anglophone Cameroon and Cameroon in general.”
On the question on whether there is already a set date for the conference, he said so far, no date has been set. “We can’t give a date right now, because as we said in the beginning, we are not substituting the State, we are not also defying the State in anyway. We are working with the government to have a convenient time for it to be reorganized. So a date has not been set, but it is not going to be long.”
He went on to say that, like the Baptists, others will join the AGC. He appreciated the efforts of the Diaspora, urging them to see the AGC as facilitators and not rivals. “We are not competing, we are just complementary”
On the type of solution they are out to seek, Elie Smith said the main clauses guiding their work are; “What are the causes of the current problems, what are the solutions you think can solve this problem once and for all, you know it is cyclical, every 10 years or every 20 years. We don’t want a piecemeal solution. We never said we are going to solve it, we said we are going to gather various proposals that people have…We can’t solve this problem, but we are going to be like a vehicle through which the solution is going to come.”
Commenting on letters written to State as well as Amba fighters, Elie Smith said “In this war, there is no devil and there is no angel. Atrocities are committed on both sides. The convenors thought that it is important to write to the warring factions to call onto their moral responsibilities. We understand why some people do what they do. There are a lot of responses. Some people are asking why we write to Amba Boys, and others are asking why the convenors write to the National Defense forces. We are neutral, that is the reason the convenors wrote to both sides. It is important to have love and the spirit that the convenors are conveying, is that of love and forgiveness.” He said.
On his part, the representative of the Cameroon Baptist Church, newest religious leaders joining the AGC, Rev Timothy Lyombe Field Pastor, Soppo Field Council of Churches said “This is my first time of attending this gathering and I am very impressed with the language that the convenors are bringing up for the All Anglophone Conference. I think the CBC is coming in with the message of love and peace. I think we are looking forward to see that the socio-political crisis comes to an end, because, generally speaking, it is affecting the Church and the entire community, so we are coming with our own contribution to see that as a Church, we work together as one, and as a religious body, we work together to bring this crisis to an end.”
The Buea meeting was attended by Christian Cardinal Tumi, alongside the Imam of Buea Central Mosque, The Imam of Bamenda Central Mosque, The representative of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, a representative of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, and Elie Smith.