Outside looking in

August 13, 2017

Of church and carnage


St. Philip Catholic Church, Umuezekwe Ofufe, Amakwa Ozubulu, attacked by gunmen, yesterday. Right: Blood stains after the killings in the church.

By Denrele Animasaun

The church, it seem is no longer a spiritual refuge and sanctity for the faithful and the weary. In Ozubulu they witnessed an unmentionable carnage at weekend and regardless of the numbers of people mindlessly gunned down, it was tragic and a senseless waste of lives.  Innocent lives died in what the Governor of the state, confirmed was the outcome of a drugs war between two drug barons from Ozubulu, in what seem to be over a debt arising from drugs deal.  They went looking for a drug known as “Bishop” but not finding him home, the gunmen went to the church with intention of settling the score; they saw instead his father and emptied their bullets on everyone in the church. The church’s benefactor happens to be the 36 years old ‘Bishop’ and the high chief of the town.

The town seems to have benefitted from the generosity of the same man who very much bank rolled the church, the paved roads and the only bank building in the town.

It seems no one question the sudden wealth and generosity of this young man. Surely they must know how he came by his wealth or they pretended not to know as long as he maintained the town and spread his wealth to include buying cars for the clergy.  I understand the apologists cannot see anything wrong in this because he brought his wealth home? What lessons are we teaching our young?

The discussion in the social media has been if it is right to condone the source of the wealth of the benefactor of the church and so it is right to accept such gift from such a person? There is displacement of mortality here as there are people who believe that the source of the wealth is mere circumstance because this individual improved his community. No wonder, we have hoodlums and looters in high office because, people worship money rather than encourage and nurture good character and honesty.

We need to face the truth, what happened on Sunday in Ozubulu is typical of many places in Nigeria. This is not political or tribal this is the honest truth but some Nigerians cannot face the truth. So they start blaming other people and deny such crime could have been committed in their community.  Some of the loud ones have kept tight lip unable to admit that this happen too close to home or in their back yard. They say show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. Gone are the days when hard work and hard earned money was appreciated and respected.  The days when your good name says a lot about the character of the person rather than how much one can bedazzle and buy a community. The faith groups, elders, traditional leaders, politicians and the families are all culprits as they respect money over good reputation and hard work.  What a waste and a society have misplaced its moral compass.

Buhari and his absence.

The talk of president Buhari’s health has kept the rumour mill going on overdrive. The mischievous gossips and naysayers have some dark imagination and unfortunately, so believe the drivel hook, line and sinker. When did we become so mean spirited and without conscience?

It seems the vultures are circling and have taken to protesting: We calling for the President to either resume or resign

They have taken to ” #ResistOrResign: Seriously, a lone protester is placarding his London residence. How low can get? They say:”It’s quite unacceptable that the leader of the most populous African nation in the world would leave the country and go sit down in the UK, on account of a health issue that is unknown to Nigerians”.

I undertand, that we had previously had a head of state who was very sick and kept on working  rather than deputies so to look after his health.  Yes, Nigerians were kept in the dark then but now, this president made provisions so that there is no vacuum and a very capable acting president is at the helm for continuity. What else do they want? This time around, this president has kept everyone up to date but it does not seem to satisfy some camp.  It seems there are some power hungry mischief makers.

What have we done with our morality and modicum of decency? Where did it go and what do we tell the young people that the president’s ill health is fair game? It is a shame and deplorable act.

It says a lot about the people that peddle falsehood and if they can do it to the President of Nigeria, then anyone is fair game. The president is not the first president in the world to spend time off looking after his or her health and he won’t be the last. We know that other African Heads of State have had to take some time out to get medical treatment; the Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe both spent time in Spain and Singapore for medical treatment.

The president’s astute decision to leave at the helm a steady and principled man is laudable and there is no power vacuum with a capable and trusted lieutenant.  Of course, decent Nigerians are concerned and they want the president to return home, hale and hearty.