By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Former Minister of Aviation and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Femi Fani-Kayode has called on the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi to summon the courage to speak truth to power at all times, rather than asking Nigerians to remain silent.
Fani-Kayode stated this in a widely circulated piece on Monday in his reaction to Kumuyi’s admonition to Christians on Sunday not to criticize President Muhammadu Buhari and other elected office holders in the land.
The cleric was quoted as telling worshipers in church: “Don’t attack the President of the country whether in words or in the newspapers or through internet. Honour kings; don’t disrespect or dishonour governors. Don’t disrespect leaders of the community and leaders in the church.”
In a swift reaction however, the former Minister wondered what would become of the nation if Nigerians refuse to speak up on what he called the various atrocities going on in the country.
“Pastor William Kumuyi, who says we should not attack President Muhammadu Buhari, has much to learn. If the world had remained silent in the face of Hitler’s Nazis, we would not be here today,” he said.
Quoting biblical figures to fault Kumuyi’s directive, the PDP chieftain argued that the world would have been worse for it were it not for the courage of men, who driven by the fear of God, challenged the authorities in their time and damned the consequences.
He continued: “If Moses had remained silent in the face of Pharaoh’s tyranny, the Jews would still be slaves in Egypt. If Elijah and Jehu had remained silent in the face of Jezebel’s tyranny, Israel would never have been delivered. If Peter had remained silent in the face of Herod’s tyranny, he would never have left prison.
“If Samuel had remained silent in the face of Agag and the Amalekites, the Jews would have been decimated. If Esther had remained silent in the face of Haman, the Jewish race would have been wiped out. If Hezekiah had remained silent in the face of Sennacherub, Jerusalem would have fallen.
“The Bible tells us that we must resist evil, oppose injustice, stand up for the oppressed, liberate the downtrodden, speak for the voiceless, defend the persecuted, inspire the faithful and set the captives free. Has Kumuyi forgotten all that?”
According to him, “hundreds of people are being slaughtered every day and genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder are alive and well in our shores and someone is telling us not to attack the man that is responsible for it by his actions and inactions?
“More Nigerians have been slaughtered by Islamist terrorists and ISIS-backed Fulani militias in the last four years in our country than at any other time in our history other than during the civil war. Yet this man says we must keep quiet and not speak out?
“Are we to say that the Afghan people were wrong for opposing their Taliban government and removing them? Are we to say that the Biafrans were wrong for opposing genocide against their people before and during the Nigerian civil war? Are we to say the people of southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt are wrong for resisting slavery, terror, bondage and servitude? Are we to say that the people of the core north are wrong for speaking out against mass murder and ethnic cleansing by Boko Haram and Fulani militias?
“Is it wrong for our people to speak out when a Presidential election is rigged, when their candidate is robbed, when their aspirations are rubbished and when their dreams are destroyed?
He called on Nigerians to take advantage of the levers of democracy to constructively criticize the Buhari-led government, saying doing that was one way of keeping the government on its toes.