By Sam Eyoboka
IN the wake of the failed attempt by a young Nigerian to blow up a Detroit-bound Delta Airlines’ aircraft on 25 December 2009, the Federal Government has been called upon to keep a tight rein on religious groups and individuals with violent tendencies. This is to protect vulnerable Nigerian youths from their pernicious influences.
Speaking on a sermon, Be Not Deceived, Evil Commu-nication Corrupts Good Manners, at a Divine Service in Salem City, Warri, President of Godâ€™s Kingdom Society, GKS, Brother Oseghale Emmanuel Aigha-lua, appealed to the government to closely monitor the activities of extremist groups.
â€œThey should also reach out to all segments of society, including credible religious organisations, in an all-out drive to prevent terrorist groups from taking advantage of the growing army of unemployed and desperate youths in the country,â€ he said in a statement signed by the church Publicity Secretary, Brother Benedict Hart.
â€œIt is pertinent to state here that evidently, some mischievous and unscrupulous persons are recruiting innocent young ones into dangerous schemes. And some having been lured in, find it difficult to break awayâ€, the cleric said even as he commended the courage of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab for reporting his sonâ€™s recent unusual attitudes to the Nigerian and US Embassy officials.
According to Brother Aighalua, the incident is a rude awakening to all parents to closely guard their children against evil influences, including what they are exposed to on the Internet, stressing that the devil is hyperactive in this age, filling people, especially the youths, with injurious ideas or philosophies, such that they get confused, bitter and begin to see things from a totally different perspective.
He charged parents to be on the look-out so that they could take quick remedial action in case their children and wards were nursing extremist tendencies by observing the way they walk, talk and dress and act, and the issues that make them show strong emotions or make them moody.
Drawing from a range of sources on child upbringing, especially the Holy Bible, he said: â€œLook at the friends their children or wards keep to know if they exhibit fanatical tendencies. Since you cannot know the mind of those under you unless you discuss with them frequently, parents should learn to have honest, open conversations with the children so that you will learn about them. If your son or daughter opens up to you, you may find out first-hand and without any guesswork preferencesâ€.
Aighalua stated that a fatherâ€™s most precious gift to his child is not food, shelter, and education, but love—and he must prove that love by spending time with his child.
â€œParents should inculcate in their children the wholesome attitude of godliness as enjoined in the Bible which says: â€œTrain up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.â€
Noting the upper class background of the 23-year old engineering graduate, the cleric said that young Mutallabâ€™s contacts with radical Islamist groups was his undoing and cited Proverbs 13:20 which says; â€œHe that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed,â€
Brother Aighalua who said youths should beware of men who offer them gifts and favours more than is normal, advised them to quickly call the attention of their parents or guardians whenever they face any pressure or enticements so that parents could advice and help them.