- 3 commissioners suspended for improper dressing in Ebonyi
- CBN issues two new merchant bank licences
- Ekiti PDP accuses ACN of attacking members
- Daniel eulogises HID Awolowo at 97
- Jonathan hails Koroma's re-election
- Collapsed man: Edo dep gov threatens Airhiavbere
- Communal clash: Police arrest gang leader, 12 others in Nasarawa
- Corruption: There ‘ll be no sacred cow - Jonathan
- Amosun’s wife tasks students on reading culture
- Flooding: Dangote committee sets N50bn target
- Adamawa LG election conducted peacefully
- 1999 Constitution: Women group calls for amendment to gender-biased provisions
A nation of Pharisees
I am yet to find a country where prayer has been so abused (don’t get me wrong, prayer is never too
much) but the way we go about it in Nigeria, with such levity, it appears not to be as efficacious as it should be. Or how would you describe a situation where we come out in droves to call on God and nothing seems to be happening? The problem, I believe, has to do with our relationship with God.
And the fact that when we pray we indulge in “godless and empty chatter” which we call prayer rather than approach God with the reverence He deserves while placing our requests before him.
Like the Pharisee, we “love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the (public) market places,” don’t we? Calls for prayer have become photo opportunities, rather than an opportunity to have a conversation with God, so He would help us turn things around.
What I’m I driving at? Whenever we face any calamity, our leaders call for prayers and ask us to fast, forgetting the fact that Nigerians have been forced to live a fasted life by virtue of the fact that most families have no food to put on the table even without a national call for fasting. Someone might be quick to point out that it was divine intervention that led to the eventual release of the kidnapped journalists last week, sure. I am one for prayers and I believe in the efficacy of it; but let’s look at the flip side – Why for instance, haven’t we had any break-through in the now volatile Jos despite the series of hunger strikes (that’s what our fasts have become) we have had on behalf of that once beautiful state? Why haven’t we been able to put an end to increase in crime nationwide (which has now been taken to the house of God)? Why is the situation getting worse despite these spiritual exercises? It is simply because we are just not doing it right. Fasting and prayer go beyond missing one or two meals.
For instance, how many of our leaders are ready “to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” How many are prepared “to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7. And the following two verses say when we do this, our “light will break forth like the dawn”, and “our healing will quickly appear”; then our “righteousness will go before us and the glory of the Lord will be our rear guard”, and it concludes by saying “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and he will say: Here am I...and your night (gloom) will become like the noonday.” Shouldn’t we try to get it right for once?
FROM MY MAILBOX
Re: Kidnapping a booming trade
Kidnappers are not spirits, our security agencies are not living up to expectation. To arrest this ugly trend, the government has to do something about the state of insecurity situation in the nation especially in some parts of the country. More funds should be budgeted for security because life is very precious. Now to the issue of Senator David Mark calling for a state of emergency in the South east geopolitical zone, I think this is uncalled for, condemnable and unacceptable. The government knows what to do! Employment, provision of social amenities and all those other things that will make life easier for Nigerians are some of the things that will put an end to this menace. - Gordon Chika Nnorom. Umukabia Okpuala, Abia State 07052327437
Where there is a muddle, there is always a trouble. Why are we crying ourselves (hoarse) when our laws both ‘penal, and criminal do not contain definite punishment concerning kidnapping. Ask a lawyer. The way our statutes define kidnapping reveals the kid gloves with which the offence is handled! As if some kids were caught “napping”-so harmless. Even the president expressed his displeasure on the spate of the menace, but the issue transcends mere expression of discomfort as it is fallout of the watery amnesty. - Dayo Oladeji, Saki, Oke Ogun Oyo State 08027278748
Thank God the ‘gentlemen’ were released safe and secure from inhuman alarms. But how serious are we with disarmament and reintegration of the militants? Who enjoys kidnapping as a vocation anyway? Where are the ‘derivation funds’? I hope the non - militant President will make a difference. - Dapo Adelokun Ilesa 08057791227
“Kidnapping a booming trade”; thank you for that write-up, but let’s leave the president and his mother out of this; he is a good person. The kidnappers should start with the mothers and fathers of our councillors, chairmen of our local councils and our state governors. - 08032148672
Where are we going in this nation? Kidnapping has become a booming and lucrative business as you have said and this has a negative impact on the nation’s economy which is an indication of a serious problem in the land. The government should not be found wanting on this ugly innovation, immediate action should be taken to stop this national embarrassment. - Lekan Oladeji Olaosun, Ilora Oyo State 08053049443
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