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OCTOBER 1, 2011 – THE STATE OF THE NATION


By: Bishop Olushola olukolade
 Published October 1st, 2011

On October 1 1960, Fifty One years ago today (October 1, 2011), Nigeria became an independent nation from Britain their colonial master. The nation was divided by them into 3 regions: North, West and East. Typical of the usual British method and tactics of divide and rule, there was no clear cut reason why they demarcated the regional boundaries the way they did. It was obvious from the onset that there was a premeditated intention to sow the seed of distrust and disunity among the emerging regions. An unduly larger portion of the land was assigned to the Northern Region such a large portion that it was even bigger than combined vast areas of the West and East regions. The North was therefore well positioned for the monopoly of power; to rule the nation because it is the game of the majority that decides who wields power in any democratic set up like ours. Every problem and challenge the country faced since then was caused or traceable to this single act.

The military government of General Aguiyi Ironsi tried to correct this wrong by introducing the American system of Federalism as opposed to the British parliamentary system, but rather than correcting the problem; it only actually compounded it because the damage caused in the process seemed to have cut too deep into the fabrics of the nation, and now with the benefit of hindsight it is clear that the military did it for selfish reasons. The people who benefited most from this injustice of the military intervention in the governance of this nation still work sleeplessly to ensure that they remain in power to feather their nests no matter the modifications.

The military administration of General Yakubu Gowon was the closest to getting a permanent solution to this injustice when the military Governors of the regions with the leader of the junta (General Gowon) prescribed and agreed on a formula in Aburi, Ghana; that each region should become autonomous and Nigeria should become a confederacy rather than Federal in nature. Upon their return from Aburi, Ghana, when the agreement was made public, pressure was mounted by politicians on the military junta not to implement such agreement. These politicians no doubt sincerely believe confederacy was not in the best interest of the nation. The Executive council which includes some of these notable politicians agreed to back out from the Aburi accord which as much as I can remember landed us in a CIVIL WAR!! And even with the war, the artificial boundary, created by our colonial masters (Britain), has continued to plague the nation till today. How else can you explain why a politician who amassed his wealth from government threatens to make this country ungovernable if power was not delivered to his enclave the north, where he roots? Nigerians know such ones and know that they have remained mute in the face of multiple bombings in the nation they claim to love! I stand to be corrected.

The nation from the first day began to reap the fruit and conspiracy of disunity and mistrust planted by Britain and opportunists see it as a legitimate means to grab the common wealth, using it to hold on to power. All other problems of the nation; Corruption, Insecurity, Tribalism, Nepotism, Political instability and etc are all the fruit left by our colonial masters because of that single act of arbitrary border demarcation of our Regions, without regard to language, tribe, ethnicity, or even natural land marks.

We can therefore safely say that Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan inherited a nation designed to fail by the colonial masters. Those before him, seemed not to have any intention to solve this problem, and it seemed as if they had added their own reinforcement to make the problem further far from solution. I regret that as of today (October 1 2011), 126 days into our first genuine people’s presidency, we are yet to see anything to convince us that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan too will make a difference, and it is for this reason that I am now speaking out. I, Nigeria, indeed the whole world wish him well.

THE MILITARY INFLUENCE:

It seemed as if the military rulers enjoyed the Federal system because it appeared to make it possible for them to distribute the common wealth of the nation among themselves unchallenged! Today, it seems as if most if not all of the retired Generals, who got involved in the politics of this country, have turned out richer than the nation. I cannot but think from a visit to their offices, homes in the cities or their country homes in their villages will convince you about their wealth; again, I stand to be corrected. I think that one of them can pay the debt of the nation without a dent in his pocket and still have trillions left in their foreign accounts for their generations to come. How I hope that I am wrong! Their children go to the best schools in the world and it seems as if they are preparing them to take over the common wealth of this nation as if Nigeria is their property. Because, many of them bulldozed themselves into political offices and thereby seemed to institute all sorts of vices in our polity (stealing, killing, rigging, weapons and ammunitions of war, terrorism, do-or-die-politics, etc), is this an illusion? They used the children of the common man as if they are tools, but sent their children to the best schools abroad! They continued to use Nigerian youths to achieve their political ambition of perpetually ruling this nation by rigging the election. It is like the military destroyed every working institution when they were in power, it seemed they are even more determined to destroy it more as retired officers. We now cry of cultism in our youth, while the political jobbers use these children as instruments to take or remain in power.

It is as if the British masters left the arena to give room for our military task masters. It is like they re-colonized our country for decades, and it was bad enough for us to have the foreign masters, what do you say when you think you are now being lorded over by your own? There was no other way to think as one saddled to care for the soul of the masses than that one wished Petroleum was never discovered/discovered at all when the British were ruling us. Britain would have never left if oil was discovered, well, we would have probably ended up like South Africa. May be we would have been better off than what our own people did to us, maybe ignorantly. You need to visit South Africa to appreciate what I am trying to say apartheid or no apartheid. In South Africa there is uninterrupted power supply, and constant water supply in the taps is taken for granted even in rural areas. It is my conviction that the national heroes who fought for the independence of this country will be lamenting on how we are languishing in these self-imposed situation. We are all guilty.

EDUCATION:

When the military ruled the nation, it seemed as if they made sure that Nigerian schools were closed at will by ignoring the plight of the teachers and staffs of our educational systems. They seemed to callously destroy the education system of Nigeria when they governed this nation as it appeared that they forcefully took over all private institutions from missionaries and other well-meaning Nigerians which then turned to mere institutions producing half-baked products that cannot compete with their counterparts in other countries. Most days of the year, the schools were closed. It took some up to six years to acquire a degree of four years study because our children spend most of their days in the streets as area boys and prostitutes due to what appeared to be visionless closure of the institutions of higher learning. This is one of the menaces they left for churches to resolve, especially as the ruling political party seemed to care less for the plight of the ordinary citizens. The free primary education which existed and was well equipped and managed since 1955 in the Western region was starved of funding after the military took the system over by decrees, even reasonable basic salary of teachers were not paid such that the teachers now find other means to survive. I still like to believe that this damages were done out of ignorance and these generals have the opportunity now to prove so by joining hand to correct the wrong, no one is above mistakes.

When in 1999, the ‘mill-politicians’ took over from the military; education was the least concern of the Federal Government at the centre. There was no clear education policy. The first eight years of the ruling class witnessed further collapse of the educational system. The coming of Umaru Yar’dua as President, with his Vice President both of whom were lecturers themselves was a relief that education will be taken seriously for a change. That hope was short lived with the demise of Yar’dua of blessed memories. We are still hoping, now that the lecturer, who took over from him, will continue and even improve on the policy they both installed. It is important to note however, that this administration just established 6 additional universities in the country. I do not know whether to give him thumbs up for that or not, time will tell. The report of the secondary school leaving certificates in the previous years has been catastrophic especially this year. I therefore believe very strongly that a drastic measure needs to be taken to correct whatever the problems. Also, lately, our people’s president said this: “The plight of the common man is my priority and this is the reason why I have ensured that education and healthcare get the lion's share of the capital allocation in the 2011 budget…... This is only a beginning as this administration is committed to doing all within available resources to ensure the well being of the common man.” Interesting Mr. President, please put words into action. It’s unbelievable that AASU is on warning strike as I am writing this due to the fact that there was an agreement reached between them and late president Umaru Yar’dua of which you were his vice president at that time, which had never been implemented till date. Haba!!! Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan!!! The new year is supposed to have started .Are the students going to be left outside in the cold again?

At all levels of education in Nigeria today, teachers must be identified to teach, but as it was before now, round pegs were put in square holes and expectedly we had garbage in garbage out. There are many teachers in the secondary schools today that cannot construct simple sentences, speak correct English, can’t even solve simple arithmetical problems. What kind of students could be the products of such schools where these teachers are teaching? Mr. President Sir, please take note, this is the root of the problem no matter what the UN says, and we live in Nigeria, put words into action Sir.

AGRICULTURE:

Agriculture with which all the three regions effectively managed the affairs without support from the Federal Government, was allowed under the first civilian regime to seem to be totally collapsed, having been ignored by the military after Petroleum products were discovered. It appears that the Petroleum money was shared between them rather than invested in the Nation or the people. The civilian elites are not better because they were involved in the seeming distribution of the common wealth during the military era, and now it appears that it is pay back to the military. The civilian Government today appears to be nothing more than a mere extension of the military Government. From the day Petroleum was discovered in Nigeria, agriculture was totally ignored.

When I was growing up, in the Ondo province of the then western region, cocoa was the major cash crop in the province. I remember how my father and his peers were assisted by the Government to have better cocoa products, providing insecticides to flit cocoa buds so that the product will be grade A. From this, my father was able to train all his children in school and do many other things to better the lot of his family. The government then invested in the lives of the people and thus helped the people to live a better life. They also took a lot of burden from the parents by making education, medical care and etc, free for an example.

The cocoa was then bought by the regional government and exported. The money from the cocoa was then invested back to visible structures that still exist today e.g. The cocoa house and the premier hotel in Ibadan just to name a few. It’s a pity that today; it appears that from the orientation by the military nobody seems to be interested in farming except the ex-generals themselves and their farming seems to be doing no good to the nation.

Nigeria used to produce stable foods during the civilian rule before the military took over like rice, beans, yam, cassava etc. It is sad to note that all these are now imported at very high prices that are no longer affordable to the ordinary Nigerian. Could the military have known this and still behave the way they did? When cocoa & rubber were the cash products in the west, palm products was the cash product in the east and groundnut was the cash product in the north. These three regions depended and developed their budgets solely on these cash products. The currency was very strong, they did not borrow any money and they always had surpluses at the end of the year for more investments.

It’s a pity that today agriculture seems to be a dirty work that even students will not want to study agricultural science not to talk of been a farmer.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:

In 1999, after all institutions seemed to be destroyed by the military, they finally returned to the barracks. They gave birth to governments of the military in civilian togas just like wolves in sheep’s clothes. They imposed a document on the nation which they call constitution with which they still continue to rule us as if with decrees without law. Many civil organizations, tribes and ethnicity have been clamoring for a constitutional conference since 1999 for the whole nation to agree on how they would want to be ruled. It beats my imagination that the ruling class continued to resist this. I sincerely wonder why? I pray our President will take a bold step like he did during the election to enable Nigeria to prepare a constitution for all Nigerians. What will one expect when the first eight years produced an ex-general as President and another ex-general as the president of senate after scheming out the civilian that started it? We now expect better from the People’s President.

Before we forget, I like to remind everyone that the offence of the erstwhile Senate President was to have terminated the third term ambition of his ex-military leader, to perpetuate himself as the president of Nigeria. The Senate President blocked that move and plan in the hallowed chambers of the senate and that gave a chance to these ex-generals to rig the good and bold Senate president out of office and put another retired general to do the bidding of his constituency (the military). It seemed that ours is nothing but mill-politicians, and only God can deliver Nigeria from these dictators. They still parade themselves as if they are the redeemers of this nation. We know better. Can somebody tell them that Nigeria has had enough of their display of impunity and wickedness? Our new Mr. President, if you will succeed and you must, you do not need a God Father, definitely not a military General. Let God be your father.

LEGISLATURES:

This is a necessary arm of government in practicing true federalism. But our legislature is a dismal failure in this regard. I had not seen their effect on the nation since 1999. They have rubber stamped practically whatever the president brings their way. There has not been any serious debate on the welfare of people of this Nation since 1999. The only thing they did and the nation should forever be grateful was to stop the scheming of the tenure elongation by the presidency. Thank GOD for the then senate president who championed that cause but paid dearly for it by loosing his seat in the primary of his party giving room to an ex-general who is now the senate president in his place. One wonders, if under his watch this new move of tenure elongation by the presidency will succeed!!! One other thing the senators know how to do very well is to continue to increase their salaries and allowances. Yet it took forever to pass the minimum wage of 18,000 naira only per month for a family man into law. The cost to run this institution in my opinion is beyond what Nigeria could bear more so when their constitutional role is not been fulfilled. We read it in the papers that many of them never show up at sessions for more than half of the sittings and yet they are paid in full every month. We read in the print media, of constituency allowances, a huge constituency allowances to run offices when they do not even have a room office in their constituency and do nothing to impact the life of their people.

I don’t have to mention that with an ordinary headache of any of their families they run out of the country for care. We also learnt that when they take their vacations they change huge sum of foreign money to go out with their families. The woes are endless and I can not but wonder if they are not more a liability to the Nation than a necessity. Will the nation not be better of without these legislatures? Do we really need them at all? If we do, could they not just receive pay only for sittings? Shouldn’t they all reside in their state of origins and only transported when they have to meet? Should it not be compulsory for our legislatures to be compelled to use hospitals in their constituencies? Should these not apply both to federal and state governments?

RULE OF LAW:

The Presidents and Governors, since these mill-politicians came in, pick and choose which law to obey. The court of law just exists on paper as their functions was totally usurped by the President and the ruling class who appoints the judges and tell them what to do and say. Where the court tried to exercise their independence, these ruling class ignored at will their judgment and lately had began to remove such Judges to put them out of circulation, a tactics used so well by the military. This author suffered such wickedness in their hand and still suffers it till today. This was the method which the military used effectively to silence their critics which is now perfected by civilians to put away everyone they believe stood in their way of corruption and injustice. With the power of technology which was not as advanced as it is now when some of us suffered the same plight; it makes it so easy to deceive the public. Today they all aspire to own media houses just to launder their stinking images.

SECURITY:

This perhaps is the greatest challenge of GEJ government. The effect of the Boko Haram on the nation makes it seems as if the President does not think or do anything other than Boko Haram. This is the number one enemy of this President and the nation as a whole. The way and manner our government goes about solving this problem makes it seem as if they have missed it completely. It appears like our Government is afraid of Boko Haram. Until we handle this matter pro- actively rather than sit on the defense and let this terrorist dictate the action and reaction, it only tells the terrorist that the government is confused.

It is only in Nigeria that the government will ever dream to negotiate with the enemies who have one goal in mind - to destroy the innocent people in this nation. Boko Haram is a terrorist organization. It is the concept that must be defeated. We need to learn a lesson from the civil war, Nigeria never negotiated with the rebels, and they call them by what they were (rebel). Ukpabi Asika became the Administrator, a civilian, from day one his goal was clear from his first address: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. He never deviated, he was determined, and the bloodshed ended. The Pope said of the Nigerian civil war that it was the first civil war in the world to end with no victor and no vanquish attitude from both parties. It was because the goal was clear. To the Federal Government led by General Gowon, the goal was: ‘TO KEEP NIGERIA ONE IS A TASK THAT MUST BE DONE” today Nigeria is one. And to Dr. Ukpabi Asika, a lecturer in the University of Ibadan, who led the Eastern Region block on Nigeria side, the goal was clear: ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ today no bloodshed or rebels in the nation we are one country. Mr. President, please take the lead. Let us know your goal. We can and must win this war. It is a war declared by Boko Haram. You are the commander in chief. The nation is waiting. Please stop making us feel that we are defenseless.

THE STATE GOVERNMENT:

Lately and briefly during and after the rule of Umaru Yar’dua of blessed memories, and also when our current president was acting as president, some presidents of courts who dared to overturn the election of the ruling class are now fighting the battle of their lives to regain their position and reputation. It will take divine intervention for them to succeed, I still believe in miracles.

I have never seen any president, not even Umaru Yar’dua, who proved that he would lead us by the rule of law, that took such quick steps in the history of this nation to appoint a replacement to the President of the appeal court despite the fact that some Lawyers said that the removal was illegal. Could it be that our president no longer has confidence in the court?

The Governors, even those who benefited from the rule of law, now pick and choose what law to obey and which to ignore! What seems to help their decision is how much they can gain from it all. Many Governors, even some of them, whom the court wrestled their stolen mandates back to them and the Judges that presided over their cases are now paying dearly for it, rules their people who voted for them as if they are masters or even as if they are God. All they believe is making as much money as they can. Governor, you may fool the people some of the time. The day of reckoning will soon come. You will reap what you sow.

Many of these Governors begin to emulate the good work of Governor Fashola (SAN) in Lagos State who is developing Lagos as a mega city in Africa, because the whole of Lagos State is practically one big town. If I may add, as someone who lives in Lagos, we appreciate what our Governor is doing, that was why we voted for him the second term. The Lord is your strength Governor Fashola.

Some other Governors began to develop their capital city to the detriment of other villages and towns in their state. Many villages have no access roads or any infrastructures; when and if they need to go to these villages like during election campaign, these Governors have to go to these villages with helicopters to campaign (no access roads) they bought over the oppositions in such villages to silence them. The opposition who had opportunity to make a difference could not say much because, they were bought over and when they rigged themselves to power, they believed, and rightfully so, that they do not owe the people anything and did nothing for the people. They do not wish that another person will do anything either. They enriched their pockets very well and put their children in every available position in their local government, state government, and, rewarding the thugs who killed and maimed opponents to get them to the high offices as a payback for their services and a way to retain the thugs’ loyalty to kill and maim more for them with political offices which they, as illiterates, are not qualified to hold. If this opposition chooses to fight back in any instance, it is usually for selfish reasons. And the irony is, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. The masses are always at their mercy. It is hard to differentiate between these parties because; they cross carpet from one party to another when they cannot get what they want in the first party. These governors have one goal in seeking office: to get all they can from the common wealth.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT:

Funny enough, I do not understand too much the politics of the local Government because it works well in my local area. I am so pleased that I just cooperate with the Yaba Local Development Council where they need me. If you know what we were before the council began to operate, you will appreciate what I am trying to say. The only thing I like to say here as regards local governments is that whatever needs to be done for the Local Government to have the legal backing and the fund to do what they have to do should be given to them. Mr. President, it seems the ruling class will oppose this with their last blood because they will never approve anything that will benefit the people, please for God’s sake, and because Lagos people despite all odds voted for you, do everything you can to get necessary funds for the Local councils. It seems as if the legislatures are blocking the creation of more developmental councils so they won’t release money to develop the communities. Is it so that they can have more money to distribute for themselves? Many things which the state would not have been able to notice are done in my area council of Yaba; even neglected areas like Makoko are now noticeable because the local council had pointed a touch light to them. A slum is now enjoying great facilities like water, electricity, school, recreation centers etc.

I implore all States especially Ondo State to emulate Lagos in this regard and take the government closer to the people who are totally neglected now. Create developmental councils and make money available for developments pending the time the federal Government will realize that our common wealth is meant for the people and not them and their families alone. This is what Lagos did, it is working. Do likewise for the sake of the people.

THE MEDICAL SYSTEM:

The medical system collapsed just like the educational and all other working systems during the military era in Nigeria. It seems to be one of the hallmark and legacy that the military left behind – death of every working institution. One of the reasons why people do not live long in Nigeria is because of inadequate medical system. The missionary hospitals were taken over like schools and it appeared that what the military did was to ignore it to a level where all the hospitals became mortuaries. It got to a level when all qualified doctors migrated to other nation’s even Saudi Arabia in protest so they will not remain to man death traps called hospitals without equipments and medicines. It is sad that the head or at least the assistant of most special medical establishments and institutions in the world are Nigerians. This does not bother any ruling class in Nigeria today because, however minor the sicknesses even mere head ache, they fly abroad where they had piled looted money to cater for themselves and their families for ever.

A few private hospitals that are equipped with minimal stuff (equipment & medication) are not affordable to the common man. Only staffs of Government and private establishments like banks, and factories (many that are folding up because of CBN policies) can go there as their establishment will pay for it. The present CBN authority seems yet to reconcile themselves from religion and their constitutional role to manage the money policies of this nation to reduce or remove hardship and poverty.

The common man is at the mercy of quark doctors who never saw the wall of the University not to talk of medical schools. This made the country a fertile ground for expired medicines that were earmarked to be disposed in developing countries. These were smuggled to the country as poison to sick people. Who can question the Indians and their accomplices in Nigeria for murder? These very corrupt foreigners cooperate with government officials, operating licenses to import goods without paying proper duty. Robbers in Jeeps! Professor Dora Akiyuli who was once NAFDAC’s Director General had been put away by the government to enable them to accomplish their task. The death of these helpless citizens continues because those in charge have turned their eyes the other way.

Just the other day, as I drove into the general hospital in Ikeja, Lagos, and a man who identified himself as an ex-soldier was begging for money on the streets because his wife needed surgery and he had to buy some medication. What is the worth of a federal government who will not cater for the family of a soldier who once made the ultimate sacrifice for his nation!! In America, there are Veterans hospitals dedicated to the care of their ex-military officers. I do not have to say that those hospitals are well equipped and are free for these veterans and their families!

Is this not wickedness to ex-soldiers? Why should we expect better from our mill-civilian government? Most Nigerians have resorted to self-medication because the common man can not afford the cost to go to the private hospitals and the Public Hospitals have no medication either. Going there amounts to waste of valuable time in an emergency, so help us GOD. Could it help the nation to improve on the medical facilities if these mill-politicians and their families are barred from going abroad for any treatment?

HMO:

There are some health insurance schemes (HMO) which is only affordable by the rich and so private individuals cannot tap into the scheme. Recently, we tried to work with some of these HMOs to find ways to lower their cost so the common people can afford it; our efforts were rebuffed because their interest is to make as much money as possible. Why worry yourself about common people when the government sees HMOs as a way out of equipping the hospitals. Even the hospitals used by these HMOs were substandard hospitals though they have nurses and doctors in offices and factories, it’s just for emergency cases, they still have to transfer serious illnesses to hospitals which are ill-equipped. Who can save the common man?

HIGH WAYS:

Nigerian roads are nothing but death traps. The roads were so neglected by the government that a journey of one hour takes four hours sometimes when it is fast. At times, it can take more than twelve hours to a whole day to make three hundred kilometers journey. The roads are that bad. As if the bad roads are not enough, the police post in every kilometer is designed to extort money with inadequate remuneration as their unwholesome excuse.

States like Lagos State who try to develop and improve the roads around them are frustrated by the Federal Government with litigations and accusations. I wonder when the ruling class will allow us to survive. Lagos State is used to existing without the Federal Government so what is the problem here? The number of people dying from road accidents is more than those dying from natural deaths annually.

The Road Safety Corps, which began during the regime of the military president Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), was a very noble concept. One hopes that they can continue to pursue the concept with which they were created, which is to make the Nigerian roads safer for travelers. They were very effective at the beginning when Professor Wole Soyinka was appointed by IBB to lead the noble institution. Other governments that followed him failed to continue the good job.

Today, vehicles can break down for days on the highways unnoticed, dead human bodies can lie on the road as if is a rat with nobody giving attention to it, drivers (most of them without license) could be reckless to any speed they desire with impunity, portholes can remain for years unattended to, and etc. It was not so when the Road Safety Corps was first created. These were things that the Road Safety Corps will attend to immediately when it first started. It’s a pity that the Road Safety Corps now will take bribe and look the other way no matter the offence of the drivers.

It is only in Nigeria that the toll fees were eliminated without a substitute to take care of the roads. Nigerian roads become a den of thieves due to portholes and deliberate check points of police to facilitate robberies. The lepers and other beggars use the unavoidable slow down at big portholes to turn the highways to beg for alms while the hawkers find a market for their goods. When will the government pay any attention to these menaces? When will the government attempt to repair our roads? In America, when going out in the morning if you see a small dent on the road, returning on the same route the following day, that dent will be gone, no wonder they have no portholes like we do. Can’t we learn a lesson from this in maintaining these roads? I bet it will be much cheaper than waiting for it to turn into a menace.

CORRUPTION:

Corruption is the means where everyone makes money to survive daily in Nigeria because the Government does not care about the common person. Corruption is every where. Even in churches, you want something done; everyone wants to make money from it. At the end of the day, you get so little for so much, any attempt to get to the root to find out the real cost is frustrated by all and before you know it, you’ll be blackmailed.

It is not only the police that is corrupt in Nigeria, every place you go; you will have to pay for your access. Bribery is like a toll which you pay to pass from one place to another either in private or public establishments. It had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian nation and is now seen as the only means of survival by many. I once challenged a high ranking police officer in my office and he made me realize that the salary of the police is the same scale with that of the civil servants. Nobody can survive with family on such salary he said; we need to survive and we can not steal! When I told him that the open demand for money on the road and other places is stealing, he told me “man must survive.”

We remember recently how a former IGP was sent to jail for embezzling huge sums of Naira, which ought to have been used to pay police adequate salary, should it not? If I may cry out loud, how can you put police on Government salary scale when that scale was given to enable the civil servant help themselves from the common wealth? Police should be on the same salary scale and benefits as their army counterparts, shouldn’t they?

This reminds me of an experience I had in a motor park at Akure the capital of Ondo State of Nigeria. The vehicle was full after about thirty minutes waiting, the money was collected in advance from all the seven passengers. When we wanted to start the journey to Lagos, all who had assisted the driver to seek passengers to the vehicle began to demand for pay back from our driver. It was tough negotiating with individuals about five of them. After which he took us somewhere and packed for about twenty minutes trying to settle the chairman of the union. When he came out he was furious and angry. When we inquired what the matter was, he told us he had paid most of the money he collected from us and nothing much left and he must deliver to the owner of the vehicle at the end of the day. He also paid from what he had left at several police posts as we went. We paid double the normal price but he spent more than half settling everybody before he could start the journey. Our vehicle later broke down on the way, and this man was unable to come up with enough money to enable us continue the journey. Four of us had to forgo our refund to enable him give others enough money to get to Ibadan, yet we were more than half way to Ibadan. I delivered a little sermon to him and everyone there before I boarded another vehicle: “let Nigerians look and learn from the nations in the Middle East, and south of Sahara. Should such revolt going on in Middle East now happen in Nigeria, it will affect every establishment in Nigeria not the government alone.” One day Nigerians will be fed up with corruption and bribery enough to take laws into their hands like it happened in Egypt and going on in other Middle East countries, including Libya recently.

The task of eradicating corruption had never been taken seriously by any Government. This was misunderstood by many to mean indiscipline. This made some innocent citizens to be misled to endorse a presidential candidate in the last election based on his previous work on indiscipline when he was a dictator. A war against anything which has no regard for the rule of law and due process is not a war against corruption. Could this mean that is all we can get if we ever have a military General to rule this country again? No matter under what guise they come, even if an angel is deceived to be their running mate, I think a leopard cannot change its color. After all, Lucifer was the morning star before he became a fallen angel. Every Christian must continue to pray for everyone who had been blindfolded by the lies of the devil concerning the war against corruption in this country. It is our necessary duty. We owe this duty to our God, man, and this nation.

We must all join hands to pray for this nation and our president, our governors and everyone in authority. Prayer alone can not do it. I heard the President passionately plead for the prayers of Christians last Sunday (25th of September, 2011). Mr. President, this is our necessary duty as Christians, believe me, we shall not fail. What we want from you as our commander in chief is to be more forthcoming as to how you plan to win this war. It will help us to pray for you with understanding and not amiss. Prayer alone is not enough to win the war. It is true that David defeated Goliath, yes by faith but he fought with Goliath with staff and stone on the fore head of Goliath. He went head on, face to face and fought Goliath. He articulated his plan, refused even to use weapons he had not being proven with for the war. That was why he won. We do not expect you to go to the war front like Pharaoh or the King of Syria Sir, no! No!! No!!! No!!!! The commander in Chief is not a soldier, but a civilian. He must lead and others will follow. The soldier is a man of authority and therefore they should know how to subject themselves to authority. You may delegate this authority but the bulk stops on your desk.

You must win the battle against corruption, terrorism, poverty, injustice and every other war. Let me remind you of a weapon you once used against your opponents during the election effectively. It was ‘the door to door neighborhood campaign group’. That strategy will win any war, not only an election. Remember David used the weapon he knows best. Do not leave this battle to anyone to lead, take over the lead Mr. President. We are waiting. I want to assure you that we shall never fail to pray for you. I promise you we shall pray, but FAITH without WORKS is dead. Destiny is on your side. You shall win. Best wishes dear Mr. President.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, NIGERIA.

Bishop Olushola olukolade
Prelate, Southern Nigerian Church of God in Christ
386, Herbert Macaulay Way Yaba, Lagos.
08185796173, 08056633155, 018935399, 017378060


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