Cameroon: A Bishop’s Experience of the ‘Smell of the Sheep’ in Trying Conditions
“As I passed Batibo town, these gentlemen came out of the forest; they surrounded me, entered my car – two of them with guns,” Bibi recalled.
“They seized my phone and took me into the forest. There were several other cars there and other people who had been kidnapped. They asked us to give our identity cards. Their commander was there and as I came out of the car, the two men all pointing their guns at me, one woman, one of our Christians – who was also kidnapped – just ran to me crying ‘Bishop bless me, bless me!’ I said a prayer, and I blessed her, and their commander asked her whether she knew me. And she responded: ‘He is our bishop.’ So the commander asked that my phones and ID card be returned and that I should go. I asked him what happens to the other people who were held there, and he brandished the gun: I had no right to ask any questions. So I left, went to Kumba, celebrated the Mass and towards the end of the Mass, I was told that some Reverend Sisters had been harassed, their wind screens were shattered. And I had to return because the next day I had to celebrate Mass in Dchang. The general feeling was that I should not travel, so I decided to take an alternative road to Bamenda,” he said, referring to the capital of the North West Region.
Yet on this alternative route, the bishop met another group of fighters at a locality called Bako-Bakundu.