In 1947, thirty three years after amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorate by Lord Laggard, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, agitating for true Federalism government described Nigeria as a “GEOGRAPHICAL EXPRESSION”, and till date, those observations that prompted such thoughts still manifests in our polity, endangering our unity, and still shaking the foundation of the nation called Nigeria.
I think that if a couple had married for fifty seven years like our nation, and they are still finding it difficult to understand one another, then, perhaps a divorce or separation may be the solution for a better life. Although, in God’s plan for couples, they should live together for life. But due to the hardness of man’s heart, sometimes, it might be advisable to separate from one another to avoid unforeseen life threatneing circumstances. Mind you, I do not support divorce, neither do I seek to promote a divisible Nigeria!
The architect of Nigeria’s misdemeanor uses different means to cause hatred and division that further promote their evil agendas. Unfortunately, many of our youths are falling prey of their antics, and have offered themselves as instruments of destruction.
Ethnicity, Nepotism, Religiosity, Animosity, are some of the ways they get at us as a people. In truth, God has brought together different tribes and ethnicity, culture, and religion to form a nation called Nigeria. The first stanza of our former anthem bears credence to this fact:
“Nigeria, we hail thee, our own dear native land,
Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand Nigerians all
I’m proud to serve, our sovereign Mother-land.”
Our diversity is our advantage; our population should be our strength. Nigeria, the most populous nation of black Africa stands in a vantage position to be the economic giant of Africa. Our population and diversity should place us at forefront of economy growth, security, and human capital development and technological advancement. Unfortunately, what should be our strength have become our undoing. What should unite us have turned into our misfortune, that threatens to break us.
One tribe want to dominate another. The animal farm syndrome of “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than the rest” is the better way of describing Nigeria. One religion want to overshadow the other. Today, Christianity is under severe attack and marginalization, all because some people want to propagate what they called “the religion of peace” in a crooked and unacceptable way.
An anonymous don sometimes said, “Quota system is never the best way to develop people, because it avoids grooming of the best, rather, it promotes sectionalism”. Quota system in Nigeria has bred favoritism. Genuine and sincere do not have their way again, rather, the unqualified are the most preferred for leadership positions rather than the intelligent and wise leaders.
Furthermore, immorality, disrespect for elders, immodesty, sensuality and godlessness are what is being promoted and celebrated in our society today. And the referential fear of God has been replaced with the worship of satan, money, and worldly cravings. Man’s inhumanity to man, kidnapping, rape, ritual killings, yahooism and other fraudulent acts have now become the order of the day.
THE CAUSE OF THESE MENACE
In the past, Christians were the ones being found in many positions of authorities in this nation, partly because they were the well-read in the society. Apart from the core north where Islam thrives, other parts of this nation were economically, socially and politically dominated by Christians. The seed those called Christians sowed is what we are reaping today. We taught them how to become rich by sly means. There were many slogans in vogue then, such as, “Money for hand, back for ground”. “Rub my palm, I rub your chin”. “Nothing goes for nothing” to mention a few. Many of these lifestyles were promoted by so called Christians, and today, these things now hurt us.
In our tertiary institutions, hardly would you see other religion boys and girls dressing nude. When you see Rasheedat, Nurat, Khadijat, etc. They dress covering their bodies properly. However, it is Samson who will dress sagged. Elizabeth that will dress to kill.
Then, what have we to preach to these so called unbelievers. Our lives exudes obnoxious aroma; and our disposition does not project the life of Christ. The name of our God has been dragged to the mud by our compromising lifestyles, yet we complain of economic hardship and persecution. If we live and do right, we can never be moved!
THE WAY FORWARD
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chro.7:14, NIV).
The word of God to King Solomon has drawn us to the solution facing us in this nation. It means the healing of this nation lies on us, the believers.
- Spiritual pride has taken us away from God. We have jettisoned the place of prayers. We have neglected sincere men of God for our self aggrandizement. While marabouts and hirelings thrives, sincere men of God suffers. In fact, it is only when we are in troubles that we remember to pray. Our works, socials, and worldly things are much more important than our devotion to God. We are quick to tagged those who pray as people in troubles, forgetting that when we pray, three things we strengthen our relationship with God and proclaim His authority on earth.
The life of a Christian, who prays is described in Psalm 91 (Read the whole Chapter). Hence, we should start praying sincere prayers that would establish God’s will in our nation. We should not only pray because of the miracles we want, but more importantly because we want to see God’s will done, and we want to be an instrument of change.
- We need to sincerely seek for God. Genuine Christians genuinely seek for God in genuine manner. Seeking for God means we are pursuing a godly lifestyle (Read Acts 11:26). Those who will seek for God will learn at His feet. They want to listen to what their leaders will say and go back home to study their scriptures like the Berea Christians. Those who truly seek God are the who have a personal relationship with him, and not just a church-goer 1Thess. (2:11-13, NIV, Acts 17:11, NIV).
- We need to turn away from sins. There are sinners in Zion, ruling the Church. “And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me” (Mal.2:1-2, NIV).
Like the Israelites of old, we groan on why calamities befall us. We blame God for our misfortunes, forgetting that God has said, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach”. Until fornication, stealing, unfaithfulness, drunkenness, orgy, worldliness and every vices is removed from among us, we will still continue to go through these calamities.
The only Reformer who can help us to sort and solve our challenges as a nation is God, and until the Christians start doing living true to their profession and calling, we shall continue to hobnob in difficulties and backwardness. Not forgetting that we are the salt of the world, and we are the light of the world. Simply put, we are the ones that God want to use to change and rule this world, particularly Nigeria. Therefore, let’s go back to our God in sincerity, let’s go back to our base. God never leave us without a promise;
- God will hear us from Heaven.
- He will forgive us all our trespasses, and
- And He will heal our land.
He is the Great Physician. You are winning! Yes, we are winning!
Message delivered by Rev. S. O Abimbola on Nigeria Independence day, Oct 1, 2017, at New Nations Baptist Church Ikeja, Lagos.