I believe that Pastor Bakare who enjoys my respect as a respected member of the clergy over-reached in this sermon. Taking undue liberty in declaring that Balewa cursed the Igbos is as preposterous as it is mindless.
How did he get to know that? Is there a recorded utterance of a dying Balewa available anywhere to justify such a sweeping statement from the pulpit?
I’m concerned that this type of speech will revive the contentious question of the complicity of the Igbos in the January coup in Nigeria?
Some of us believe that that particular putsch was the brainchild of a group of young, restless patriots in the military who were exasperated with the state of the Nigerian nation at the time?
Either way, I completely disagree with Pastor Bakare and I suspect that his utterances against the Igbos at such a time as this ill-advised, of poor judgment and has the propensity to further widen the chasm between his Yoruba people and the Igbos who have come under unjustified marginalization and unwarranted attack for upwards of over 40 years! The pulpit is sacrosanct and should be treated as such.
I think that Pastor Bakare needs to reel back his statement, sue for understanding and heal the insensitivity that his offending sermon visited on an already beleaguered and hurting people.
If he is still in contention for a political office in Nigeria, he seems to have expended his chances, at least as far as the Igbos are concerned. Selah!
Without going into the gruesome details about the January, 1966, coup, I can conclude – fairly affirmatively – that the way and manner, Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa was killed was was crude, wanton, and downright inexcusable. The about – to – be executed PM was within his rights to say whatever came into his mind. But thanks to Pastor Bakare, for realizing that although he was right in saying whatever he wanted to say, especially, given the imminent death that he faced, just seconds away, that the PM made a generalized statement on the Igbos. And as Pastor Bakare euriditely observed, that a curse could be reversed, as he very eloquently evoked the curse which Jacob heaped on his son, Ruben, and how Moses ultimately reversed the curse.
Although I don’t know about this aspect of the 1966 coup, but the way Pastor Bakare ochestrted this sermon, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of those words uttered by the late PM