By Tony Maguaje
Defending just cause
Politics is one of the oldest activities the world has seen and it has a limitless border of where it can be practised.
Nigeria, being an extremely religious nation has a huge understanding of politics in religious houses and rightly so, everybody deserves or has the right to belong/support a political party or candidates.
Like in the bible days, Prophet Elijah, King David, Samuel, among others were front liners in the politics of their time and more so to the endorsement of God (as they constantly consult with God before taking a step or making a statement).
Are there still prophets like the old in today’s Nigeria? Can God tell two prophets different things on the same issue? If I didn’t know better, the bible says God is not the author of confusion.
The political affiliations of religious leaders in today’s Nigeria are normal, but what is questionable whether they stand with the people or the government.
Even though a large number of Nigerian youths have not witnessed or do not have the faintest idea of what their ideal Nigeria should look like, what an average citizen, the tax-paying citizen should benefit from a decent government exists in the fairytale.
In the last 365 days, Nigeria has moved up to become the world’s capital for poverty, hunger; one of the most dangerous places to live in; tormented by one of the deadliest terrorists group in the world; kidnapping has escalated; unemployment has sky-rocketed; minimum wage is no take-home wage… and the list goes on and on.
Also read: Scholars task FG on religious tolerance
The while some clergies have spoken all out on the issues, some have been coy and diplomatic.
Religious leaders, like traditional rulers, are well respected in Nigeria. Their voice is louder than 100 of politicians put together. When they decide to speak, they make headlines and politicians tremble, but those days are becoming few and far in between.
It is not news today that the issue in the front-burner, being discussed by leaders in Nigeria today is the Islamisation of Nigeria by the current government. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Professor Wole Soyinka, two supposed arch enemies have for once put their differences aside to speak in one voice warning against the impending Islamization of Nigeria.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 warns against prophets speaking presumptuously and prescribed punishments for such acts, primarily because such presumptuous acts can lead to catastrophe as we are witnessing today in Nigeria.
Recently, a respected man of God urged Nigerians not to attack/abuse the president. More so is the fact that the Holy Bible advised we obey constituted authority and respect the government of the day.
Earlier, another advised the president not to remove the service chiefs to the dismay of the majority of Nigerians.
The revered clergy said that sacking the service chiefs abruptly will not bring a lasting solution to the insecurity issues in Nigeria.
Very logical, but it sounded like Nigerians were betrayed, Christians particularly considering that a certain Leah Sharibu, kidnapped by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, for not denouncing her faith some 15 months ago, is still under the captivity of the blood-sucking sects.
Even though some religious leaders have condemned the kidnap, some section of Nigerians still feels that the likes of these respected men of God have not fronted the cause of the 15-year-old Dapchi Schoolgirl.
The Bible also says in the Book of Proverbs 31:3,9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Pastors and Prophets are under the authority of God; they are shepherds whose main duty is to teach and strengthen the followers of Christ, as well as guide them spiritually with their utterances and teachings. God said in the Book of Exodus 3:9 “And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen how severely the Egyptians are oppressing them.”
Yes, the government might be doing everything possible to make Nigeria a better nation, pressure groups are constitutionally positioned to keep the government on their toes and ensure they do the right thing at all time.
Having a Christian, the clergy of the most populated church in Nigeria as Vice President has not helped in allaying fears of the rumour of emerging Islamic state.
Nigerians are feeling unsafe in their own nation; the majority sleep with one eye closed, no one knows what the next big news of discomfort may be, it is like sleeping in a bed of thorns.
Just so the shepherds are left without sheep, for the church not to grow thinner, for the clergies not to preside over the disgruntled congregation.
Much more than the issues of tithing and offering, much more than the sermon of prosperity and seed-sowing, our clergies should invest more in speaking out and defending the just cause of the Nigerian nation.
- Maguaje can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org