Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bishop Kukah appeals to Ndi Igbo to close ranks, as Nwobodo returns to Catholic Church

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan-Kukah has called on Ndi Igbo to close ranks so as to enable them take charge of the future of the people of South-Eastern part of Nigeria, who are largely Igbo speakers, reports ITRealms.

Bishop Kukah made this call in a sermon he delivered during a thanksgiving mass of the former Executive Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu, Enugu State, on Nwobodo’s return to Catholic Church.

“I want to appeal to the Igbo political and religious elite to close ranks and take charge of the future of the people of this area,” he declared.

He enjoined both the political and regilious elite of Igbo extraction to learn from the mistakes of the elites elsewhere when politics was allowed to trump the urgent task of community building.

“You must take charge and by negotiation and using back room channels, improve on the quality of the sound of the music produced by your Youth,” Bishop Kukah advised, pointed out that the elites should not ignore the youth, but with patience, process and improve on the quality of their sound.

The Igbos, he said, enjoy ethnic moral and cultural harmony to a large degree since they loosely speak one tongue and are predominantly Christians. 

“So, as St. Paul said to the Colossians, Let the message of Christ in all its riches fill your hearts, use it to teach and admonish one another (Col 3:16). You have lessons from the tragedy of the war and you have lessons from within and outside Nigeria of allowing youth frustration and restiveness to gestate,” he counseled.

Today, the Bishop noted, with wide oceans of inequality between public officers and the rest of Nigeria, violence and anger are the identity cards carried by the victims. 

“Our leaders say that we cannot develop in an environment of violence and instability. What they fail to accept is that the violence in society is the reaction of the victims,” he said, quoting Pope Francis to buttress his homily, saying “The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode.”

He emphasised that when a society whether local, national or global is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility.

He commended Nwobodo and his family, especially the wife, Patricia, for assembling former and current political as well as business associates, family friends, and school mates with the thanksgiving.

Noting, however, that the Catholic Church has not gone out to fish and find Chief Nwobodo, to the extent that humanity is Christian, children of God, and his decision to come to the Catholic Church is at best a return home. 

“I say return home for reasons that all of us who are Christians already know,” he asserted, hence, the thanksgiving mass was not a celebration of victory or a big catch.

“We’re not here to celebrate what for some might be a big catch. We’re not celebrating a victory, nor should anyone feel a sense of loss or defeat,” he maintained.

+Remmy Nweke (ITRealms) +Catholic Church  
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