Journalist and popular Onitsha preacher, Theo Ejikeme, blames some of the challenges confronting Ndigbo on the failure of religious organisations particularly churches in the region, to live up to their billings in drawing the attention of God to the plight of the people. He also speakes on how the Igbo could achieve their dream of Biafra.
Some say Igbo need Biafra as panacea to the challenges facing them. Others are of the opinion that restructuring of Nigeria is the ultimate for them. What’s your take?
I prefer Biafra because that will bring the best out of the Igbo man. Restructuring Nigeria cannot bring the best out the Igbo man. I like challenges. The birth of Biafra corresponds to the cause of globalisation that God is evolving. In Nigeria, we have all become lazy because we think lazy. Nobody is thinking of how Nigeria can grow and be measured with the developed world. Everybody wants President Muhammadu Buhari to do magic. But Buhari is not a magician. The magic to change Nigeria lies on us, as Nigerians.
The way the system runs in Nigeria cannot bring out our best, that was what General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu noticed and initiated move for Biafra. Nigeria is entangled by unhealthy politics of religious interest, tribal interest and selfishness among the people. I don’t see us getting there with Nigeria but Biafra will put Ndigbo on their toes to build a home where things work for the good of the people. With Biafra, Ndigbo would unleash their talents to build a home where there is food and water. A home where there is electricity, good road, good education for children and functional healthcare system. Biafra will put Ndigbo on their toes to develop resources and means of revenue, build their own economy, build military power, armed forces, face global politics, compete with other nations and by so doing show the stuff we are made of. Biafra is the ultimate but the question is how do we get it?
In my own opinion and like I said earlier, we have to deal with our domestic problems first and then build up the capacity and means to fight for our interest. At this moment, Igbo don’t have enough means to fight. That is the major area I want to tackle. I have strong Christian based means for the Igbo man to use and fight his way through.
Does Ndigbo have all it takes to solve their problems without seeking external help?
No. But we have to help ourselves first before the United Nation can come to our rescue. The international communities know us better than we know ourselves. You are organising rally for President Donald Trump but what was your level of participation in the 2015 general election in Nigeria? How have you contributed to improving democracy in your state, in your region and in your country? The governors are making mess of the people with the local government system and nobody is saying anything. And you are here, writing the UN and holding rally for a foreign president. The level at which Ndigbo play politics is very poor. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has a vision and moved one political party all round the region and consequently moved his party to Aso Rock, the Nigeria seat of power. Did Tinubu write to the UN or the US Government to achieve that? No.
Ndigbo have to review their relationship with God. We have to review the way we worship God. It is well known globally that Christianity according to the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Pentecostal Churches among others have the answer to the problems of humanity, yet Ndigbo are massively engaged with these churches. The evidence of failure of these churches is clearly shown by the fact that the society where they have huge presence with gigantic cathedrals and larger followers is full of social vices with evil people. Diseases and sicknesses are destroying people in an alarming rate. Yet we claim to be religious. We really need to rethink as a people if we are to achieve the best.
Do you support the call by Nnamdi Kanu that people should boycott the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State?
As part of strategies to deal with domestic problems, I have told leaders of pro Igbo groups like Professor Uzodimma Nwala of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Evangelist Eliot Ukoh of Igbo Youth Movement, Chief Gregory Ibe of World Igbo Summit Group (WISG) and others that the first task is to make sure that good people are elected into positions in Igbo land. We have to go for good leadership. In my book, Desert Storm, I recommended that we have to raise the qualities of a would-be president and governors in Nigeria to prevent people who are not capable from going there. These governors are killing our system and our future. Nnamdi Kanu should unleash his crowd on the election and contribute to elect a good person as Anambra governor and build up capacity from there.
You cannot restore Biafra by confronting Nigeria. Confrontation may lead to war. We can’t allow that. War is an issue of the Dark Age when people were pagans and didn’t have relationship with Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace. This is the area some people disagree with Kanu. To restore Biafra, we have to drag Nigeria to God through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and get judgment before divine providence on the ground that the country, according to Professor Onwuchekwa Jemie, is a failure and complete disappointment to humanity. We do this with prayer and diplomacy.
The fight against corruption, Boko Haram, kidnapping, militancy and herdsmen remains a daunting task to the Federal Government. How can this ugly menace be permanently tackled?
I believe in globalization. I believe that realising the potential of Nigeria, as a great nation is not impossible. In fact, my book Desert Storm is like a blue print on how to take Nigeria to the promise land. Why I support Biafra is because I want Ndigbo to undertake the challenge of nation building. They have what it takes to achieve that. Is it bad that we have Nigeria, Biafra, South Africa and Egypt as giants of Africa? The failure of the Federal Government to overcome these security challenges is stemmed from the inability of the religious leaders to bring out the voice and power of the masses into action and fix them into what government does. I am speaking out of research as publish in Desert Storm. The masses are not part of what government does in the area of security because their leaders are more interested in extorting money from them instead of teaching them the right thing. The church leaders are not telling their followers about their worth in God and their roles in nation building. To secure the country is not an issue of bombs, guns and bullet alone, it also involves prayers and of course prayer from the poor, orphans, widows and those that are disadvantaged in one way or the other. In real context of Christianity, the poor and these other categories of people I listed were used for building alliance. In democracy, the people are the strongest ally to government. And it is the duty of religious leaders who control the masses to bridge the gap between government and the people. People have to be equipped and taught how to pray and fire spiritual bullets and bombs against Boko Haram, against corrupt leaders, kidnappers, militants and killer herdsmen. Church leaders organise programs, gather people and raise so much money but they don’t organise prayers for Nigeria Army to defeat Boko Haram. The highest thing the leaders do with the masses is to front them at campaigns during election to collect money from politicians. After collecting money, they share and used it to buy land and expensive worldly things without given part of such money to their followers whom they fronted before politicians. Their focus is not to build people into God but to extort money from the people. Tell me how giving offerings, paying tithes and making donations to churches impacted on the society? It’s time the people become wise. Pastors who have money and means to fly all round the world but have their members suffering from acute poverty and malnutrition are anti-Christ. Those who make huge donations to the church but have poor people around them are agents of darkness.
What is this Prayer Focus on Ndigbo you talk about?
I said earlier that God has called me to retool Christians for more effective service of evangelism. The focus is a topic of evangelism with Ndigbo as target audience. Ndigbo need prayers on imperative note. Ndigbo need prayer for wisdom of God, wisdom to play politics in Nigeria and the world. Prayer to break away from problems inherent of ancestors. Prayer to bring the best out of them by harmonising their talents and galvanising their potentials into reality. Prayer to discover or rediscover their soul and destiny. Prayer to deal with domestic problems and enthrone a system that guarantees better life for the people. Mostly importantly, Ndigbo need prayer for deliverance and liberation from shackles of darkness blocking us from zooming into a well deserved global limelight in the affairs of the world as one of the genius of this present time. There is also need to pray for Nigeria and the world to appreciate the ingenuity of the Igbo man and see reason to give Ndigbo good platform to serve humanity. These are the key prayer points. However, before we start praying there has to be a discussion during which we do introspection and analyse the atmosphere of our lives as Ndigbo. We have to find out our own faults, our internal problems and deal with them so as to put ourselves in a stronger position to face and overcome the challenges before us. We need to gain a certain level of strength at home to enable us dare and conquer. Israel dared and conquered the enemies because they are strong at home. Some people are writing United Nation, writing America Government, holding rally for President Donald Trump with a view to draw their attention on the plight of Ndigbo. I don’t believe in writing United Nation and Donald Trump because I am sure that they won’t listen to such things.