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All But One Of My Kidnappers Were Nigerians – Cardinal Tumi

Cameroonian prelate, Cardinal Christian Tumi, has revealed that all those who abducted him and the Fon of Nso in November last year while they were travelling from Bamenda to Kumbo were Nigerians but for one of the boys.

Speaking to the press on  Friday, Jan. 22, Cardinal Tumi said after abducting them, the separatist fighters had a problem deciding on what to do with them.

“They took us on motorbikes for over 40 kilometres through bush paths. They eventually separated myself and the Fon of Nso and they were surprised that the news of my abduction was all over the place,” the Cardinal revealed.

He said the night he spent in captivity was the most uncomfortable night he had ever spent in his life with mosquitoes biting him the whole night.

“At sunrise the next day, the boys told me ‘we are going to release you and your driver but we cannot get out of here the way we came’. They were afraid of being confronted by the army,” the prelate disclosed.

Cardinal Tumi said he did not eat anything during the period he was held by the separatists because the rice they gave him to eat was prepared with very dirty water.

The retired Catholic prelate revealed that during his conversations with the separatists, he told them that he was not in agreement with the fact that they were stopping children from going to school.

The Cardinal was however optimistic declaring that “Whatever the situation today, each time I go there I notice that there has been some progress”.

“I ask the bishops who are there if the situation that obtained there at the time was the same as in the past and they always told me ‘no, there has been a change for good.”

Cardinal Tumi said those who were criticizing the holding of the Grand National Dialogue in 2019 that discussed ways and means of ending the Anglophone crisis were those who did not participate in the dialogue.

He said during the Grand National Dialogue, every participant expressed their opinion adding that “the head of state was so open on that”.

He, however, called on the Anglophone separatist fighters to come out of the bushes revealing that “they live like animals” in the bushes.

The prelate castigated elites of the northwest region who have resigned from their role faced with the Anglophone crisis.

“They criticize the situation but don’t dare propose good or radical solutions that the state must take.”

The Cardinal who said he was not as yet prepared to return to his village in Nso, called on the leaders of Cameroon to review their stand on the Anglophone situation.

“Those who are in power now should not think that they love this country more than we the others,” Cardinal Tumi concluded.


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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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