INSECURITY: CHRISTIAN LEADERS SHOULD REPENT
It is no longer news that the state of insecurity in our land is deteriorating. The Boko Haram menace is proving to be a hard nut for the government to crack. President Goodluck Jonathan, at a church service held for war veterans and heroes, confirmed that Boko Haram sect has high ties in government and security agencies. The president also used the occasion to request for prayers.
But, there are fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves. Boko-Haram claims to be fighting against injustice. What sort of injustice? Is it political, social or religious in nature? It cannot be religious because no one is foisting Christianity as a state religion on this nation. And, definitely it cannot be social injustice because poverty cuts across regional boundaries.
Although, some kinds of poverty can be caused by the operations of witches and wizards in the lives of some individual, when more than three-quarters of a nation's population are living in abject poverty it may be wrong to place the blame on the activities of witches and wizards. Definitely, such level of poverty may be caused by harsh government economic policies. But, if the form of injustice that the Boko Haram is fighting against is political, then the sect should stop chasing shadows and stop killing poor and innocent souls.
Maybe, they should engage the government in meaningful dialogue and sort out their grievances. Another angle to solve the security challenge is for Mr. President to approach those who promised to make the country ungovernable for him during his campaign period and request for terms of truce to unravel these security challenges.
The recent co-ordinated bomb blasts which sent scores of innocent souls to their untimely graves in the ancient city of Kano is another wake-up call for all well-meaning Nigerians that all is not well with the nation's security system yet. Police reports put the casualty rate at over 186. At a time like this when the Federal Government seems to be helpless in tackling these security challenges, what should be role of our elder statesmen? Especially senior members of the Council of State? The scriptures enjoin us to pray for the good and peace of our nation as our president has rightly requested. (Psalm 122:6).
But our prayers should begin with genuine repentance of our sins in choosing leaders for ourselves out of primordial sentiments and not allowing God to choose for us. Samuel, the highly respected Prophet and Seer of the nation of Israel almost committed the same mistake which could have robbed Israel of the able leadership of King David. While we continue to pray for God's guidance for this present administration to be able steer the ship of this nation from turbulent waters, it is not too early in the day to begin to pray for the 2015 General Elections. And this prayer should be done without any primordial sentiments.
Men look at the outward appearance. It is only God who sees beyond physical appearance and sees into men's hearts. And so, in our forthcoming elections, be it at local, state or national levels, ethnicity and religion should not be the major basis of electing our leaders; after all God used gentile kings like Ahasuerus and Cyprus to help the nation of Israel when Israelites were facing serious crises in their political history (Esther Chapters 1-10 and Isaiah 45).
Candidly speaking, our Christian leaders (both political and spiritual) cannot claim ignorance of how the nation found herself at this crossroads. We therefore advise them to urgently humble themselves and use their good offices to lead this nation in fervent prayers of genuine repentance. In other words, fear of God and competence should be part of our major criteria to watch-out for while asking God to choose political leaders for us. b
In this regard, we are not calling for another political jamboree but a sincere Solemn Assembly where the Ministers of God will stand and weep between the altar and the porch on behalf of themselves and this nation.
Olakunle is General Secretary, National Prayer Movement