By Martin Opara

“There is much deceit in present day Christianity as most church leaders are wolves in ship skin.” 

The Above statement is credited to renowned traditionalist and community leader, HRH, Christian Obinna Anukam, Oshimiri 1 of Nekede Ancient Kingdom.

Commenting on a recent encounter with the former Rector of Imo State Polytechnic,  Anukam narrated how his community chased the Catholic priest turned Polytechnic lecturer out of his house when he came with his entourage to deceive his people.

He said, most clergy men are not worth being called priests, pastors or whatever they claim to be.  “For instance, there is one Rev Fr Wence Madu of the Claretian Missionary, Nekede, very close to my house here, who goes about deceiving people. Nothing in his character, conduct and attitude shows that he is an ordained priest”.

“On Sunday 28th February 2021, he invaded my house, accompanied by over 100 catholic faithful, with loud sounding band, trumpet, etc and was banging on my gate, shouting and calling me to come out. When I eventually came out, he knelt down, and raised up his hands, apparently praying for fire to come down from above and consume me. But we all know his antecedents and penchant for controversy and earthly pleasure. That was why he and his entourage were chased away from the entrance of my compound by indigenes and residents of the community who were not comfortable with the nuisance they constituted by blocking the road, obstructing free flow of traffic and making unnecessary noise. How can somebody who calls himself a priest condescend to such abysmal level?”

He called on the bishop of the Owerri ecclesiastical province, Archbishop AJV Obinna and the leadership of the catholic church to beam their searchlight on the activities of Rev Fr Wence Madu and call him to order.

Speaking on insecurity in Nigeria, the community leader attributed the increasing rate of insecurity, killings, rape and other vices to the abandonment and erosion of our traditional and cultural values in pursuit of western values which we see as the benchmark standard.

He stated that Igbo culture and tradition place much premium on the sanctity of human life as opposed to western culture. “We had local vigilante groups that secured lives and properties in our various communities. Anybody who shed innocent blood for whatever reason, incured the wrath of the gods and the community. The person was also denounced by the entire kindred to avoid spill over effect. There was dignity in labour and people did not worship money. Hence, gluttonous and illicit acquisition of wealth was not prevalent. There were few churches, yet people tried as much as possible to be upright, live decent lives with the belief that good name is better than silver and gold.”

He advised present day churches to reduce emphasis on prosperity and concentrate more on the benefits of obedience to the will of God and the natural laws including peace,  love, justice, fairness, tolerance and forgiveness.”    

 He also emphasized that nothing is worth shedding innocent blood.  “Though, the social media and increased western influence have their benefits, they have negatively affected our cultural and traditional values. That is why things are gradually falling apart and if urgent steps are not taken towards sensitizing and re-orientating our youths, in no distant time, the center may no longer hold”.