FROM THE PREACHER"S LENSES
|Thursday, May 13, 2021|
want to talk of a country, Nigeria, which I grew up to know. There was once a country, Nigeria different from Nigeria of today.
Nigeria was once a big tree where all kinds of birds from all over the world came to perch and where all animals came to take shelter; name it, Indians, Pakistanis, Egyptians, South Eastern Asians, etc
When our country was economically buoyant, citizens went to study in the cold countries of the world and returned home promptly. The few who did not return home did for reasons best known to them.
All of a sudden, the reverse happened after our economy got destroyed and life sustenance became very difficult.
Then, most Nigerian youths and even adults will do anything it takes to relocate to the countries, where life is perceived to be good because they have witnessed their friends who relocated to those countries and within months, they were already remitting money home.
Unfortunately, they do not ask or reason out why that was possible. This will be a discussion for the future.
For over a decade, I have been writing and preaching on several radio stations and holding town Hall meetings and Inter-Religious Solemn Assemblies in towns about what we need to do, in order to return to our initial estate, when our economy was strong and our nation prospered, so that poverty can become a past story because Prosperity of the nation is the answer to individual's prosperity.
The publishers of the on-line newspaper, 'nigeriaworld.com' since 2008 have been gracious to me and as of today published over 500 of my submissions about how to return Nigeria to a strong nation, which was being built at the beginning so that all, which God has blessed us with, can be fairly equally distributed and poverty can be significantly mitigated and no one will have to be parading foreign embassies or take the dangerous path through the Sahara desert and Mediterranean sea into the countries, which they think they can make a living.
Unfortunately, many who took this route have died in the desert or perished in the sea. Many young women were seriously abused. Many others were holed up either in Libya or Morocco and other transiting countries, molested and eventually killed.
If we will, it is more beneficial to join forces together and start where the founding fathers left it, to make our economy strong again and stop the idea of migration. There is no better place than home, believe me.
I assure you that Nigeria has wealth, sufficient, to make all Nigerians happy right at home. The greed of our government with our support is our doing. The acts of putting self, above the nation by many of us are the predicaments to our hardship.
Nigeria at independence was developing steadily. The government was efficiently managed. Areas of deficiency in manpower were addressed promptly. Citizens were sponsored on studies at home and overseas to fill the manpower needs.
There were various scholarships for under graduate and Post graduate studies both at home and overseas. The country was comfortably habitable that the thought of stay put overseas after studies was very remote. There was eagerness to return home at the completion of one's study because home was good.
Our money had good value. Even after we started to use the Naira, up to 1983, one Naira was almost double the American dollar and almost at par with the British pound. So Nigerians were accorded great respect wherever we went across the globe. The comity of nations saw us as a serious nation, which had a goal.
The handlers of the government were committed to the progress of the nation and the welfare of the citizens. We lost it after the crops of people who took over power from the founding fathers jettisoned the commitment to the nation, which the founding fathers imbibed.
There was once a country, Nigeria different from Nigeria of today.
When there was commitment to the nation, Monies budgeted for various projects were disbursed for the projects and executed to the letter. Government money was sacrosanct and it was sacrilegious for anyone to tamper with it in unrighteousness because whoever did and was caught, did it at his peril.
The then University undergraduates ate three course meals, thrice a day, at Government expenses. Few salary earners could afford the kinds of meals they ate. It was not a question of meal not enough at any time but the shout of "It do" to the stewards serving food, rented the air in all dining halls of residence. Tea, coffee, and beverages were available both at breakfast and at dinner. No one served anyone, Individual served himself.
I heard baba Adeboye say he decided to attend the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) when at a visit he observed that two students shared a roasted chicken on Sundays. At Ahmadu Bello University, it was a chicken per student on Sunday afternoons.
Housekeepers prepared their beds. Water ran freely in their baths & toilets. Their rooms, baths & toilets were kept by housekeepers. The University laundry laundered their beddings and a limited number of their personal clothing. Facilities for quality education were abundant. As students, they were robust, elegant and beauties to behold. They got vacation jobs during the summer holidays. They secured two or more jobs while still writing their final examinations. They had loans to purchase vehicles soon as they entered the work force.
May God bless the founding fathers, dead or alive, who placed the development of the nation above self, who designed those welfare programs and did not consider it to embezzle the money budgeted for them.
Those of them who attended Government Colleges (high schools) and Provincial Secondary Schools, in the old Political North (including the present Kwara & Kogi states) later renamed Government Secondary Schools received monthly pocket money. They received transportation allowance at each school vacation. Books and uniform were supplied freely. They had tea during break. Government paid for the eye glasses of students who had eye defects. Female students were supplied with sanitary towels every month. Yet there was no oil revenue.
There was no person who completed high school in those days, who wanted to work and did not get job.
I hope the suffering students and graduate job applicants are listening to my stories. I am allowing you to know what did happen when the government was responsible and committed to the nation and which can still happen under a godly government.
Those were the conditions under which many of your present crops of leaders studied. They did, under a luxurious condition. The military men were trained robustly too but unfortunately rather than building and improving on what they met and enjoyed, they all united in evil and became reckless and profligates with the commonwealth and they collapsed the bridge after they crossed over. The result of these is the prevailing poverty in the nation. Graduates return home to be fed by their parents when they have no job. Those who happen to get are paid ridiculous. Worst, they will maul down anyone who has intention to rebuild the bridge. Shame on them all!!
No one visited any Government hospital and was given a bill. All services and medications were free. Patients on hospital admission were served with food freely, three times daily. Yet, there was no oil revenue.
After they grounded the system, they are now employing religion to divide us in order to divert our attention from their loot. Some of them became religious bigots and sponsors of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping etc. One will hardly know his bearing at a return to any Saudi city, which one might have visited 5 years previously, with the rapid developments that take place continuously while in our own case we use religion oppress and destroy.
The only option left for them in order not to burn mercilessly in hell is to adapt the example of Zacchaeus, who repaid in four fold all the people he had cheated.
After the Israelites returned from the Babylonian captivity, their political leaders enslaved their fellow countrymen again financially. Nehemiah called a Village Square meeting of the Political leaders and made them to denounce their evil activities against their fellow countrymen and they made promise to do the right.
Nehemiah told them "May God destroy your homes and livelihood if you fail to keep this promise" (5:1-13).
So I too say to you people holding political posts, you Civil Servants who control votes, all of you who had in the past occupied positions of authority and have used those posts unrighteously to enrich yourself thereby ruined the economy, building to the present hardship of the majority of citizens, "May God destroy your homes and livelihood if you do not act immediately to repair all, which you have damaged with your theft of the commonwealth" You must call an assembly of yourselves and work out the necessary repairs
Can you young fellows believe that Nursing students in those days received monthly salary? Not scholarship but salary!! The same thing went for students of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) and many other professions.
The government of those days were always cracking their brain on how to fill the areas of man power need.
A Civil Servant or a soldier would be on his seat, when unexpectedly he would be given a letter asking him to proceed on a course, which could be internal or overseas, which in turn will lead to his own promotion as well. Lobby was never involved. Tribalism or Religious affiliation was not put into consideration in the selection of who was recommended for the course. No group of people met nocturnally or in secrete to decide who is to be sponsored.
Those were the days when the Secretary to the Government or the Chief Inspector of Education or both would take a tour of the different universities to see for themselves how the students of their state origin were faring.
Those were the days when a governor will reason with his cabinet to make plans for the teachers in the privately run schools i.e. Mission and Community, to enjoy same condition of service as their counterparts in the government run schools so that there will be no rush by qualified teachers to seek employment solely in the Government Schools leaving the Community and Mission Schools with shortage supply of qualified teachers but each teacher could decide to take employment in the school of his choice and convenience since the condition of service would be the same as in the government schools.
So, it is clear that what the government at the beginning was building was "Prosperity of the Nation" or "a Communal/Collective prosperity" and that was what made the country habitable and private businesses thrived.
The slang in those days was "A university graduate is an averagely a rich person" And that was just living on his income without stealing. And there was joy for any parent, who had a graduate child because such a parent's financial suffering was over.
It was usual for not just a University graduate to have his younger ones or children of relations live with him to care for them, but also Grade 3 and grade 2 teachers did.
Next time I am going to give us the key to lock out poverty in our nation other than STREET PROTEST. Street protests in this nation lead to loss of lives.