The General Overseer of City of Refuge and Convener of Centre for Values, change & initiatives, Bishop Oscar Ossai has said the recent victimisation of a Catholic Church in Kaduna portends great danger for the country.
On Sunday, August 7, worshipers at St Augustine of Hippo Chapel, Kongo Campus of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, were denied access to the hall they’ve been using for Mass in the last 15 years.
They were reportedly denied access to the facility because of a directive that the Church returns the letter of permission to worship in the hall that was issued to them 15 years ago until when a permanent site is approved for them.
A church building foundation in Kaduna State University was also reportedly destroyed a few weeks ago. In the same university, there are over five mosques but not a single church building for Christians according to reports.
Reacting, Bishop Ossai stated that this gross violation of the rights of the Christian community is made possible because both the Kaduna governor and his deputy are Muslims.
He said what is happening in Kaduna State is a clear case of faith-based victimisation.
According to him, a joint interfaith ticket ensures that a religious bigot is tamed from within.
Ossai explained that “a democratic structure is celebrated for its inherent checks and balances, unlike a monarchy where the king is a paramount ruler. Many in our political class do not understand meekness when in power.”
While noting that a Muslim / Muslim ticket is playing out in Kaduna state he warned that such must not be tolerated at the national level.
Any Christian father advocating anything other than an interfaith ticket according to Ossai “has become dim spiritually and physically like Eli the priest whose failure birthed Samuel the great prophet.”
Ossai who has been at the vanguard of encouraging Christians to join politics for many years now, said the time has come for fathers of faith to rise against the injustice in the land.
He cited the example of Abraham in the Bible who raised an army to save his nephew, Lot. He then urged church fathers to rise to the challenge presently starring Nigeria in the face.
He said, “Our fathers are having their children killed unceremoniously, churches burnt down and whole villages pillaged and completely destroyed in the Christian belt of our NATION and many have not followed the pattern laid down by ABRAHAM the father of faith.
“Is it only when the headquarter churches come under attack that they will stick their heads out from Adullam? I speak as a prophet of God, and my calling has a lot of unction on the issues of church and state.”
He reasoned that not many fathers in the faith are knowledgeable on the issues of church and state.
Ossai counselled that pastors who know little in this area should seek knowledge and not lead the church into another path of regret in 2023.