(An open Letter sent to the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Dr. M. N. Okoro in January 2006)

After many months of contemplation and opinion testing, I have decided to write you this letter not in show of guts, but to express my humble view that Your Lordship should play a leading role in mobilizing our people against the prevailing trend of official corruption and tyranny at all levels of governance in Ebonyi state. No honest right thinking person in Ebonyi state can claim that anything is alright with the way and manner our resources are being handled. It is a big disgrace to all of us that the wealth and resources of about two million people are being commandeered and squandered by one family and his cronies for over six years and nobody is seriously speaking out against it. This is certainly not about fighting any individual, but squarely about us tackling a deadly scourge which threatens our survival as a people.  As enlightened people we cannot shy away from the fact that the nefarious activities of those in government have directly afflicted more pains and sufferings on our people. It cannot be right not to challenge the day light fraud going on in the government house against the entire people of Ebonyi State.

One is not unaware of the fact that you have chosen  to restrict yourself  to  religious duties, but as a responsible leader and elder in the state, you cannot ignore the fact that your people are suffering and dying needlessly because resources meant for the betterment of their lives are been siphoned and wasted on frivolous programmes and projects. It would not require any political battle with anyone, but simply speaking out for the people. The real problem we face is not necessarily about evil minded individuals being in power, but mainly about those who should be speaking for the people not doing so. We cannot expect Motor Park touts who have joined politics simply for the sole reason of making more money to speak for the people. The beginning of our progress must start with enlightening the people to understand their rights and entitlements in a modern society. The fact that it is very easy for members of any given rural community to rise and dethrone their Eze for the slightest allegation of corruption or abuse of position (even thought no traditional ruler in Nigeria has real power or any financial vote), but the same people cannot deem it necessary to challenge blatant acts of fraud by their local government chairman clearly shows that  the people who ought to be the victims of the atrocities of corruption are totally ignorant of  the fact that government monies are meant for the development of their communities and not as a jackpot for whoever overseas it. This sad situation can only be changed if enlightened members of the society whether as priests or journalists begin to enlighten the ordinary people on what to do. There is no society of sane minded people where rogues and people with dubious characters are left unchallenged to govern. Genuine and honest people in a society like ours riddled with devastating acts of fraud and corruption cannot keep quite under any guise. It must be wrong for anyone to believe that being a religious leader excludes him from participating in the development of his society.

Your Lordship must realise that this is about his own homeland and that he is morally accountable to the people as a leader/elder in the state and cannot just be watching things. The Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki dioceses may not have been elected by the people to speak on their behalf, but in a society where no one else is bold or honest enough to confront blatant fraud and public dishonesty he should be rightly looked upon as a beacon of morality to stand out clearly in favour of what is right. We must begin to connect our religious beliefs to our societal life and change the notion of worshiping God purely for our individual salvations upon death. For Christianity to acquire a living value and ultimately contribute to the development of our society, churches must assume the duty to speak for the oppressed masses. I believe that a sustainable change can only be attained in Nigeria only when it is people-driven and those who can drive the people towards such change are mainly religious leaders because they are closest to the people and wield the greatest influence on them.  It would cost the Bishop of Abakaliki no money to gather thousands of people to listen to him and possibly march them to government house to demand to know how their monies have been spent since October 1, 1996, whereas no politician in Nigeria might be able to convince a handful of people to listen to him for few minutes without financial inducements. The point being made here is that our religious leaders can use their powers and influences to transform our society by way of changing the psyche of the ordinary people that gather in the churches and mosques everyday rather than paying courtesy calls on fraudulent and wicked individuals who wangled themselves to political power for selfish aims. People must be enlightened to understand that government resources are not meant for the betterment of the chairman or governor as the case may be, but for the betterment of their community in general. Most importantly, we must urgently appreciate the fact that not challenging the present madness would set a dangerous precedent against the future of our state. Of course, it would be morally wrong to protest against a future governor striving to surpass his predecessor in wealth amassment by aiming to buy up the best streets in the best cities of the world and possibly diverting every resource meant for the development of education in the state to build a private University for his wife.

Your Lordship must get actively involved in the development of Ebonyi state as a respectable member of the society and not as an external observer. To my mind it is not fair on us as your flock that you choose to remain silent on the most serious issues affecting our lives bearing in mind the fact that there is no one else capable of speaking out since every opposition has been quietened. Nothing can be more crucial to our people than being healthy and living decent lives here on earth.

I deeply regret any disrespect or harm my views might cause anyone, but my sincere concern is about improving the quality of life of our people. I have written this letter as my own contribution to the defence of truth, equity and justice in our society.  And I have no doubt in my mind that my views would be shared by a good majority of right-thinking people.

I must thank you for finding time to read my lengthy words.

Yours Sincerely,

John A. Iteshi


London, January 4, 2006 


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Exxcuzme posted on 08-18-2006, 06:49:21 AM
Mr Iteshi,

You can help your state and the holy man you are writing this open letter to by highlighting some of the corruptiosn by your state government.

An example, show some of his plush cars, houses, concubines and the owanbe party the governor and officials have been wasting the state resources on.

Highlight the elephant projects the government is using to siphon state funds.

Take a digital camera to highlight the deplorable infrastructure in the state....you can even show case some of the suffering residents of the state

Write to Sowore or elendureports to help you investigate your state governor and the holy father would have ammunitions to mobilize the people for the cause.

Can you do these and get back to us.....just asking?
Odenigbo posted on 08-18-2006, 14:36:47 PM
Can you publish the reply to your letter from the Bishop?
Denker posted on 08-18-2006, 22:19:18 PM
Speak Up Against Evil In Ebonyi State Governance

abeg go home fight the evils...for me i see no evil, i hear no evil and i speak no evil..understand...!
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