Catholic Bishops of Cameroon’s Bamenda Province Decry Drug Abuse, Violence in Schools

Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province (BAPEC). Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops who are part of Cameroon's Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province have, in a collective message, decried the increasing cases of drug abuse and violence in schools in the Central African nation.

In their Sunday, August 21 statement, members of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) urge the government to “intensify sensitization on the damaging effects of indulging in the abuse of drugs and in violence.”

They express concern about “the growing frequency of drug abuse and violence registered in schools all over the Country in the course of the 2021/2022 School Year.”

“Such acts of self-destruction can seriously compromise the attainment of the goals of education in schools,” the Catholic Bishops of the five Episcopal Sees located in the Cameroon’s Anglophone regions say.

In their collective statement that the Catholic Church leaders at the helm of Bamenda Archdiocese and the Dioceses of Kumbo, Kumba, Mamfe and Buea Dioceses issued at the end of the 73rd BAPEC meeting, they advocate for “a holistic approach that engages all the stakeholders in the domain of education.”


They urge the government to “intensify sensitization on the damaging effects of indulging in the abuse of drugs and in violence, and also reinforce the application of measures aimed at preventing the sale, circulation and use of illegal drugs.”

“All distribution units should be identified and closed down,” BAPEC members say.

Describing parents as “the primary and principal educators of their children”, the Catholic Bishops invite them to become “more vigilant and to accompany their children along the path of their growth and personality development.” 

“This necessarily requires an effective presence in the life of their families and close collaboration with schools,” BAPEC members say in their 13-point statement shared with ACI Africa.

They further say, “Educational institutions need to adopt special programs for sensitization and psychosocial support.”

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“Young people should reject every inducement to these deleterious practices and respond to the call to become the evangelizers of their peers. No one can do this better than they,” the Catholic Church leaders say.

They call upon those involved in youth ministry in the Catholic Dioceses in their Province to “intensify catechesis and pastoral care of the youth.”

The Catholic Bishops lament the protracted conflict in the country’s Anglophone regions, including “the piteous and distressing cries of anguish”, which they say they hear every day as a result of “banditry, kidnapping, assassination, lynching, armed robbery, and the reckless use of force by some armed groups and some security agencies.” 

“These ignoble acts are a violation of the Commandments of God: You shall not steal; You shall not kil,” BAPEC members say in the August 21 statement.

They emphasize the dignity of the human person created in God's image and likeness and the sacredness and inviolability of human life, and reiterate their “call for dialogue, and their condemnation of violent methods of resolving disputes, because violence begets violence.” 


“Evidence from all over the world demonstrates that violence usually leads to greater suffering than the ones it was supposed to remove – those who take the sword will perish by the sword,” the Catholic Bishops say.

They add, “It is not to be expected that everyone will always agree on every question, even the most fundamental ones.” 

“Authentic social dialogue, which involves the ability to respect the other's point of view and to admit that it may include legitimate convictions and concerns, is the surest path to durable peace,”  BAPEC members further say.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.