FROM THE PREACHER"S LENSES

Wednesday, December 26, 2018
[email protected]
Lagos, Nigeria
ONCE UPON A TIME IN NIGERIA (PART 1)

rom today and for the next several broadcasts, I will be telling stories about the situation of Nigeria as of the time when I was growing up and I will leave it for everyone who is listening or reading the stories in the nigeriaworld.com to think deeply which is better, compared with the situation today.

The stories I will be telling about Nigeria are not what I read but what I witnessed myself when I was growing up.

I hope that after it, everyone will pray to God for power and courage to do what is right, do all that are required to be done in order to return Nigeria to her previous status.

This is what the LORD says in Jer. 8: 4-6:

"'When people fall down, don't they get up again?

When they discover they're on the wrong road, don't they turn back?

5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?

The Lord says further in Jer. 6 :16:

"Stop at the crossroads and look around.

Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.

Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls"

Two things are very crucial, which we must attend to if we want to live in prosperity; (i). we must follow after the path of righteousness, which our grand-parents lived, which made the country to be making progress, (ii). we must get godly people to do the administration of our land because there in, lies our happiness, whereby we can have some life comfort, which will enable us to live Godly, which will make God to admit us to His home in heaven after death.

So today and for the next several broadcasts, the title of my sermon will be "Once Upon a time in Nigeria"

Let us pray.

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Once Upon a time in Nigeria

I grew up during the Colonial rule of the British Government, which created the Central and three Regional Systems of Government. These various Governments (Central and Regional) were steadily building the necessary infrastructures in their areas of command vis-a-vis roads, electricity, potable water etc

Electricity and tap water were available mainly in the big towns but it was spreading steadily across to other small towns and villages.

Even in the big towns, it was rare to find water in private homes except in the Government quarters. But there were public taps (in the big towns) within 15 - 20 minute walk, which could be collected in buckets. Quite burdensome, no doubt but it was the starting point and so we understood it, with high hope for a better future.

Indeed, water and electricity were the priorities on the request list of all towns and village unions when politicians visited.

When Politicians visited the Towns and villages, it was the communities who entertained them. That is our tradition and culture because they are our guests, unlike today, when Politicians give money to the communities in what I term "Gifts that end in unending poverty"

Think of it, by the time they go round all cities, towns and villages distributing huge money, what do you expect them to do after they get to power other than to recoup their monies and put the treasury in their pocket? How then do you expect them to embark on any meaningful infrastructure that will provide food for us?

This is why in the developed, civilized world, any Politician that gives money to anyone is seen as inducing such person and he has no option of fine but prison. Such an action is seeing as treason.

So development could be seen to be progressing gradually because the Politicians did not use the citizens as trade. And take note, there was no oil revenue. Revenue from agricultural produce was mostly depended upon.

Actually, had the commitment to the nation, which the fathers, who governed the nation at those times had continued, by now electricity would have for a long time been stable and water would have been running in every home. Unfortunately, those who were beneficiaries of the sacrifices made by the forefathers of the country, took over the reign of the government and they ruined the whole system with their life of profligacy, selfishness, greed, wickedness and shamelessness. They can't be bothered to catch up with the rest of the world.

The Postal Services in the past were very reliable. One could fairly accurately predict when posts would be received at the other end. They were carried by the Trains and also by the Daily Times newspaper Delivery vans.

The Post and Telecommunication Service (P&T) as it was called then, also had several of its own vans for delivery purposes. Loss of mails was infrequent. All these have gone into history.

As time passed by, it became largely by accident if mails got to their destinations;

Electronic (e-) mail has provided some remedy however. But how many Nigerians have access to Internet services?

The Train services in those days though slow in speed, were yet dependable. The schedules were kept fairly satisfactorily. It is sad that not only could we not improve on it today or even maintain it at the level, which it was but we have paralyzed it.

Had we kept the train services, imagine how free our roads could have been. Can any one estimate the number of people who have been crushed by trailers on our roads, whose lives could have been spared?

Imagine how the trailers spoil our roads. Without many of them on our roads, imagine how lasting our roads would have been and the savings that would have accrued to the government in road construction and maintenance.

Imagine how convenient, cheap and safe, transportation of goods and farm products would have been.

Today, our air National Carrier is moribund, with no single aircraft compared with over forty it had in the mid 70s. Imagine the number of Nigerians, who travel overseas every day and the revenue we are losing to other countries.

The high Schools then, whether managed by the Government or by the Church missions or by the Communities were modest and beauties to behold unlike the dilapidated ones we have today.

The ambition of any child was to look forward to the day when he would be enrolled in any of those schools and become a member of its community and wear the school's blazer.

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. 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.

Many of them secured jobs while still writing their final examinations. They had loans to purchase vehicles soon as they resumed work.

In fact, they got jobs during the summer vacations.

Those of them who attended Government Colleges (high schools) or 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 free. Parents did not have to be financially capable. All that was needed was serious minds on the part of the students. 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

At those times, there were employments for everyone, whatever his/her level of education. Workers received their wages promptly.

Teachers with only Grade three certification lived like kings, taking care of their relations and relations' children, unlike today when University graduates roam about the streets without jobs.

To be continued


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