Thursday, May 12, 2022
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Lagos, Nigeria

e-"Nigerian politicians can make a Patriot mad and make the Poor commit Suicide.

I never fail to write and preach that Nigeria has money and there is no reason for anyone to live the kind of pitiful life, which majority of the populace are living at present.

God did not assign poverty to Nigeria. We pauperize ourselves because we do not pay attention to the word of God as highly religious as we are.

I hope you have all heard how much the party in power, All Progressive (APC), is selling their Presidential nomination form.

If you have not heard, it is N100m and the Gubernatorial nomination form is sold for N50m.

This is happening in a country where most states say they cannot afford to pay a minimum wage of N30,000.00 a month.

This is happening in a country where University Graduates who are teaching in Private Schools are paid paltry salary of N20,000.00 a month.

It is a country where the majority of citizens never have N5,000.00 in their savings.

Beautiful Nigerian girls are happy to sleep with a dog at a fee of N1.5m yet powerful people are able to buy nomination form for N100m.

In the year 2010, I raised alarm, when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sold its Gubernatorial nomination form for N6m and the Presidential for N11m. I wrote on this column published on November 16 2010 titled "Nigerian politicians can make a Patriot mad and make the Poor commit Suicide.

I opened my writing with these words:

"I am finding it increasingly difficult to believe that the hope of the common man can be found in a Government led by, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

It is either they are living in a different world other than others and so are not aware of the terrible economic situation of the common man or they can't just be bothered.

I have on many occasions watched at our Gas (Petrol) Stations, citizens purchase N200.00 worth of gasoline (petrol) into their automobiles and wondered what distance that will take them.

I live close to a family, whose wife does not know how much a kilogram of beef cost and I have not for once seen beef on the family menu in 8 years. I make God my witness; yet they have three small children who certainly need protein.

I am aware of Nigerian citizens in Diaspora who work 20 hours a day. I am aware of many with Ph.D degrees do un-dignifying jobs.

Then imagine such people hear that just picking a gubernatorial nomination form (letter of intent) costs N1m and the cost of submission is at a non-refundable cost N5m; totaling N6m. Certainly such a person will collapse.

And what will happen when such a person hears that the submission of a Presidential nomination form is at a non-refundable cost of N10m; totaling N11m? Certainly such a person will want to commit suicide, with a petition to God why He (God) makes him/her a Nigerian or why she /he is born at all, except he or she is a strong believer in God.

These people just flaunt the money belonging to everybody in the eyes of the citizens recklessly without caring about the state of mind of the poor and their children. They spend money as if it is sands drawn from the seashore

It appears to me that we would be fooling ourselves if we hope that a PDP led Government will fight corruption. It will only pay a lip service at its best, just as it has been doing. They live and move in a secluded part of Nigeria or they are sadists who believe in "Class" that there must be a big and wide distinction between them and other citizens.

What corruption is bigger than putting down N6m in the case of Governorship contest or N11m in the case of Presidential contest?---------

So, we sent the PDP out of Aso Rock and replaced it with APC. Now the APC in 2022 is selling its Presidential nomination form for N100m in what the Yorubas describe as "Eni a ni k'owa wo gobi, t'o so pe emi ni yii gobigobi?" meaning "Imagine someone beckoned to, for help but rather than helping, multiplying the problem" A whooping N100m to give intention of running for presidential seat? God have mercy.

So today the topic of my sermon is "Appeal to Nigerians to request God for a heart to obey Him"

Let us pray

Now, the most insulting aspect is a sitting debtor governor who is said to be owing his Civil servants arrears of salaries, who is in debt of pensions of retirees, who does not pay the recommended minimum wage of Civil Servants, yet has N100m to purchase Presidential competition form and the first to do so. These are not all, his State's owned Radio Station has been off the air since July last year (almost a year ago). How do I know this? Our Mission paid the State Radio Station money to air our sermon for 30 minutes, once every week but the station has been down for almost a year now begging for repair and when I requested a reimbursement of our money, the station says it is not possible.

Imagine a governor who can't be bothered to repair his state Radio Station being the first aspirant to buy Presidential nomination form fee at a cost of N100m. Nigeria is a country where all kinds of things happen. Is this insult not too much from our politicians? Imagine him become the President, what does anyone think will become of all the few remaining infrastructures?

Kogi State!!! What has befallen this respectable state, a mini-Nigeria consisting of no push over tribes in terms of academics; the Yoruba Okuns, Igala, Ebira, Ogori, Basange etc? These tribes are naturally endowed with brilliancy.

There is a town in this State called Mopa, which as far back as the 60's proudly boasts of at least a University graduate in every household. This state has now become a laughing stock! God have mercy.

One thing keeps baffling me. With the spate of unfortunate happenings in our country; insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, poverty etc, yet our politicians are behaving as if there is no fire on the roof. They still go ahead with their political agendas, holding conventions, spending money like sand.

I cannot forget the lamentation of that former legislator, Alh. Osman Bugaje. It was at the day of honour in respect of the late Chief S.B Awoniyi at Abuja on Thursday 29 November 2007. The Alhaji stood up to announce that he begged to differ from previous speakers. He said there was one thing that always bothered him and which he was never shy to put across to the late Chairman of the Arewa Consultative forum, Chief Awoniyi.

Bugaje said that hardly would there be any weekend when there would not be a gathering of who is who in the North for one ceremony or the other; be it wedding, naming of a newborn, funeral, birthday etc involving spending of lots of cash, yet there would be one person, somewhere in the North who will need only N1000.00 for medication of his ailment but will not have it and will die.

Nothing has changed ever since.

Actually we all must have realized by now that whether APC or PDP they are just same one piece who regroup and regroup for their selfish ends.

Let me say it again that Nigeria has enough money to make every citizen happy. Unrighteousness on the part of the large majority of us is responsible for the money not circulating to everybody.

There are rules for every game; soccer, athletics, whichever. God had set the rule for our wellbeing. It is in Isaiah 1:19. It says "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land" And what is the required obedience? It is in Proverbs 14:34. It says "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Religiosity is not the obedience, which God requires from us. 1Sam 15:22 says "Obedience is better than sacrifice---"

Sacrifice is attendance of prayers tenaciously, without missing any, fasting, reading the scriptures and so on and so forth. Yet he cheats his fellow human beings.

Our Politicians are equally very religious, in fact they may be more religious than us. But because they know we too are evil and wicked, they are bold to sit on the commonwealth after they satisfy certain individuals in the society who can pose problems to them. They are happy to be called Pastors and Alhajis, yet the country is as it is, as they greedily appropriate large renumerations to themselves in what I call 'Legalistic robbery" They and their collaborators i.e the Civil servants in opportune positions still take more than what is allowed to them of the commonwealth.

We are enthusiastically religious, yet we swindle people of their properties, we cheat your business partners. Civil servants and others in government uniform will not do the duty for which they are paid except they take gratifications. We deny people of their rights.

I am old enough to compare the present life style with the past. In the past, Nigerians were religious but added to it is integrity and disdain for cheating and evil behaviour. Their religiosity is reflected in their behaviour, so every citizen was happy. Their religiosity reflects in their deeds. The fruit of religion is seen in their deeds. The gulp between the rich and the poor is not so deep. Today, we are anxious to attend prayers and fast but that is where it ends. We careless about the plights of other citizens, so long as we are able to live in excesses.

I speak again today to the religious leaders, the ones who do not live by bread alone, that it is high time we put our differences apart and work for the rehabilitation and salvation of Nigeria. It is collapsing. It is our God's given duty to do everything to salvage it. Our preaching must henceforth centre on God's word which says that Righteousness exalts a Nation but sin is a reproach to any people (Prov. 14:34). This is what we must emphasize on our pulpit. We must emphasize the greatest of the law which says "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matt.7:12; Matt. 22: 39) meaning "Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you" We must preach to our congregations to consider whatever they want to do before they do it, whether someone will be hurt by it or not and whether they will be happy if someone does same to them. If we can try this for just a year, our lives will be transformed like a miracle. The Bandits, the Terrorists and Kidnappers too will retire themselves and Nigeria will have her respect back in the comity of nations.

How beautiful it will be that we religious leaders speak the truth to the Politicians, rather than praying and seeing vision for them! Or how long will the Politicians continue to hide behind the liars among us, those among us who prophesy lies to them in the name of the Lord, telling them what God hasn't said and praying for them, calling evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20).

Let us pray.