By Sam Eyoboka
PRIMATE of The Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide, His Holiness, Most Rev. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, said to have predicted the emergence of COVID-19 last year, has again warned Nigerians that next year is a year of vengeance and divine reward.
In a message to the nation, on the occasion of 2020 Tabieorar celebration at Ogere Remo in Ogun State, assured Nigerians that COVID-19 pandemic will be over next year and by the year 2022, the world economy will bounce back better than before.
“Therefore, rejoice constantly in hope, remain steadfast and patient in distress, and be devoted to prayer, says the LORD God of Holy Mount Tabieorar,” the Primate stated, warning the nation’s leaders to arrest the killing of Christians in the orth especially in Southern Kaduna.
“The LORD says the year 2021 is a year of Vengeance and Divine Reward. I hereby call on the Federal Government to demonstrate the resolve to fight the terrorists and shun nepotism, ethnic and religious sentiments in the war against terrorism. The killings of innocent citizens in Northern Nigeria, and particularly Christians in Southern Kaduna must stop,” he cautioned.
“Last year I said that a strange disease (COVID-19) will emanate from China, and promised that there shall be breakthrough in the search for cure. The blood of the innocent is crying for justice. I will give each person a reward according to his/her deeds, says the Living God.
“Quite a number of burning issues affecting the polity keep coming to the fore and calling for urgent attention by the Federal and State Governments and indeed all stakeholders,” Primate Ositelu averred, stressing that the Church of God does not exist in a vacuum and therefore has a duty to speak the truth at times like this.
Some of the challenges confronting Nigeria, according to him, include: Peace and Security, Economy and Infrastructure, Unemployment, Corruption, Fiscal Federalism, amongst others.
Beginning with security, the Primate argued that the primary function of governments all over the world is to protect the lives and property of their citizens. “The disturbing state of security in the country despite all governments’ efforts has now made it necessary for the government to review the security architecture of the country.
“The destruction of lives and property in Nigeria, and particularly in the Northern part of the country are caused by Deadly Islamic Insurgency (Boko-Haram), Fulani-Herdsmen, Criminal activities (kidnapping, banditry, etc) These are all rooted in ethnicity, religion and corruption.
“Peace in Southern Kaduna is a very important factor for having a cordial relationship among all the diverse religious and ethnic groups in Northern Nigeria. The destruction of lives and property in Southern Kaduna is symbolic of the security challenges that Nigeria is facing today,” the cleric noted.
On corruption, Primate Ositelu said from recent revelations, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is symbolic of the worst possible corruption facing this country. “The NDDC is symptomatic of the corruption crisis spreading throughout Nigeria. There is persistent widespread corruption in high places. Corruption in Nigeria is monumental. Same goes for many government agencies, commissions, and Services etc which are under one investigation or the other.
“Measures should be put in place to ensure that scandalous corruption cases are not swept under the carpet. If the Federal Government is serious about fighting corruption, then the EFCC and ICPC should be empowered to investigate monumental corruption cases spreading all over the country
On fiscal federalism, the time is now ripe for Nigeria to be restructured to ensure good governance, fairness, equity, justice, peaceful co-existence, economic development, and to truly become the giant of Africa.
Arguing that current agitations for self determination can be traced to imbalances in the structure of the country, the eminent cleric therefore urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to promote Fiscal Federalism, and regional integration and healthy competition among the component units of the Federation.
“This will enhance the needed rapid development of the country,” he said, enjoining all and sundry to continue to intercede for Nigeria that peace may reign supreme, for adequate security and good governance so that the teeming masses can enjoy the dividends of democracy.