Buhari, Work, And Pray!

By Festus Ogun
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While in primary school, I could remember vividly how our headmaster always reminded us of the need to work –or read – hard and pray harder. Similarly, throughout my years in secondary school, the song of ‘Work and Pray’ is being sung to our hearing, virtually, everyday by the proprietor of the school. Since the ‘motto’ has being, we, the students’ watchword, virtually all of us in the school during my days, were successful. This clearly shows the importance of hard work and prayer –to both the gods and our God.

I could also remember, how one of my friends, who was a ‘Born Again’ Christian refused to work and concentrated more of his effort on praying. This guy is clearly a prayer warrior. He believes that prayer change things but he’s notready to work. He was also praying during the time we were writing WAEC.

Infact, anytime we were given answer sheet, he will pray for about 30 minutes before starting his questions. After the exam, he fasted till the day the result was released; hoping his prayer to God will do it all, without him doing his expected job; he failed the exam. Till today, he’s still struggling to have SSCE while many of his mates that were hardworking and prayerful are almost through with their different tertiary programs.

Since the emergence of President Mohammadu Buhari, he has travelled – and will still do more – to over 24 countries. He can be described as the Gulliver of our dear nation, Nigeria. Though, there have been thousands of reasons while he had decided to embark on several journeys, but the one that is of interest to the country is: to make for better Nigeria. We want a better Nigeria, and it is the intention of Nigerians that, his several walks out of the country is to fulfill this mission. However, it will be a presumptuous assumption, if we all believe; the walks out of the country will suddenly make Nigeria a paradise. Hell Nay!

Frankly speaking, there is nothing too wrong in Buhari walking all around like Ajala Travel. But, how are the trips really affecting Nigeria? How, from the travel, do we get the desired change? These are question bothering the minds of Nigerians. After several travels by our president, the economy still remains unfriendly. The country is still in serious hardship. What then is the significance of the walks?

Though, Buhari needs to walk around for advice, ‘exposure’, experiences, and for many other things, but, the point is that he needs to work too. The walks cannot, solely, solve the problem of Nigeria; the president needs to work, very hard, for him to take us to the promise land.

Barely a week ago, the president was in Saudi Arabia to, among others, hold prayer for Nigeria.This is a good move. But, the question is: do Nigeria really need any other thing from God again? God has tried his best for Nigeria; by endowing us – free of charge – with more than enough human and natural resources. What else do we need from him again? We need more or what? What difference, have he, a man who couldn’t maintain a million clothes and the man who can maintain the only one he has?

Seriously, Nigeria is too endowed to be in this mess we find ourselves. Neither God nor devil is the problem of Nigeria. We are the problem of ourselves. Where all the resources have been milked up by some unscrupulous and ‘yeye’ persons, why do we need God’s prayer again? To return the loots or what? Where have we placed this God while we were doing the looting? Didn’t ‘we’ even criticize the erstwhile administration while he was busy running after God?

Look, prayer is not the main thing at this point – maybe later. We need to change ourselves and stop the habit of destruction - embezzlement, first. After this is done, then, we can pray to God to guide us on our ways, not blessing us again. To Buhari, the prayer may not work out well if there is no serious work. Prayer alone cannot do the job of rebuilding Nigeria. Though, the place of prayer cannot be belittled…

Infact, using the whole month in Jerusalem or Mecca will not help the country in any way. Buhari just needs to work very hard first. He needs to tackle the pressing issues in our nation. Even, God worked very hard too before he rested on Sabbath day.

After working, he may then, start to pray for God to crown his efforts with success. If Buhari is to be like my secondary school mate – prayer warrior –, he may turn out to be unsuccessful in his administration; while relying solely on prayers. But if he performs, like the hardworking and prayerful friends of mine, victory will be certain. Even biblically, prayer – or faith – without work is a pure waste of time. But, the combination of the two will make things augur well. So, Buhari should not rely or depend solely on the prayers for Nigeria, but need to hustle, work ( walk, if he likes) and pray. At least, God won’t come down from his place of abode to reconstruct the country we destroy ourselves. And remember, praying in sin or amidst political sinners, may delay the effect of the prayer – be ‘kiafu’.Baba, please, work and pray!

Festus Ogun, a law undergraduate, can be reached on [email protected]

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