Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaThursday, November 3, 2016




forth night ago, I was comfortably taking an evening walk along Neni - Adazi-Ani road in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State. Along my route, I saw a sign-post with this bold inscription: Point & Kill. An arrow sign was pointing towards it. I decided to go and see the point and kill. As I was approaching the place, I saw two huge men coming out of the spot with sharp machetes. The third man behind them was pointing at me. I concluded that I was being pointed at for killing. The masculine adrenalin in me rose to its highest degree. Thus I was filled with acute fear. Since life has no duplicate, and the dead does not live to give account of what happened. Instantly I developed wings. I thought the men were after me to kill. As I was running for my dear life, the two men and others there started laughing at me. They dropped the machetes and shouted, "Please stop running. We are harmless. We kill fish and not man. Come back and point at the particular fish you want from the pond and we shall kill it for you. That is the actual connotation of Point and Kill." Hearing this, I stopped running and the acute fear in me vanished.

Immediately I reached the Point & Kill spot, the people there recognized me as the priest working in their village. They unanimously laughed at me and I heard a voice which said, "So, Reverend Fathers are also afraid of death. I thought that they are half spirit, half man. Since they drive evil spirits, how can they be afraid of mere men?" Another laughter session took place. I couldn't control myself as I myself was pushed down by tearful laughter. A lady with ASK ME tag took me to their fish pond. I looked into it and saw assorted fish, big and small, fat and slang swimming all over the water. At once I remembered once again what happened to me in the swimming pool in Germany. I said to myself, "How I wish I can swim like these fish." Incidentally a giant electric fish jumped up towards my face as if it wanted to pluck out my eyes. Cautiously, I pulled myself back with the Sign of the Cross.

The Ask Me lady laughed at me and said, "Father, take it easy. You are safe. The fish just welcomed you with acrobatic greeting." Now point at the one you want to consume. One of the two men with the sharp machetes will come and kill it immediately for you. Before you finish with the payment, it will be served for you at the table there. Just go and sit down. Tell us the choice of beer you will use to transport down the spicy fish to its final destination." I smiled and thanked her for her hospitality. I told her that I dislike fresh fish. I went on to tell her that if I reach heaven and fresh fish is the menu there, I will come back to earth. She laughed again at me and asserted, "Father, you are very funny. You are missing something indeed. Point and kill refresh the flesh and add flavor to life." I replied, "I see! One man's food is another man's poison. I like dry fish. That is why my body is very dry and appetizing." She was thrown into laughter. At the end she waved at me, saying, "Father, goodbye for today. Let me attend to other customers. I wish you come back at a less busy time so that I can tap from your comic jokes. You have normalized my blood pressure." We beamed a parting smile at each other.

As I was walking away, I started reading deeper meaning into the Point and Kill slogan. It is really a business expression. However it has various connotations. My mind went wide into our society. I then changed my steps to point and kill instead of left and right. Simultaneously I was boxing into the air with my fists, chorusing: "Point and Kill! Point and Kill!! Point and Kill!!!" As I was marching faster and doing the chorusing, a boy of about 12 years was coming from the opposite direction. When he drew closer and saw me in action, he shouted, "Daddy moo!" and took to his heels. I laughed at him. I said to myself that this Point and Kill slogan must be dangerous.

My fears was confirmed at Enugwu-ukwu during the burial Mass of late Jude Thaddeus Uchenna Nweke (a.k.a Nwachinemere), who was gruesomely murdered at Omogho town in Orumba North Local Government of Anambra State. He was an ex-seminarian and a lecturer at Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze. He was a very cheerful man with a bright future. He was harmless, peace-loving, God-fearing and hardworking. The enemies of progress pointed at him and killed him eventually by beating him to stupor, after which they abandoned his innocent lifeless body at a road-side. By so doing it would look as if he was hit by a run-away driver. Nobody saw the killers doing the satanic job. But God saw everything. An autopsy confirmed that he was beaten to death.

Preaching a heart-touching homily at the burial Mass of the late Mr Nweke at St Theresa's Catholic Enugwu-Ukwu, the priest, Reverend Father Joseph Amaekwu hit the hammer at the nail. He condemned the gruesome murder of an innocent lecturer going about his business. He said that those who pointed at him and killed him would not go unpunished. In the Book of Genesis, Cain pointed at his brother Abel and killed him out of jealousy. What happened later? Abel became a fugitive. Hear what God said, "Listen! Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground. Now be cursed and banned from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood at your hands. When you till the ground it will no longer yield up its strength to you. A restless wanderer you will be on earth" (Genesis 4:10 -12). Cain sadly complained to God that the punishment was too harsh. But God did not relent in meting out the punishment.

In another episode, Ahab through the aid of his wife Jezebel pointed at Naboth and killed him because he refused to surrender his land to King Ahab. When Ahab learnt that Naboth has been stoned to death, he went and took possession of the land. The God of justice moved Elijah to reproach King Ahab for killing a just man. He said to him, "You have committed murder and now you usurp as well. For this, and Yahweh says this, in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too" (1 Kings 21:19). Likewise those who killed Mr. Jude Thaddeus Nweke to usurp his land will not escape the wrath of God. Those who killed by the sword shall go by the sword. The evil that men do lives with them. God visits the sin of a father upon his children up to the fourth generation. Point and kill killers take note!

In our society today, pointing and killing innocent persons are abound. In 1986, a popular journalist Mr. Dele Giwa was pointed at in Lagos by the powers that be at that time. Later he was killed through a letter bomb. The question on every lip in those days was: Who killed Dele Giwa? The late musician Fela later said it was Baba who killed him. During the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo, the Minister Bola Ige was pointed at and killed like a fowl. The killers are yet to be found. Like late Dele Giwa and late Bola Ige, many innocent Nigerians have been pointed at and killed. Some of them were politicians, business associates, clerics, etc. In Awka Diocese of Nigeria, late Reverend Father Godfrey Nwankwo was pointed at and killed by men of the underworld on the night of 3rd January 1997 at St Charles Parish Achina, few months after his priestly ordination. On December 20, 2002, another priest, Reverend Father Patrick Ekwuno was pointed at and cruelly killed by hired assassins at Awba-Ofemmili in Awka North of Anambra State. As if enough was not enough, Reverend Father Godwin Ofonyelu and his junior brother were pointed at by armed robbers on their way to Lagos on 31st May 2015. They were brutally killed by shooting and setting them on fire inside their vehicle. Hence they were burnt beyond recognition. My heart still bleeds whenever I remember the ugly bloody incidence. My brothers, rest in peace! May God console your families! Those who pointed and killed them will never know peace, unless they repent and atone for their bloody iniquities.

The power over life and death belongs only to God. The Holy Writ forbids the willful shedding of human blood in any form whatsoever. It includes abortion, infanticide, suicide, euthanasia, hired assassination and murder (attempted or accomplished). Today kidnapping for ransom is very common. At times the kidnappers receive millions of Naira as ransom and as well kill their victim. Recently at Abuja, a driver pointed at his Madam and planned her kidnapping. He and his crime comrades collected huge sum of money from her family. As part of her agony, she was raped turn by turn by the kidnappers. After this chain raping, they tied her hands and legs and buried her alive in a shallow grave. To be forearmed is to be forewarned. Therefore, be careful in employing a driver, a maid, a houseboy, a house-help, a messenger, a house-keeper. They have the capacity of pointing at you and then crucifying you at Calvary. Even a friend can betray you. The worst is that your relation can also point at you to be killed. Life has no duplicate. Let us be prayerful always. Dear God, please shield your children from point and kill evil men and women around us. Amen!