Headline: A NEW YEAR WISH AND MESSAGEPosted on: 2016-12-30
We must all enter the New Year 2017 with gratitude to God, the architect of time, space and humanity for his goodness and faithfulness. Psalm 24 in the Bible says that the Lord's is the earth and its fullness. In the New Year we all enhance our awareness of God in all we do. God will simply not go away in spite of the illogical effort of his enemies and we ignore his commandments at our own peril. Psalms 8 and 18 say, “Heaven declares the glory of God and the firmament show forth his handiwork”. We all need a better attitude of gratitude even to human beings around us. In Nigeria we need to be grateful to the individuals who are responsible for some positive changes which we see. These may be in government, among the security agencies, our soldiers or even the private sector. They may be in the families, education sector etc. We can at least be grateful for the Sambisa forest capture, absence of fuel shortage during the festivities, availability of rice, better electricity supply in some areas and a few other areas. Let us all learn to be appreciative and grateful
We must commit ourselves in 2017 to work for Justice and Peace. The entire world needs it so much because all over the world we see so much injustice against deprived people, outcasts, displaced people, the underprivileged etc. We need commitment to justice to recover our country. The Prophet declared: "You have been told, O Man what is good and what Yahweh requires of you, to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). Justice demands that we apply truth and equity with sincerity, giving to each as he deserves, in all areas of life.
Corruption unfortunately is found even in leading countries and organizations, in the entertainment industry and in sports all over the world. It leads to deprivation, resentment, anger and violence. Most people speak against it but few are working against it. In Nigeria the campaign against corruption needs sincere disciples. Christians and Muslims especially form the majority in positions of authority in Nigeria. We must make our faith count and impact on governance and society. “If salt can no longer sweeten, what use is it?” (Matthew. 5:13ff). How come we are not hearing our many State governors, Senators, Legislators and Commissioners promoting anti-corruption with the same passion as the President Buhari? Does it mean they do not share his vision to rid the country of corruption?
Justice also demands that our government attend to the grievances of our people promptly and equally wherever and whoever they may be. Igbos as well as Yorubas, Niger Deltans as well as people in Southern Kaduna from where the outcry for help has been deafening but with scant reaction from the Federal government. Without this kind of equitable attention, peace will always elude us. All are God's children and the blood of the innocent will always cry out for vengeance. We must save Nigeria from it.
Related to this is the increasing but ugly practice of jungle justice all over Nigeria. "Jungle injustice" would be more appropriate. This criminal practice brutalizes and degrades our entire humanity and county and makes brutes even of the perpetrators. Whoever bites a dog or a snake because it has bitten him? Even the greatest criminal deserves a fair trial, not public lynching, rape and dehumanization. By this we do more violence to our humanity and our children who are soaking it all in and losing their innocence. Such killings must be stopped as a matter of justice and urgency.
Our leaders and government must stop running Nigeria by prophecies and visions of opportunistic prophets and seers, most of whom are at best, bankrupt or mere, informed speculators. No country develops on prophecies but on statistics, facts and data based on research and planning. If our leaders stop paying attention to such people, these self-styled prophets will lose market and audience and will likely find better jobs to do.
Let us all commit to enhancing and revamping our civil society institutions for real change in 2017, the family, the school, the media, the religious bodies and other civil society organizations. Let us keep hope alive. Hope never goes into the recession and without it, human society will atrophy and die from our despair. Let us keep God right at the centre of all we do. He has promised: “If my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I will listen from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country” (2Chronicles. 7:14). And God is faithful! It shall be well, with Nigeria! Happy 2017.
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