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Rev Fr Anelu: Even in church Ndigbo are hated!

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Rev Fr James Anelu

BY SUNNY IGBOANUGO

You may have heard about Rev. Father James Anelu, Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu.
If you haven’t, I’ll tell you. Last Sunday, the mass he was conducting ended abruptly. Why? Brainwave! If you knew the Catholic Church well, you’ll know there’s always a second collection after the main offering collection. Well, some parishes call for third, fourth and fifth, depending on the tendencies and whims of the particular priest in charge. In more cases than one the congregation(s), grumble over the number of times they have to answer such calls, yours truly, guilty too. But somehow open rebellions have always or most times been kept in check. At least, I haven’t witnessed such.
The point here is that the Catholic priest is completely in charge during the mass and hardly opposed no matter what method he adopts in conducting the mass.
That must have imbued this particular priest to do the unthinkable. Reports say it was while this second collection was in progress that he struck. He was incensed that the process was being accompanied by an Igbo song.
He not only ordered the choir to end the song, but ordered the complete ban of Igbo songs to be sung in the church during mass in the parish.
Reason: Dominance. Ndigbo, according to him were dominating the church, just as “they’re dominating everything,” in the country, he was quoted as saying. Does it sound familiar?
He was said to have also cited an example of how the Igbo went to Benin his home archdiocese and “dominated” so much that an Igbo became a bishop. Phew!

But are you surprised? That means you didn’t believe China Achebe when he said that it’s only on Igbo issue that other Nigerians at war would shelve their differences, come together in agreement, deal with it and return to their war. In other words, hating the Igbo man is a Nigerian national ideology.
Just imagine what the current issue of the Igbo becoming the next President! They’re now being asked to bring the proverbial heart of the ant and the eyes of the tiger.
They’re now conjuring all manner ideas and adducing thousands of arguments on why it must not be Igbo. But take a little peek into history. An Igbo who won the candidacy of a major political party had to give it up Free of Charge (FOC) just to achieve an end.
The same Igbo man builds mansions in other lands, for residence and commercial, establish businesses, eat their food, wear their clothes take their titles, marry their women, contribute to community development and even change their names to those of the locals.
What really have the Igbo not done to deserve the love of their contemporaries. Run a check on the said church the priest is banning Igbo songs, don’t be surprised that 90 per cent of the development is done by the same Ndigbo community. Take that to the bank. Yet!
It’s good that Archbishop Adewale Martins, in charge of Lagos reacted swiftly to check such open toxicity.
But surely, that’s hardly enough because it’s a matter of DNA. A disease that has entered the blood is difficult to cure.
But do you know what? The Igbo will continue to be what God made them – WORLD CITIZENS! In the parish of my tiny village, we’ll continue to sing Uwase Baba, E see o Baba, Baaba Mimo e see o, Mugwode Allah etc! Let them hate. Ndigbo will be Igbo. Nigerian, world citizen! That’s what counts!

Source: Facebook

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