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Cameroon:Huge challenges awaiting new Buea Bishop

His Lordship Michael Bibi Miabesue now has his hands firm on the Crosier with full powers to shepherd his sheep to the Promised Land.

His early days in the Diocese of Buea as Apostolic Administrator had raised some dust on his competence to handle certain issues but that has now finally been laid to rest with his appointment as Bishop on January 5 and installation last weekend.

With question marks on his legitimacy brushed aside, Bishop Bibi now has a plethora of issues before him to put straight in his pastoral mission to steer the sheep of the Diocese of Buea.

Completion of the Co-Cathedral

Bishop Michael Bibi’s installation in an uncompleted Divine Mercy Co-Cathedral in Molyko Buea last Friday was a moment of celebration but would immediately cast a worry in the prelate’s mind.

The venue was not befitting of the event and he will certainly know he has to roll up his sleeves to ensure the project which has absorbed millions of FCFA is soon complete.

Last year when he arrived the Diocese of Buea, there were rumours and reports of embezzlement around the project which has stalled for years but the man of God has since decided to start on a clean slate.

“…what I noticed is that there was a lack of confidence as far as the project is concerned. That is according to what people told me, that there has been a lot of mismanagement of the funds that were raised and of course as a Bishop you will want to trust that if you give responsibility to any priest or lay person to carry out, they will do it with selflessness. But it happened along the line that contributions of the people were given and the money was not properly used. People took money to supply materials but they did not supply and because of that, we are where we are today,”Bishop Bibi said during an exclusive interview with Cameroon Insider last April in Buea.

“ It is my prayer and wish that I have a very close follow up to make sure that the contributions given are used for the purpose,” the prelate said.

Spiritual Life Of Christians

Completing the Co-Cathedral is good but building the spiritual life of Christians of the Diocese of Buea is even better. That is the main mission of the Mgr Michael Bibi as Bishop of a Diocese that just clocked seventy years on April 18, 2020. Among the 36 parishes that make up the Diocese, the Deanery of Muyuka has presented the biggest challenge in the past years especially with the socio political situation. This is the main reason why Mgr Bibi paid more attention to Muyuka when he first arrived the Diocese.

“Going (to Muyuka) within this difficult period, my aim and my intention (was) first of all to encourage the priests who are there and also to let the Christians know that despite these difficult moments, God is still with us because God never abandons his people,” the Bishop told Cameroon Insider last year.

With activities returning to normal in Muyuka and several affected areas of the Diocese, the new Bishop has the task to remobilize Christians and bring back life to these areas in all spirituality.

Reform Educational System

While focusing on the spiritual lives of the Christians in Muyuka and the Diocese as a whole, the prelate will equally have to put a firm hand on the educational system. Some schools in the Diocese shut their others while others relocated in the past years but it is now time to rebuild and reform. Bishop Bibi to return the Saint Joseph’s College from Small Soppo back to its campus in Sasse at the start of the 2020/2021 academic year and that was done. But some schools in the Diocese like Our Lady of Grace Muyuka are still to begin functioning. He has already made sweeping changes at the Catholic University Institute of the Diocese of Buea but will still has a job to follow up the institution to ensure it returns to its initial objectives at creation.

Among the other daunting tasks that await the new Bishop of Buea will be to win the confidence of the Christians in order to enable them (financially) contribute to the growth of the Diocese, improve on the spiritual life of priests in the Diocese as well handle communities installed within the Diocese without legal status.

Published on 05.05.2023

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