Every Sunday across the length and breadth of Imo State, an estimated 2 million people fill the auditorium of various Christian worship centers.
2 million is a very conservative estimate- it could actually be more. More than 90% of Imolites are practicing Christians. It would also be fair to estimate that at least 50% of Imo Christians are regular with their Sunday worships.
More than any other organization or group in the state, the Church of God in Imo state has a very wide audience and reach millions of people with their programs each week.
If you have a good message to share, you need the crowd on your side at all times.
Napoleon Hill in one his books said that the churches that will thrive in the new age must show as much concern to the material interests of the faithful as they do to their spiritual wellbeing.
Churches are supposed to draw men closer to God, to redirect the lost to the path of righteousness and support those in various needs- spiritual and material.
I do not see the wisdom of keeping quiet while a society of godly men is being ruled by godless men. It makes zero sense. The church must step out of her cocoon this time and I will tell you why.
Millions of Imo Christians are terribly affected by the run of bad governance in Imo since 2007. These Christians have seen their salaries denied or delayed, and so many of them have been sacked, others have had their buildings demolished without proper compensation, so many have been kidnapped, robbed and their means of livelihood shattered because the government failed in its duty.
The dreams of millions of Imo Christian youths have been shattered because the opportunity for economic expressions have been stifled by a government that cares only about what it takes from the people and never about what it gives.
Imo elderly population (many of who are also church elders) are living in regrets in their old age because their statutory entitlements (pensions and gratuities) have been denied by the state government for years.
Millions of Imo Christians live in poor settlements, inhale foul air, ply bad roads and inhabit places that are not decent for God’s creatures.
Imo infrastructure is decayed, her roads the worst in all of southern Nigeria.
All of these should be of great concern to the church in Imo and her leadership. It is about time we rose to confront the stubborn demons of this age.
I said sometimes ago that the biggest witchcraft in Imo is the state government. Their refusal to pay salaries, create enabling environment for economic activities and scant attention to infrastructure is impoverishing millions, throwing people into the abyss of poverty and destitution.
It would be a tragedy if the church fails to appreciate the magnitude of rot going on in Imo’s public sector.
This is where they need to rewire their messages to alter the timidity and ignorance that have combined to keep us in the cage of tyrants and criminal leadership.
The church must rise against bad leaders and those who feast on the collective wealth of God’s children. The church must not be intimidated into “minding their callings.”
It was the church in Anambra that rose to sack Chinweoke Mbadinuju and his godfathers in 2003.
You will also recall that in places like Owerri, Archbishop AJV Obinna has been a thorn in the flesh of almost all administrations in the state.
If you know Cardinals Olubumi Okogie and John Onayeikan and Bishop Mathew Kukah, you will remember them more for their activism in defence of the interest of the common man (Christians and non-Christians alike) than for their titles as religious leaders.
I have gone far and near to bring to your attention the active participation of men of God and Christian denominations in offering guidance to the society at critical moments.
Every church in Imo therefore must be committed to
the message of fixing Imo from the plague of criminal and dishonest rulership.
I invite our men of God to speak out against the non-payment of salaries by the state government, about the lack of accountability in the management of constituency allowances by our federal and state legislatures, and about the neglect of the state by federal appointees from the state.
Church leaders must be attentive to what is happening in the society. They must know how much accrues to the state each month through the various revenue channels and ask how these funds were deployed.
The church leaders must bookmark the websites of agencies as the RMAFC, FIRS, CBN, BUDGIT and others on their internet-enabled devices. They must be knowledgeable enough on what is happening in the polity so as to share the message of liberation with their congregations.
Imo LGAs receive more than a billion naira from the federal government each month. Why are the secretariat of most councils overtaken by grasses and rodents? The church must be interested in finding out why.
I know that several church leaders in Imo are largely compromised. But I know that even one uncompromised priest can lead a revolutionary charge from the pulpit. We really do not need a crowd to start a campaign for social change. All we need is one sincere and committed man And he is Tony Nwulu.
Imo can be better and that will happen only when those with the capacity to birth a new order begin to exercise their authority over the land.
Thanks for reading and please- share this message with any man of God you know. The situation at hand in Imo is too critical to be left for politicians alone. All of us must step in.
Written Ugonna Ihekwoaba