Last year, precisely on the 23rd day of November 2020, I wrote an article titled: INSECURITY AND KIDNAPPING IN NIGERIA: WE’RE SITTING DUCKS! My major point in that article was to decry the rising spate of insecurity in our beloved nation Nigeria.
Rather than get better, our situation has increasingly gotten worse. Just last night, 20th May, 2021, a secular bearing the name of the Communications Director of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Fr. Chris Omotosho, made the rounds.
Another bad news!
In my earlier article, I had categorically stated that “our security system has always been fraught with flaws, but under Buhari, it is in tatters. Under the incumbent commander in Chief of the Armed forces of Nigeria, criminals have become so emboldened, they can abduct a bus-load of people in broad daylight, without fear of being apprehended… We all have become sitting ducks, each waiting for his/her turn; helplessly looking on as mayhem is unleashed all round.”
According to the aforementioned secular, one of the parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, Katsina state, was attacked by unknown gunmen. Two Catholic priests were kidnapped – Frs Joe Keke, the former parish priest, now in residence, who is in his late 70s; and Fr Alphonsus Bello, the incumbent parish priest.
This morning, Friday 21st May, 2021, the body of Fr Alphonsus Bello was found (lifeless) in the farmland behind the Catechetical Traning School, Malunfashi.
Fr Alphonsus Bello was a Priest of Kaduna Archdiocese, currently pastoring in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.
As we speak, the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke, the elderly erstwhile parish priest, is still unknown.
Some of my colleagues say that it’s time to bear arms and redeem our nation. But this would only make matters worse. To tow that path would be to make Nigeria another Somalia, where different War Lords call the shots in their own self acclaimed territories. Fr Israel ANAWEOKHAI makes this point clear in his earlier article “HAS BUHARI SOMALIASED NIGERIA?”
What then must we do? We must move away from our seemingly safe cocoons and begin speaking truth to power without fear.
We must occupy the streets in loud but peaceful protests against this failed government. No one is safe. As I said earlier, we’re sitting ducks, and we don’t know who will be next.
If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a preacher, preach. If you’re an actor, act. If you’re a musician, make music. Do whatever you do best as you condemn what our Nation has become. The message must be clear. Ring out your voices and keep screaming till something breaks.
It’s better to speak the truth and die in the process, than not speak, and still die anyway. It’s time to take back our country, in civil disobedience to the existing order.
God be with us all.
May the soul of Father Bello and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen!
© Oselumhense Anetor, 2021.