FROM THE PREACHER"S LENSES
|Friday, June 29, 2018|
f there are any citizens of a country in the whole world that ought to enjoy life fullest, it is Nigerians. How?
This is because I cannot be sure of any other citizens of the world, which are as religious as Nigerians.
No religion endorses evil, or cheating of one another. All religions teach love among one another.
In fact the purpose of religion is to help us behave right, which would make us to be at peace with one another and enjoy the world fullest and in addition be able to earn a place with God in heaven after we end our race on this earth.
Unfortunately, Nigerians are only religious on the outside but not in the hearts. Citizens of Nigeria have missed the understanding of the benefits of religion. We have refused to allow the good aspect of religion to benefit and prosper us.
Rather, we have allowed our religious differences to breed mistrust, intolerance and even hatred among ourselves.
I learnt this in great agony after I started my campaign with the goal of making Nigerians to be partakers of the wealth, which God has blessed us with in this country. I never knew it can be so difficult to get Christians and Moslems work together in unity to address our common plague.
So today, I am preaching on the topic "Unnecessary Tragedy Brought about by Religious Differences in Nigeria"
But meanwhile I will request Dr. Kayode Samuel to commit this hour into the Hands of God.
Unnecessary Tragedy Brought about by Religious Differences in Nigeria
It was during my sojourn in the land of Saudi Arabia that I got the inspiration to lead a campaign which can lead Nigerians to enjoy the wealth, which He, God had endowed us with.
Really, Nigerians, as religious as we appear, should have no business or portion with poverty with all the resources, which God has blessed us with, if only we had obeyed the guidance of our Holy books.
Of course we read God's Holy books but unfortunately we have refused to change our hearts in line with those Holy books so as to prosper us but rather built in us 'Holier than thou' attitude. Worse with the notion that whoever differs with my religion should be denied admission to higher education and good job or be allowed to occupy any position of authority but really deserves only death.
People of each religion believe that they are holier than the others and so should not have any business with people of other religions even in matters of joining hands to fight enemies that do not differentiate between our different religions. And this failure becomes a gain to the cunning Politicians who use it to steal our common wealth thus become stupendously rich while we are decimated. And this is a major reason for our calamity.
In leading the campaign where Nigerians can enjoy the wealth, which God had endowed us with, my hope initially was hinged on working within my constituency, which is the Church.
But as God will have it, my Radio messages on the way out of poverty appear wise and reasonable to many Moslems and they were communicating with me.
It was at a Town Hall meeting, which I organized on May 13, 2013 at the Circular Hotel Ilorin that a young Moslem, Aaafa Toyin Sulaiman argued that the benefits of the campaign is for all citizens and the goal of the campaign is more easily achievable with their participation and so Moslems should be part of it. It seemed wise to everyone at the Town Hall meeting. This is the genesis of the 'Inter Religious Organization for the Rehabilitation of Nigeria through Righteousness"
We had our first outing on Sep. 18 just four months after the Town Hall meeting at the In-Door Sports Hall of Kwara Stadium where we sensitized ourselves; Imams and Pastors to start to emphasize and hammer Godly living and righteousness in our preaching at all meetings, which is the only way by which we all can partake of the wealth of the Nation rather than the wealth being in the hands of some cabals who then disburse it out to their sycophants and whoever else they like. It was a successful meeting than we even anticipated.
The Bible has said it that "Righteousness exalts a Nation while sin is a reproach" Nothing can be more correct.
If everyone is righteous and Godly, there will be no person or group of people who would live in comfort at the expense of other citizens.
If someone is righteous and Godly, he will not be buying mansions in all cities of the world with the wealth of the Nation while others live in so-called homes, which are not even fit for goats.
If someone is righteous and Godly, he will not take money from Politicians, which is money that belongs to everyone for personal benefits.
If someone is righteous and Godly, he will not be parading the homes of Politicians requesting them to build house for him with the money that belongs to everyone.
If Government must build houses, it must be built for all citizens and not just for some individuals.
It is act of selfishness and inconsideration for others when someone lives in a house, built with the commonwealth and still has the audacity to boast of it on the TV screen.
These and many other things were the things we addressed at the Sensitization of Imams and Pastors at that meeting of Sep. 18 2013.
If those listed inconsiderate and selfish behaviors can be discouraged in the country, it is obvious that everyone will have access to the commonwealth and have some level of comfort.
By this, you will agree with me that temptation to sin due to poverty will be minimized and our journey to heaven can be made smooth and easier.
After the sensitization conference of the Pastors and Imams, we then slated three consecutive dates in October for the education of the members of the public.
Unfortunately, soon as the Sensitization of Imams and Pastors were over than meanings were being read to our intention because a Christian championed the campaign and for security reasons, due to threats, reaching us, we had to cancel the three day meeting scheduled for October.
My slogan was and still is that in the quest to realize the goal of this campaign, no blood should be let.
We then started the underground work backed by prayers.
The Holy Spirit guided me to seek the attention of The Kwara State Inter Religious Committee on Religious Matters
The topic of my sermon is "Unnecessary Tragedy brought about by Religious Differences in Nigeria"
The members of the Kwara State Inter Religious Committee on Religious Matter chaired by Alhaji M. S. Koro, a former Secretary to the state Government have a sincere mind for the progress of the nation.
The membership of the committee is drawn from crème de la crème in the State. They were respectable people and of high integrity, many of who have made their different marks in the development of not only in the State but in the nation. Some of them were part of the system when the wealth of the nation was prudently managed.
They properly understood the goal of our organization and were ready to work with us. We saw this as answer to our prayer and a breakthrough to our campaign.
With the ray of hope, it was time to report to the leadership of the Church for necessary support. Unfortunately, he avoided me till date.
The truth most likely is that the idea of an interfaith forum to seek the solution for the loss of direction for the country does not make sense to him.
But since it was not him who sent me on the errand, the City Inter faith Solemn Assembly and Prayer for the Nation was held by God's help without him at the appointed time on Oct. 15 2016 at the open field of the Kwara Stadium in Ilorin, three years after it was first scheduled.
In continuation of my campaign, my team and I met with the leaders of the Christian body in a certain Local Government. I thought that our presentation was very convincing.
When there was no positive response from them, I enquired what was happening. They asked us to come and present our plans again. My team and I met them the second time and the third time before they eventually cooperated with us.
A date for the program was set.
Large amount of money has been committed, then came the bomb shell from the Moslem leaders; they were pulling out.
They complained that the flier was Christianly tilted. Whereas it was a Moslem who designed it but unknown to them.
About five days to the summit, I had to start to write a number of personalities, who we have invited from long distances that we were cancelling the program.
I had almost lost hope when things turned around and it was eventually held successfully.
The question is why should it be so difficult for Christians and Moslems to join hands together to do something good? Why should it be difficult to do something that will benefit all citizens, irrespective of religion?
However, The Jumaat Nasil Islam (JNI) of Offa and Oyun Local Governments and the CAN in Oyun are different, They are very noble. They are enthusiastic and are ready to participate in such a program as ours, which is working to ease the burden of the people of Nigeria.
But the Christian body in a particular Local Government is yet to be convinced that such a forum was needed to address the ailment of the nation.
And the irony is that this is the same group, complaining that the Moslems in their Local Government are dominating them. Yet they ignore a good opportunity, where they can sit together and resolve their differences at my cost and at no cost to them.
They say they favour a crusade. Is crusade for the Christians? How do you want the people who you do not want to dialogue with, to attend your crusade?
If you are looking for a group of people who are deaf, many times they are the religious leaders. They on many occasions allow religion to blind their eyes from doing good.
My mother spoke of a certain type of cooking pot available, when she lived in Ghana in the 1920's. It was called "aaniyun pot (koko aaniyun)". She said that it would take a whole day to boil a cup of rice or a piece of yam using the pot.
The pot was very deaf. Some Nigerian Religious leaders on both sides of the isles are not different from "aaniyun pot"
I have studied many religions and I have chosen to be a Christian. I was not born into it. No one can be born a Christian. It has to be a personal decision.
But if I believe that Christianity is the only right religion and I do not want to associate with people of other faith, how will I be able to explain to the people of other faith, the reason for my belief and get them converted?
If I show hatred or holier-than-thou attitude to the people of other faith, will people of other faith have confidence in me so as to listen to me for the reasons why I am a Christian?
Likewise if someone of another faith does not want to associate with me, how will he be able to gain my confidence as to be able to explain the reason for his faith in order to persuade me to his faith?
If his faith is the one that leads to heaven and he gets there while I am not able, will I not be bitter against him for not attempting to explain to me the right way when we lived on earth?
In the same way, if my faith is the one that leads to heaven and I get there while he is on his way to hell will he not be bitter against me for not attempting to explain to him the right way when we lived on earth?
And does the prevailing poverty, which we find ourselves now in the country, resulting into many souls dipping their hands into sins and the road to hell so full, calls for discriminating against ourselves rather than joining forces to fight the dragon, which does not discriminate between our religions?
The wise ones are in Abuja, experts in frauds and padding, whatever it means; they call themselves, 'Law Makers' the difference in their religion does not one day stop them from conspiring to steal our money while we in our own case continue to discriminate between ourselves to their advantage and we remain in poverty, with many on the way to hell.
Some Christians have argued that our campaign is not 'Gospel' What an ignorance? What Gospel is more than working to ease the burden and difficulties of the populace, which will eventually reduce their temptation to sin and help them to make heaven? Did Jesus close His eyes to the needs of the people of His time? Did the White Missionaries come solely with the raw 'Gospel?" No. They came with Schools and Hospitals and other social amenities.
A young woman, who I knew in her High School days nearly 50 years ago showed some fliers of our plan for an Inter-Religious Solemn Assembly and prayer for the Nation to a group of her Nigerian friends who were visiting from the US.
They pulled a call to me and displayed very much of their lack of vision, short sightedness and 'Holier than thou' attitude to the embarrassment of the young woman. They came from America, they know it all and must educate me who has never visited America.
I preached a sermon few years ago where I put together the similarities in our major religions. The broadcast was positively received by so many people of different religions because it was expository and we had many requests for a repeat but one Imam who had influence in one particular radio station prevented it from being repeated. But can he stop it at OSBC, Royal FM or Premier Radio Ibadan? Ignorant people!
Let us pray but before we do, I have two quick announcements.
By the grace of God, this Mission and our Inter Religious Organization for the Rehabilitation of Nigeria through Righteousness is planning a Town Hall meeting to take place in Ilorin on Saturday August 11 2018.
We need to chat the course of this nation.
Enough of hunger and thirst in a nation that God has endowed with plenty.
An adage says that for evil to continue to reign, all it requires is for good people to fold their hands and do nothing.
It is yourself you are doing to accept the pitiful situation, which you are in at moment, it is not God's wish for you. So, get that one understood.
God will not descend down to change your sorry state, you have to work it out yourself after He, in His infinite mercy, has provided all things to make you comfortable.
But if you fold your hands with the notion that some people will do it for you, what will happen if every other person thinks same way?
Then evil will continue to reign and you will continue to dip your hands into sins in order to survive.
And the end result? Hell fire after you die upon all the pitiful, sorry life you lived on earth.
It is better you do things correctly now and enjoy the bounties and goodies, which God has provided for you in this country and you will not have to dip your hands into sins and enter heaven after you die, rather than ply the way of sins now in order to survive and burn in hell after you die.
The choice is your's.
The Town Hall meeting is for everyone; educated and the uneducated, women and men, old and young.
Why will you young people and graduates who are roaming the streets without job spite this Town Hall meeting?
Why will you undergraduates who have no hope of job after all the sacrifices, which you and your parents are meanwhile making spite it? The choice is your's.
I want you to listen to this. The former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu has assured me of his willingness to be at this Town Hall meeting.
You will remember that Senator Mantu recently in March has confessed to the whole world that the ways they play politics are wrong and he has become ashamed of it and things must change.
This raises my hope for the country.
In due time, you will be hearing the names of other dignitaries, who will be there. Also the venue and the time will be announced in due time.
So right away, put Saturday August 11in your diary as a date for the Town Hall meeting at Ilorin to discuss about our fate and that of our descendants.
The second announcement is for the people of Oyun Local Government in Kwara State and environ.
By the grace of God, we will gather in September for an Interfaith Solemn Assembly and Prayer for the Nation.
The Oyun JNI and Oyun CAN will work out the venue and date and shall be communicated to all in due time.
The traditional rulers in the Local Government chaired by the Elerin of Erinle, Oba AbdulGaniyu Olusokun have nodded their approval. May their reign remain a blessing to us.