- Category: ARTICLES
- Sunday, 29 April 2012
- By Fr. Emefiena Ezeani
Igbo Leaders, Igbo Politicians or Igbo Hired Men? & Christian Leaders, Christian Politicians or Christian Hired Men? I am a Catholic priest. I have just finished a Mass during which I read today’s Gospel where the Master has addressed these words to His followers called Christians, who include Bishops, Priests, Governors, Senators, etc:
‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep” (John 10:11-18).
What does a shepherd mean, and who is a shepherd? A shepherd means a person who cares for, protects, guides, or watches over someone or group of people. If you are a President, Governor, Senator, Priest or Bishop, or a Teacher, you are a shepherd of the people.
I am not going to write much; I am simply going to ask a few questions. We are all familiar with constant bombings in the North of Nigeria by Boko Haram, with Christian places of worship being clear primary targets. Yes, I hear you saying to me: Police Barracks and Media Houses etc. are also their ‘primary’ targets.
My first sets of questions are: Can people not see that these other places are collateral ‘victims’ of the Boko Haram’s primary objective? Do Christians in Nigeria not think that the Muslim North, or at least a group of Northern Muslims, have declared Jihad against Christianity in Nigeria ? Has Boko Haram, thanks to their being truthful, not made it unequivocally clear that their ultimate intention is to Islamise the whole Nigeria ? Is it all right to accept this maxim: ‘First fool, no bi fool, second fool, na proper foolish?’ Are some people still in doubt that Northern Muslims do not want the Igbo, other Southerners, and Northern Christians in the Northern part of Nigeria ?
The BBC has reported today’s (Sunday) bombing in Kano thus: “The attack took place in one of the lecture theatres used as a place of worship by Christians … the attackers may have targeted Christians.” Please, permit me to be a bit sectional which, however, is a factual representation: We know that any place in the North where Christians gather, about 95% is Igbo.
Let me keep to my words; I am not going to write much. However, I am worried by the disturbing and deafening silence. HOW MANY TIMES MORE? I ask myself.
Please, my last questions:
(1) As an Igbo Governor or Senator, are you a good shepherd, one who lays down his life for his sheep, or a hired man who has to please someone to gain something?
(2) As a Christian Governor or Senator, are you a good shepherd, one who lays down his life for his sheep, or a hired man who has to please someone to gain something?
(3) As a Priest or Bishop (Catholic, Anglican, etc.), am I a good shepherd, one who lays down his life for his sheep, or a hired man who has only theoretical concern for the sheep, even though I am sumptuously fed by the sheep?
How many times more? My silence is killing my people.
Fr. Emefiena Ezeani
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