By Sam Eyoboka
A SENIOR Anglican priest, Venerable Ben Nwanekwu has said that Nigerian Christians have them-selves to blame if anybody plans to Islamise the nation.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos ahead of the 60th anniversary of his church, the Vicar/Archdeacon of Saint Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos, argued that “Christians deserve whatever is happening to them today with regards to a plot to islamize the nation.”
According to him, Nigeria was a product of a deal between the Royal Niger Company and the Colonial government in England, stressing that the McPherson constitutions were presided over by Christians.
“It was the Christians them-selves, through Lord Luggard, that did amalgamation of northern and southern protectorates and gave that area out and said Islam should remain here while Christ-ians should get here. Soon after the amalgamation, there was a deliberate attempt to take Islam down to the South,” he stated, noting that “it took more than 100 years for Christianity to attempt to enter the North.
According to the former cha-plain of former Primate of the church, Archbishop Joseph Abio-dun Adetiloye (1988-1999), Christ-ianity simply refused to move at the pace that Islam was moving.
Narrating his experience when he accomplanied his principal to Lokoja, where the Union Jack was buried—the demarcation be-tween the Southern and Northern protectorates, there was no attempt by Christians to cross that confluence.
“Whatever was done in the North in terms of evangelism was carried out by Sudanese mission-aries who founded the ECWA Church. But the British, the Roman Catholic, the Anglican, the Baptist, the Methodist and all those that came felt comfortable in the South. They didn’t do any-thing.
“It’s like you are playing football with somebody and you are busy defending while your opponent is trying to score goal. You will remain defending forever until he scores his goal,” the priest main-tained, pointing out that Arch-bishop Adetiloye discovered this and promptly spoke to His Emi-nence Sunday Mbang, Anthony Cardinal Okogie and some others.
According to the priest, he accompanied his principal to Lokoja where they met Bishop Bako and some archaeologists who discovered the relics of the Union Jack believed to be the symbol of the agreement.
After the Union Jack was pulled out, “Adetiloye declared, that from today, we release the growth of Christianity in the northern part of Nigeria in the name of God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. This was in 1990.
“That same year, from nowhere, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke came from Germany. He said he was interested in Nigeria and went to Kano signalling the beginning of evangelism in the North. You know the story. And that was it, and the rest of the people started killing Christians,” he said.
On the 60th anniversary, he said his parish which has done several projects in its locale, was founded in August 24, 1957 and activities including a novelty match between 60+ of All Saints Church, Surulere and those of St. Bartholomew’s Church at Abalti Barracks Playing Ground on August 26.
“We are also having several seminars on August 26. One of the seminars will focus on the family and Evangelist (Mrs.) Enny will be coming. After that, on the same day, we will have another seminar led by Barr. Ladipo Johnson who will speak on the role of Christ-ians in politics.
According to him, on August 24, which is the patron saint’s day, “we are observing that day eccle-siastically and our bishop will be here to confirm some members of the parish, young people and adults. After, we prepare for the thanksgiving service on Sunday 27.
“Our believe is that the con-firmation should be separate from the thanksgiving service because that day is a day when the bishop lays his hands on members who are trying to be full members of the church. On Sunday, August 27, the church will have a combined service at 8.00 a.m. and we intend to celebrate it by coming together, singing unto the Lord.
“It’s not a Holy Communion service; it’s a matching service so that everybody can participate. And on that day, the preacher is Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo Asaju, the Vice Chancellor of Crowther Univer-sity, Oyo.
At the end of the church service, there’s going to be banquet, and that banquet is a buffet, not mainly for the church members alone but for the community.