From Ndimbie Usman in Bamenda
At least four thousands Christians from different denominations across the country on Saturday February 22 attended the canonical possession of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bamenda by its new spiritual leader, His Grace Andrew Nkea Fuanya.
Archbishop Nkea told the crowd that as he begins his new spiritual assignment, he remains a messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He insisted that anything other than the gospel of Jesus Christ will be a distraction.
“Bamenda Archdiocese here I come. I come to you as a Shepherd, not as a politician. I come to you as a priest, not as businessman. I come to you as a father, not as policeman. I come to you as a messenger of peace not as a war monger. I come to you as a crusader of justice, not as a supporter of unjust systems and mis-philosophies. I come to you in spirit and in truth, not in flesh and with lies. I come to you in the name of Jesus,” Archbishop Nkea told the mammoth crowd in attendance.
The new occupant of St. Peter’s Chair in the Bamenda Archdiocese said his three main duties shall be to preach the gospel.
“My first duty is to preach the gospel. My second duty is to preach the gospel and my third duty is to preach the gospel. Any other thing outside preaching the gospel is mere distraction,” the Archbishop reiterated.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Julio Murat, read the message of peace as the Papal Bull and Decree that appointed Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya, Archbishop of Bamenda Archdiocese. The Apostolic Nuncio reiterated the need for genuine dialogue in solving problems. The apostolic nuncio said, “nothing is lost with peace but all is lost with war”.
As the representative of the Pope in Cameroon, Julio Murt supervised the passing of the Crozier, a pastoral staff from Bishop Esua to Nkea as the Archbishop of Bamenda. Esua is now the emeritus Archbishop of Bamenda.
Father Paul Verdzekov was the pioneer Archbishop of Bamenda. His reign ended in 2005 when Bishop Cornelius Fontem Esua was appointed. Now Andrew Fuaya Nkea has stepped in to replace Cornelius.
Members of government, diplomats and other high profile personalities attended the occasion. Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Nji Atanga, represented President Biya at the occasion.
The Most Rev. Dr. Andrew Nkea Fuanya, was born on 29 August 1965, in Widikum, Momo division of the North West Region. He was born to a former sanitary inspector
The Young Nkea started his priestly journey at the St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary, STAMS, in Bambui, Bamenda. He was ordained a Priest in 1992 in the Buea Diocese. The late Bishop Emeritus, Pius Suh Awa conducted the ritual. Nkea has spent 6 years of his life as a Bishop. He has been a priest for over 26 years. He was the second Bishop of the newly created diocese of Mamfe after Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge.
Nkea holds a Doctorate degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, Italy. He has served in several administrative and priestly missions. He was Curate at St. John Bosco Parish, Mbonge, Parish Priest of St. Luke’s Parish, Nyandong, 1994 – 1995, Chancellor, Buea Diocese from 1995 – 1999 and from 2003 – 2007.He Lecturer Canon Law at John Paul II Institute of Theology, JOPASIT, Buea between 2007 and 2010.
In 2011, His Excellency Nkea was Defender of the Bond at the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of First Instance of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda. He has been a member of the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of Faith of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon since 2007.
He was appointed pioneer Registrar of CATUC IN 2010. By 2011, His Grace Andrew Nkea was the Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal of First Instance for the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda. In the same year, he was voted pioneer President of the Central African Association of Canon Law in Yaoundé. In the meantime, he is still the apostolic administrator of the Mamfe Diocese pending the appointment of a new Bishop.