It is not news anymore that we are in the last days as contained in the Holy Scriptures, when strange events and developments across the world will all be happening in quick succession.
They are unfolding like scripts in the movies as we wait for the next scene and who will be the next victim.
Though the bible was more specific about what to expect, like rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, famines and pestilences and earthquakes in diver’s places.
The word of God also states that many will be offended, and shall betray one another and hate one another as well as many prophets shall rise and shall deceive many.
We are been faced with not a few grisly occurrences that have continued to cause anxiety that clearly indicate that this are dark and horrifying moments. We are confronted with situations that make one so perplexed and sad in a country where human lives now have become very cheap. It was Boko Haram, claiming innocent lives, From Evans the billionaire kidnapper to Bishop the billionaire drug baron.
The tragic incident at St. Philips Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozubulu in Anambra state on Sunday, where a gun man shot innocent parishioners inside the church during worship was another gruesome incident in the history of the country that can be aptly described as unfortunate.
The madness, which we gathered started some years ago in South Africa over a drug business between one High Chief Bishop Aloysius Ikegwuonu and his gang of drug dealers have claimed the lives of innocent persons, including children and women who were worshiping that fateful morning. Though nothing has been heard of the Bishop version of the story, it may not be unconnected with betrayal of trust.
The killers traced him to Nigeria, to the church he built in Uzubulu, but he was not in the church and the lives of innocent parishioners including his father and some family relations were wasted in cold blood.
From reports so far, even though there are still conflicting accounts, the assailant came for the drug baron in the church where he was expected to hold a thanksgiving service. But being the man that he is, Bishop did not turn up for the service but his dad and other family members did.
The hit man opened fire in the church believing their target was there, but those who died including children, men and women in the blood bath were innocent people who had no knowledge about the drug war. They were just unfortunate to be at the right place at the wrong time.
The question that immediately comes to mind is if being in church, which is the safest place to run to in times of trouble, was a wrong decision for the parishioners.
The sad but unfortunate lesson for parishioners of some of these Churches built by individuals is that they may no more be safe, most especially when ever they are under such roof built with illegitimate wealth.
The Church should as a matter of urgency begin to purge herself from all money bags who include corrupt politicians, drug dealers and notorious ritualists to avoid a future re-occurrence. This also brings to focus, churches that have collapsed taking lives of its worshipers. Do we say this are acts of God or the Devil.
When we are confronted with issues like this, so many questions are raised begging for answers. But it is obvious that the craze for stupendous wealth has driven so many young men and women in to doing illicit deals, not minding the consequences.
Now that these innocent persons have used their lives to pay in the line of fire between this drug barons it is high time that the church should be more vigilant and no matter how generous a person seem to be, pastors and leaders of the church must carefully scrutinize the source of funds donated by individuals, especially when it is very huge.
There was a case when some huge sums of money were paid as tithe to a Pentecostal church in Abuja and it was later discovered that the money was got through nefarious acts. The pastor who is a renowned man of God had to refund it to security agencies, but not without some embarrassments to his church and the body of Christ.
It is common knowledge that some of those who indulge in crime later go to build churches hoping that with this acts of benevolence, the creator will forgive them from their wicked deeds, even though they have taken lives of innocent persons in the process of making wealth. They forget that our God cannot be bribed.
In these times of uncertainties when strange things are happening, nobody knows who will be the next victim, but we all need to be more proactive by finding out what those who claim to be wealthy around us are doing for a living.
This may not be easy because, they use all sorts of fronts to legitimize their source of wealth.
It is a sad fact that money rules in our society this days as no one can boldly ask a wealthy man or woman how they made their money especially when they claim to be philanthropists.
The Ozubulu episode has been condemned as a senseless killing of innocent souls in the house of God. It only shows that the perpetrators know the source of wealth of their target and they care less of the repercussion and the judgment of God when the trumpet sounds. This is pure madness indeed.
Eubaldus Enahoro is Assistant Editor with the Nigerian Observer