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February 25, 2024

Banditry is God’s punishment for the North — Archbishop Chukwuma

Banditry is God’s punishment for the North — Archbishop Chukwuma

By Dennis Agbo

Emeritus Archbishop of Enugu Anglican Diocese, Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Chukwuma, who, just retired from priesthood, in an interview with Vanguard, said what is happening now in the whole of northern Nigeria – banditry, kidnappings etc – is God’s punishment for what they did to Igbo people.

Excerpts:

What do you think is the reason General Yakubu Gowon is yet to say something about the Civil War?
Gowon is very apologetic and that was why he started ‘Nigeria Praise’ and we have to commend him for that. That ‘Nigeria Praise’ was to revive the spirit of the people back from the Civil War and to reconcile people back to God and to go on with one Nigeria.

Igbo people say they expect Gowon to tender an open apology and he has not done that…

Well, he has done it many times when he was doing ‘Nigeria Praise’; when he was moving around, he apologized but that’s not enough. The thing is that the Nigeria government should do that because the Nigeria Civil War dealt with us in Asaba, it was a real genocide and we’re asking for apology and more compensation as they do in other places. What is happening now in the whole of northern Nigeria – the banditry, kidnappings etc – is God’s punishment for what they did to us, yes! And until they apologize and ask for forgiveness, at no time will this banditry, kidnapping and killings stop. The blood of innocent people is crying and that’s what you are seeing there. So until they apologize and make some restitution, the banditry and mayhem you have in the North will not stop.

What is your message to Nigeria as you bow out of priesthood?

Nigeria should be a country for all of us, not a country for just one person. There should be no segregation, nobody should be neglected, and there should be equal rights and justice. Equity and justice must prevail. The Igbo must be given the same opportunity to serve Nigeria and corruption must cease. We must stop deceit in government. Parliament has been turned into a self-centered composition; there should be no sycophancy in government. Something must be done to save Nigeria from calamity.