My Twitter Feed

February 22, 2017

Religion is NOT the Problem: Revisiting Prof. Soyinka’s Stigmatization of Religion (2)

True enough, there are causes of violence impeded in some religious beliefs and elements. This does not mean, however, that there is a direct link between religion and violence. Because to hold the view linking religion with violence is to obscure authentic thought about people’s belief in the One True God, who is the Creator and Father of us all. The purity of religious faith in the One True God must therefore, be always recognized as the principle and source of Love between human beings. This observation is important because it helps to correct the wrong impression created in some…

Read More

“GAMBLING: THE NEW SOCIAL ILL” – A REJOINDER

Let me use this medium to react to the editorial in The Leader newspaper of Sunday, June 5 2016 (p.2) with the above caption. After a careful perusal of the write-up, I quickly deduced that the writer wrote from the point of view of gambling and not lottery. Gambling and lottery are quite opposed to one another. For the sake of clarity, let us try to define the two concepts. The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defined gamble as playing games of chance, etc. for money. It further described gamble as risking money by investing in something. This same source defined…

Read More

Trumpism as The Trump-Card of Eroding Western Civilisation (1)

PREAMBLE In this article, we shall attempt at focusing chiefly on Donald Trump and by extension delineate, succinctly, the preponderant negative impact of radicalism or fanaticism on the world. Indeed, on how the world seem to be stung to a stage of stupor by the alarming influence of an apparently infinitesimal percentage of a group of people who seem better organised and truculently systematic in executing their programme of engulfing the rest of humanity like the amoeba. Some ideas expressed in this article that touch on fanaticism are apologies to Dr. Emmanuel Tanya, a well-known, German psychiatrist.   TRUMPISM For…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (6)

(11) OBAMA THE GREAT AND THE REST OF HUMANITY   As OBAMA took his exit from the political arena of American democracy there aren’t just a few who paid their glowing tributes to the great president of the United States. Look at a few ‘comments’ or ‘tributes’ by thousands of individuals who see and think about OBAMA as I do. JUST A FEW OF THE SELECTED QUOTES!   (i)   “Being English, I may see things from a totally different perspective! I see a President who, being thoroughly graceful, has done a great job. Hadn’t he lowered your deficit in an…

Read More

Turning the other cheek

Today, we have one of the most radical religious teachings ever – to turn the other cheek when we are smacked. Last week, we were challenged to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. This time, Jesus invites us to imitate the perfect love of God the father when responding to personal insults and injuries – with grace, patience, forgiveness, and generosity. Our Lord wants us to overturn the culture of vengeance and violence by not always insisting on getting our own way, but rather going out of our way to do good to others, especially when they…

Read More

Religion is Not the Problem: Revisiting Prof. Soyinka’s Stigmatization of Religion (1)

Our renowned Nobel laureate in Literature, one of Africa’s most respected intellectual giants, Prof. Wole Soyinka, is recently, quoted as having accused religion as the cause of Nigeria’s woes and indeed of the world in general. Soyinka asked that religion be tamed and stigmatized. According to the Nigerian Punch Newspaper of January 13, 2017, Prof. Soyinka at the presentation of a book, Religion and the Making of Nigeria, written by Prof. Olufemi Vaughan, said, among other things: “President Muhammadu Buhari had said if Nigeria did not kill corruption, corruption would kill the country.” Condemning killings in the Southern Kaduna in…

Read More

Ezeship tussle in Obosima – Ohaji may boil again, Government should intervene

Crises in Ohaji have claimed so many lives amidst tension resulting to food shortage and militancy in the entire state. This was not only caused by Ezeship tussles and crises but by the undemocratic tendencies of the powers that be on issues affecting the communities. In each case the mafia so glorified until “the come come came”. Regrettably the mother and the worst of these crises loom high in Obosima Autonomous community. The community is accommodating more than 70% of those displaced by similar crises in Ohaji. Any crises therefore will be calamitous. Barely 24 days after the memorial service…

Read More

JESUS CHRIST OUR TRUE AND BEST LOVER

The 14th February every Year has come to be known across the World as Valentine Day or Lover’s Day. For those who know that St. Valentine, a Catholic Priest, was martyred in the cause of approving and celebrating true married love among young people, the 14th February on which day St. Valentine was killed has now become a special day to remember a caring lover of young people and a promoter of genuine love, especially married love. For those who are just excited about the dream, idea and experience of love, Lover’s Day has become a day to dream, to…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (5)

(7) GREAT FAMILY MAN: Husband and Father: One blissful successful marriage with one of the best mothers and wives in the history of marriage encounter. It seemed that right from birth God set them aside and prepared them to join together to become a paradigm of what married life is all about. Unlike most other turbulent marriages in modern times, no divorces and divorce suits and re-marriages, no suspicions with regard to extramarital affairs! Behold too, Michele Obama, the perfect wife and match of her life partner. The Igbo people of Nigeria would address her as “Oyiridiya” (carbon copy of…

Read More

At the root of the matter

Christian discipleship encompasses a lot more than external ritualism! To be worth it, our piety must pierce the heart and infuse the entirety of one’s being. Thus, we are challenged to go beyond the outward observances of the Law onto a deep-rooted healing of the human heart, as a remedy for sin. The people of Jesus’ time viewed the Mosaic Law as the ultimate expression of the will of God, the self-revelation of God, and the complete code of conduct for the regulation of civil and religious matters. Yet, the greater emphasis was on the external dos and don’ts rather…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great …Elsewhere in America (4)

(4) MATTERS OF THE HEART: ACCOMMODATION AND TOLERANCE:   Christians, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Non-believers, name them, peoples of different faiths, tongues and beliefs, should live together and respect each other’s beliefs and culture. Even gays, lesbians and other men and women of different sexual orientation, views and attitudes, have place in society and communities of the world. America is a nation of immigrants and should therefore find ways to accommodate new arrivals as well as refugees. Center of Obama social agenda is no doubt ‘equality and social justice’. There is no doubt that Obama has been criticized for being the…

Read More

The Gambia: A lesson to African dictators

Since embattled President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia feed on self exile three weeks ago, well meaning people have been calling on other sit-tight dictators in Africa and elsewhere in the world to learn a lesson from his fall. The call is addressed to other despotic and oppressive rulers especially in Africa, who have refused to take a cue from the fate of the late Liberian dictator, Samuel Doe, Laurent Gbagbo and Robert Gue of Ivory Coast, Col Muammar Gadaffi of Libya and, Idi Amin Dada of Uganda, among so many others. It would be recalled that Jammeh, Head of…

Read More

LIGHT CAN ONLY SHINE

In the Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis said: “Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops”. The point to note here is that goodness is something that one could not keep to oneself without sharing with others. Any sort of goodness that can be concealed in a person cannot be authentic and is not founded on…

Read More

CALLED TO BEATITUDE

The great philosopher Aristotle once said that happiness is what everyone seeks and that every human effort is oriented towards its achievement. However, many of our efforts do not bring us happiness because the underlying principles are wrong. The truly ethical person, Aristotle says, is the one who knows and does only that which brings true and lasting happiness. True happiness is that which conforms with the will of God and is geared towards our supernatural vocation to the kingdom of heaven. In today’s gospel, Jesus provides the framework for true and lasting happiness/blessedness/beatitude. He pronounces blessedness or beatitude upon…

Read More

Trump’s inauguration – Lessons for Nigeria

On January 20, Nigerians and the rest of the world watched admirably as the USA swore in her 45th President Donald J. Trump, in a colourful ceremony marked with precision. It was America setting the pace yet again as world leader, and leaving a trail of lessons for us to learn. The inauguration ceremony was devoid of the controversy that dogged the elections because the parties have visibly closed ranks in the interest of America. They have buried their differences and joined hands to welcome their new head of government, in an all-American way. There were no gaffes, superfluity, hustling,…

Read More

The dream and race for President of Nigeria from Igbo extraction

The demise of the first Republic, where an Igbo man Rt. Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Owelle of Onitsha) ended up with the termination of the Republic by Military Coup, saw the end of Igbo man in epic position in Nigeria’s politics. Subsequent attempts made by some individuals at other point in time, in 1998 by Dr. Alex Ekwueme, number two man, in Shagari’s government to clinch the ticket and thus become the President failed. That unsuccessful attempt was not because the man lacked credible portfolios but because the military in one hand did not trust an Igbo man as to hand…

Read More

How to identify a “Cosmetic Catholic” – Cathedral Administrator

Not all who come to Church every Sunday are authentic Catholics.  Many are cosmetic or superficial Catholics who come to Church to show-off. The Administrator of Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, Rev. Fr.  Gerard Onyekwere who revealed this in his homily last Sunday, January 22, also gave some clues on how to identify a cosmetic Catholic. First, cosmetic Catholics don’t take the Sacrament of Confession seriously.  They go to confession once in several months or even years.  They don’t know how to pray the Rosary, Angelus and hardly attend any Church activity except Sunday Mass. Second, they come to church to…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (3)

(2) POWERFUL: Power does not rest only in physical strength or stamina. Obama as president was able to withstand the overwhelming vicious attacks of his numerous enemies mostly the white racists and bigots who swore from day one to oppose all his policies, to UNDO ALL HIS LEGACIES! They fought tooth and nail to derail or destabilize any project he initiated “to make America even greater than what the nation was before he assumed office”. They questioned even his birth certificate and American citizenship! Barack OBAMA did not shake. He stood his ground and completed his tenure gracefully and in…

Read More

The Greatest Summons

Most renowned speeches or stories do have a single line or phrase encapsulating their whole essence. And many a time, these lines or phrases end up characterizing or defining the entirety of the subject’s persona or life project. This is especially true in literature, politics, and in movies. For example, when we hear “Even you Brutus!”, we immediately associate that with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Whenever someone says: “I have a dream!”, our minds flash back to Martin Luther King Jnr. And at the mention of “Yes, We Can!”, Barrack Obama comes to mind. In the Gospel of today, we hear…

Read More

Courage, Be Not Afraid!

A Pastoral Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province Issued at the End of their First Plenary Meeting held at the Assumpta Pastoral Centre, Owerri, from the 17th to 18th January, 2017   Preamble We the Catholic Bishops of the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province held our First Plenary Meeting of the year at the Assumpta Pastoral Centre, Owerri, from January 17th to 18th, 2017. Having deliberated on a number of pastoral and social issues affecting our people and nation, we issue the following Pastoral Statement to express our concern and solidarity with you our people.   Gratitude to God…

Read More