By SOC Okenwa….
Every new year in Nigeria some prominent pastors and men of God would give their prediction of events for the year — good tidings, negative and positive takes on the national affairs in the next intervening twelve months. Some of these prophecies are said to be from God even though there is never any evidence that supports such claims — some wild and far-reaching and others outright lies and fabrications. Yet it goes without saying that some of those declarations linked with divinity has come to pass directly or indirectly; ralatively or otherwise. In the days of yore God was believed generally to have spoken to good old prophets like Moses, Abraham and a host of others but in this modern world such heavenly interaction with Home Sapiens is taken with a pinch of salt — for obvious reasons.
As people who believe easily Nigerians always embrace these translation of divine wishes for human consumption. We would be told about calamities waiting to happen unless prayer is intensified; prominent politicians to be assassinated or rubbished professionally unless they repented from their evil ways; prosperity for some of us if we could work harder and pray our economic redemption out; lurking anarchy in the land or elsewhere around the world unless the children of God sought the face of their Creator; famine in some places unless blood sacrifices were offered to assuage the anger of some local gods. But in all these, after running through the year till December, we realise that we have either been fooled or that some Bible-wielding folks had made name for themselves at our collective expense.
Now the new year 2018 is upon us and the men of God have been competing for space to dish out their messages received, according to them, from heaven. For the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, he would be the richest man this year upstaging the current ‘titleholder’ Aliko Dangote, to achieve that feat! For the strong man of faith: “Let them keep criticising and watch God perform miracles their criticism would not stop, God that is what matters…..I want Christians of the world to shine, I want God to use everyone so mightily that the world will shake … Those not on the side of Jesus Christ are heading for trouble while the children of God will be singing for joy”.
And for Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assmbly Church in Lagos God had told him in confidence never to quit politics as he would still be made President at the fullest of time! So someday in our generation we would be seeing a Pastor-President residing in Aso Rock like Rev. Fr Moses Adasu did gubernatorially in Makurdi, Benue State, many years ago. If such a political miracle ever happens in Nigeria then many would be forced to believe more in the supernatural intervention of God in the natural affairs of men.
Pastor Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church International Ministries, in his handsomeness and flamboyance, equally tried his hands on the presidential employment but failed twice to actualise the ‘wish’ of God for him and us. His failure to capture executive power could be attributed to the human spiritual folly! God is not a politician and He never told him anything about siezing power democratically or theocratically. If He did it would have happened without encountering any failure.
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‘Prophet’ Ayodele Fayose, the garulous Governor of Ekiti State , was not left out of the predictions and prophecies. Even before the end of the year he had told a bewildered nation that God had told him that he would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come 2019! Laying claim to the divine presidential sanction Fayose had declared his presidential ambition in Abuja under the banner of the PDP. But the major obstacle remains that the opposition party had since decreed that its presidential flagbearer would emanate from the north thus disqualifying the candidacy of Ayo. And earlier this year in Lagos the Ekiti loudmouth had intimated assembled journalists of his desire to become a pastor of a big ministry much after his guber passage in Ado Ekiti.
Pray, which ‘God’ spoke to Fayose or prophesied for him? The God of Abraham, Jacob and David? Or the little god of Afo-Ekiti? Or the late Olumba Olumba Obu in Calabar? Or Guru Maharraj-ji in Ibadan? If the Omnipotent God, the Jehovah, could speak to the Fayoses of this world then heaven must apologise to Lucifer for throwing him out of paradise for his rebellion! If the true God could communicate with Ayo the gubernatorial electoral robber and murderer then we may very well consider it appropriate disowning Him and becoming atheists!
And from the coal city of Enugu came a new year message cum prediction of events that would shape our nation in the next 12 months or more. Rev. Fr Ejike Mbaka is a fire-spitting Priest whose Adoration Catholic Ministry has made name for itself as a leading healing and deliverance group. He came out swinging towards the direction of the President whom he had fanatically supported against the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the last presidential poll three years ago. For the strong-willed cleric President Muhammadu Buhari has not brought about the ‘change’ he promised Nigerians in 2015 as he ran for office and consequently rose to power. He hit hard characteristically at the retired General detailing his ‘sins’ as it were. He urged him to change his ways and tactics and methods or be changed next year as the President!
Father Mbaka’s strong declarations against the incumbent President he strongly backed predicting his victory at the polls had surprised not a few discerning Nigerians. For one, he made it loud and clear that the occupant of Heaven was against Buhari’s re-election bid. Besides he posited that Buhari’s anti-graft campaign was barbaric and selective and that he had failed to listen to the voice of reason of his beautiful wife, Aisha. The magniloquent man of God condemned the ‘cabal’ in Aso Rock manipulating things and misleading the President. He chided him for his incompetence, sluggishness and indecision on critical national issues.
From all indications, the controversial fiery Priest was disappointed with the Buhari regime and he said so openly. He even went on to fly the presidential kite of Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, as a possible replacement for Buhari come 2019. While we concede that Mbaka is not good at singing anyone’s praise he enumerated the good works of the Gombe Chief Executive painting him with glowing colours of patriotism, gubernatorial quality and religious bridge-building. It is often said that your good works would bring you out — with or without publicity. The recognition from the Adoration Ministry spiritual Director is good tiding in itself for whatever it is worth politically.
Governor Dankwambo has not declared publicly any presidential ambition but it appears that his great achievements in Gombe has brought him to the spiritual lenses of the Enugu man of faith. Fr. Mbaka’s preference for him must have lifted him from his obscure position in Gombe city. Governor Dankwambo is a silent achiever and his political pedigree is rich enough to be thrown into the national arena. But it remains to be seen if and when he makes up his mind to try his luck. Nigeria may need his services someday in the near future.
Nigeria is a nation afflicted with the ‘God’ syndrome. Everyone is talking about God but few try to obey His commandments. The late Lee Kuan Yew got it right econo-politically in Singapore without playing the politics of godliness. Former President Jerry Rawlings got it right in Ghana even though he was said to be an atheist! The former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, got it right not because he was a Christian or an executive prayer warrior. The Japanese have gotten it right economically even when most of them do not believe in the ‘God’ syndrome afflicting many African poor societies. The Chinese economy, the second largest and most dynamic in the world, is on a strong global footing because they refuse to accommodate the lazy mentality of godliness.
In the final analysis, with due respect to all religious sensibilities, we bemoan the incontrovertible existential fact that while we daily bombard heaven with prayers and fast with fervour the supplications and spiritual exercises had not translated into any visible change in our national living condition. Our fear is that the politics of godliness could well turn out to be the perils of ungodliness!
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears