In Ebonyi, a Catholic Priest Reportedly Rots in Detention.

Profanity perseveres in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State as a Roman Catholic priest identified as Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Ugoeze in Effium, spends over three months in police custody.

The Padre, reportedly arrested on the 11th day of December, 2021, was said to be on an official mission when security operatives of the State intercepted, and immediately whisked him away. Information regarding the reasons for his arrest and detention have been sketchy. Notable amongst them is that he was linked to the ongoing intra-communal crisis in the area, Effium.

However, some social media handlers and persons who claimed to be abreast with the situation, have taken to their timelines to lament the unwarranted arrest and detention of the priest.

A Facebook user, with the name, Nweke Nnadozie Gideon, partly says: “Every well meaning member of this society should advice the state government to immediately and unconditionally release a priest of God who has done nothing to deserve this ill and inhumne treatment.”

Substantiating his points further, he says: “Recall that a holy ordained Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Ngwuta Timothy was arrested by security agents of Ebonyi State government who claimed they were carrying stop and search operation at Izzi on 11/12/2021 and has been in detention (prison) under severe torture since then till date over nothing as he was not found with any incriminating item but blessed sacraments of the holy Catholic Church and his Bible.”

“Even the David of the old testament recognized king Saul as an ordained man of God and vowed not to harm an annointed man of God even as they were having serious issues but the David of our own generation is negatively different.” He added.

Almost in the same line of argument, another Facebook user, Philips Kelechi, quoting someone else, reinforces that, “it has taken me more than one month to gather information and the true facts and the circumstances surrounding the arrest, arraignment and subsequent detention of Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta and two others at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, who were charged for sundry offences, implicating them as the arrowheads and culprits responsible for sponsoring the communal war between Ezzas and Effium people, the alleged kidnap and murder of the contractors engaged by Ebonyi State Government for the Ring Road Projects in the State.”

“… For the fact that arms and ammunition are within disposal and other annihilating strategies on bear, peaceful resolution of mere garage squabble has not been attainable, therefore, nothing stops the animus malus juriandi graved in their mind from being unleashed on the innocent people and their property.” He continued.

Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Ugoeze, Effium.

Meanwhile, it’s worth of note that the intra communal rivalry that found its ugly face in Effium, Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State on the 22nd day of January, 2021, continues unabated till date. Just on Sunday, 10th April, 2022, over 20 persons were massacred in cold blood at Ebeta, an area mainly dominated by the Ezza indigenes. The victims, therefore, were all Ezzas as the marauders were believed to be Effium hired mercenaries and bloodletting warlords.

Prior to Pen Age, are there Clear-cut Indicators of Pencil Age?

There goes a banal saying that, “age is not a barrier”. Yes, but in what respect exactly? Educationists hold that there are two types of age-“chronological age” and “mental age”.

While the former points to a biological connotation tied to time-days, months or years. For instance, he’s 5 years old; she’s 32 years old, etc, the latter denotes levels of scholarship tied to intellect-smartness, dullness, brightness, and so on.

From the two variables above, we derive what is called Intelligent Quotient (I.Q.), calculated as:

I.Q. = Chronological Age (C.A.)➗Mental Age (M.A.) ✖️ 1001

Away from that, however, let’s now focus our attention on what I call “Pencil age” and “Pen age”.

Just few days a go, I was chatting with one of my friends. Guess what he said that struck me to the marrow? “Victor, look at me. Obi is no longer a boy o!”. Are you there? It could be that I’m the only one that understands the above message. Or maybe you do, too. Of a truth, that’s a rueful comment, you know.

Meanwhile, giving it the best interpretation I can, he implies that he has come of age, but his statuses-marital and financial, do not reflect same. That’s what I believe he wanted to say, if he had had the gut to bother me with details.

In another scenario, I was on a phone call with my elder sister few days back. While giving me a piece of motherly advice as usual, she said: “Afam, every opportunity is just like a wind; once it blows in your own direction, and you fail to grab it, it will be all blown away right before your very eyes.”

Yes! We are getting to it. What is a pencil age? It is an age bracket whereby mistakes, wrong decisions and choices made are readily liable for corrections. On the other hand, a pen age denotes that age bracket whereby mistakes or wrong decisions made remain almost indelible, if not totally irreversible.

Chronologically, I can’t say for certain (in terms of number) the exact age brackets that characterise the above social constructs(pen and pencil ages), but the take home remains that greater things are best achieved when you’re at your youthful age than when above productive age brackets. For instance, you can’t compare the stamina of a 32-year old man to that of a 45-year old.

Too, opportunity, they say, comes but once, but temptations dwell on the doorbell. You must do what is worthwhile with the very little chances available to you during your youthful age. If it’s work, give it your best and stand the chances of being promoted. If it’s education, study so well that you’re privileged to make choices out of numerous job offers. Or better still, become an employer of labour.

So, it’s in your prerogative to determine the degree of your wealth or success. Remember, the clock doesn’t forgive. It ticks unassailably. Favorites: Empish Thomas

Welcome back to our “ Favorites” series! In these interviews, we’ll be highlighting bloggers about their passion project. Caution: contents guaranteed to be inspiring. This interview has been lightly edited.     Shortly after Empish Thomas earned her journalism degree in the mid-’90s, she began experiencing severe headaches and sensitivity to light. After a visit to the eye […] Favorites: Empish Thomas

His Suicidal Embarkation, You Orchestrated it. Why the Pity Party?

Had it been that the dead tell tales, I’m very convinced that what we presuppose about life hereafter maybe far fetched from what actually it is or ought to be.

No! I was meaning to opine that what necessitates untimely death (suicide) might be entirely different from what we believe it is. We, often times, dwell on the immediate causes of suicide, forgetting or tucking to the corner, the remote causes.

Allegorically, let’s take into account the story of Chike, divinely rescued from an attempted suicide. Born into the family of four, Chike occupied the third position. His uncles and aunts were well-to-do, but his father.

Ordinarily, one would imagine that it has not all gone awry with Chike’s lofty prospects; going to school, and becoming one of the indispensable alleviators of their disdainful poverty level, having relatives (uncles and aunts) who were notably affluent.

No! That was not the case; it was ‘to your tenth oh Isreal!’ Chike frequented the homes of these wealthy relatives of his just to solicit school fees, but didn’t get any in return. They only made lines of unfulfilled pledges to him. Resorting to his immediate family, there was nothing better off either. His elderly siblings scarcely saw to their own needs let alone those of Chike.

What eventually happened to Chike? He had a burning desire; to become a better person, but totally ran out of options. On one unusual afternoon, when he saw that everyone had gone out of the house, but him, he took a thick and long rope to their backyard; just to end it. Prior to that, he had written a suicide note which read: “I ran out of options”. It was almost a concluded deal, but for his elder brother whom fate brought back home under the guise that he forgot something. He met Chike swinging to-and-fro on the rope suspended from their roof. He almost breathed his last before the accidental rescue. When his story went viral, helps started coming from far and near; friends and foes. His mean uncles and aunts all vowed to take him abroad for his studies. What a pity party!?

Arising from the above, however, what happens in/with life hereafter? If Chike had died, where would he had gone to? What could have been his testimony about his death? What would have friends and relatives believed to be the cause(s) of his death? Would they have said that he was so irresponsible to have ended his own life? Or that the boy was meant to end that way; that he’s been so predestined? It’s all uncanny, you know?

Those presuppositions, therefore, are just the immediate causes of the attempted suicide. The remote causes dwell largely with his uncles and aunts who apparently had all it takes to sponsor Chike, but remained dodgy.

PS: Those younger sisters and brothers of yours wallowing in abject poverty, but you have all it takes to help them, why not do something today? Do you prefer pity party? What about your counsins and even neighbors, can’t you help? Unfortunately, these days, people prefer typing ‘RIP’ to ‘Happy birthday’.