Wednesday, January 11, 2012

APC Directly Responsible for the Makeni Brouhaha

Father Henry Aruna-The Outsider
Over the past four years, the APC government of Ernest Koroma has ensured that appointments to top positions in Sierra Leone, be it political or adminstrative appointments, were made primarily  on the basis of tribal or regional affiliations. Probably the people of Makeni, the main town in the north, have come to expect that almost any important appointment in the country, should be along the lines of EBK's ethnocentric ideology and were thus taken aback when the catholic church decided to make an appointment that was based purely on the virtues of merit and character.

All the excuses given by the rogue priests who are leading the rejection of the appointment of Father Henry Aruna who was the Secretary General of the Inter-Territorial Catholic Church Conference of the Gambia and Sierra Leone as the Bishop of Makeni do not hold water.

The secretary general of of the Makeni Laity, Gerald Alex Sesay said they would reject Father Aruna as they considered it an insult to have an outsider, who happens to be Sierra Leonean, lead the church hierarchy. The irony that Father Aruna was replacing Monsignor Giorgio Biguzzi who was not even Sierra Leonean, seems to have been lost on the rogue priests and Church elders.

Pope Benedict rejects Tribalism
Monsignor John Tarawalli and other leaders of this rebellion should have realized that the appointment of bishops are not done not on the basis of tribal or political considerations, but purely on the basis of established church criteria. The day the catholic church bows to the whims of tribalists in making  these decisions in Sierra Leone will be a sad day in the country's history.

Priests are men who have decided to dedicate their lives to spreading the word of God around the world and the only qualification they should possess should be humility, purity of heart and a dedication to preaching the tenets of their religion. They are missionaries who are expected to travel all over the world, converting people to the teachings of Christ, on the basis of catholic faith. The fact that they are Chinese or Loko or Mende does not matter at all, as God has no hand in tribal discrimination.

Tribalism and regionalism, especially within a country are vices that create divisions and illogical hatred in society as amply demonstrated by this Makeni brouhaha. Though they would claim otherwise, it is deep tribal divisions that are now so rampant in Sierra leone that is the primary reason for this crisis. If father Aruna is an outsider, were Bishop Biguzzi or Azzolini, past bishops of Makeni insiders? These priests were not even Africans.

The priest who are leading this church rebellion should read the word of Jesus more carefully, as he said, "love your neighbor as you love yourself." If Jesus wants you to love a neighbor as yourself, and you as a priest stand in your robes in all piety and preach his words, why would you claim that you won't accept your  brother from the same country, only because he comes from a different region or tribe?
ABC Secretariat, APC Stalwarts

The leaders of Sierra Leone preach attitudinal change and have even established a secretariat for this headed by APC party stalwarts. I believe the first attitude they should change is stopping the spread of tribalism and party divisions. The Attitude and Behavioral Change Secretariat should be staffed by APC, SLPP and PMDC  or any other party supporters who should research ways of bringing the people of the country together. We should first develop the attitude of seeing each other as one, before we change any other attitude. If you consider your neighbor your brother, all other attitudes will fall in place.

As Lucky Dube rightly stated, "we are different colors, but one people"
Diffent Colours, One People

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