Being Angel Gabriel for a day in Nigeria
Imagine yourself as an angel (Gabriel prefarably because I like him so much and he, according to the Bible, is God’s favorite) sent from heaven to grant requests from a group of Nigerians who are assembled in room, you most likely would get things along the lines of:
2. Welfare (food, water, shelter and clothings)
3. Admission into institutions
6. Visa lottery etc.
Leave Nigeria and stroll into America, gather a few of them and repeat the same question, and you would certainly get answers revolving around:
1. Equal rights
2. Common sense for Donald Trump
3. Peace in all areas of the world
4. Proof that the God you claim sent you actually exists (in the case of those who aren’t Christians)
See the difference?
Needs of the countries’ citizens are different because they are at different levels of advancement. One is considered a first world NOT because of its immense faith in God and endless fasting and prayers, but because it invested in visionary leadership and sound policies.
On the other hand, the second country is stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty and is hellbent on praying its way out of it.
America, in the eyes of an Nigerian pastor, is the home of the devil where gays are allowed to roam freely and ‘evil deeds’ are publicly carried out. Yet, this country prospers and these pastors, after months of touring states storing up people’s sweat in the guise of offerings and tithes, travel over there to ease themselves of the stress of their birth nation.
The fact the first world countries prosper in spite of their supposed lag in areas of religion ought to point to us that, perhaps, something else is responsible and religion, ultimately, is a variable that is subject to emotions and personal convictions.
A lot of Africans, and Nigerians too, must have heard of Martin Luther King Jnr and his great activism. They must have heard about how he rallied Black Americans and led what became one of the greatest civil rights movement in the entire world. But not so many is aware that the man was a Bishop, an American Baptist minister, who shaped his activism within the confines of his religion. He didn’t ask the people to pray, fast or come rushing forward to have a drop of some special oil he got on a mountain for a fee. In stead, he took action and led right from the front. And generations later, here we are, reechoing his name and deeds.
But God forbid Nigerian pastors talk about these things or even try to voice a change. Some of our most brazen criminally-minded politicians are appointed as Deacons/Deaconesses in churches where they ought to have been shamed and corrected by the word of God. And as we all know, a behavior that isn’t punished in/by the society will inevitably be repeated and fast constitute the norm.
Half the things we spend weeks praying and fasting for could be solved if we duplicate or re-channel the energy we spend on religion on politics and its relating affairs.
I am a Christian and, God willing, will remain so till my time here is done. I pray and will, in fact, encourage my child(ren) to do same. But I know for sure that prayers, alone, will not solve our problems. We have to do something that is more intellectually tasking.
Our prayers have remained the same years after independence. We still don’t have the light, water and other basic amenities that we have repeatedly prayed and still continually pray for.
It is time to try something else.
Let it not be that when Angel Gabriel decides to spend a day in Nigeria, he would spend all of his time solving problems our leaders should have easily taken care of.