One thing we cannot take away from Christian mission in Africa, especially in Nigeria, is the alternative education system and also alternative to health care management that came with it.
Sadly, these achievements have been blurred by the fact they diabolized and demonized our culture and tradition in the process.
If the missionaries had introduced the Christian faith without that error, our traditional religions and Christianity would have made a perfect match.
If they had done their job properly, African converts would have retained their traditions while becoming Christians.
No child would have been required to take up a foreign name at baptism; our language would have been used in educating our school pupils; and our school curriculum would have been based on the achievements of our forebears.
A combination of Western education and health services with the technological and scientific achievements of our ancestors would have contributed immensely to our socio-economic growth.
The error had been made. There is no need to cry over spilt milk. It is our duty to correct the errors without creating new ones.
I therefore advise our African Christians to begin to incorporate their traditional values into their Christian faith. Yes, it is possible.
I also advise those in charge of our school curriculum to readjust. They should begin to incorporate the achievements of our forebears into our education curriculum for pupils and students.
I also have a word for our brothers and sisters who are practicing our traditional religion: concentrate on what you do. Do not be distracted.
You can be a traditionalist without making verbal attacks on others. Remember that wars are hardly won without allies. Your Christian brothers and sisters remain major your allies.
Yes, it is true that the Christian missionaries and even some of our own brothers and sisters were the first to attack our own culture and religion. Two wrongs can never make a right. Remember, the body receiving all these punches is ours.
When I visited Ireland in 2007/2008, I was able to interact with some retired missionaries who worked in Nigeria. I must tell you, many of them acted out of ignorance.
Of course, the racist European views about Africa at the time influenced them to some extent. Many of them thought they were doing the right thing.
Since 1965, the Catholic Church has continued to distance itself from their missionary errors as regards the attack on our culture/ religion.
Yes, as a traditionalist or omenala person you, can condemn the activities of fake Christian preachers who are toying with the brains and lives of our people, just as African Christians are also condemning the activities of okeite, fake native priests, and fake traditional doctors.
Our unity has really been battered enough. This is the time to heal and to come together, irrespective of religious, ideological, or political differences.
We can heal without inflicting more injuries. Let’s use our brains.