y1WlEjNAYV3-K1WpS3N1_iK3Azo TaJuLa's Blog: Consul-General Replies..........

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Consul-General Replies..........


My attention was drawn to an article written by Mr. Chika Onyeani in his weekly online newspaper “The African Sun Time” of August 14, 2012, on the unfortunate accident of 21st July, 2012, which claimed the lives of five Nigerians and left some wounded.  My prayers go to the families of those who lost their loved ones.  May the Almighty accept them unto His keeping and grant their families fortitude to bear this irreparable sad loss.  May God also quicken the recovery of the wounded ones and provide their families succor.

I wish to place on record the fact that Mr. Onyeani tried to contact me while I was attending the Road Show on Aviation hosted by the Honourable Minister of Aviation.  At the end of the Road show, I called him.  He pointed out the complaints, for which I told him that I received an invitation letter for the church service of Friday, 10th August, 2012.  I told Mr. Onyeani that since it was a church service, I wouldn’t know what to do during the service as a Muslim.  I have never attended a church service.  However, I sent one of the most senior staff of the Consulate General, who incidentally, is an Igbo man and a Catholic, to represent me and the Consulate General.
I wish to point out, for the avoidance of doubt, that since my arrival in New York, I have had the pleasure of attending meetings, dedications, baptismal in churches not only in New York but in other states under the Jurisdiction of the Consulate General.  I never ever told Mr. Onyeani that “I can never enter a Church”.  I have had the pleasure, both in Nigeria and USA, of joing my friends in all their events held in churches.  But I have never attended a church service.  This statement can be checked with the leadership of the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians, (Organisers of New York Parade) and others whom I have had the pleasure of joining in their events organized in various churches.  I have never been, and will never be, a Religious bigot.  Anybody that had ever had any direct contact with me will vouch for me on this.
In conclusion, I wish, once again, to state I never ever told Mr. Onyeani that “I can never enter a Church”.  I am proud of being a Muslim but it has never ever clouded my judgment of other Religions or people of Religion.  Like most Nigerians, I was born into a Religion and grew up to love and appreciate it.   If I had been born by Christian parents, I would have grown up being a Christian.  Almost all Nigerians were born into a Religion which they adhere to and love.  I don’t think Mr. Onyeani whom I had been treating as an elder brother and adviser would descend to the level of insinuating my being a Religious bigot.

Editor’s note:
Mr. Habu’s response to the article we wrote is published above.  The article that Mr. Habu referred to, never mentioned, implied, or accused him of being a “religious bigot” nor did the article question his religion, except quote verbatim what Mr. Habu said, which is “I’m a Muslim, I can never enter a church.”  I challenged him twice regarding his statement before telling me, “maybe I didn’t say it the right way.”  I also told him that his predecessors, whether Muslims or Christians, had done their duties to Nigerians whether in a church or mosque, but his arrogance was palpable in saying he was different from the others.  Mr. Habu also referred to a letter inviting him to a church, when in fact the viewing of the bodies was at a funeral home, and the wake-keeping was at Coop City center, which is also not a church.  Let Mr. Habu produce evidence of his having responded to this tragedy such as a condolence message to the families or the group that lost so many of their members. As I wrote in the earlier article, had Mr. Habu taken just a minor interest in this tragedy, he would have discovered for himself that neither event was at a church, which he continues even now to mention.
At my age, there is nothing for me to gain by accusing a young officer of saying something that he didn’t say.  I don’t believe I need to join words with Mr. Habu.  It will not be in his interest.

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