Is It The Igbo Catholicism On Trial Today Or Nigerian Catholicsm? By Iheanyi Enwerem, O.P.

By By Iheanyi Enwerem, O.P.

I recall an incident in class during my seminary days at SS. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan. It was during a Canon Law class with our then revered Rector of the seminary, Monsignor Ugboko (alias "Uncle"). One of my classmates, from Ijebu Ode Diocese, had asked the question: why can a Black man not be Pope (Bishop of Rome). "Uncle" sized up the student, told him to sit down and in his characteristic way of often answering questions with his own question scornfully retorted: "can an Igbo man be accepted as bishop of Ibadan?" We, as a class, had a good roaring laughter over this.

The preceding remark brings me to Stan Chu Ilo's January 11, 2013 article, "Igbo Catholicism On Trial in Ahiara Diocese: A Call for Prayer And Patient Discernment" (Saharareporters.com). His is an addition to a deluge of writings on the current crisis in the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, Mbaise, Imo State. The crisis arose from the Church's appointment of a non-Mbaise son, Ebere Peter Opaleke, as the bishop-elect for the diocese and his subsequent rejection by Mbaise people in preference for one of their own to this exalted position. Strongly believing "that an Igbo person should not be considered a foreigner among fellow Igbo," Ilo directed his argument, first and foremost, against the very idea of rejecting a bona fide son of Igboland (Nw'afo Igbo) by his fellow Igbo. He went on to suggest that what is happening in Ahiara diocese is indicative of the  ongoing "internal wars, petition writing, nocturnal visits, horse-trading, envy and recriminations of Igbo-on-Igbo" at both local and national level. Thus, he conclusively saw this state of affairs as evidence of "Igbo Catholicism on trial today" or, better, in the words of a "very prominent Northern bishop" he cited,  as "an Igbo problem."

Ilo's article has attracted a wide range of responses from many Nigerians within and outside of the country, thus indicating how critically important, for the health of Nigerian catholicism and society at large, is the issue he and his "very prominent Northern bishop" have raised. Lest the reading public is misled into buying their respective positions above as correct, I thought it necessary to contest the veracity of their assertions and the validity of the arguments behind them. On this  note, I want to argue that the Ahiara crisis is neither Igbo Catholicism on trial nor "an Igbo problem;" if anything, it is the tip of the iceberg of the Nigerian problem and, therefore, the Nigerian Catholicism that is on trial today. In the same vein, the very prominent Northern bishop's statements on the state of affairs in Ahiara diocese is not only misleading but also is an example of the derision on the Igbos as well as the manner with which national problems that happen to rear their ugly heads in Igboland are often clannishly dismissed as "Igbo problem" by many non-Igbos.

On this note, let's begin with the assertions by "the very prominent Northern bishop" who, according to Ilo, remarked that Igbo men  -  Uzoukwu in Minna and Akubueze in Uromi and now Benin  -  were respectively accepted as bishops in dioceses outside of Igboland. Also in the North, according to this "very prominent Northern bishop," Kukah, Dodo, and Kaigama, and among the Yoruba bishops - Atoyebi, Onaiyekan, Badejo, and Okogie -  were all accepted as bishops "in dioceses different from their place of origin among their own ethnic group." Unfortunately Ilo's "Northern bishop" did not present a full picture of each of the examples he advanced, especially when paired along the Ahiara scenario; the bishop's view on the matter is like comparing an apple with an orange. To begin with, one wonders why the "Northern bishop" said nothing about the case of the late Bishop Nwaezeapu, an Igbo, in Warri or that of late Bishop Ephraim Obot in Idah. In both cases they were rejected; while the former died in exile, the latter was enforced on the people. These are in addition to the well-known case of the late Bishop Okoye of Port-Harcourt diocese, an Igbo, who was literally chased out of his diocese at the end of the Nigerian civil war, the same time his fellow Igbos had their property forcibly seized from them and the act "baptized" as "abandoned property." That our "very prominent Northern bishop" made no reference to these cases means he is guilty of either selective memory or a deliberate attempt to mislead the reading public about the Igbos and Igbo Catholicism. What follows is to dislodge these assertions and by so doing brings a better clarity to the issues at stake.

In the case of Uzoukwu in Minna diocese, there was no significant population of Catholics in the diocese that could have staged a protest against his appointment. Even at that, Uzoukwu is fluent in Hausa, having lived and worked in the area before he became a priest; also the majority of Catholics in Minna diocese are southerners, many of whom are Igbos. Thus, the indigenes who could  have protested or rejected Uzoukwu's appointment would have been non-Catholics; but these would have no business reacting to the appointment of a Catholic bishop as would be the case in a linguistically and culturally homogeneous area as Ahiara diocese with a predominantly catholic population. In the case of Akubueze in Uromi and later Benin, he was originally a priest of Isele-Uku diocese which, with Uromi, is part and parcel of the same metropolitan Archdiocese of Benin. Without going into details of the circumstances that saw the emergence of Akubeze in Uromi and later in Benin, it is a known fact that priests of both dioceses wrote against one another and therefore undermined their chances of becoming bishops, leading to going outside of their respective dioceses, but - lest we forget - from the same ecclesiastical Province.

On this note, one wonders why a priest from the Ecclesiastical Province to which Ahiara belongs was not appointed for the diocese, given the argument that the priests of Ahiara diocese like their counterparts in Uromi and Benin as just noted, were divided and writing against one another. In the case of Kukah, the context around his appointment to Sokoto diocese is largely and comparatively similar to the Minna context we noted above and, therefore, need no further comments. This brings us to the case of Dodo the context of whose appointment for Zaria diocese differs from the Ahiara situation. In this direction one must note that Dodo was a priest of the Archdiocese of Kaduna from which Zaria diocese was created and Dodo made its pioneer bishop. Besides, the same context and the corresponding argument we made  for both cases of Uzukwu in Minna and Kukah in Sokoto, is largely applicable to Dodo in Zaria. To a large extent, the same context could be applicable to Kaigama in Jos. A significant number of Catholic population in the Archdiocese are Southerners many of whom are Igbos. But most worth noting is the fact that, contrary to what was denied to Ahiara diocese, Kaigama was originally a priest of a diocese that is part of the ecclesiastical Province of Jos to which he was appointed its Archbishop.

The case of the Yoruba bishops is even more revealing. Atoyebi, a priest from Ilorin diocese belonged to a Religious Community, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans); he was appointed bishop of Ilorin diocese, his home diocese, following the division among the priests, especially the senior priests who were writing against one another - an action similar to what Mbaise priests were said to have done. As for Onaiyekan, prior to his appointment as bishop, he was a priest of the diocese of Lokoja out of which Ilorin diocese was created and was appointed as its first bishop. Later he was transferred to Abuja. What is today Abuja Archdiocese was essentially the Church's political response, so to speak, to the emergence of Abuja as the country's new capital.

Ecclesiastically, Abuja was drawn from a number of surrounding dioceses all of which were part and parcel of Kaduna Archdiocese and to which Ilorin diocese also belonged as at the time Onaiyekan was transferred to Abuja. As of then and even till date the majority of the Catholic population of the diocese, especially its foundation members, have been Igbos. Besides, coming from a minority ethnic group and in sensitivity to the nation's desire to emasculate Abuja from the influence of any ethnic group, especially the three dominant ethnic groups, the choice of Onaiyekan for Abuja to understudy and eventually succeed the founding prelate  -  himself also of a minority tribe  - the late Cardinal Ekandem of blessed memory made perfect sense. Thus, the chance of Onaiyekan being rejected in Abuja did not arise and could not have arisen. With regards to Badejo, Ilo's "very prominant Northern bishop" is right in noting that Badejo is bishop in a diocese "different from [his] place of origin among [his] own ethnic group." But this does not capture the whole context about Badejo. To start with, Badejo's pedigree is both Ijebu (paternal) and Oyo (maternal) extractions of Yoruba race. However, for reasons outside the scope of this paper to advance, his father settled in Oshogbo where Badejo was born and raised up, thus making him, from all practical purposes, a bona fide son of Oshogbo land that is part and parcel of the old Oyo diocese for which he was ordained to the priesthood. Belonging to Oshogbo diocese at its creation from Oyo,  he would later be appointed bishop for Oyo (his maternal home) to succeed Bishop Adelakun who, incidentally, ordained him to the priesthood. Thus, the context under which Badejo became bishop for Oyo diocese is a world apart from the context that threw up Monsignor Okpalaeke for Ahiara diocese.

Finally we come to Okojie. Like Badejo, Okogie is a bona fide son of a diocese different from his place of origin but for which he was ordained to the priesthood. Although Okojie' pedigree, on his paternal side, is Ishan in Edo State, he was raised up not just in Lagos but in the very heart of that city, Idumagbo to be precise. Needless to say he speaks Yoruba fluently, perhaps, better than his paternal Ishan language. Thus, there is no reason why anyone would question his appointment as bishop of Lagos Archdiocese as of the time he was so appointed; besides, the metropolitan character of Lagos and the overwhelming non-Yoruba majority of its catholic population would have made it senseless for anyone to reject him as bishop. However, again, Ilo's  "very prominent Northern bishop" surprisingly failed to mention that Okogie's initial appointment as auxiliary bishop for the then old Oyo diocese was met with opposition and rejection. From all indication, the opposition and rejection was not warranted, if not senseless. First, the diocese was a suffragan of Lagos Archdiocese as at the time he was appointed bishop for Oyo diocese. Second, he speaks fluent Yoruba as already noted. And what is more, his mother is not only from Oyo town but also is of the royal family, the Alaafin of Oyo family. And yet he was rejected by his mother's people, so to speak. The opposition and rejection were so deep that the Church had to reverse itself and appointed him to succeed Archbishop Aggey of Lagos  -  a decision easily made possible by the death of the Archbishop.

The foregoing, therefore, goes to demonstrate clearly a misrepresentation of facts around how Catholics react or respond to ecclesiastical appointments in some parts of the country, especially the North (Hausas) and the West ("the Yoruba bishops"). Specifically, the foregoing also exposes a misinterpretation of "the Mbaise situation," and, worse, a mischaracterization of Mbaise priests in particular and the Igbo people in general, leading me to see the crisis in Ahiara diocese as a blessing in disguise, sad as the entire situation is. I say this because God, in his own way of writing straight on crooked lines, so to speak, allowed this to happen and by so doing expose to the public, for our corrective attention as individuals and as a group, the sordid way our Church does its business. In this regard and contrary to Ilo's view, it is not "Igbo Catholicism [that] is on trial today" but rather Nigerian Catholicism, leading me to further say that what is happening in Ahiara diocese is not a local (Igbo) but a national (Nigerian) problem. To begin with, the issue at stake resides in how ecclesiastical appointments are made; the age-long top-down and autocratic way of appointing bishops needs a re-thinking and change. It breeds priest-booth lickers, priest-hero worshippers, and careerist-priests in the church and society. Stories abound of some priests who scheme for episcopal appointments or bishops who scheme for higher ecclesiastical positions or those of them who would use their connections within the corridors of power in the church to ensure that their "boys" become bishops or sometimes would have a diocese carved out from their own and have their "favorite son" appointed as its bishop. It may well be that these stories are not true; however, their regularity and staying power, especially in the domain of popular culture, could make them believable, given the veracity of the saying, 'no smoke without fire.'

Be that as it may, it is true the Pope is the one who appoints bishops; but let no one be deceived to believe that he personally knows his appointees. There are people whose job it is at the local, national and Universal Church levels to help him with recommendations to make the appointments. If the appointments, therefore, is opposed by those for whom the appointees are to serve, then it means that those who advised the Pope were either incompetent or may have sacrificed objectivity and integrity on the altar of selfishness. Brought to bear on Nigeria, the Mbaise situation reveals the poverty of leadership of the Nigerian Catholic Church hierarchy - a point I have discussed extensively in my  book, Crossing the Rubicon: A Socio-Political Analysis of Political Catholicism in Nigeria (Book Builders:2010), which is unpopular among the Nigerian bishops and therefore not accepted for sale in Catholic bookshops in the country. Brought nearer home to Igbos, that the Igbo bishops, by omission or commission, allowed the Mbaise situation to arise reveals the unique poverty of their leadership and dishonesty to Igbo people  -  a subject matter that deserves and will be given a later attention.

Meanwhile,  Ilo has rightly discussed the Mbaise situation within the broader issue of the need for Igbo solidarity. On this note, he has also rightly observed, that the Igbos are a divided people, leading to my qualified agreement with his assertion that it is a cultural heresy for an Igbo person to be considered a foreigner in any part of Igbo land. Where he is wrong-headed is in making it appear that this state of affairs is unique to the Igbo race, granted our disunity may be more noticeable because of the egalitarian and republican character of Igbo people and the effects which our loss of the civil war brought on us. There is no single ethnic group within the Nigerian polity that does not have its share and degree of disunity. For instance, among the Yorubas, the Ifes and the Oyos are not bed fellows, a relationship that is epitomized in the constant war of words between the Alaafin of Oyo and the Oni of Ife and whose mortal character was exemplified in the Ife-Modakeke crisis of the 80s and beyond. In addition, what used to be revered as "One North" is gradually collapsing, if not already dead. The people of Southern Zaria and in the Jos area are not in perfect unity with their other ethnic neighbours even though they all speak the same Hausa language. While doing my National Youths Service Corp (NYSC) from 1985-86 in Edo State, one could easily notice a deep-seated antagonism between the people of the then Okpeho local government and their surrounding neighbours over the goings-on at the then Edo State University, even though they all share the same Ishan language and culture. And the examples can go on and on. Therefore, it borders on analytical naivety to see disunity within the Nigerian polity as something unique to Ndigbo or to uncritically believe and hobnob with those non-Igbos who, as evidence of their love for Ndigbo,  gladly show off their numerous Igbo friends but are quick to latch on any opportunity that presents itself to deride Igbo people without whose presence and material support, catholicism in most of their places of origin and work could be as good as in a state of flaccidity.

What is beyond doubt, however, is the challenge which the Igbo people pose to the Nigerian State, be it in the policy-area of federal character, quota system, state of origin, etc.  -  policies which were largely put in place to checkmate the Igbos but now have boomeranged into bringing the country to its current state of poverty, on-going celebration of mediocrity, and socio-political and economic stagnation. In this regard, the Igbos are and will remain Nigeria's problem as long as they hold unto, and Nigeria refuses to pay heed to their demand for a particular sense of justice that is informed by, and best represented in the Igbo ethos of Ofo n'Ogu (live and let live). This sense of justice guarantees fairness, respect and cordiality in the way people treat one another in any given society. Brought to bear on politics, for instance, this understanding of justice calls for a structuring of the polity, say the Nigerian state, on the enabling socio-political and economic foundation that must guarantee a level-playing ground for all and sundry in the polity. In other words, the Igbos would expect that this sense of justice be applicable to the way we do business at every level of governance in the country. If this is the case then, it is only to be expected as a matter of principle that the application of the same sense of justice run down into our religious, village, even family relationships. Hence, the Igbos cannot expect others to treat them accordingly only to turn around and not apply the same principle on themselves. Put bluntly, the Igbos cannot demand the Nigerian state to treat their race with justice only to fail to treat themselves accordingly; we, the Igbo people, cry that we are marginalized  -  and rightly so  -  but then, based on our cultural ethos of Ofo n'Ogu, we cannot, in the name of Igbo solidarity, turn a blind eye to or condone the injustice by Igbos on Igbos.  

Based on the preceding sense of justice, one begins to make sense of Mbaise people's response to the appointment of a bishop-elect for their diocese. It is on the same basis that I disagree with Ilo's argument on the contrary. If Mbaise people claim that they and their diocese have been visited with injustice, be it by the universal Church or through the agency of some powers that are in the Nigerian Church, what Ilo and his likes need to do is to determine the veracity or validity of Mbaise people's claim. If their claim is true, it is an added injustice on them to condemn them, in the name of God, for crying foul; and if it is true that their fellow Igbos have a hand in the way they  claim to have been treated, we cannot shy away, in the name of Igbo solidarity, from condemning such an act and calling the alleged fellow Igbos to order. Those who ask for justice, including those Mbaise people behind the opposition to the episcopal appointment for their diocese, must themselves be seen to be just!

Yes, while "what is unfolding in Mbaise Catholicism is regrettable," it is equally unfolding for us
a little glimpse of the Nigerian Catholic church's share of the putrid and cancerous activities that go on, in the name of God, in the different religious groups and denominations in the country; this is notwithstanding the expansive and gorgeous churches and mosques as well as a teeming number of religious adherents in the country. Also the crisis in the diocese of Ahiara, Mbaise, unfolds for us an opportunity to come to some clarity with regards to some of the issues involved in the search for Igbo solidarity and how best to bring about this unity vis-a-vis the imperative to live in harmony with our neighbours. In this vein, deeply imbued in both my Catholic Christian faith and my cultural sense of justice (Ofo n'Ogu), I come to this conclusion: I love my family and friends, I love my race, Ndigbo, and I am committed to working first for Igbo solidarity and then its solidarity with all lovers of justice; but on and above all these and to hold them together is my unequivocal commitment to always stand for the truth; as the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, aptly puts it: "I nevertheless have a sacred duty to love the truth more."
 

Iheanyi Enwerem, O.P.
Martensville, SK.,
S0K 2T0, CANADA.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

 

 

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Home » Is It The Igbo Catholicism On Trial Today Or Nigerian Cat

The author is vicariously attacking Cardinal Arinze. Mr. Author, assuming your assumptions is correct and the Cardinal had a hand in the selection of Msgr. Okpalaeke. What is wrong with that fact? What is wrong with the Holy Father seeking counsel from one of its most trusted advisers? Mr. Author as you pointed out, the priests of Ahiara were horse-trading, destroying one another with unending petitions. The church sensed rancor and sought counsel. The church will rightly seek counsel from one its advisors. Maybe this trusted adviser has been consulted in the past and he delivered. Candidates recommended by this adviser have all performed well. Of course, such a leader/adviser will be consulted again, if the church is having difficulties filling a vacant see. It is done everywhere. It is not unique to Ahiara or Nigeria. The Church relies on trustworthy counsel, so as minimize error, and avoid scandal. The adviser will recommend persons that he knows and trusts.

Charles Emeka

Easy, I no dey condemn all the OP, but there are elements if you go read your Church history. The role of the Dominicans in the suppression of the Society of Jesus except by Catherine's empire in White Russia. The time of the counter reformation and how many Jesuits were burned to the stake? Surely, it is beyond pedagogy and method, it is located within history. There is always a jealous/unhealthy competition. Perhaps your superior should know why. Even in Rome, the institutional rivalry between the Gregorian and the Angelicum...

BIASED CONDEMNATION OF THE DOMINICAN ORDER

Excuse me Mr. Ibeku-Opi, to condemn the whole Dominican Order (thousands of priests and brothers) because of the sins of one person is a misjudgment and totally unacceptable. It is a miscarriage of justice. The same goes with your assertion that the Dominicans hate the Jesuits. I do not know where you get your information from. There might have been some passionate disagreements in the past between Dominicans and Jesuits but such disagreement was about ideas, teachings, or methods. Each side equally and passionately disagreed with the other, but NEVER hatred of persons - Jesuits or Dominicans.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU FR IHEANYI. TRUTH IS ALWAYS BITTER

I THANK GOD THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE WHO ARE COURAGEOUS TO DEFEND THE TRUTH AND JUSTICE EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY INJUSTICE AND LIES.
THANK GOD A NON MBAISE IS SPEAKING OUT WITHOUT ANY ATOM OF FEAR.
WHAT HAPPENED TO AHIARA AND STILL HAPPENING IS GOD'S DESIGN TO PURIFY HIS CHURCH. THE HUMAN FACE OF THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA MUST LEARN TO TRANSCEND THE NIGERIAN TREND AND SUB-CULTURE TO ENABLE HER HOLD ON TO THE FAITH TO THE NEXT CENTURY. THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA OUGHT TO BE GRATEFUL TO THE COURAGEOUS MBAISE PEOPLE WHO NEVER ALLOW INJUSTICE TO PREVAIL OVER THEM. CHRIST DIED FOR THE TRUTH. HE IS THE SON OF JUSTICE . PEACE CAN ONLY REIGN WHERE THERE IS JUSTICE. FR IHEANYI YOU WILL LIVE LONG.

Dominican Polemics

While my contribution to this is very late; this is nothing but a load of polemics to antagonize. This article was very poorly written. Forgive me to say, but this is almost always typical of the Dominican Order, for example, in their inimical hatred of the Jesuits. Fr. Stan's position was right on and this rejoinder is very very sad. It comes as no surprise that the Catholic Bishops banned your books. What about the vow you took as a priest? Does it really matter where the Bishop comes from? To try to tortuously abstract issues ex nihilo is an abdication of truth before brute facts. You have no reason being a priest of the Roman Catholic Church because according to your thesis, the parish where you work in Canada should have rejected you since you are not from their "tribe". Do not forget that the Bishop is just a priest and this position if you understand what it is, is not an "elevated" position as you ridiculously and deceptively asserted - being a bishop is to accept martyrdom.

Fr Enwerem is a political

Fr Enwerem is a political science lecturer so no one should be surprise by his stance. He writes like any Nigerian politician not mainly as a priest, though he is more of the later. He is evoking a general question about the Nigeria politics that has engulf the church though I don't agree with his choice of words as a Catholic priest. The Church is Universal, so Fr Enwerem should promote that and not should politics of vendetta!

i am not surpriced

well, to say the fact, those who know fr. enwerem O.P. should not be surpriced. he is graciously a tribalistic individual. he taught me in the seminary. it is a show of arrogance to think that any place cannot survive without the igbos. the truth should even be that the igbos cannot survive without others. those who build churches at home make their money outside.

Wahala dey o.

Is this guy a catholic priest? God help us!!!

Sad commentaries

this is why the catholic church is not growing....if we catholics were to look up to our clergy,none would be attending masses.The church survives because some of us who refuse to give up the faith continue to baptise our children into the church.

MBAISE VICIOUS ATTITUDE TO OTHERS DEMONSTRATED, NOT TRIAL OF IGB

No, it is not trial of Igbo Catholicism but a demonstration of legendary Mbaise vicious attitude towards others. Today, in Imo state, Mbaise people have literally not allowed a popularly elected governor Okorocha to drink water and drop cup. Mbaise fielded a deputy to Okorocha's opponent Ohakim who was rejected on the polls. And Mbaise has refused to bear the loss of the 2011 Imo guber election. About ninety percent of anti-Okorocha publications in the media since May 2011 originate from Mbaise people, or inspired by them. They call the governor names ranging from Clown to Rogue. Why are Mbaise people this vicious? They have extended their vicious attitude also to a catholic clergyman. In many of the diocese in Imo state Bishops from outside the diocese had held court as leader of the Catholic flock. Mbaise laity and clergy cannot afford to also hold the Catholic Church in the jugular?

The Church has certainly lost focus.

What we are seeing is not only applicable to Nigeria. Recently there was a rejection of Bishop in Free Town Sierra lone because he belong to another tribe. Politics has certainly torn the church apart. When Okoye was chased out of Port Harcourt after the war in Nigeria he was made the Bishop of Enugu and some politicians from Enugu led by CC Onoh who was not even a catholic went on protest at the Vatican demanding that an Enugu son should be appointed as Bishop of Enugu. Calling the above anomaly an Igbo problem is what I stand to disagree. Traditional Igbo culture does not accept mediocrity. The problem of Ahiara Dioceses didn't start with the appointment of Okpaleke, even before Chikwe the former bishop was appointed their was crisis and after his appointment a priest of the dioceses resigned from priesthood and today is married and practicing African traditional religion.

"destroy this temple" THEN WHAT?

Good to verify your facts before going public. Before being appointed bishop of Minna, Uzukwu was a priest of Ilorin diocese (like Onaiyekan). Ilorin is politically North but linguistically Yoruba. Uzukwu, therefore, is not fluent in Hausa as you recklessly averred. It is a verifiable fact that till today, 22nd January, 2013, Uzukwu is yet to give a full homily in the Hausa language. Of course, there continue to be complaints from some priests, as usual. That an outright rejection of the manifested will of the Vicar of Christ has not taken place is not just because there are not sufficient excuses or “significant Catholic population”, but probably because they understand the Faith differently. So much for the argument you built entirely on Uzukwu’s Minna diocese.

indigenes and settlers everywhere

The indigene/settler argument is quite unsettling for Nigeria. It's quite funny..a war was was fought to "keep Nigeria one" yet people remain foreigners in most parts of this "one Nigeria"..we're experts at fooling ourselves..

Your are a true Igbo patrot and a faithful priest

God bless you Fr. Enwerem. People should always see justice as the most important value in all human relations both indiviual and collective. Evuru Ozu Onye ozo odika evu ugwu nku. God bless you for being forthright in all fronts. People should search their conscience and ask what would Christ do in this case.
Selective justice and memory to vilify the Igbo is the evil the Nigerian elite have perfected and gullible Igbos easily buy into it without seeing the machinations in these. It is like Obasanjo telling the Igbo to forget the War when he vowed it would be at least a hundred years before Ndiigbo are given a sense of belonging in his unjust Nigeria.
Whatever one wishes another that is evil may it double down on the one. Amen!

Igbos cannot take the credit!

Iheanyi, while I commend you for the attempt to be balanced in your article esp on the Ahiara case, I laugh at your subtle assertion that without Igbo worshippers in most churches, Catholicism would be almost non-existent in non-Igbo areas. It is such arrogant posturing that pitts non-igbos to deride igbos in almost every facet of life in this country. Even the bible states that if men will not worship Him, God will raise up stones to worship Him. So be advised that no race or tribe has monopoly or superiority over others in the affairs of the catholic church. Only God is worthy of praise for the growth of His church in Nigeria, not the igbo race. Besides this spat in your article, I concur with you that the Ahiara situation, unfortunate as it is, is in fact a Nigerian problem. Nigerians as a whole must de-emphasize race and tribe in the handling of our affairs.

catholic

U need to go bk to school

Dangerous spin doctor

Siege mentality!!!!

If the Church is one does it

If the Church is one does it matters where the Bishop comes from? Because we are no longer evangelical, we have gone political and our followers are starving and those who don't want to starve have taken an alternative by joining the new generational churches springing up everyday with our members as founding members

the Igbo catholicism

Good evening padre.To say the least i am grossly disappointed in your commentary.To believe that a catholic priest of the order of preachers could so discriminate is very appaling,By the time we are through with this mudslinging and dirty linen laundry in the public you shall be held accountable for many who have lost their faith.Your long argument does not hold water at all.MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU

Grateful Thought

Sir, May your days be long full with good health. May u continues to be blessed bountifully in knowledge and wisdom. Indeed u have sowed a new seed of an egalitarian society filled with justice and kindness.