Posted on: 2017-07-16

Christians have to always live with the consolation that the word of God never fails otherwise life could become impossible. The prophet Isaiah gives solid assurance of God’s power. “For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilizing it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes from my mouth; it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do” (Is. 55: 10-11).  Such times as the one we live in now require such assuring affirmations. Too many challenges tend to pull Nigeria apart. More people are losing their jobs and few are getting employed. Too many educational institutions are paralyzed because of lack of payment of salaries and other benefits. On top of all this, kidnapping, robbery and rape have resumed and even begun to invade hitherto sacrosanct places like schools and churches. There are many demands for secession from different sections of the country due to grievances about alleged marginalization, exclusion and the favoritism of a section of the country over another. There is inordinate tension in the country.

The insensitivity of a President

It is within this environment that what is tantamount to a coup de grace was delivered to Nigerians this last week. The capacity of the APC government to put its foot in its mouth continues to escalate. In these precarious times one can only feel shock that President Muhammadu Buhari, who had been gone on sick leave for over 50 days and who many Nigerians have been clamoring to hear from, could choose to deliver his Ramadan address to Nigerians in Hausa language. Coming at a time when Nigeria is tottering between corporate life and death as a nation, that choice is simply indefensible. Centrifugal forces are threatening to tear Nigeria apart. The reasons are numerous, ranging from the economic to the religious.

Even the education system has been dragged into the fray. A fierce discourse is going on at present in Nigeria about the content of the education curriculum, Many Nigerians are angry and afraid about rumors that Christian Religious Education has been relegated to a mere theme under another subject while Islamic Religious Education and Arabic language have either been maintained or elevated. There is evidence that children in Nigerian schools have been submitted to an imperialist agenda of pervasive Sexuality Education which will effectively corrode cultural and moral values. In all this, government has struggled to convince people that it has no intention to favor one religion over another. It has not yet convinced many. Knowing the nature of religious strife and conflict one should admit that Nigeria’s very unity is threatened. Therefore, to hear President Buhari address the nation in one language out of almost 300 others which Nigeria is reputed to have, while asking them to do everything possible to stay united, has to be the worst form of insensitivity on the part of a leader. It also throws plenty of fuel on the fire raging in some minds that Buhari is a mere “Northern President”. The APC government owes Nigerians an apology and a huge explanation for the incredible gaffe. One is often tempted to ask: “Is the Nigerian government against its own people?

Restructuring the big mess

There is as well a heated discussion going on in Nigeria bout the restructuring of the nation. Restructuring is an issue with which the APC government campaigned and won. It is intriguing that the government has now turned around to say restructuring is either not necessary or possible because of the recession. Such absurd statements from officials of government is ridiculous and annoying. One is at pains to known what recession has to do with restructuring. Indeed restructuring might be necessary in view of the current situation. Whatever name it is called, the present Nigeria, as configured and supported by the current Constitution, needs to be reviewed. It can only be sustained and preferred by many people who unfairly profit from the contraption that gives undue control over too many things to the Federal and Central government while the component entities suffer. Most Nigerian politicians meanwhile are already practicing the footwork that will place them in a position of advantage in whatever party and are speaking from both sides of the mouth. Religious leaders and men of integrity must act differently.

Restructure the Spirit and Soul

In the meantime no one can contend the necessity for us all to restructure our souls. It is necessary to focus our souls on God and his promise. Jesus still says: “Do not be afraid”. He is trustworthy. We should be able to say in faith as believers, like in Psalm 33: “From all my terrors the Lord sets me free. We all, however have to play our part. All uncleanness come out of the human heart not from outside of him (Mk. 7:15). Nigerians, of all religions need to focus their lives more on God and his will, doing unto others as they would like to be treated. Enough of the administrative bungling and spiritual hypocrisy in the holiest and highest of places.