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National sin, Godly sorrow and true repentance

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SIN, simply put is an offence against God, or a religious divine authority, or against a moral law. The remedy for sin is to confess it and ask for forgiveness. The Bible declares that sin separates humans from God, and the direct result is unanswered prayers.

The three main religions in Nigeria are Christianity, Islam and traditional (idolatry or worship of idols). The latter is outright sin against God because “thou shall not have any other God beside me” is God’s command. This leaves me with the first two.

We have our fair share of churches  in all fashions and styles, the Orthodox, Protestants,Pentecostals, Charismatic, Evangelicals, etc. We have Pastors, Prophets, Reverends, Bishops and Ach-Bishops, many called by God, others called by themselves due to the persistent economic hardship in the country. All these pray, fast, hold night vigils, yet we remain a suffering and smiling lot. We confess that it is well even we are inside the well!

We have Mosques dotting the land scape of the whole of North of Nigeria and parts of the South West; at the airports, immigration offices, Custom offices, police stations and everywhere Muslims have regular businesses.

They pray five times everyday, calling persistently on Allah, observe Friday Jumat services diligently.  In Lagos, they conduct night vigils and do evangelism like their Christian brothers, yet violence, poverty, lack, limitation, stealing, corruption  pervade the whole land. Does God not answered our prayers? Why has God allowed leaders who hate the welfare of the people? There must be sin in the land, because the spirit controls the physical.

Spiritually, we have individual, family, community, and national sins. Those thoughts, words and actions of our nation which offend God constitute our national sins. Nigeria has a number of national sins, which pride, mixed with intrigues, has compelled us to refuse to deal with. It is given, that without the fervent prayers of the saints of this nation, Nigeria would have been history since 1993.

In 1996, blood of men who believed in this nation and served with all they had, was shed in a military coup. In a counter-coup that followed, more blood of leaders was shed, then an ethnic genocide followed, more bloodshed. We then soaked the land with blood in a civil war that shed the blood of over three million persons, mostly Ndigbo. At the end of the war, we declared no victor no vanquished; we did not ask for forgiveness, and the blood shed all over continues to cry to God.

No confessions, no forgiveness. It is a national sin. None of the civil war historians discussed the spiritual aspects so far, but it is not unlikely that dedications have been made to gods at some stages of the war, on both sides, constituting national snares before God. Today, we still revel in idolatry on national TV, home videos, cable networks; in all the states of the country, the worship of Baal continues even in government circles. He who condones and encourages the sin of idolatry is as guilty as the direct idolater!

Nigeria sheds the blood of her youth more than those in war. A book titled In God’s Name by PFN, Ibadan, recorded that between 1982 and 2010, over 3000 Christians have been killed in religious violence in the North of Nigeria. Another 3000 were killed between 2011 and 2012.

During the same period over 300 students were killed annually in cultism, robberies, road accidents, rituals for fame and money. Herdsmen have killed over 400 persons since 2009. Nigerians kill each other at the slightest provocation, Police extra-judicial killings are put at over 4000 between 2008 and this year! The total comes to about 3,019,700 persons killed in Nigeria since 1966 war!

This is more than the population of some independent nations of the world. The land must be reeling in too much blood! It is a national sin. This is outside avoidable infant, maternal, and other mortalities. The value of human life is daily falling in our ‘great’ country. We sorrow and mourn in funny ways. Soon after burial we sit down to consume food and drinks and some even get drunk! A bad national sin.

The labourer is deserving of his wages, but in Nigeria, teachers and civil servants are owed months of salaries, yet they report to work, while their leaders gloat and bloat in luxury.

The labour of the righteous shall be rewarded the Bible says, but in Nigeria, we steal reward of the labour of the righteous in pensions scams, and then hire lawyers to overwhelm investigation and subsequent trials. We watch our senior citizens after meritorious service to this nation, die on queues waiting for their deserved pensions, and thereby create a wrong psyche that it is foolish not to steal if you have the opportunity! A nation that does not honor its aged shall not prosper. It is a national sin.

Delusion is when a people allow false opinions to take the aura of truth, and it is sin to live under delusion! Many want to minimize guilt by rationalising that everybody does it, so what is the big deal? The big deal is that God may just foreclose on you first, and then on us as a nation! Prophet Joel spoke of the “day of the Lord”, and he gave a spine-tingling description of the judgement day.

This nation cannot continue like this without expecting the day of the Lord! A nation is on the verge of collapse when good and evil look the same, when right and wrong no longer enter people’s mind. When violence spreads, deaths rise, poverty reigns, people beat drums of war; these are signs of Gods foreclosure. Our recognition of these sins, confessing them with godly sorrow, will lead us to a true repentance which will bring healing to our land.

Mr.  CLEMENT UDEGBE, a lawyer, wrote from Lagos.

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