In one of his hit songs, the late Ozzidi King, Sonny Okosun, wondered at which way Nigeria was headed. Apparently befuddled by the opaqueness of Nigeria’s future, the activist music maestro wailed: “Which way Nigeria, which way to go?” He added that he did not want Nigeria to die.
Sadly, many years after the man died, Nigeria is in death throes, still tottering on edge and may fall overboard soon, if urgent remedial steps are not taken.
Such measures do not include the sheepish NAFDAC ban on Sniper, the suicide-friendly insecticide. Banning the poor chemical while leaving its accomplices like otapiapia and ropes or relocating the Atlantic Ocean, into which Nigerians are known to plunge, is, to say least, misconceived and pedestrian. Has Sniper not been with us all these years? How come it suddenly became this deadly?
Because Nigerians are hurting badly. Frustration and depression have taken their toll on citizens such that those who can no longer endure foolishly take the cheap exit door, thereby leaving far more problems behind for their bereaved and deprived loved ones. Until the authorities tackle the scorching hardship in the land, I’m afraid they may have more suicides to contend with.
Unfortunately, some of those in authority do not know why people voted them into office. In fact, they are compounding the situation by leaving governance and tactically dividing the governed while they moon around. Like one controversial governor up North whose policies, brash actions and uncouth tongue have sparked more division and deaths in his domain than any other. He purports to promote a god he neither knows nor understands because he wants to pander to silly sentiments to win votes.
However, I got into an argument lately with a pastor who offered a vehement prayer for the death of this governor before the end of this year (in Jesus name). “The heavens must fire him. May he die a shameful and disgraceful death. May his firstborn die like in the days of Pharaoh of Egypt and his entire family sleep and never wake up (in Jesus holy name),” he prayed.
Well, I shuddered and found it difficult to say ‘Amen’ to his prayer and told him so. I asked him if he would you rather the governor die or repent? I told him God takes no delight in such death and urged that we should rather pray for repentance and witness the futility of his affront on the Faith… And that God should deal with him however He pleases.
Unfortunately, he was too hurt to reason with me. He said he didn’t need me to say Amen and that knew that nobody could stop his “answered prayers.”
Probably citing Psalm 18, he claimed that David prayed fire and brimstone upon his enemies. “That stupid governor, if he wants to repent or your prayer will repent him, let it be so now otherwise no chance should be given to him to destroy souls and church of Jesus Christ before he repents. Who will be his next victim before he repents? There is no repentance for Satan. God must remove him and let another who will favour the church come. You do not know how my heart is burning about this stupid …. They are killing you and you are here saying may they live long…”
This brother, like so many others, is grieved and that is why they send the Holy Ghost on wrong errands, sending His fire to consume real and imagined enemies. Fall and die prayers have invaded the church and the brethren easily get more animated once warfare prayers are announced than to worship God and hear His word. I’m really worried about ‘Christians indulging in jungle justice and taking the law into their own hands.’
Of course, I know the cut is too deep, so emotionally charged that we tend to fight for God; and we no longer allow room for deep introspection. For me, David could have prayed down whatever but Jesus taught me to pray for even my enemies. I’m convinced that I’m in better company with Jesus than with David. And, by the way, why did not this same David kill King Saul, who was after his life on the occasions he could have done so without stress?
By so saying, brethren, I don’t hope you expect that I’d just allow my enemy to kill me just like that! No, that would be suicide by other means. Nevertheless, my hope is built on nothing else but trusting in the Lord to defend me and deal with my enemy as He pleases; leave him to live or kill him, according to His will. What if He doesn’t save me? Quite unlikely. Even so, if such should happen, so be it. It also means that either of two things has happened. He wants me home with Him in heaven, a better place than here, or my prayers could not ascend to His holy hills because of my unclean hands.
The latter seems more like the case with us today. We have abandoned our first love in preference for mundane, transient pleasures; so, God has turned His back on us. He is weeping because the church has become a trade centre for wonky miracle workers and seekers. Otherwise, there is just no way the son of the bondwoman can reign over us and trample us under feet, killing and maiming at whim.
Let us remove the clog in the channel of communication to our Great God so that He would turn again to us and heal our land. Did He not tell us to humble ourselves and pray? So far, we have been praying, calling down ineffective thunder without first humbling ourselves. It is not in the much noise we make but we make God ineffective when we put the cart before the horse.
Humility refers to repentance of our waywardness and worldliness, from the altar to the pew. Humility means taking our eyes off the till and focusing on heaven. Humility means making the church a pious place of worship and prayer, not exhibitionist discotheque and fashion binge where half-clad morons sashay across desecrated altars. Humility means mortifying the flesh and steeling it against seductive laps of preponderant Delilahs scattered roundabout. Humility means looking for lost souls, not poaching already saved souls from brethren churches or comparing whose cathedral is bigger or contemplating when will it be time for my private jet. Humility means turning a new leaf and returning to the Lord.
Until we humble ourselves, dearly beloved brethren, the bile we spill on them and their governors is in vain. Of course, you have no right to hate a man God created. It is your choice to continue to call down fire, thunder and brimstone or whatever if you wish but tarry awhile. All these years you’ve done so, why has your oppression not abated or the strength of those you abhor not waned but continued to wax stronger by the day while you mourn over your misfortune?
Is the problem with God or us? Use ‘your teeth to count your tongue.’ But, please, don’t drink Sniper.