Cardinal Heenan, Biafra and Christendom.



Biafra moved the Christian world like no other conflict before it.The Christian world came together and held the first interdenominational service for Biafra on 2 June 1968 at Westminster Cathedral.

Cardinal Heenan,the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster caused uproar in Nigeria with his sermon on that day.According to church historian Nicholas Omenka,the Cardinal likened the amalgamation of the Islamic north with the largely Christian and pagan south to ‘‘putting Egypt and Ireland together and calling the combination a nation’’.

Cardinal Heenan was an ardent supporter of Biafran independence and he advanced the argument even more forcefully:

“The problem is quite simply how to integrate the ancient emirates of the Northinto the rest of the country to form a unitary state. It is a simple matter of fact that nowhere in the world has it been possible to combine satisfactorily under a singlecentral government, except in the cases of imperial domination, Mohammedan and non Mohammedan states”

Friday,June 2 will be 49 years since the Cardinal drew this comparison.Events in Nigeria proves the holy father right day by day.

A man was reportedly killed by a Muslim mob in Jiwa,Abuja on Friday for instance.He was accused of urinating in a gutter near a mosque.There is no need to go through numerous other violent massacres like Boko Haram or Maitatsine.

I laid a wreath at the grave of Cardinal John Heenan at Westminster Cathedral on February 9 ,2011 as part of his birthday celebrations and prayed that he continues to intercede for us.

Our only hope for the future is in restructuring Nigeria to devolve powers to the regions.That is our only guarantee in a secured future!


Mbe Nwa Aniga





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