As Cameroon’s lone Cardinal prepares to make his final journey to eternity tomorrow April 20, 2021, one of the Ambazonian Leaders in jail, Tassang Wilfred wrote a lengthy piece in tribute to the departed prelate.
In his tribute, he praises Cardinal Tumi as the greatest Man of God from around not for his miraculous deeds, but for his ability to stand in the face of truth in spite of political alignments and do what was right and just.
Read Tassang’s tribute below:
Explosive Tributes!!! Unimaginable Revelations Galore!!!
USED & ABUSED IN LOVE
(In Praise of God in Whom Alone Perfection Is)
A Tribute to Cardinal Tumi
By Deacon TASSANG Wilfred
Cursed is he who, in the fullness of his wits, leads another, dimmed in wit, to commit acts that he would not otherwise commit. (Matt.18:6)
If you feel offended in your sensibilities by this tribute, forgive me, but I feel obligated to testify about the Excellency of our God today. The Cardinal Tumi whose tributes I pay, lived for the truth and for justice.
In his honour therefore should no one twist the facts of his life nor tell lies. I know that he will not be happy if we did. Christian Cardinal Wiyghan Tumi will for generations to come, remain the greatest man of God from these parts, not because of great miracles, signs and wonders he performed, but because of his firm and resolute stance for the truth and unwavering opposition to evil and bad governance in the Cameroons.
Is this itself not a miracle in a world where truth is served in such miserly rations even from the altar of God? Unfortunately, the very last days of his life were very much at variance with what he epitomized throughout his active career as a priest. What went wrong?
I met the Cardinal in a very political context in 2010, barely months after he went on retirement. To understand the Tumi factor, let us contrast him with his elder brother, Archbishop Emeritus (late), Fr. Paul Vedzekov.
The trip to Yaoundé was not successful. The president of the conference, the Archbishop of Yaoundé, was not on seat and the priest who received me rather seemed scared when he heard me. Next day, I was off to Douala where I planned to meet three eminent personalities; the Cardinal, Pius Njawe and Severein Tchouenke.
Meeting the Cardinal, Missing Njawe
I had heard that Cardinal Tumi was the easiest person to get to on the planet, yet what happened that day still surprised me. I enquired about the Cardinal from the very first soul I approached in the Cathedral premisis that mourning, a Reverend Sister I think it was. She said the Cardinal would receive me “now” if he was not resting, in which event I would have to wait awhile.
That was in the morning, around 10am. Age is taking a serious toll on the man of God if he is resting at this hour, I thought. A few minutes later, she came back to me. “Le Cardinal vous recevra maintenant, Monsieur.” (The Cardinal will receive you now, Sir.) So easy.
After introductions, His Eminence reclined in his chair and listened to me. It was a long presentation, about an hour. At some point, I had to make sure that he was listening because his eyes were closed. He was not missing out on anything, the Cardinal said. What grace! (I had had this same rapt attention when we presented the vision to Emeritus Archbishop Vedzekov in Ntasen.)
When I finished, I informed the Cardinal I was done, and that I really wanted the Church to champion the vision. He sat up and spoke these words that still shake me even now; “My son, this is the best thing that can happen to this country, but I am sorry to tell you that the church you look up to cannot carry this beautiful project.” He went ahead to say that the same people running and ruining the country were found in the church.
Worst, he said; “Some of my brother bishops don’t find anything wrong with this country”. To them, there was no corruption, no tribalism, nepotism, no negative ism. Only, people were jealous of their good fortune.
Shocked? Don’t be yet. To buttress the point, the Cardinal went on. He said earlier that year when the bishops met in their conference, one of them suggested that the church should celebrate the golden jubilee of Cameroun’s independence. How was that to be done?
At the end, the Conference decided to issue an Episcopal Letter that would be read in all parishes and mission stations on a determined date in lieu of homelies. “Know what happened my son?” He asked. I said “no”. “That letter, condemning corruption, tribalism and all the ills in government was read in all the dioceses except those in the Centre, South and East Regions”, he said. “You see my son, the Church cannot carry this great vision.”
That was not all; His Eminence insinuated that even the Episcopal Conference was controlled from Etoudi. According to the prelate, Archbishop Kleda, his Local Ordinary was actually supposed to be the President of the Conference at that particular time, but the palace objected because it was feared that he, Tumi, had indoctrinated him with revolutionary ideas. (I think Etoudi did not want a controversial person heading the Conference during the 2011 presidential elections, and Archbishop Kleda was not one to shy away from controversy.
My opinion, not Tumi’s). I understood then why the priest to whom I spoke in Mvolye panicked; Etoudi was eavesdropping on Mvolye. I left the man of God thinking I had just had a meeting with the most disappointed prelate on earth, a caged bird as it were. I was disappointed and overwhelmed myself, but determined to push on. If there are no “good men” in the church, who knows, we just might find some in the world, I thought.
I grew up reading Pius Njawe and came to respect him a lot. When it came to opposing, the evils of this wicked regime, both Cardinal Tumi and Pius Njawe stood on the same pedestal, with the only difference being that Ahidjo and Biya in all their folly dreaded Tumi’s cassock. That spared Cardinal Tumi the over one hundred detentions and incarcerations that Mr Njawe suffered.
I took a bike to the headquarters of Le Messager Newspaper nearby. I climbed up the stairs of the tiny story building and announced myself. I was told Pius Njawe was not available but that someone would attend to me. I think the gentleman who received me was Alex Gustave Azebaze. He told me Pius Njawe left for the USA early that morning. My host was awed after listening to me. We exchanged contacts and he promised to get to me soon as his boss returned.
Disappointed, I put on hold the plan to meet with Severein Tchouenke of La Nouvelle Expression until after Mr Njawe’s. I was not ready for another disappointment. What a trip! Well, the call from Azebaze never came through because Pius Njawe never returned from the US; at least, not alive. God was telling me something but I was too stone deaf to hear.
He was showing me something, but I was too thickly veiled to see. It now is so clear. Sorry for the digressions; this is about the man of God, Tumi, but I hope you understand. You cannot pay tribute to a great man without alluding to other greats, especially his contemporaries.
Tumi, a Graciously Available Man
I found Cardinal Tumi to be a man most graciously available to serve. He didn’t turn down an invitation to any event where the truth was the main item on the menu. During the final build up to the 2016 education strike, the union, CATTU decided to celebrate its 20th anniversary. We picked out Christian Cardinal Tumi to be the keynote speaker at our event.
As he did not attend to his phone personally (I was told) at the time, I sent his invitation through the Bishop’s House in Bamenda and also put through calls via an intermediary. I was assured the invitation had been delivered several times. I kept trying to make sure though until I found out that it was not delivered. A few days to the celebration, I was moved to invite Rev. Fr. Tata Humphrey Mbuy to pray at the event alongside other men of God. He was embarrassed to find the Cardinal was scheduled to speak at the event.
Cardinal Tumi even as we spoke was driving to Kumba for an event and couldn’t possibly be in Bamenda within 48 hours, Father said. To make sure, Fr. Tata put through a call and the Cardinal picked on the first ring. He was en route to Kumba, he said. Great was his shock when Father told him he was scheduled to speak at our event on September 30.
When he got the topic he was supposed to speak on, he was flustered and told Fr. Tata he could have given up anything in the world to present that address. Could Father do something on his behalf at such short notice? As the court pleases, was Father’s attitudinal response. On the record, Fr. Tata Mbuy did produce and present a remarkable paper in less than 48 hours. Cardinal Tumi, a man so graciously available but made so scarce by some!
Lessons for the Church
Cardinal Tumi’s last days have greatly exposed a very fundamental weakness in the Body of Christ, that of allegiance. There is no Christian assembly in which God’s servants are not mandatorily or otherwise made to owe allegiance to their temporal spiritual leaders, and sometimes against the Word. This has made priests, and pastors to become weak amidst the weakness of their superiors. Who will contradict their prelate?
Who will speak when the Bishop, Moderator, General Overseer, General Superintendent, Senior Pastor etc out of fear, says “mute”? I tell you the truth; Cardinal Tumi’s ministry and unction went beyond the Catholic fold. Every single pastor, even the most Pentecostal, held him in awe. No anointed prophet of God in the Cameroons has been able to hold up their prophetic index finger as Tumi did to authority for over fifty years.
That is why his pronouncements and positions greatly handicapped the Church in Ambazonia during this crisis, whereas his usual charismatic strength and steadfastness would have greatly energized his brothers to stand firm with, and for their flock. The Church shall do God and His servant, Tumi, honor, by working on the latter’s last slip, using it to perfect self as She waits for her Groom.
At all times, obedience and allegiance should be owed God and not to the human vessels He uses. The sons of the prophet in the light of God’s Word should examine some positions and decisions taken by the prophet. No more pontifical infallibilities. Shall the Church (not the Catholic fold) sit up?
As for the servants of God who cowardly hid behind Cardinal Tumi’s old age vacillation not to speak out, that excuse has been withdrawn. You are now fully on your own. Assume your divine responsibilities.
Pleading Tumi’s Case
Shall one skin their father when, old, frail in his limbs and faculties, he defecates on himself? We pronounce a curse on ourselves if we do.
Shall the Lord punish his elect for wrongs committed in senility and under duress? The Lord is merciful and shall show compassion.
Playback in Heaven
Last night, I visualized a scene in heaven (not a vision). In it, Cardinal Tumi was shown a short clip of his last days. He watched and squinted, wiped his eyes and watched; an old man in a priestly cassock, putting on a royal Banso cap was standing at the entrance of a temple.
Faithful passed by in confusion, not knowing whether to go up to him for blessings or to keep the required comfortable distance in royal reverence. “Who is that man, Peter?” Tumi asked. “You, of course, Christian.” Answered the Apostle. Tumi, shocked, fired back; “Me? What happened?” Peter smiled.
Then a second slide came on. In it, a Bishop was lavishing praises on Tumi, canonizing him virtually. “Isn’t that the Archbishop of Yaoundé, Peter?” “That’s him alright.” Peter confirmed. “Why is he saying all these things about me? He never thought much of me, Peter. He actually said I was envious of their tribal fortune, reason why I condemned flawed elections, tribalism and corruption.” “Don’t listen to him Peter.” Again, Peter smiled.
Acclamations and Farewells
My solemn opinion; Christian Cardinal Wiyghan Tumi was a man of God, man of Truth. He lived for justice and peace until death. He probably did not say the things we wanted him to say the way we wanted him to enunciate them, but he said them the way only he could. If we play back those videos with attention, we will hear where he laid emphasis. For professional communicators, emphasis means everything. Are we together?
Cardinal Tumi was the priest everyone wanted to become but just could not. His calling was in the order of the Prophet Jeremiah; he cried out for repentance; from the mountaintop cried him out for justice for the orphans and widows, for the oppressed, for the fear of the Lord. He said doom was coming but the establishment will not pay heed.
Like Prophet Jeremiah, Tumi did not tire when Yaoundé refused to listen, and even when God’s wrath delayed to fall. He died still screaming for justice and peace even after God’s verdict had been cast, that the kingdom, Cameroun, is divided. He was a giant, as tall spiritually and morally as he was in stature.
He goes down in history as perhaps the only prelate in the Cameroons who protested on the streets against governmental wickedness and injustices. Like many of us, he really wanted to see this damned country work. Alas, the one and indivisible Cameroon is beyond salvage, not because Tumi did not try to make it work, but because….! Who can put together what God has put asunder?
Your name, Wiyghan, said everything; Visitor, Stranger. The visitor has returned home living behind elephantine prints. You, priest, prophet and pastor, shall forever be remembered for the good you represented, not for the slips caused by age, induced by political cowards. Even Elie Smith, Satan’s very agent, could not erase them.
For your courage, resilience and unwavering commitment to the truth and to justice, I give glory to the Most High God in whom alone, perfection and Excellency are found.
To the Land of your reward, Journeyman,
Fare thee well!
Ghan kedjum Ta’ah,
Ghan kedjum Ba’ah,
Ghan kedjum Wiyghan
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words. Jeremiah 19:15