The Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, has broken the silence over a recent shooting in one of its churches in Bali, North West region of Cameroon yesterday Sunday, August 22.
Reacting to the incident that left a church member, Grace Titalabit dead and the pastor, Rev. Voma Simon Montoh wounded on the arm, PCC Moderator, Rt. Reverend Samuel Fonki Forba said the Synod Committee Executive is “deeply embarrassed and troubled at the barbaric torture that God’s children have been subjected to…”
“What is even more frustrating is the hardening of hearts, despite repeated appeals of a ceasefire to both the Government of Cameroon and the ‘Ambazonian’ Separatist militia who have taken up arms on our people,” he noted.
With both sides unyielding to the numerous calls for peace, those who suffer most, the religious authority said, remain “the innocent civilians whose freedom has been stifled by the numerous lockdowns and ghost towns. The innocent civilians are targeted by both parties; they are usually arrested and detained unlawfully, injured, murdered, kidnapped for ransoms, molested and raped, and children are denied the basic right to education.”
In his release, the PCC Moderator recounted the church’s version of the Sunday incident, blaming it on the antagonism between separatist fighters and the Cameroonian army.
Church service at the Presbyterian Church Ntanfoang, he stated, was on Sunday interrupted by gunshots.
“The Pastor of the congregation who doubles as the Presbyterial Secretary for Bali Presbytery, the Rev. Voma Simon Montoh was on duty ministering to the Christians in Church when suddenly there was a loud explosion outside close to the Church House, followed by random gun shots,” the release read.
“…in the course of this reckless shooting,” the statement read further, “we learnt that bullets were rained on the Church house injuring the Rev. Voma Simon Montoh on the arm and killing a female Christian of the PCC by name Grace Titalabit instantly in Church”.
The Christians, Rt. Rev Samuel Fonki narrated, ferried the dead Christian and their Pastor to the hospital. “The Pastor received a surgical removal of the bullet and at the moment of this communiqué is now recovering from the health challenge, shock and trauma.”
Calls for ceasefire, investigation
“We therefore condemn in strongest terms this unnecessary and inhuman treatment meted on God’s children by those who are supposed to protect them,” said the prelate.
The PCC, its Moderator stated, maintains its position – a call for unconditional ceasefire by both parties. It also cited its wish for a proper investigation to be “conducted by the government and other International Bodies and those responsible be brought to book.”
“While the PCC mourns its beloved Christian and prays for the speedy recovery of her Pastor, our hope remains in God who assures us of a time of peace… May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” he urged Christian faithful.
The Moderator of the PCC is one of others to react to the horrific incident. Many have since called on government to bring the perpetrators of the act to book. Ironically, government and security forces have maintained sealed lips over the incident.