2019: Keyamo, Mona Lisa & His Invectives on Bishop Kukah, Other Clerics
Oped - By Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey
The Mona Lisa painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci is easily the most prized of all paintings in the world. It is said that one day a man who visited the painting at the Louvre in Paris with a friend remarked to his friend: “What’s all the noise about this painting ? It is not worth it.” The friend stared at him for a full minute and retorted: “The whole world acclaims this painting. This painting is not on trial, you are the one on trial.”
It sounds also like the half-educated Nigerian man who would say Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, Bach and all that music produced by classical artists is not enjoyable because it is not as danceable as Tu Face or Olumide.
Festus Keyamo’s attempt to belittle Bishop Kukah and the rest of the men of God says more about him than Bishop Kukah for instance who stands for the peace and cohesion of this country. It is not Bishop Kukah that is on trial, it is Festus Keyamo who is. If he had accepted an appointment to serve the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, that would be a different matter, because a government serves the people. But to have accepted to serve in the campaign office of President Buhari says a lot about his volte face and inconsistency.
Religious leaders will continue to play a role at reconciling leaders who have influence on our body politic as the need arises. And there comes a time when doing nothing would be as bad as committing a heinous crime. This is one of those times. If the re-awakening in the opposition helps the current government to put its act in order and serve the people better, all well and good, as only the Nigerian people, if they would be allowed in a free and fair election, have the potential to choose their leaders, as they did when they threw aside President Goodluck Jonathan and chose the incumbent.
The fear that is gathering momentum now is whether or not the actual votes of the people would count as it did in 2015. Festus Keyamo, in a desperate bid to please his masters, has crossed the line, and this will haunt him unless he offers a sincere apology.
***Fr. Bassey, outgoing Director of Church and Society of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and National Director of Caritas Nigeria/Justice Development and Peace Committee (JDPC), sent this piece from Abuja