Tuesday, 30 September 2014 17:28

FROM THE SECRETARIAT OF OHANAEZE NDIGBO S.A ON SCOAN TRAGEDY

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FROM THE SECRETARIAT OF OHANAEZE NDIGBO SOUTH AFRICA

THEY DIED NOT IN VAIN

On Friday, September 12, 2014 at about 13:50pm a building collapsed in the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) killing one hundred and fifteen (115) believers. Eighty four(84) of the dead were citizens of South Africa. Many more were injured.

The imports of this incident will forever not only gnaw at the hearts of those driven by the crucibles of thought, but also at the souls of those led by the forces of inviolable faith. Damn you – oh conniving, mindless devil!

Till now, hearts are torn apart. Ours are torn into pieces. Mine is torn into shreds. The fan of pain is blowing in every corner of the body of Christ. The arrow of sorrow is pompously roving everywhere. Only Heaven may be able to measure the sea of sorrow flowing in the heart of the world.

It is against this backdrop that we, Nigerians residing in South Africa, summoned ourselves together to meditate for the soul of the departed – to empathise with the injured – to console the bereaved. Frankly, we gathered to console ourselves for it is Africa that is bereaved.

We gathered on Friday, September 28 at the auditorium of the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Illovo under the auspices of Nigeria Union South Africa working in partnership with Ohanaeze Ndigbo South Africa, and All Nigeria Nationals in Diaspora, and many other community organisations of Nigerian extraction.

We, Nigerians, dressed in black, besieged the venue like a swarm of bees. The clergy came in their numbers. Friends of Nigerians were there. The media showed a skeletal presence.

Prayers were said, songs were sung, exhortations were made, worship was offered, the gospel was preached, candles were lit, and tears were shed. September 28 would be counted blessed and alive because Africans upon such a day remembered not only to re-examine their lives, but to partake in the lives of others.

As we mourn the brave – and, surely, we need to mourn, let us deliberately examine and re-examine the state of our individual standing with God; and convert the good that were in the departed brethren into eternal axioms of our own character. Words are great, but louder and

deeper is the sermon preached by character. Every death is a bell of awakening for the living. Each death we witness is a solemn sermon pulling like magnet the throng of the living to the solitude of self-interrogation.

I know this truth to be universal that when we are done and gone, we begin to live a new life. Yes – when we die we begin to live in the testimony of those we came across during our lifetime. Our bequests are not the beautiful mansions, and smart cars and jets, and handcrafted apparels, and dear diamonds, and other articles of ostentation. Our bequest – the real bequest – is found in the testimony of those we met while we lived. Such testimony is not in empty words, and not in the beautiful songs sung by our graveside, and not in the sweet letters engraved in our honour on stone monuments, but in the sermon preached by the lives of the people we touched. The choice is ours now that we still have breath.

Without doubt, the invisible slings and spears of Satan are ever in the air in the hunt for hearts to pierce. Misfortune may as it chooses stray to any door any time. Sorrow is the shadow of our mortal days. Sadly, pain is an integral part of the sweet life we cherish.

A bit of us dies when a loved one dies. Right now, grief, no doubt, flows like a heedless storm in the hearts of the bereaved families. Right now, doubt and confusion – and may be, righteous indignation – are having a field day in the minds and wits of the non-initiate. But, it is amidst difficult circumstances such as the one we face that the complex webs of mystery are unravelled by those who have the mastery of solitude and observe the mystery of silence.

The things of the supernatural come like an insoluble puzzle, yet they are understood by the adepts of God. So, let us save the blames, and be not in haste to condemn. Instead, let us gather in the character of Christ – and consciously join our hearts and hands, and fervently meditate on behalf of the souls of the departed.

Spiritual pilgrimage – parts of which are works of mercy – includes that to which we summoned ourselves last night. We gathered to partake of the crucifixion of Christ. We gathered to share in the celebration of the saints who died knocking on the door of salvation.

We gathered to lighten the burden of those who lost their dear loved ones – and to shed the tears of families that are now extinct – and to partake in the sorrows of those who have become orphans, or childless, or motherless, or fatherless. We gathered to interrogate the devil – to raise the trumpet of victory – to raise a loud voice to Zion – to renew our faith in the imperishable blood of Jesus – to stand as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar with the faithful – to erect a monument of unbreakable faith – to walk the walk of faith. We gathered to overcome. So, we gathered.

As the redeemed of the Lord, as Disciples of Christ, we can’t – and our faith can’t – be broken even if the heavens fall. Brethren, in all circumstances – be the season cold or warm – we must, with a voice louder than thunder, in gratitude to God onward march with fortitude and bravery.

We, who are of the body of Christ, share a spiritual duty to celebrate the lives of these brethren who died in search of Christ. A dedication to eternalise their souls in the memory of endless times we must embrace as a calling. They have taken their seats in Heaven, and in Jesus Christ, and in God – the Absolute One. They have assumed their crown in the sacrificial blood of Jesus. They have overcome. They died to prevail as Christ died to prevail. They died to live; and verily, verily, they are alive. By this – even by this alone, let all that are of the body of Christ, and the bereaved families, and the injured, and all that are in any way touched, be consoled.

I have faith that God – the all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, and ever-merciful God – will grant South Africa, and Nigeria, and Africa the strength, and courage, and wisdom to overcome this wily design of the devil.

God bless Africa!

REV. CHIDOZIE EJIMADU

(SECRETARY-GENERAL, OHANAEZE NDIGBO SOUTH AFRICA)

The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles or comments on this section of our community online magazine are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Upsurge Media(Owners of SANigerians Online Magazine).

The editorial staffs of SANigerians Online Magazine oversee and administer the site pursuant to their editorial policy. However, due to the social nature of this site, SANigerians Online Magazine cannot be held accountable for the content in this section of our community online ‘infotainment’ portal.

Upsurge Media does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in the articles/commentaries in this section of our website. If you have a complaint about something you have found on this web site, please Contact Us.

 

REV. CHIDOZIE EJIMADU

(SECRETARY-GENERAL, OHANAEZE NDIGBO SOUTH AFRICA)

The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles or comments on this section of our community online magazine are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Upsurge Media(Owners of SANigerians Online Magazine).

The editorial staffs of SANigerians Online Magazine oversee and administer the site pursuant to their editorial policy. However, due to the social nature of this site, SANigerians Online Magazine cannot be held accountable for the content in this section of our community online ‘infotainment’ portal.

Upsurge Media does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in the articles/commentaries in this section of our website. If you have a complaint about something you have found on this web site, please Contact Us.

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Ejimadu Chidozie

Rev. Chidozie Ejimadu (LLB Hons.) is a Clergyman, Writer, Poet, Community Facilitator, and Activist