By Wale Akinola
Pastor (Dr) Elijah Abina, one of the great men of God in the country, co-founded the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) with Pastor E.A. Adeboye, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, among others, in 1985. Abina, as part of the programmes to mark the 56th independence anniversary of Nigeria, spoke on the ‘Role of the Church in Nation-Building’ last Sunday. “If our Christian politicians had been well moulded before going into government, because there is no government in the country since independence in which Christians did not participate, Nigeria will not be the way it is,” the General Overseer of Gospel Faith Mission International (GOFAMINT) told the audience at the occasion organised by the GOFAMINT Kingdom House, Festac, Lagos. “Let us all strive to make Nigeria better. We don’t appreciate what God has done for us.
Nigeria would have broken up and the situation far worse than what we have currently. This is a time for celebration. But it is also a time for sober reflection on the power that we have as Christians to effect the change that we need in Nigeria”, he added.
Saying it was ideal to pray for idol worshippers, the PFN leader stressed that the prayer was necessary for their conversion. His words: “I pray for idol worshippers everyday, that they should be converted. Let them hear the gospel and depopulate the kingdom of hell and populate the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus said we should pray for our enemies, and that we should love our neighbours as God loves us. Let us pray for Nigeria because today there is no sanctity of life in the country. God is not happy with the shedding of blood.
We must pray for the three arms of government to lead us aright. This is the time to preach the gospel, the time for change, the time to build our nation. We all have responsibilities to achieve this goal.”
Abina fielded questions from Sunday Vanguard after his message.
Role of the Church
The Church is playing her role in nation-building. The Church builds roads, schools, we teach people to be law abiding, not to be law breakers. We teach people to love one another, no matter what tribe you belong to. We are all creatures of God. No matter your religious affiliation, whether Muslim or Christian, love one another. We pray for our nation because the power of prayer cannot be neglected, especially as this is the time that Nigeria needs prayer more than any other times. And we are doing that. If you listen to what people had been saying before 2015, the near consensus was that Nigeria would break.
Satanic powers actually wanted to break Nigeria, but the prayer by the children of God with fasting averted the situation. Those who predicted Nigeria’s disintegration will be surprised that the country has remained one entity and will continue to remain so.
As Christians, we have our role to play to make the nation strong. We must be law abiding. We must pay our tax because that is what government uses to build infrastructure. We preach the word of God to ensure that the people live godly life. Without the word of God, if you are bad, you cannot change. We preach and teach the word. We show the way of life. And we teach the people to love their country. That is what I just did this morning. We must be patriotic. The reason Nigeria is what it is today is because most Nigerians are not patriotic. If we are godly, we must be patriotic. Whatever makes you a Christian makes you a good citizen, law abiding, and if there is a sacrifice to be made for your nation, you don’t hesitate. We create job opportunities. We have some acres of land where we plant palm oil, vegetable and built schools.
Counsel for Nigerians
Nigerians must change. We have to repent of our sins because, like I said in my message earlier this morning, Nigeria has shed a lot of innocent blood and God is not happy with that. And because of that, God is angry with this country. But when repent, pray, God will forgive us of our sins and answer us. I will encourage all Nigerians to pray for this government because I know that the government wants to serve the nation.
We must support the government. We all have our own quote to contribute to make Nigeria what it ought to be. I prophesy that the lost glory of the country shall be restored.
Advice for Buhari
He should continue to fight corruption. As people see him as a man of integrity, those who fellow him and officials of government must emulate him. If the senators, Reps, ministers, other officials, elected or appointed, judicial officials come together to build this nation as the President is doing now, the country will be a better place. So, I advise him to continue to do what he wants to do because the people are really not happy, they are suffering. The President should make haste and do whatever he needs to do to life more bearable for the people.