Oh God Raise Good Shepherds for Ndigbo.
Today Sunday April 22nd 2018, the Universal Church celebrated on this Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel taken from John 10: 11-18, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep’’ -11-13.
As I sat down listening to the homilist my thoughts went to the Igbo nation and their ruin as a result of these hirelings masquerading as shepherds. The history of my people since after the Biafra war is replete with selfish and unpatriotic leadership. The emergence of Ohaneze Ndigbo as a rallying point for Ndigbo to cushion the devastating effects of the war had become a platform for selfish, personal and financial enrichment of the leaders. Everywhere in Igbo land is lamentation of bad leadership, the political leadership being the chief culprit in that good political leadership will translate to good economic wellbeing of the people. The worst aspect of bad leadership in Igboland is the cowardly acts by our leaders who keep quite in the face of marginalization, humiliation, intimidation, killing of Ndigbo and wanton debasement and trampling on their fundamental human rights.
In the face of all these, I draw consolation from the words of Pete Edochie in an interview he granted Igbolife: “Let us be very honest to ourselves. There are parts of Igbo land that appear to be cursed, and I don’t know why. We are a people who have suffered. God has no reason to inflict bad leadership on us because we have suffered. Boko Haram came into existence, attacked Churches and killed so many Igbo families. What is our crime? That we are Christians? I was discussing with a friend of mine who happens to be a native doctor, and I told him about what happened to the Igbo wherever they are. He said, “I am handling this fowl now and I am going to sacrifice it. No matter how you kill fowl-it continues to increase.” But look at the predatory animals like those that belong to the cat family; they are being threatened with extinction. Why? Because of their carnivorous nature! It is the same thing that happens all over the world. You keep killing until blood gets into your eyes and killing becomes a routine. That is what is happening today in Borno. The Igbo have been driven away and now they have turned on their people. It is in the Bible right. But for the fact we have suffered a lot, God wouldn’t have chosen a defect saint from us. Whether you think he’s conscious, objective, hypocritical, ostentatious, still the Igbo man invests in the worship of Almighty God and God himself appreciates it. God said in Malachi 3: 10-“Fill my store house with tithes and see if I will not give you blessings that no house can contain.” I didn’t write it, and this is what the Igbo do. Any part of the country you go to, get into any Church, the priest will tell you it is the Igbo who sustain the Church, everywhere. No matter how much we are immolated on whatever grounds, God will always appreciate the fact that deep down we love him and we sacrifice for him.”
The successes Ndigbo have recorded today in sustaining Igbo families since after the war are not as a result of government coming to the aid of the people. These achievements are based on solid personal endeavours. One may ask, is it not time for Igbo leadership to wear a new garb and be people oriented? Nnamdi Kanu emerged with IPOB and we know how the leadership treated him. It is customary in Igboland to chase the wolf away and later blame the hen but in this case the hen was chased away to the wolf to devour it. What a shame.
Igbo leadership, I have message for you. The mighty hand of God will wrestle out of your reach the leadership of his people. The just judge will tell you as he did of old: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel (Ndigbo), who feed themselves! Should not the shepherd feed the flock? But, you feed on milk and clothed in wool, and you slaughter the fattest sheep. You have not taken care of the flock, you have not strengthened the weak, and you have not cared for the sick or bandaged the injured. You have not gone after the sheep that stayed or searched for the one that was lost. Instead, you ruled them harshly and were their oppressors. They were scattered for want of a shepherd and became the prey of wild animals. My sheep wander over the mountains and high hills; and when they are scattered throughout the land, no one bothers about them or looks for them. Hear then, shepherds, what the LORD says: As I live, says the Lord, because my sheep have been the prey of wild animals and become their food for want of shepherds, because the shepherds have not cared for my sheep, because the shepherds have not bothered about them but fed themselves and not the flock, therefore, hear the word of the Lord, you shepherds. I am against the shepherds and I will ask an account of the shepherds and reclaim my sheep from them. No longer shall they tend my flock; nor shall there be shepherds who feed themselves. I shall save the flock from their mouths and no longer shall it be food for them” Ezekiel 34:2-10. How God will accomplish his will for Ndigbo, I do not know but what I do know is that if Ndigbo continue to invest in the worship of God, trust in his providence and put all their hope in him, they will never be confounded.