By Dr Victor Alewo Adoji
Foremost, I vehemently condemn the attack on the Church, parishioners and clergies in Anyigba under whatsoever guise. While expressing gratitude to God that there were no fatalities, my heart goes out to those who were injured and those traumatized from such an unwarranted provocation.
Obviously, this singular incident harbors the capacity to escalate tensions and precipitate a cataclysm of unimaginable magnitude especially if the nuances are manipulated and tweaked out of context: The non-bigoted amongst us owe this to the continued survival our society and our civilization which are benchmarks for tolerance and camaraderie.
From my second-hand investigation(s), it would be preposterous to qualify the attack as a religious offensive against the backdrop that the source of gumption for the incident is primarily political (but) couched in an administrative mandate.
Igala land is one nation without a definite dividing line between the two major religions and where we are seemingly agreed on our traditional ethics and etiquettes as the superstructure of our communion irrespective of affiliations.
There’s no Igala family that is not encompassing of Christians, Moslems and Traditionalists. Subsequently, it’s impossible to delineate any faith and set it up for persecution without the aggressor becoming a victim (with all the euthanistic compliments). Besides, if the report that the “vigilante and some policemen” were the perpetrators is correct, we must reason that amongst them (vigilante and policemen), there are Christians as well. Without emotions and sentiments, this should vacate the perceptions viewpoints that (may) support the claim of an orchestrated attack on the Church: Almighty God who is the owner of the Church and the Creator of the faithfuls can and has always fought His battles and no one has (ever) and can (ever) help God.
That said, I won’t attempt an explanation (they would at best amount to excuses) for such a despicable action and even more, the inaction and compromising quiet in certain quarters. However, we must be careful not to exacerbate the deep-seated hatred that is palpably visible in our interactions and engagements of late.
The assortment of animosity, diatribe, innuendos, invectives and vituperations all around us, put mildly, are despicable, disappointing, disgraceful and unbecoming of a people who pride
themselves as advanced, humanistic, civilized knowledgeable, understanding and discerning.
It has been touted in some quarters that, the easiest thing to cultivate amongst us is either rebellion, fratricide, disagreement or disharmony. Now, such misdemeanors as the unwise attack on the Church in Anyigba may spiral-out of control towards a validation of this unfortunate submission: We must not confirm such a terrible falsehood by managing our emotions and instincts in favour of peace and calm.
In the end, the stronger person is s/he who can turn the other cheek, the more civilized person is s/he who is circumspect about the ramifications of his/her actions, the genuinely humanistic individual is s/he who is empathetically-inclined to feel and see the pain, hurt, joy and happiness of others. We are civilized, humanistic and emotionally very intelligent people and NOTHING must change that.