Matters Arising from alleged “Suicide” of the Bishop of Bafia Diocese, Central Region, la république du Cameroun.
A Catholic priest and long time confidante of the Bishop of Bafia, Mgr. Benoit Balla, has taken exception to reports that the Bishop committed suicide.
Bishop Balla reportedly left Bafia at 11:00 pm on Tuesday.
His car was found parked on the Sanaga bridge the following day, on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017.
His ID card alongside his car documents were found on the back seat of his vehicle with a suicide note stating that he was in the river. (“Je suis dans l’eau”).
But Reverend Father Constant Amombo who has worked with Monsignor Balla for over 17 years has challenged the “suicide” hypothesis and wants answers to the following questions:
1-Mgr Balla was widely known to oppose night travel and barred priests in his diocese from travelling at night.
Isn’t it strange that he woke the night watchman at 11:00 pm to open him the gate for him to travel at night?
2- Mgr Balla like all Bishops had a gun permit and reportedly carried a pistol for his personal safety.
If he had decided to take his own life; why drive over 60 km whereas, he could have just shot himself in the confines of his bedroom?
3- Mgr Balla, from all accounts dating back to his days as a seminarian was an expert swimmer and swimming was one of his main hobbies.
Is it possible for an expert swimmer to willfully drown?
4- Mgr Balla’s car was parked on the Sanaga bridge a couple of yards from the gendarmerie brigade.
How come the gendarmes were not aware that a car was parked on the bridge until after mid-day?
5- Is the mysterious “suicide” of Mgr Balla somehow connected to the mysterious death of the Rector of the Bafia seminary, who was found dead in his bedroom on May 10; three weeks earlier?
To which could be added: where was the Bishop’s driver and why did the night watchman not raise the alarm once the Bishop failed to return in the morning?
Have the police interrogated the night watchman?
Mgr Samuel Kleda Metropolitan arch-Bishop of Douala and President of the National Episcopal Council added fuel to the conspiracy theories by issuing a statement declaring Mgr Balla “missing” instead of dead.
Cameroonians need answers to these questions.