Where are our prophets? (2)

Sunday Trust - - SERMON - “In those days there was no king in Is­rael; and ev­ery­one did what­ever he wanted.” - Judges 17:6. By Em­manuel Ojeifo

Nige­ria to­day is a typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of an­cient Is­rael when there was no king and ev­ery­one did as he pleased. For more than three times when the above bi­ble text is re­counted in the Book of Judges, some­thing hor­ri­ble hap­pens, to show that the ab­sence or old age or in­fir­mity of a king comes with se­vere con­se­quences and at a great price for the king­dom. It is of­ten a time when king­mak­ers and power­bro­kers take ad­van­tage of the king’s predica­ment to foist their own will on the king­dom. All sorts of bit­ter in­trigues, be­tray­als, con­spir­a­cies and power play take the cen­tre stage of gov­er­nance, thus weak­en­ing the king­dom and open­ing it to vi­cious at­tack from in­side and out­side forces. In the end, it is the mass of or­di­nary peo­ple who suf­fer. That is where Nige­ria is to­day.

We seemed to have re­turned full cir­cle to the year 2010 when for­mer Pres­i­dent Umaru Musa Yar’Adua tied the na­tion down to his in­fir­mity and plunged the coun­try into a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis of mon­u­men­tal pro­por­tions. Ad­dress­ing mem­bers of the Na­tional Unity Fo­rum (NUF) who vis­ited him at his Kaduna res­i­dence on March 9, 2010, re­tired Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari urged the fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil to save the na­tion from agony by declar­ing then ail­ing pres­i­dent Yar’Adua in­ca­pac­i­tated, in or­der to set ma­chiner­ies in mo­tion for his im­peach­ment by the Na­tional Assem­bly. This, he said, was the only so­lu­tion to the po­lit­i­cal log­jam in the coun­try at the time.

Barely seven years later, we

1. Love To Be In The Tem­ple. David said, ‘I was glad when they said let us go the house of God’. This mir­a­cle hap­pened be­cause of the lo­ca­tion of this man. He was not at home but in the tem­ple. His dis­abil­ity did not pre­vent him from at­tend­ing church. Mount Zion is where de­liv­er­ance is. It is God’s ap­pointed place for so­lu­tion. You can have a mir­a­cle any­where in the premises of the POWER HOUSE. Keep com­ing and your day of en­counter will come. Those who stay away from church lose out.

2. Pay at­ten­tion to the right per­son. Pay at­ten­tion to those who lift you. Most peo­ple pay at­ten­tion to their TV, news­pa­pers, ru­mours and lis­ten to the wrong per­sons and won­der why things are not hap­pen­ing in their lives. Do not pay at­ten­tion to peo­ple who speak about your problem and crit­i­cize you; pay at­ten­tion to those who speak so­lu­tion to your problem. Pay have found our­selves in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, with an­other ail­ing pres­i­dent who seemed de­ter­mined to tie the for­tunes of over 180 mil­lion peo­ple to his bed of in­fir­mity. Buhari has de­fi­antly re­fused to heed the pleas of voices of rea­son urg­ing him to re­lin­quish power and at­tend fully to his health. Mem­bers of his cab­i­net, governors and party stal­warts are spend­ing huge pub­lic re­sources to visit him in Lon­don, at a time when the na­tion’s eco­nomic for­tune is on a slip­pery slope. Ob­vi­ously, the famed man of aus­ter­ity and in­cor­rupt­ible in­tegrity is cer­tainly not both­ered about where the funds for their travel ex­penses are com­ing from. Au­gust 16 2017 marked 100 days since Buhari be­gan his med­i­cal va­ca­tion in the U.K; and as I write, there is still no of­fi­cial dis­clo­sure of the na­ture of his ill­ness.

Buhari’s me­dia men say that the health of the pres­i­dent is a per­sonal mat­ter and that Nige­ri­ans are over­reach­ing them­selves by ask­ing to know the name of the ail­ment af­flict­ing their leader. How­ever, they find noth­ing wrong with us­ing pub­lic re­sources to fund his med­i­cal sa­fari. We pay to treat a man who doesn’t think we need to know what is wrong with him. If that is not the height of ex­ec­u­tive ar­ro­gance and au­da­cious in­so­lence, I don’t know what else to call it. A govern­ment that promised to change the man­ner in which the business of state­craft is con­ducted seems stub­bornly stuck in its hard­ened and im­per­vi­ous ways. It is a way of say­ing that the mantra “change be­gins with me” is good for the peo­ple, but not for their lead­ers.

66-year-old Charles Oputa, alias Char­lie Boy and his co­horts have started a daily protest, sim­i­lar to the “Bring Back Our Girls” coali­tion, urg­ing the ail­ing pres­i­dent to ‘re­turn or re­sign.’ Their mantra is ‘Our mumu don do.’ Yet, when they took their demon­stra­tion to Wuse mar­ket in Abuja on Tues­day, Au­gust 15 2017, they met with mob reprisal from Buhari’s sym­pa­thetic acolytes, a warn­ing sign that some Nige­ri­ans are still very much com­fort­able with the sta­tus quo, and that if any­thing un­to­ward hap­pens to Buhari, Nige­ria might be en­gulfed in a bloody cri­sis. A few days ear­lier, some mem­bers of the group suf­fered po­lice bru­tal­ity when they gath­ered at the Unity Foun­tain for their pub­lic demon­stra­tion, an­other sign that some free­doms of as­so­ci­a­tion are out­lawed.

In the mean time, Boko Haram has con­tin­ued its re­lent­less on­slaught against in­no­cent Nige­ri­ans in the North East, killing scores of peo­ple reg­u­larly, while a help­less mil­i­tary looks on in ex­as­per­a­tion and con­fu­sion. Badoo cultists in La­gos are hav­ing their field day, while ruth­less kid­nap­pers and dare­devil armed rob­bers have upped their tempo. Un­known gun­men who ef­fec­tively launched a blood­bath dur­ing Sun­day Mass in a Catholic Church at Ozubulu are still at large. South­ern Kaduna is still seething with anger, hate, an­i­mos­ity and im­punity. Nnamdi Kanu and his mam­moth IPOB fol­low­ers seem de­ter­mined to hold the na­tion hostage; a sign of the ir­re­press­ibil­ity of voices call­ing for a change in the way Nige­ria is struc­tured and gov­erned. On Monday, Au­gust 14 2017, ASUU em­barked on an in­def­i­nite strike ac­tion, thus plac­ing the ed­u­ca­tion of Nige­ria’s fu­ture in se­ri­ous jeop­ardy.

The daily car­nage on our roads must cer­tainly be counted among the gravest crimes against the hu­man per­son in con­tem­po­rary Nige­ria.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.