Catholic bishops can be more cautious

President Muhammadu Buhari shaking hands with Rev Mathew Kukah when he received a contingent of Nigerian Catholic Bishops at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, May 2, 2016. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

President Muhammadu Buhari shaking hands with Rev Mathew Kukah when he received a contingent of Nigerian Catholic Bishops at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, May 2, 2016. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

Sir: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) ended a meeting recently and paid courtesy call on President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB). I heard their President on Radio Nigeria, praising PMB on behalf of the others. He said the CBCN was proud of Buhari for fighting corruption, crimes and immorality. But, in what way is PMB fighting corruption?

The utterances of the Bishops betray selfish interests. They said they would continue to partner with government in such areas as education and health. Yet, through their schools, Christian missionaries recreated Africans, and now very many Africans lost knowledge of African culture, including the beauty and glory of African Traditional Religion (ATR).

Christian and Muslim missionaries keep fragmenting Africa, and the centre no longer holds. Christian and Muslim clerics are feeding fat, while ordinary Nigerians wallow in abject poverty. Every Sunday and every day, they milk Nigerians, and resist tax payment. Yet, Jesus and his apostles paid tax.

If the CBCN knew what ordinary Nigerians are going through, it would have told PMB some prophetic/liberation-loaded words, rather than praise-singing all the way. During the military era of Sani Abacha, Chief Gani Fawehinmi called Archbishop (now Cardinal) Olubunmi Okogie, a military apologist. The Bishops praised PMB, and then asked him for what matters most to them: using schools to catch African children young, and hospitals which are forms of investment.

Some researches revealed that some hospitals sell drugs donated to them from overseas to patients even when they are not the needed ones, but to ensure that the drugs are exhausted before expiration dates. Power and money are primary and essential to being church and being mosque. Now as always, ordinary people are at the receiving end.

• Pius Abioje,
University of Ilorin.



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