Jesuit Father Ludovic Lado at the beginning of his pilgrimage for peace in Cameroon. He was arrested near the beginning of his journey and accused of carrying out an illegal activity on a public road. (Credit: Facebook.)

Jesuit priest arrested before ‘pilgrimage for peace’ in Cameroon

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon Crux | A Jesuit priest attempting a pilgrimage for peace in Cameroon was detained by police, who accused him of “an illegal activity on a public road.”

Father Ludovic Lado left Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, on Oct. 12 on a motorbike to Japoma, where he was set to begin his 10-day walking pilgrimage to Yaoundé, the national capital.

“It wasn’t easy getting to the starting point especially given that kids were going back to school. And I could not help thinking about the thousands of school children who won’t still be going to school in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions,” he said.

The priest’s pilgrimage was meant to facilitate prayer for peace in the country, especially to the troubled English-speaking North West and South West regions, which has been plagued by fighting between the government and separatist rebels for over three years.

However, the priest was stopped and arrested by police in Edea, just 30 miles from Douala.

“There were about eight police officers who took us to their station,” Ludovic recalled.

He said the police wanted to know the purpose of his walk, and whether it had any political undertones. They asked him if he was an apologist for opposition leader, Maurice Kamto.

Kamto was put under de facto house arrest after leading demonstrations against the administration of President Paul Biya, who has ruled Cameroon since 1982.

Security forces violently suppressed the Sept. 22 protests and arrested over 600 demonstrators.

Ludovic said he told the police he was on “a pilgrimage for peace in Cameron, especially in the North West and South West Regions.”

The priest said he further told the police that he was apolitical, although as a citizen, he has a right to political opinions. He also noted that a pilgrimage like the one he was carrying out is a normal religious practice and therefore not subject to any authorizations.

??The Church is not above the law,” Ludovic recalled the police commissioner telling him, adding that priest was carrying out “an illegal activity on a public road.”

The priest and a photographer accompanying him were then loaded into a police van and taken towards Yaoundé, where he went through another interrogation.

He was eventually returned to Douala with no charges filed against them.

Despite the intimidating tactics, Ludovic says he won’t be cowed into silence.

“Fear is a bad thing, and I do not intend to live the rest of my life on earth like a slave. The freedom of the children of God is a divine right,” the priest said. “As soon as I settle some details with my religious hierarchy, I intend to continue to enjoy my civil and political rights.”

His pilgrimage has the theme “Where is your brother?” – the same question God put to Cain after he murdered Abel – and applying it to Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis.

“Yes, where are our North West and South West brothers and sisters? Some died, often in atrocious conditions; others remained in the country but are dispersed in our towns and countryside, often at our doorsteps; still others have taken refuge outside the country. Most are in the North West and South West regions where their dignity is tested daily by precariousness. In the face of all of this, I am unable, as a pastor, to rest. I have therefore decided to undertake this pilgrimage which I offer to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, justice, reconciliation and mercy,” he wrote in an Oct. 10 letter announcing his pilgrimage.

“I am walking to pray and plead on the one hand for dialogue, justice, peace and reconciliation in the North-West and South-West of Cameroon and on the other hand to do penance for the reparation of crimes against human dignity committed in these regions. I walk so that human blood stops flowing in our country.”

The crisis began in 2017, after teachers and lawyers went on strike over perceived attempts by the central government to assimilate the common law and English education systems Cameroon’s Anglophone regions inherited from their previous British colonial government. The rest of Cameroon is Francophone, and inherited France’s civil code legal system, and French educational system.

The strikes were violently supressed, giving rise to a separatist movement attempting to establish an independent state to be known as Ambazonia.

At least 3000 people have been killed in the conflict, and more than a million forced from their homes.

“I walk in solidarity with the internally displaced and the refugees of this useless war. I walk to exorcise in me and in us the demon of indifference,” Ludovic wrote.

“I walk so that Cameroonians may again freely exercise their constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate,” the priest added.

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11 comments

  1. The equatorial guallists are detaining a jesuit priests in Edea meanwhile their cousins, the odeshi tropical anglo-saxons are torturing the faithful in Kumbo.

    Werengang has abandoned that land. may our ancestors reclaim it and cast out these colonial carbon copies killing us from north to south and east to west.

  2. Ambas would say this man of god is a Ntongtuh man, hence he doesn’t qualify to fight for Anglos.

    I many a time dream of having free access into the brains of some of these guys and understand what goes on there upstairs.

    Maybe I am too retarded to understand the issues at stake!

    Me too ah dong turn-turn hear bad for dis grong oh…

    • ZZ,

      You go kill me with laugh this morning o!

      How you want access odeshi brain wey queen eli for ingland don build monument inside?

      You go get to pass na jump all that head and blood wey Tapang Ivo, Mark Babababareka, Witch Dr Cho Ayaba, rev big coat Sako Ikome, bumbu mop chris Anu, Emmanuel Ndong aka capo daniel aka ngong dog, mukanjo Akwanga Ebenezer, don cut and killam.

      you no fit enter that brain if taa bah acho never wash you fine with that betta ngrimba…

      may the ancestors save us!

      BREAKING NEWS!

      UNSTOPPABLE e nurse don chook e that merecine for e kata kata head…kikikikikikik

      • Ifi dis ting no be na poh-poh witch, den na wukan ting nor BrothaJoe?

        Dem di only tok sey, Laripohblik, laripohblik, bot when you ask dem wehti be the wahala norr, wai?

        You di daso hear kan-kan answers. Some wan go tok sey Foumban, arda wan go complain sey petrol…then the most mbutuku wan go sey meik dem comot for wa kontri.

        Hooooulilililili, man hear ng’euh pass me for dis grong ah die…

  3. Voilá le Cameroun, le pays de l’emergence.

    Félicitations Paul Biya, ta mission de détruire et d’anéantir la terre de nos ancêtres est accomplie.

    Il ne nous reste que les larmes.

  4. @Zam-Zam ”Kikikiki”…….Are u sure this your laghter is real? LRC’s army in our territory is a typical example of what we called army of occupation.C.D.C is down,Pamol is down.LRC is not getting a dime from C.D.C. and Pamol.We have burnt down SONARA.We are still planning to do more damage to SONARA.All international companies in Ambasonia has ran out of business.LRC is not making any money in terms of tax revenue in Ambasonia.Their army in our land cannot stay there forever,thats for sure.Biya will withdraw them whether he likes it or not.At least we have done the essentials.80 percent of the job have been done already.Our fighters just need to make sure that C.D.C and Pamol do not go back to business.You can keep your army there for all i care..Make man n,o run…

    • Kongosa,

      I hope your odeshi gods are pleased with the 7 children your cult slaughtered in Kumba.

      Your cult has this notion that the north west and south west regions of cameroon belong to them. Sorry cultist, it doesn’t and you’ll have to earn it. Keep on pushing the limits of your blood-thirst and wickedness. In time you’ll understand the people of that land were there before your masters in ingland came to charm your kind.

      drink a nigerian beer to celebrate your work last night. you no go see better for this life.

  5. @Brothajoe Like i said,You are just saying things here to console yourself.That is what America said,during the war in Afghanistan.They consoled themselves that they had dismantlled the Talibans.But about 10 years in the war,they started thinking of withdrawing their troops and left the land to the owners…LRC will withdraw her troops and leave the land to Ambaboys…Trust Me….What i am happy about,is the fact that LRC is not getting the revenue they used to get from Ambasonia…More over,they can’t dare try to reconstruct,becos Ambaboys will destroy it…They will withdraw their troops from Ambasonia,trust me…

    • Kongosa,

      Your cultists are not the Taliban. Your cultists in maryland are busy drinking mimbo and eating achu in circuits during a pandemic.

      You are not capable of fighting. In fact, your cult has no sense of direction besides making money for the crooks who pay you to talk big.

      If you have the guts go find in kumbo or mamfe. you’re flesh eating cultist and sound like one.

      Do not insult the taliban.

    • Brother KONGOSA I like the line where you say LRC is no longer getting the resources they use to get from Ambazonia. Taxes, Timber, Rubber etc all things of the past. They are still getting crude oil though but that will soon stop

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