For the past few weeks there has been a discussion around the political unrest in North Africa and some Arabian countries. Some analysts have stated the impossibility of such incidence occurring in Nigeria while others differ on the same issue. During Sunday service, the pastor requested that we pray against such incidence occurring in Nigeria and I balked at such a preposterous idea.
I am not a religious dog and I really don’t think God expects me to be one. All loyal and not questioning-that’s the bane of the African continent. I also read the interview a certain pastor of a popular church in Nigeria granted CNN African Voices (now I understand why programs like this are not aired till 10p.m). In the course of the interview, the presenter had asked if the pastor approved of protests and he in turn, stated his disapproval for this kind of protests based on the fact that it usually results in loss of lives. While I may agree with his point of view, I also beg to differ. More political analysts keep pressing the important role of the Nigerian youths in the forthcoming elections and how it’s been the youths of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and lately Libya who have risen up to the occasion by demanding for change.
So I have gone back to watch the clips of the protesting populace in these countries and what did I see? Desired change was demanded and agitated for by both the youths and ageing adult populace. Back to the interview, you needed to have seen the amazed and pitiable expression on the face of the presenter who asked this question. On Facebook yesterday, there were so many angry expressions about the report on “Bode George’s Thanksgiving owambe” at Christ Cathedral, Marina. Lots of people kept demanding to know why he had to engage in so much fanfare and why the church was accommodating to such an individual. I don’t have issues with the desire by man to seek ablution in God’s presence and I’m yet to read it in the holy books that God denies ablution to man based on his level of depravity. Rather I was pleased by the admonition of the minister who conducted the service. It is now left to Bode George and his maker.
So back to the role of the Nigerian church and based on my observations, I’d like to state that our orthodox priests are more outspoken on political issues rather than our pentecostal pastors and it gives me cause for worry because a larger percentage of our populace flock to these churches. Hardly would you see the picture of Jonathan asking for blessings from Cardinal Okogie for instance. When pastors make daunting statements like these, I begin to question the sole purpose of seeking divine redemption when the reality of earthly living is not conducive for such a quest.
Why must we continue to mold and groom timid and passive people who cannot and will not stand up for their rights? The Israelites did not get to Canaan by praying all the time non stop. No they prayed and also fought for the promise. If they did not fight, hardly would we have a nation called Israel except in the history books. Let’s stop turning the holy books upside down and take a stance today.