SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013.
REFLECTIONS ON THE SYNOD OF DIOCESE OF ASABA
THE first session of the 13th Synod of the Diocese of Asaba, which held at All Saints’ Anglican Church, Cable Point, Asaba from May 23 to 26, was presided over by the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu. The theme of the synod was: Ikwua Ukwu Ilue Mba, a metaphor for a synergy for integrated spiritual and material well-being.’
Reading his charge at the occasion, Bishop Mogekwu raised some salient issues, which are:
One, proliferation of flamboyant titles, accolades and appellations. He was of the view that the Nigerian society is obsessed with titles. Unfortunately, however, there are some who ought to be accorded honours, but are by omission or commission not remembered. He cited a compelling example of the late Lt. Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, the first military governor of the then Western State. It was said that he played a host to the then General J. T. U. Aguyi Ironsi, the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria at Ibadan. He later paid the supreme price, when he allowed himself to be butchered alongside his host. It was a most horrendous death. But today, according to the Bishop, he is both unspoken of and unsung by successive governments in Nigeria. No post-humours attention so far.
The Bishop added, Francis Adekunle’s body may lie mouldering in the grave, but his soul cries for a redress of this injustice. Thank God, we have a listening government in place now. I think it will only be good to say, let honour be given to whom honour is due.
Two, he was not happy in the way the Church is meddling with the things of the world. He observed: both within the walls of the Church and outside, the Church and its leadership seem to have lost their clout in fighting sorrow and sin, to set their captives free. Enmeshed in corruption, the Church competes with the secular world in mundane acquisition of filthy lucre, which has so drowned its voice that it can no longer be heard pleading the cause of the poor and the oppressed. The Church’s voice has been suffocated by its indulgence in the sinful vanities of a perishing world. What a shame!
Third, he painted a satire about the Nigerian nation. Even today, many Heads of State from the third world would cringe when they stand side-by-side the Nigerian President at any international forum. They feel miniaturised by Nigeria’s towering image of an exceedingly rich oil-producing and oil-exporting country whose citizens do not even know what to do with their wealth. They envy Nigeria. But they do not respect Nigeria. The monumental corruption — the official thieving in high and low places; violent crime manifesting in ever increasing new forms everyday viz: armed robbery, kidnapping, hired assassins, religious terrorism, money-making rituals, which demand human blood and others are easily the subjects of news reportage and news analysis. It is only proper that our nation, Nigeria, should turn to God for healing and restoration.
Fourthly, he did not spare the home front in relation to marriage institution. Bishop Mogekwu opined: ‘there are a great deal of public figures with very intimidating profiles, admirable managers of men whose friendship is coveted by all and sundry; captains of industries who are so rich that they do not know what to do with their wealth; yet when you look close enough into their marital life, you are disgusted by what you see. A general, who has commanded the nation’s army, cannot bring his children under Godly discipline. A lot of them die bequeathing to their children long strings of litigations over their father’s property. Sometimes these children, especially if they are from different mothers, resort to diabolical means to dispossess one another.’ We should think deeply therefore, the home is the nucleus of society and anything that happens to it by extension will affect the wider society. Remember, if the foundation is destroyed, what will the righteous do?
However, Bishop Mogekwu was hopeful and called on the Church and individuals to rise up to their God given responsibilities.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.