It’s extremely saddening to note that the ongoing Israeli embassy Bible contest held in Nigeria, is being marred by every fraudulent activity one can ever imagine. Nepotism and favoritism have become the order of the day, and those qualified have had their names replaced illegitimately against their consent.
After the first stage of the quiz got completed, congratulatory messages were sent across to winners from the state level for the Zonal quiz which was to take place at certain designated areas covering a number of states. However certain Nigerian Pastors, who under the auspices of a body named Christian United for Israel (CUFI), and who had been given some level of organisational privileges by the Israeli embassy, swung into the unholy act of substituting certain persons who had emerged at the state level, with candidates of their choice, under the pretext that such victorious candidates wouldn’t be available to compete at the Zonal level.
“At the state level of the contest, the two best candidates were selected for the Zonal contest, and two others placed on reserve” (according to a phone conversation I had with the National coordinator).
However it may seem, the quick and seemingly fast substitutions affected by these religious ministers, without the consent of the victorious candidates only served to validate the opinion that many persons on reserve where known to the pastors, and in a bid to help them advance unto the Zonal contest, those who were among the victorious candidates had to be shortchanged and replaced without any due correspondence, information or consent.
Without reasonable doubt, this act isn’t any surprising among certain Nigerian ministers, however for this to take place in an Israeli sponsored contest, under the watch of Israel embassy in Nigeria, is quite absurd. Messages of complaint sent to the Israeli embassy received no reply, and calls made have received no response so far. Sadly enough, an emailed reply from the headquarters of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Texas, U.S.A denounced having any branch in, or knowledge of any such body in Nigeria.
I call on the Government of Israel, most especially the two ministries involved in organizing this contest, viz; the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of education, to thoroughly investigate this issue and ensure justice is done to those who have been unjustly shortchanged and denied the hallowed privilege of participating in this contest. These actions permitted under the nose of Israel embassy in Nigeria is shocking, and doesn’t in anyway reflect the values of which the state of Israel stand for.
Israel being the only thriving democracy in the Middle-east, have always remained a symbol of hope for several liberation movements in Africa, and these values of fairness, equity, due process, equality of all men everywhere, respect for the rule of law Et al. upon which her democracy thrives, ought to be preserved, extolled and expected from all Israeli missions abroad.