Have Men Of God In Government Lost The Saltiness In Them?
If there is any catch phrase that is unarguably used by corrupt persons to water down the gravity of corruption, it is unarguably the trending catch phrase, “Chop-I-Chop” among the politicians nowadays. The term speaks of indulging in corrupt practices when in position of power since no one knows when such opportunity would be available again. It may sound fair, just and equitable as plunder from corrupt practices is equitably distributedamong all political allies but the true meaning conveys a most dangerous appeal. The foregoing view no doubt has no doubt brought to the fore the sad memory of Dasukigate which revolved around arms procurement deal that resulted in the embezzlement of $2 billion through the office of the National Security as alleged.
It conveys a most dangerous appeal as corruption in Nigeria has been hindering economic, political and social development. It has remained a major barrier to economic growth, good governance, so much that even basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech or citizens’ right to hold governments to account are equally affected by corruption. This is as anyone that becomes overzealous topatriotically spill the beans is mischievously treated or rather threatened by those involved in corrupt practices. More than this, corruption affects the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the 1966 coup which four Nigerian Army Majors carried out, and led by Late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, gave plethora of reasons for the mutineer. It would be recalled that the broadcast that serenaded the coup which took place on January 15 of that year had Nzeogwu said: “Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds…” Expectedly, the coup brought the first republic to an end, and regrettably led to the death of some major actors in the country’s political space at that time.
The immediate reasons for the coup, as contained in Nzeogwu’s broadcast, accentuated the nationwide disenchantment at the time with corrupt and selfish politicians as well as their inability to maintain law and order and guarantee the safety of lives and property. That was in 1966, exactly 55 years ago. Given the worrisome gauge of the prevailing socio-economic thermometer, it is quite obvious that nothing has changed. It is not hyperbolical to say that the situation has deteriorated as it appears that the centrifugal force is gradually giving way and therefore, can no longer hold the periphery. In other words, the way the Boko Haram terrorists are ravaging the Northern parts of the country with attendant killings, raping and maiming that have being traced to Fulani Herdsmen inthe meadows that are outside the Northern part of the country, even as all forms of criminals are on the prowl in virtually all geo-political zones, one may be tempted to conclude that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation is at the brink of precipice.
In view of Nigeria’s lingering challenges that border on bad governance, not few people are asking about those politicians that claimed faith in Jesus in electioneering campaigns that were carried out in the last few years. The answer to their question cannot be farfetched as like all of us, they’re susceptible to losing sight of what is most important to God and the people as far as the issue of governance is concerned. Without being judgmental, it is doubtful if they are truly seeking God first as they were wont in the days of regular ecclesiastical ministry to the Lord. In the same vein, without being pejorative in this context, it may not be wrong to opine that they are seemingly not seeking wise counsel from God for them to be encouraged toward good perspectives and actions in their various political offices.
Not few people are equally asking “Where are spirit-filled Christians in government that are patriotically disposed to become builders, in the similitude of Nehemiah as recorded in the biblical book also called Nehemiah? In the same vein, not few are asking, “Where are the salt of the earth in government?” The last question in this context was unarguably inspired by Matthew chapter 5 verse 13, where Jesus preached to His disciples thus: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot”
It is unfortunate that most Christians that cut across ordained pastors, prophets and evangelists, that have been in and out of government have woefully failed to emulate great men in the Bible in their political involvements in the governance of Nigeria. A friend of mine once said that in this government where we have pastors, deacons and evangelists as political leaders that if they have been making efforts to apply the leadership qualities they learnt from great men of God in the Bible that Nigeria would have being a better place to live in.
Who will not concur with my friend as there is no denying the fact that much can be learnt by Christians in today’s politics about leadership by studying the lives of Bible characters? Without over flogging the issue, much can be learned from Jesus, Joseph and Nehemiah coupled with other great leaders whose leadership exploits are recorded in the Bible.
In as much as it is germane to explain to readers of this piece that are not in the Christendom what salt meant from scriptural perspective, it suffices to say that Christians are called the salt of the earth because their lives enhance and give meaning to this existence we call life. Before salvation, they were like grains of sand, too numerous to count. But after receiving Christ, they were transformed, no longer like minuscule debris of rock having little or no difference from another lost piece of sand, to something distinctive in taste, texture, and aroma.
The foregoing analogy as to what salt is from spiritual sense of the word may be odd in this context, but Jesus compared believers to salt for a reason. Salt is a dietary mineral, used for flavoring and preservation, and needed by all known living creatures. If abused, it can be harmful. However, it is also detrimental to have no salt intake because it regulates the water content in our bodies. Jesus used salt to describe how Christians are needed to bring balance and hope to an otherwise dying world. In this case, to a dying economy that has no doubt impoverish the people as a result serial corrupt practices that can be equated to looting.
Without resorting to denigration, pastors, deacons, evangelists and even nominal Christians in the ongoing government led by President Muhammadu Buhari should prove to expectant Nigerians that are by each passing day looking up to them for good governance that is bereft of corruption prove that they are literarily still salty.
In a similar vein, they should prove to Nigerians that the religious rituals they participated in during the inaugural ceremonies that ushered them into their respective –political positions were faithfully believed in. The reason for this charge cannot be farfetched as not few of them, during elections, leveraged on the primordial sentiments of religion to garner votes from electorates in the Christendom.
It may not be wrong that when criticism such as this finds space in the media that not few Christians seek solace in Matthew chapter 7 from verse 1 to 3 that says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ,"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
The reason for this call is that if men of God in today’s government refuse to heed the call been made through this medium, Jesus will one day ask them the question heasked in his days, "What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?" In other words, if a Christian who literarily dived into the murky waters of politics has lost his or her gusto and fervor, then what difference does he stands to make in today’s politics where everyone is hopefully looking up to him as a Christian? To reiteratively ask, “Have Men of God in Government Lost The Saltiness In Them?