WHY NIGERIANS PRAY FOR BUHARI'S SUCCESS
“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”, Alfred Lord Tennyson.
President Muhammadu Buhari's success in the next four years will place Nigeria in a level that has never been attained by any former Nigerian leader, no doubt. We all know that it will be so and that is why we have to pray for him especially in this holy month of Ramadan. Many individuals and religious groups have been praying for him and for the country. It is a duty Nigerians owe their country and their leader. We must pray for the development of Nigeria and against any internal and external conspiracies against Nigeria and our President. Nothing good comes easy. Nigerians, therefore, must exercise some levels of patience and restraint and sacrifice individual whims and caprices for our expectations to be realistic and actualized.
Prayers move mountains. Prayers have no boundary. Supplication is the brain of worship. Many things are wrought through prayers than men have ever imagined. Prayer is the key to success. There many other quotations that reveal to the mortal that man's powers are limited if it is not backed by divine intervention. God created and knows all languages. So, let us call Him in any tongue we know best. God created and knows all members of mankind. So, let us invoke Him alone and from the depth of our hearts. And God created and knows all things. So, let us utilize what God has given us – our lives and strength – to ask Him for what we need and desire for our country. There is a poetic piece that says: “God gets angry when you fail to ask Him; But the son of Adam (mankind) gets angry when he is asked.” There is another saying that God loves a believer who frequently (at all the time) asks Him. God does not get angry and tired in answering our sincere supplications. God loves and answers the prayers of a person for his brother and sister from amongst mankind without the knowledge of the person prayed for. And God grants the worshipper the same for his or her sincerity of intention.
Yes, many instances are rife where failure was turned into success, poverty into riches and vice verse if there is injustice, weakness to strength, wickedness to love and death to life; all through prayers. I think that men have not yet utilized the powers in prayers, either due to ignorance or due to impatience in the pursuit of worldly transient favours and existences. Yes, prayers with sincerity and prayers with purity of the mind are what bring the positive results. It is not the prayers – incantations – of the 'baba alawo', 'booka' 'dibia', and the 'commissioned men of God', who are subtly called 'juju priests'. It is not the prayers of acclaimed worshippers who collect money to pray for others. It is not the prayers of the smart devils who even negotiate prices, name their rewards and cause damages to others by offering human/animal sacrifices in the name of prayers. And it is not the prayers of those who are unjust.
We are strong believers that God answers prayers of believers. We are admonished to ask for all our needs from God, with intention and without being in haste for the answer. Every prayer that is devoid of bad intention is answered by God. Therefore, many Nigerians are praying for Nigeria – their only home on earth – and for their leader, President Muhammadu Buhari. Such prayers are answered because the love of one's nation is supposedly part of faith. Our faiths: Islam and Christianity preach peace, fairness, justice and development; and now that we have the leader who guarantees these transformational factors, there is no doubt that our prayers are answered. Today in Nigeria, the difference in governance is manifest. Without ministers, without political appointees and within three weeks of President Buhari's leadership, the country is changing positively through the collective prayers of Nigerians. This is the more reason why our President must be very careful not to yield easily to the lust of many of the old generation politicians who are bent to grab political positions and continue business as normal in Nigeria's governance.
The Executive Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, like many other Nigerian patriots have the strong belief that Mr. President came to repair our dear country, Nigeria, through the Hands of God by inspiring in the majority of Nigerians that the time for change has come for the nation. El-Rufai and many governors of All Progressives Congress (APC) have started in earnest the change needed in their respective states. I think Kaduna's El-Rufai and Kano's Ganduje are the only state governors who, with their deputies, have slashed their annual income from the government coffer by 50%. The episodes of El-Rufai's unscheduled visit to public institutions like general hospital, his security strategies and his calculated ploys to recover the looted funds of the state are enough evidences that he has come to see and to conquer for the good people of Kaduna state.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, reclining on the proverb that “God's Time is the best” averred that as believers, it was wrong to question why God had allowed Nigeria to remain in the hands of evil men for so long, despite the prayers of many Nigerians. He insisted that God is with the people when they themselves decide to change. So in 2015, Nigerians decided to change the nation's leadership with the best leader the nation has ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari. “That is why God backed the people of Nigeria for the change”, he opined and enlisted Nigerians to keep praying for Mr. President.
Governor El-Rufai was speaking at a lecture organized by the Supreme Council for Shari'a in Nigeria (SCSN), under the able leadership of Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad Datti and the secretary general, Mallam Nafiu Baba Ahmad. Dignitaries at the event included great scholars and politicians from across the country, some of who harped on the significance of prayers for success in any human endeavours. The secretary general of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, supported by the Deputy Chairman1 of SCSN, Sheikh Hadiyatullah urged Muslims to invoke Allah's guidance and inspiration for Mr. President so that he will lead Nigeria with justice, fairness and commitment.
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) at its annual pre-Ramadan lecture on Sunday on 7th June, 2015 in Kaduna, made recommendations for the success of the new government saying: “All those in the position of leadership should fear Allah (SWT) and be committed to justice, fairness, transparency and accountability in the discharge of their responsibility; Nigerians need to imbibe the culture of obedience to their leaders, cooperate with them and pray for them to successfully accomplish their duties to the society, amongst others. Mallam Salihu S. Abubakar, Imam of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, discussed “Duties and Responsibilities of the People towards the Leaders from the Islamic Perspective”, while Prof. Tijjani El-Miskeen of University of Maiduguri (Unimaid), dwelled on “Exemplary Leadership as a Multi-polar Responsibility: An Islamic Perspective”.
JNI in a statement called upon Muslims to fervently pray for the restoration of peace, stability and security in Nigeria, and also implored state governments and well-to-do individuals to extend benevolent gestures, such as alms giving and supports to the millions of IDPs spread across the country, most especially those in the North East. This is the most appropriate time they need such assistance. The organization urged leaders at all levels to fear Allah (SWT) in discharging their responsibilities, so as to attract Allah’s ease against the present economic challenge facing thecountry.
In their own push for justice and fairness in Nigeria, Muslim youths organized a 3-Day capacity building/leadership training programme in Warri, Delta state where scholars and professionals did not only take participants through the ingredients required to be productive, efficient and self-reliant in life but also on issues relating to nation building and development. The youths in a communiqué signed by national vice president II and chairman, Southern zone of National Council of Muslim Youth Organizations (NACOMYO), Alhaji Mustapha Balogun and national assistant secretary general and general secretary, Southern zone, Abdul-Mojeed Momoh, noted that Muslims should continue to pray for continued peace, stability and progress of Nigeria, while appealing to Nigerians to exercise patience with the new government also to cooperate with it in the onerous task of governance.
NACOMYO observed the long time marginalization of Southern Muslims especially from South-East and South-South geopolitical zones in political appointment and urged the present government at all levels to avoid such imbalance. The group advised that the rights of every group are accorded and protected. They prayed that Allah (SWT) should guide, protect and grant the government at all levels the desirable wisdom to deliver on their campaign promises as such fulfillment will fast-track grassroots development.
The South East Muslim Youth Congress (SEMYOC), a socio-religious and political group for Muslim youths of the South East, recently expressed elation that its prayers for Nigeria and Mr. President were answered by God. “Like so many patriots across the landscape of Nigeria, members of SEMYOC individually and collectively participated physically in mobilizing the voters for the victory of Nigeria and the posterity. We also went into spiritual appeal to the Almighty Allah for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari. And now that God has given Nigeria the most desired and long awaited President, we have continued to pray for him to do justice and to be fair to all Nigerians, including the Muslim minority of the South East”, the group declared in a statement.
Even before his election as the President, Christians have been seeking divine support for President Buhari and his vice Professor Osinbajo. Over 25,000 pastors and evangelists in the South-West were reported to have held special prayer session for the duo at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Coordinator of the programme, Bishop Kayode Williams revealed that the spiritual exercise, tagged “Divine Restoration of Nigeria Glory”, was to disabuse the minds of Nigerians about the wrong impression being created about Buhari. “For those of us that followed the track record of Buhari while he was in public service, Buhari is an upright man and not anti-Christ as some people wanted to portray him. First and foremost, we should see ourselves as one. We are all Nigerians. We should not allow politics to divide us or cause bitterness among us. We should love one another. It is wrong for anybody or group to say Christians are against Buhari. To us, Buhari is a righteous Nigerian and Christianity preaches righteousness, and we want righteous people in leadership”, he noted.
Muhammad Ajah is a writer, Author, Advocate of Humanity and Good Governance Based in Abuja.