This letter is addressed to all church leaders in Nigeria and all Christians, adherents, believers and all who love our country. I pray and hope it would be read by our revered general (Go on with one Nigeria) and noble statesmen like General Theophilus Danjuma, General (President) Obasanjo and others too numerous to mention. I have picked these few men because of the roles they played during the civil war and are still playing today.
In 1967, the church killed the church. In that year, the son of Anglican clergy-led others (Muslims and Christians) in fighting against the people of their faith. In that year, what mattered was not “faith ” but national unity. It was not particularly about the tribe (though the undertone was there). It was more about oil and who controls it. We all closed our eyes to faith and committed atrocities against people who shared the same beliefs as we do.
Many years after, we have since discovered that some of the men that fought with you on the federal side had Intentions different from your motivation. Faith which you thought was not an issue has since been raised to a standard higher than the constitution of the state. Our diversity has been so destroyed and mismanaged by the present regime (apologies to my Bishop Kukah). It is now glaring that the man who cried out that the military was destroying his “people” when they tried to put the jihadists in their place meant what he said. Before us, we have seen the ransacking of Indigenous communities, the massacre of communities, unprecedented violence and kidnappings. In so many instances, the church has been targeted and the government of the day is either sleeping or in deep slumber. I dare ask our revered Generals; “is this the Nigeria of your dream?” If it is not why are you quiet?.
I turn to you my admired and respected President Obasanjo (you have the singular honour of sending Goodluck Jonathan packing with your numerous and biting letters), Sir, what happened to your pen? Or are you doing esprit de corps with your fellow General? In Jonathan, corruption was an infant but today, corruption has become a national symbol and we have all closed our lips. Is there more to this silence? Recall that I said that in 1967, the church killed the church. Your activities or attempt to unite Nigeria has since been hijacked by die-hard Islamists and jihadists and you seem confused about what to tell us your followers. Agreed you were all young in 1967. Agreed you were inexperienced too but now you are full fathers and Elders. Some of you are pastors and Evangelists and have since taken your place as Elders at the gate. As 2023 approaches, does it disturb you that the church is about to be killed again by the church?
Last time, it was with guns that the church got killed, this time, it’s with PVC. After 8 years of the unfanciful rule of Buhari, an avowed Islamist, we have a Muslim/Muslim ticket and another candidate who deleted his sympathetic tweet about the callous and primitive killing of Deborah. The only candidate with a Christian leaning is being blackmailed as an Igbo project. The other 2 candidates are never referred to as Yoruba or Fulani projects. Sadly, the church is playing a “Judas” role again. First by the diviner Mbaka. I’ve always expressed my love and admiration for the Catholic Church. I appreciate their development strides but I wonder why and how a church that gave the world a Mother Theresa could keep quiet so long with a charlatan like Mbaka. I wonder what game his Bishop is playing with him. I suggest(since you seem not to know what to do with him, Bishop of Enugu Diocese,) send or request Rome to recall him. The request should have the following conditions: 1. Remove him from the pulpit permanently. 2. Place him to say the Rosery all the days of his life on earth. Soon you’ll see the big pastors placing ethnicity above their faith.
“We”, the people are watching to see if the support some GO’s given to this regime that has never hidden its lack of love for the church would be extended to Mr Peter Obi. For me, Peter Obi is not an Igbo Project (if he is one, does it matter?). For me, it’s about equity, competence, merit, national repair and restoration. The house built by our founding fathers has collapsed. We have never been this divided. Another 8 years of another Fulani or a Muslim would be the Nunc dismissal of this entity. I will not vote for Mr Obi because he is Igbo, NO. If Ngige or Amaechi or The 2 Apuleius in Ebonyi and Imo had come out as candidates, I would have declined to vote for them. I stand by Mr Obi because he represents a new Nigeria where merit counts. He and his Deputy have a cv that could inspire our teeming youths to greatness. They are not presenting us with some incredibly fictitious cv. How can a man answer Sadiq in one certificate and Abubakar in another? How can we be recycling looters and fantastically corrupt politicians because they come from the so-called “preferred” tribes and religions? Are we not tired of hearing snakes swallowing government money? Rats eating certificates? Military headquarters withholding a Generals credentials or even losing them? The irony of Nigeria is that those who grew up in the epicentre of the civil war hardly complain about missing certificates but those that grew up in safe havens are always giving excuses for rats, unknown soldiers or even ghosts snatching their documents.
When our youths do these shenanigans, we call them out, arrest them, and jail them as “yahoo boys”. Why do we condone yahoo men? Their type of yahoo is more dangerous than the boys. This coming election is an opportunity for the youths to send this yahoo man packing. I agree that you should stop your yahoo hustle but let’s join hands and retire every yahoo politician who has contributed to our national malady. Their activities are inimical to our future.
I am interested to see the role CAN would play in the 2023 election. This present leadership will show us if Faith is above tribe or otherwise. This is no “Kparakpo”, it’s rather a demonstration of our faith. Let’s see if the blood of Jesus we share is stronger than the biological and traditional bonds around us.
The Christians in the middle belt would also demonstrate how pained they are with the marauding herdsmen. The minority tribes would show us if they want a Nigeria where their children would live as free citizens or as slaves. The southern minorities too would demonstrate if the pillaging of their resources is all they desire. I am sending this mail to all my friends in Kaduna. You are indigenous but are treated as if you were imported from abroad. Those of you my friends and schoolmates from Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Kaduna, up to Borno, get your PVC. Don’t talk to anybody. Be quiet and possess your possession. I’m aware of the hurt of those our friends in Niger state and Zamfara. God will deliver you if you vote rightly. It is another endears. This time, the battle is with your PVC. Get it and do not sell it to any selfish politician. It is time to repay those who ordered the killing of the youths at the Lekki toll gate and left for France(the new Nigerian capital. London has played that role for 8 years) after the massacre.
If life is hard on you, refuse the temptation to sell your vote. The only sustainable solution is to be *Obi-died.* Together we shall recover our nation from those who bulkernised it.
Richard Ume JP, PhD.