ODUMEJE AND HIS CHALLENGE TO TRADITIONALIST
Nigeria, by the design of our founding fathers, is a secular state. This was informed by the overwhelming need to accommodate the diverse faiths of the component parts of the country. This secular arrangement is not only firmly entrenched in the Constitution but also jealousy guarded to ensure that nobody, including policymakers, ever infringes on it. This freedom of worship represents a vital aspect of our national life. It is therefore very alarming, indecent, and provocative for some Nigerians to serially and recklessly make derogatory statements that tend to offend other people’s religious belief systems.
It has become a pleasurable pass time of the Pentecostal pastors and sundry clergy of other Christian denominations to cast damning aspersions on traditionalists and their religious preferences. They regard as abhorrent every aspect of traditional religion that does not pander to the dictates of Christianity.
Much as it could be said that nothing in life is perfect, these Christian apologists are, by all calculation, the worst agents of Lucifer. These demonic Christian crusaders only see the tiny spec of dust in the eyes of traditional religious worshippers but fail to see the giant logs in their eyes. There is an endless list of gory, sacrilegious tales associated with our New age pastors and clergymen that are too shocking and that are deeply rooted in the occult. But rather than reform, these anti-traditional religious forces have continued to derogate all aspects of our cultural and religious heritage to ridiculous levels.
For some time now, Odumeje, Mbaka and some new generation Christian clergymen have continued to dare traditional worshippers. They have continued to demonize traditionalists for cheap propaganda gains. But for how long must adherents of traditional religion put up with this mischievous onslaught?
These antagonists of traditional religion are guilty of abhorrent practices ranging from the defilement of married women, ritual sacrifices, incestuous practices, false prophecies e.t.c. They scam their members dry with ambiguous assurances of wealth and salvation. Yet they see nothing wrong and sickening in their doctrines.
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Their posturing is just a sham that is beginning to get Nigerians worried. For quite a long while, practitioners of traditional religion have maintained a cautious silence that has being mistaken for cowardice and guilt. It has become fashionable for ambitious clergymen to use falsehood against traditionalists to rise. The end result of this is that they have ruined and destabilized homes, set family members against one another, enthroned distrust, hatred, divisions, e.t.c. in homes and communities by their relentless onslaught on the peoples sensibilities and gullibility.
It is on record that Odumeje has ceaselessly challenged traditionalists to a bout. And I make bold to use the instrumentality of this medium to convey to him the acceptance of his challenge. The body of traditional worshippers is sick and tired of his gimmicks. And until he holds himself in check regarding his ranting against other people’s belief systems, a head on collusion will be inevitable and at the end we shall know who will be the casualty.
Dr. Ramas Okoye Asuzu ( Ezeoba Akajiofo Ndigbo Gburgburu and the Crowned Custodian of Igbo Culture).