By Charles Kumolu
HAVING been the slogan with which the All Progressives Congress, APC, achieved tremendous success at the last general election, it is not surprising that many want to see the change mantra translate into socio-economic prosperity.
While the possibility of such national transformation would have been achieved through collaborative undertakings between the Federal Government and the citizenry, Nigerians characteristically expect much from the Federal Government in that regard.
Perhaps, it is against that backdrop that the issue prominently featured at this year’s edition of the annual international concert, The Experience, which was held in Lagos.
The event provided a platform for the country”s diverse people to put aside denomination, tribe, colour and gender to praise God and offer intercessory prayers for good counsel and wisdom for President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Both the pre-event activities and the forum itself were avenues to urge Nigerians to contribute their quota in order to bring positive change to the country.
Leading the call, was the convener of the forum, which was attended by a mammoth crowd, Senior Pastor of House on The Rock Church, Pastor Paul Adeferasin, specifically said that the change slogan in the country cannot come from the government alone but also from every citizen of the country in their various endeavours.
It would be imprudent of us to consider our present circumstances as a nation as one of economic meltdown. We must begin to review our plight as divine economic redirection,” he noted, adding, “this is not the time to give up or throw in the towel; this is not the end for Nigeria; this is simply an opportunity for a renewed beginning with our best still in front of us.
Change is here
He continued: Change is not coming. Change is indeed here. Genuine transformation will begin in our lives and in our dear country when we introspectively consider the losses of yesterday and count the blessings of today. And intentionally purpose to make our tomorrow a resplendent legacy in the chronicles of world history and the generations coming behind us.
The transformation we desire will not only come from the governments of our land or from beyond our shores, it must also come from our hearts; it must also come from our faith and our families. It must come from our offices, market place, streets, immediate communities and our local governments.
Our change will begin when we realise that we are all change agents and transformation catalysts. We are in this nation to serve Nigeria with all of our hearts, with all of our strength and with all of our minds. We must transform to accomplish the change that we so fervently desire as a nation,” Adefarasin said.
Indeed, the event which was the tenth in its series showcased a number of international gospel artistes, who performed alongside their Nigerian counterparts.
Great advertisement for Nigeria
One of the international artists, Don Moen, described The Experienceas a great advertisement for Nigeria in terms of culture and excellence in preparation and execution.
I feel like this is part of my family. It is a celebration of excellence; a first class and world class event and one of the best organized. I have been involved in it. It is a great advertisement for Nigeria,” he said.
While responding to a question an American preacher, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, said they were always eager to return to Nigeria for such a programme.
This is the call of God and God will continue to protect us every day. If God is worth living for, he is also worth dying for. This has a global impact, it impacts us and takes us out of our culture and our myopic ministry and we enjoy having that platform. There is no terrorist, there is no problem that God will not hold back so that the light of this gospel can shine forth,” he said.
Some of the other performers at the event were Sammie Okposo, Micah Strampley and Sonnie Badu from Ghana, The Midnight Crew, Chioma Jesus, Hezekiah Walker, Frank Edwards, Kim Burrel, Jessica Reedy, Fred Hammond and Nathaniel Bassey.
The congregation was led in prayers of Thanksgiving for God’s protection of Nigeria at the last general election and deliverance during the Ebola outbreak by Engineer Ntiense Ubon-Israel.