Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Lagos, Nigeria

ermit me to continue the discussion I started the last time; "There was once a Country, Nigeria, different from Nigeria of today" Today, I want to point it out that many of us are collaborators in one way or the other to the evil that have befallen Nigeria.

Many of us contribute, in no small measure, to the collapse of our economy, which has led to the national poverty. It is not right to put all the blames of our woes on the Politicians alone. I will point it out to us that many of us are collaborators to the fall of our economy, which is responsible for the poverty in the land.

So, the title of my sermon again is "There was once a Country (2), Nigeria. Many of us Collaborators in the making of Poverty.

Let us pray.

Many of us are collaborators with our leaders as to why the nation lost her prosperity. And do not forget, except the nation prosper, except the economy of the nation is strong, we shall all be poor as church rats except those who stole and are still stealing the wealth. The state of our wellbeing depends on the strength of the nation's economy.

Whoever is old enough can confirm that the fathers who took the reign of the government from the Colonial Masters were committed to the prosperity of the nation, which made the citizens to fare well.

The handlers of the government at the beginning, were committed to the progress of the nation and the welfare of the citizens. We lost it when the people who took over from the founding fathers derailed. We lost it the moment they shifted commitment to the nation, to their selfishness self in a reckless manner.

Poverty entered the country when it was possible for an individual, to pilfer Nbillions of Naira and another huge amount of $US of the commonwealth into their private pockets and stashed it in overseas bank and no one frowns. Rather we hail them. Their different clans and religious affiliations threaten to foment trouble should any law enforcing agency apprehend them. So you see how we are collaborators in the making of our poverty!

We ignorantly do not know that we all are trustees and stakeholders to the commonwealth and it is our responsibility to protect it.

If we understand that we have a stake in the nation's wealth, we will not allow an individual to steal it because the result is disastrous to everyone us. It results into our suffering and poverty and eventually untimely death.

If we see ourselves as trustees and stakeholders, it will not be enough to just be saying "oh, our money" but we shall shield it from being stolen by anyone. We would hold the administrators in charge accountable.

The Politicians know that we do not know our right and they use it to their advantage. We say things that assure them that really we do not know our rights.

For instance we are quick to make statements like; Who will be at the vantage position and will not help himself? Taani yio wa ni'di obe ti ko ni la?

Another unfortunate statement, which is common on our lips is "Whoever partakes of the altar eats of the altar" "Eni se ni'di pepe, ni oun je ni'di pepe" which is an unrighteous interpretation of the Bible verse and which helps government thieves to justify their theft. Any other thing any person acquires other than his salary and allowances while working at the altar is stealing.

Another horrible statement is "It is he who has no opportunity to steal, that refers to the action of the one who does as 'haram' "E ni ifa o to si lo un pe ni haramu"

And for people who eat a little crumb that falls off the table of the government pilfers say "We know our child steals but he remembers relations" "Huun, a mo pe omo un jale, sugbon o fi mo ebi"

I hope we are taking note of why I said we ourselves are collaborators to our poverty.

We cheat ourselves and compound our poverty when anytime election is approaching, we accept money and other few useless gifts from the politicians in order to have our votes. The action of coming with some money and useless fabrics, Ankara should be seen as insulting. They are the things, which I refer to as "Gifts that leads to our unending poverty.

Prophet Hosea says it correctly "My people perish because they lack knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

All these statements and actions depict our personal level of corruption and why our politicians entertain no fear to sit on our commonwealth because they believe that we will do same or even worse should we have the opportunity to occupy their position.

So if we desire to have a just government, which will distribute our commonwealth fairly equally; a government, which will be committed and responsible to us, it is we who must first demonstrate honesty and righteousness. This is the only way to strap their hands and handicap them from pilfering the commonwealth. Our actions dictate how they should govern us.

Unemployment entered the country when it was possible for a Minister to acquire two private armored vehicles, without anyone blinking his eyes and afterward still able to sit in the organ of the government that makes laws.

Government and Private businesses started to collapse when Ministers and Senators started acquiring private aircrafts.

Hospitals became just a consulting clinic and our school buildings became dilapidated when Civil Servants, who are supposedly on salary could own estates; things unheard of at independence and some years after!! Government money was sacrosanct in those years

Citizens became decimated when the salaries and allowances of our Law makers' are unestimated, shrouded in secrecy and said to be the highest compared with salaries of other law makers on the globe, including the world's biggest economy, America, compared with 60 pounds, which was the monthly salary of Members of the Northern Region House of Assembly at independence, which was just the entry salary of a fresh University graduate.

How will there be jobs for University graduates and other graduates when the ruling class, which constitutes just 1% of the population consumes 80% of the wealth of the nation?

How shall the nation not be poor when each state governor takes N400m monthly for security vote, which is not accountable ie not subjected to retire? Yet insecurity covers the land.

When there was commitment to the nation, Monies budgeted for various projects were disbursed for the projects and executed to the letter.

The then University undergraduates ate three course meals, thrice a day, at Government expenses. Tea, coffee, and beverages were available both at breakfast and dinner. No one served anyone, whoever wanted any of those served himself.

God inspired me to publish a book in the year 2000. The book has two titles; i) "Prosperity of the Nation, Answer to Individual's Lasting and Enduring Prosperity" (ii). Except the Nation Prosper, Individual's Prosperity is Short Lived, Cannot Last"

I lived in the desert of Arabia in the worst years of brain drain of Medical personalities of Nigerians into all parts of the world.

Sometimes in the year 2000, I planned to write a Bible study, but God took hold of my reasoning and pen and I started to write about all the calamities that had befallen us in Nigeria.

I recounted that it was not so at Independence. We were joyous and full of hope at the time. I recounted how we got to where we were and till date.

God started to inspire me what we need to do to stem the situation and I wrote them down. I did not intend to write a book but that was what my writing turned out to be. Have you ever seen a situation where you start writing a book without having a title? Such is the book. The titles of the book were giving by inspiration after I completed the writing.

I gave copies of the book to hundreds of Nigerians. A copy each was mailed by courier or by whatever means to all the Christian denominations and Ministries in Nigeria about 2007 or 2008. I got only one response and it was from the District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Orlu Division, Imo state.

Actually the book is due for review after many years, which I have been working on the manifesto of the book. The book was directed to the Church but as the case turned out to be, the Moslems have embraced it and they have been working with me.

Let me roll down some of the keys to lock out poverty in our nation. Below are what we need to embark on immediately:.

i. >>There must be the desire by every Nigerian to bring an end to our reproach. Negative talks like "It is too late" must never be said again because with God, nothing shall be impossible.

ii. Everyone must henceforth prefer the Nation above himself because the survival of individual hangs on the prosperity of the nation. This is the starting point. It was the starting point for the nation that had gone through a similar hardship and suffering and came out of it. It is similar to how cooperative unions work. Do not forget, if the economy of the nation is strong, you too will be strong financially because your private business will thrive. It is possible for your friends who started to remit money home within few months after they left home because the economy of the countries they migrated to, is strong. So, we all should be committed to making our economy strong and the only way to achieve this is to protect it from government thieves.

iii. At the beginning when we were progressing, people whose source of livelihood was in doubt were isolated and scorned. No one accorded them respect. Today, we hail them, we give them chieftaincy titles. Therefore our poverty is our making. To get rid of our poverty, we must return to the original position. We must expose those who steal. We must not associate with them.

iv. This next suggestion is not in the power of we ordinary people, but let us think of what we can do to make the Executive and the Law makers revise, as a matter of urgency, the remunerations of political office holders in order to make politics unattractive so that only the people who are really committed to the welfare of the citizens and who want our reproach to become a story will seek office. With the situation of things at present, where the ruling class of only 1% of the population gulps 80% of the commonwealth is very wicked and should bother a honest Executive arm of the government and the Law makers and which they must work on without delay and without anyone telling them.

v. Equally, a law must be passed, which will make it an offence punishable by imprisonment for any political office seeker to distribute money or any kind of gifts to the electorates, whether in the wards, Local Government, State or Federal. And such an offender must be disqualified of any political office, which he may be seeking. Such a practice insults and debars good and honest people to contest for office.

vi. We must discipline ourselves to refuse the gifts of political office seekers. I hear someone say, we had better take whatever they give us now because they will be out of reach once they get into office. Let me ask you, how long will whatever you are given last, four years? Is it able to pay your children's school fees?

Accepting their gift is selling your birth right. Those useless gifts have become blank cheques for them to your treasury. Those are gifts that end in unending poverty. Taking those gifts from them clear their conscience of robbing you.

Which one is more profitable to any one?

Doles and a measure of rice plus some tins of milk or good education program for your children at affordable cost and jobs for every graduate? Is it not more profitable to make them to construct and maintain our roads, which will boost our trades and reduce accidents and untimely death? Is it not better to have a working Health care delivery service at little or no cost?

vii. We must desist from a number of killer and immoral phrases, which encourage our political leaders to rape us eg

"Who will be at the vantage position and will not help himself"?

"Whoever partakes at the altar eats of the altar"

"It is he who has no opportunity to steal, that refers to the action of the one who does as 'haram" (E ni ifa o to si niipe ni haramu).

"We know our child steals but he remembers relations" (A mo pe omo un jale, sugbon o fi mo ebi.

viii. The Biblical golden rule must be the guide for any action anyone of us wants to undertake "Do unto others as you will want it done unto you"