An April 9, 2023, St Francis Xavier Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State, was reopened. This is 10 months from June 5, 2022, when a bomb attack and mass shooting took place during a service in the church; in which 41 persons lost their lives and several others sustained varying injuries. Up till now there are no suspects regarding those who carried out the dastardly act. Such attacks have been going on in the country in recent times. To worsen matters, the government only mourns and condemns attacks, afterwards nothing happens. How does one imagine the mindless killings and no one cares?
Before last Easter, there were cases of bloody attacks in Benue State. The attacks in Benue State are too many. In the past, the state government despaired and lost every confidence in the Federal Government’s inability to help it to tackle the episodes. If the Federal Government according to the 1999 Constitution wields the greater power in Nigeria, then the primary duty and function of every government is the protection of its people. The loss of lives and property witnessed in some parts of the country indicate that the state has failed or not working as expected. It is obvious that Nigeria is ridden with political, tribal, religious, ethnic, economic and other issues. The experience of poor masses in Nigeria bemoans the government and portrays the state of citizens in a war-like zone. There is a serious battle for the soul of the country.
These days, many in Nigeria lead a life of fear. Children are great natural learners and they learn best through observation and imitations. We should do our best to give them the best at all times. At the beginning of any administration, there is always an influx of litigation which when neglected or swept under the carpet plunges the nation into untold hardship and suffering as we have in Nigeria today. Many in government and their cronies do not consider nor value competence, character and capacity integrity. All they care about is that they or their cronies are in power availing them the freedom to perpetuate impunity. This is no longer the Nigeria of our dream. All is not well with Nigeria. And the indicators are there hence the need for all hands to be on deck to reverse the trend and make the future bright.
A government that has been overwhelmed by insecurity should have done nothing but step aside for a new leader with a sense of human dignity and sanctity of life to take over. Bloodletting and killings have continued unabated in Nigeria for these past years. It seems that there is no end in view. Citizens are tempted to take up arms and defend themselves. But one thing is clear here: a particular group moves about with sharp knives/machetes/daggers or AK-47 rifles endangering lives and causing death of farmers and other citizens.
From the teachings we have received, the enemy/thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy but there is another that comes to give us life even more abundantly. We do not need a prophet to tell us that the enemies of Nigeria are not relenting and we should not give in to them. Tears, sorrow, anguish, fear and intimidation are too many. We must not continue in this way. Nigeria is under threat because values, honour and indoctrination have been misplaced. All we keep hearing is that leaders mourn as people continue to die.
We will win. Our victory is assured. One of the devil’s chief weapons is fear. He uses it constantly. Intimidation and manipulation are what the enemy uses. Anyone doing these to Nigerians is in fellowship with the devil, because they are using a weapon from the devil’s armoury. Fear is always a weapon of the devil. So, we should not be afraid of the threats and intimidatory tactics that men use against the country. Faith is the link between fear and hope. A new Nigeria is possible. At the place of prayer, we cause the devil to lose his throne. This is what prayer is all about. Prayer is a platform for the establishment of the rule and reign of God in Nigeria. We pray that God will remember us again. And strengthen us one more time.
- Obiotika Toochukwu sent this piece from the Trade Fair Complex, ASPAMDA, Lagos State