By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor, says he believes in one Nigeria but at the same time warns it should not be pursued at all costs.
Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, while speaking on the state of the nation, said that a lot of things had gone wrong in Nigeria, including veiled Islamisation, while people who agitated for freedom and independence were harassed, persecuted and even killed.
He said: ‘That I believe in one Nigeria does not mean I will support evil or close my eyes to the maltreatment of a section of the country and labelling of those asking for their rights and independence as terrorists.
I will never believe in one Nigeria where monkey dey work, baboon dey chop.
‘I believe in one Nigeria, but not at all costs. In all, we still have to thank God for our country, Nigeria. Attaining 61 as a nation calls for thanksgiving,’ he added.
He believed there was still hope for the country despite the myriads of problems bedeviling the nation if they were backed by prayers.
According to him, with quality leadership, things will change for good because, as the late Prof Chinua Achebe said, Nigeria’s problem is a problem of leadership.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who said that bad leadership had subjected the masses into abject penury, and state of hopelessness, however said things could still be remedied if adequate leadership would be put in place.
He accused the Federal Government of insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians, noting that the insensitivity of the leaders had got to the level everyone should speak out.
He lamented further, ‘This is the time we all need to pour out our minds. Things are not being done right at all times. The level of hardship in this country is indescribable. Leadership ineptitude has turned all of us into wailers. People are suffering on a daily basis. I will continue to talk. If they do well, my talk will reduce. Nigeria is for all of us. No one should play God or believe that others are second and third class citizens,’ he said.
He described as veiled, the Islamization agenda going on in the country, and anyone who is still doubting the glaring truth is still living in a fool’s paradise.
‘The programme of Islamization of Nigeria is ongoing. There is no gainsaying the fact. Nigeria is a secular state and we have two major religions in this country; Christianity and Islam. The two religions and others should be allowed to be. Any attempt to force a particular religion on the people will be resisted by Nigerians,’ Bishop Ezeokafor stated.
He also decried the Federal Government’s borrowing spree, saying it was pure enslavement and tantamount to mortgaging the future of the poor masses, especially the future of the children yet unborn.
On the Anambra election, he expressed serious concern on what he described as unbelievable desperation of some politicians, noting that there were those who did not have any business contesting the election but were there to play the spoiler’s role, as well as to cause confusion and division.