FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
wale.odeku@yahoo.com

THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS

o the Body of Christ across Nigeria, immersing themselves in the political narrative of rejecting a Muslim-Muslim ticket, without addressing the architecture of the Nigerian State anchored on a faulty Constitutional foundation that has now led to this conundrum.

It is written:

“And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So, he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha……. So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria! (2 Kings 6:15-17, 20).

If the issue confronting Christians is the ticket of any political party, the obvious solution is to advocate for any existing alternative and not berate one for going in a different direction from our expectations. The question therefore is not about the ticket combination but one of understanding in the body of Christ.

This is more so when it is realized that elections are not ordained by God. It is a human construct specific to a period in the course of human history, hence our approach to elections must be anchored and guided by our knowledge, wisdom and understanding, which is only possible when our eyes of understanding are opened by revelational knowledge.

The first port of call therefore must be why Christians vilify a Muslim-Muslim ticket instead of simply promoting the “balanced” ticket of other parties with direct assurance of the capacity and capability of such a “balanced ticket” to address the issues before us.

God intervenes by providing a pathway towards resolving a problem. In this instance, such a pathway is not conditional on electoral choices but specifically directed at opportunities that will present themselves for resolution.

On the day Jesus Christ was betrayed, He left the disciples to pray. On His return He found them sleeping and said to Peter: “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mathew 26: 40-41.

To avoid entering into temptation means vigilance of the mind against elements portending such temptation, hence the admonition to “watch”. We watch against the temptation to reduce the elections to a “religious issue”, which has not resolved any issue in Nigeria but rather compounds it.

There is a sitting Vice President, who is a Christian, and under whose watch the atrocities against Christians, along with other atrocities continue. Nigeria has had Christian presidents who didn’t or couldn’t provide answers to the atrocities.

Therefore, the answer cannot be in more of the same. To pray means expectation of a revelational knowledge about the solution which will also point out the practical means of achieving it.

It is written:

“So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him”. (Isaiah 59:19)

We all know that the enemy has come in like a flood, in the West, East, South and North.

What then is the standard lifted up?

It cannot be the current electoral contest with any combination because it will be a repetition of what currently exists, and which enables continuity with the atrocities bedeviling us.

This is the architecture of the Nigerian State and the faulty Constitution it is based upon.

The standard must therefore be about the necessity to free the various Peoples from this architecture by its transformation into a vehicle for their freedom. This is one reason there is a “longing” for the regional architecture of the immediate pre and post-Independence period and which the Yoruba dub her “Golden Era”.

This implies a re-examination of that regional architecture, to proceed from revisiting the Willinks Commission on the question of minorities and the need to create more regions etc. which will also address the minorities question, and by implication, the “Christian question” in the North.

Rather than pursue this, Christians are plastering the walls of Nigeria with umtempered mortar.

It is written:

“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar— say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’” (Ezekiel 13: 10-12)

The “peace” is in the expectation that canvassing the vote against a Muslim-Muslim ticket will address the atrocities; the wall is the architecture of the Nigerian State which is being plastered with untampered mortar on the assumption that it will address the atrocities. The Christian Vice President even stated his main motive for contesting is to “build on the legacy of the current administration” which condoned or is helpless against the atrocities.

Unless Christians are saying that Bola Tinubu will be a worse religious bigot than Buhari, or he will be a hapless Yoruba in power, Christians must begin to rethink their strategy lest they be swayed to and fro by all sorts of excuses to continue plastering the walls of Nigeria with untampered mortar.

What then does this change in strategy entail?

We must begin by identifying the current electoral situation, to wit:

(A) The PDP with a Christian Vice Presidential candidate, which Christians, especially in the North, must reject, simply because its coming to power will simply cement the finality of Fulani control over Central Levers of power. If the PDP can flatly snub the south when the demands were high, it is a no brainer that it will never concede power to the south in future. Moreover, by this act, it has permanently relegated Christians to the VP position. Both reinforcing the architecture of State, the cause of the problems.

(B) Labor Party, with a Christian Presidential candidate. Christians, especially in Yorubaland must clearly reject this in that despite attempts by Peter Obi to hide his Igbo Nationality, it is apparent that the Igbo, mostly Christians will line up behind him. It must be noted that the Igbo were and still are in the forefront of turning Lagos into a “no man’s Land”. And the Igbo, who, under the cover of #ENDSARS, targeted and destroyed mainly Yoruba economic enterprises in Lagos were mostly Christians.

(C) The APC. It already provides a premise for an engagement, despite its Muslim-Muslim ticket. If, as it is generally agreed that Nigeria needs to be Restructured and transformed into a Truly Federal State, the APC must be taken up on its Report on Restructuring which is gathering dust somewhere. All that needs to be done is to dig it up and use it in combination with the Willinks Report as the basis for engaging the party at both Regional and National levels, starting from now. This will allow and ensure the various Nationalities to become involved in matters of their own existence and which will translate into a different architecture for the Nigerian State. The Church can play a key role in this regard.

That is the standard lifted up by the Spirit of the Lord.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.

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