My Ebira people, hear me now! Where is your Echane? destroyed with violence. Where is Ekuechi? Destroyed with violence. Where is Miss Okene show? Destroyed with violence. What about our politics? Destroyed with reckless abandon.
What about clannish heritage? Destroyed with mayhem. All these ought to strengthen our relationship and expand our interactions within and with outside world but we destroyed them over useless superiority contests that can’t stand after Lokoja. Those festivals we destroyed would have been sources of revenue while projecting ourselves to the world.
To be proudly Ebira is to first attain human being status that knows shame and avoids it. To be Proudly Ebira is to be good to all Ebira and to non Ebira. Ebira summarises that goodness Human beings are made of. But in recent decades we have chosen to live against the name ‘Ebira’ in its moral essence. This negative contrast is disheartening because it can blur the achievements of many Ebira who are distinguishing themselves as best of human beings across the world. Just in Abuja here, you find uncountable Ebira engaging contemporary world with utmost excellence.
We are created to be among the best. But at home, something is really wrong. Very wrong!
In Islam, the leadership position carries heavy loads of responsibilities that even the most pius try to avoid. The development in Ebiraland over the Imamship is shameful and condemnable. Apart from rumours that some people had gone to the point of seeking native doctors’ help and consulting with traditional shrines just to see that their preferred candidate is selected, some people have resorted to engaging thugs, armed them with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons to intimate rival sect. Sadly enough, the Father of all Ebira, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland who ought to step in and call all to other has already taken side. The letter he addressed to late Imam, Musa Galadima and unconventional pronouncement of substantive imam is brewing serious sectorian crisis in Ebiraland. The same ugly occurrences that destroyed our traditional festivals in the land are raring their heads again. Some people have been severed with knife and wood( two by two) just to prove a point. For what?!
The onus is now on Governor Yahaya Bello to do the needful to avoid this avoidable crisis. But come think of it, that in a time like this, the so called Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs is nowhere to be seen. They ought to have spoken to Muslims in Ebiraland on Islamic standard of selecting new Imam. By now the Council ought to have addressed the issue of deputy in Masjid leadership to calm waring factions in the land. They can’t play ignorance in this matter. You can’t continue to go about with chorus of ‘Islam means peace’ while we can’t make that peace among ourselves over Imamship. Let us practise what we preach.
And I urge Governor Yahaya Bello to quickly consult with Muslim scholars across Nigeria and beyond and set up shura committee to select new imam on the bases of sound Islamic rules and traditions before the brewing violence consume the innocent lives. That the last Jumaat service was suspended to avoid clash in the month of Ramadan is uncalled-for.
Who let the Devil out!
Yours in Faithfully;
Anold Ali OVUREVU