If Paul Biya Truly Loves This Country, Let Him Not Listen To Those Calling On Him To Run For The 2018 Presidential' - Archbishop Samuel Kleda

The President of the Cameroon National Episcopal Conference - CNEC Archbishop Samuel Kleda has advised President Paul Biya NOT TO listen to his entourage calling on him to run for the 2018 Presidential elections. The senior Clergyman gave the Head of State this advise during an interview with 'La Nouvelle Expression" newspaper on kiosk on Monday Dec. 5th, 2018.

During the interview, the Archbishop also confirmed that the CNEC has filed a case against an unknown X for the assassination of Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Bala of Bafia.

The senior clergy said they have faith in the laws of the country, and that their wish is that their lawyers are given the opportunity to do their job well, and all the facts presented by the Gendarmes and Police during the investigation be handed to their lawyers to ease the process.

Talking about the recent happenings in the two English speaking regions Kleda said they are very serious. "The recent happenings in these two regions shows that the situation is VERY SERIOUS. The death of civilians, soldiers, policemen and gendarmes show that the crisis is far from being resolved, and it is getting worse as the days goes by. We have the impression that people organize themselves like guerrillas to act. It is a situation that no one should remain indifferent about. Every Cameroonian must be worried at the deteriorating situation. In my opinion, it is time for something to be done, it is time to convene a national dialogue that will be attended by all the vital forces of the nation, to look for a solution to this problem. We cannot continue with this radicalization that we are witnessing on both sides."

Asked whether the Catholic church has been invited to any such dialogue, the Man of God said 'the Catholic Church has not yet received any such invitation to mediate on any dialogue.' He however said at the level of the CNEC, in the name of their faith and for love the country, they have taken the initiative to ask Christians to pray for peace in Cameroon, and that they have organized series of Novena prayers through out the national territory.

As to whether the government should negotiate with secessionists, the Clergy said; 'I have observed that the population is very receptive to the instructions of the secessionists. This means that they are sure that the secessionists will provide the solutions to their socio-economic problems. The way the situation is now, they cannot be excluded from the table, if ever a national dialogue is called. In order to find a lasting solution to this crisis, the State should reach out to all its sons, all actors, for a way out of crisis that would relieve everyone.'

Asked whether he is against the debate on the Form of State, Samuel Kleda said 'in a dialogue whose objective is to look for solutions to the current problems of our country, every issue MUST BE addressed, including the Form of State.' According to him it is a dynamic process that can be modified according to the evolution and governance.

On the burning down of schools, churches, and stopping children from going to school in the grieving regions, the President of the CNEC said 'burning down schools and churches is far from resolving the present crisis. Violence only brings more violence and misery. If we start destroying what we took time to build for many years, we should ask ourselves who will rebuild. I insist that everything should start with dialogue. Let those burning schools and churches know that their actions will not bring out any solution to the problem at hand. I call on them to be calm and that they should be responsible in their thoughts.'

Archbishop Kleda was asked to give his opinion, on the various calls made by President Biya's supporters for him to run for the 2018 Presidential elections, and he frankly said; 'those making such calls just want to protect their personal interests and that they are people who do no love Cameroon.'

He advised that if President Biya really loves Cameroon, he should be thinking of handing power over peacefully, to any member of his CPDM party or the opposition. He insisted that if Paul Biya truly loves Cameron, he should not listen to the calls of his people calling on him to tender his candidature.

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