It is now days since the mass media published that Tony Nwoye, the gubernatorial candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 18, 2017, in Anambra State, has been going about calling Governor Willie Obiano and his wife thieves. Ndi Anambra have all along chosen to ignore such erratic behaviour. However, since the media have reported that Nwoye went to St Matthew’s Catholic Church in Amawbia on Sunday, October 15, 2017, to make this grave allegation and he has not denied the report, Ndi Anambra have decided to highlight the fact that something could be profoundly lacking in the politician’s mental and emotional makeup. It is a matter of debate whether Tony Nwoye believes in God, let alone the Church, which is the body of Christ. For Nwoye to chose the sacred premises of the church to make this spurious allegation, which neither he nor any other person could substantiate, would seem to confirm that he might indeed not believe in God. Worse, he made the statement on a Sunday, a holy day of obligation.
While Nwoye has chosen, without cause, to accuse Obiano of stealing the state’s resources, he has remained tongue-tied on lack of accountability by a former governor of our state whose agents were arrested by the police in Lagos with N250million cash in his private office at Apapa, Lagos, on Sunday, June 1, 2009. Nor has Nwoye commented on Governor Obiano’s refusal to part with a whopping N7billion, which a newly self-appointed godfather of the state had allegedly demanded as a basis for a possible reconciliation between him and Obiano. The church is not a place to make statements, which are false and intended to malign the reputations of innocent people, particularly our leaders. Any politician who has no fear of God is extremely dangerous to the whole of society and, in fact, mankind. Such dangerous people, in recent years, include Adolf Hitler of Germany, who dragged humanity into World War II. Ndi Anambra are not aware of any evidence that Nwoye regularly goes to church even on Sundays, except on occasions like weddings and, of course, political campaigns. His turning the church into a place to make false and malicious allegations, in the name of politics, is a cardinal sin, that is, the kind of sin that will lead someone straight to hell if he or she does not repent and undergo the sacrament of reconciliation. Nwoye’s action brings to mind how some money changers turned the temple into a market, a development, which forced Jesus Christ to whip the offenders out of the holy place (Matthew 21: 12). Christ sternly warned the traders not to turn “my father’s place” into a place for all manner of things. Indeed, this was one of the few things that ever provoked Jesus Christ extremely.
We hope Nwoye will ever realise the gravity of this sin. We enjoined the ecclesial authorities to immediately initiate the process of cleansing St Matthew’s Catholic Church, Amawbia, in the manner Christ cleansed the temple, which the merchants and money changers desecrated. We regret that Nwoye has always insisted on living up to his reputation as someone with controversial conduct. Not even his controversial nomination as the APC gubernatorial candidate in the coming election has made him change his ways. Rather than tell Ndi Anambra what he plans to do for them as a politician, Nwoye has chosen to desecrate the church in broad daylight, in the presence of not only priests and religious but also the Blessed Sacrament, by telling unconscionable lies against leaders of the state. Yet, the Bible tells us to honour our political leaders. Christ himself said: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s” (Matthew 22: 21). The Bible says in Romans 13:1, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God”. Tony Nwoye’s unrestrained verbal abuse of our leaders is a good example of the kind of violence social scientists call psychological violence, which is different from physical violence and structural violence. Ndi Anambra abhor violence in all its ramifications.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Nwoye has launched a vicious attack against the leaders of Anambra State without provocation. A few days ago, he circulated an excoriating statement against traditional rulers in the state, especially the highly revered Obi of Onitsha. He said unprintable things against them for merely advising Ndi Anambra to obey their conscience and reject filthy lucre when voting during the November 18 election. Nwoye’s behaviour brings to mind the tremendous catastrophe visited on Anambra State during the regime of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nwoye’s party until recently. The climax of the endless violence was in November 2004, when our beloved state was subjected to three days of unprecedented mayhem.
The Governor’s Office was burnt, just like the Anambra State House of Assembly and the Judicial Complex. The Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS) was also destroyed, as well as well cars belonging to innocent passers-by who were mostly indigenes of Anambra State. Let us state for the umpteenth time that Anambra State is the light of the nation. It is the state, which produced such global icons as Rt Hon Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who led Nigeria to independence in 1960; Professor Chinua Achebe, Africa’s greatest novelist; Pius Okigbo, Africa’s biggest economist; Christopher Okigbo, Africa’s most verbally exciting poet writing in the English language; and Olaudah Equiano, who, in 1789, became the first West African to write a book. Any person aspiring to lead Anambra State must be of sound mind, must be seen to be upright in character and must have fear of God in him or her. • Nzeribe is secretary of the Council for Christian Values, Anambra State branch.