Socially, we are also in distress. Of course, the economic sphere always snowballs into the social arena. There is tension everywhere: north-south tension, Christian-Moslem, Sunni-Shiite, farmer-herdsmen, indigene-settler and rich-poor tension. Audacious kill-and-go herdsmen, who, according to Soyinka, have placed themselves above the law of settled humanity, have overtaken the land. Moreover, the government issues weak or no statements at all depending on who is involved. It was only late in April that Buhari condemned the Fulani massacres and ordered the security forces to act. Therefore, the security forces were waiting for orders. Meanwhile, APC says that PMB was silently working to solve the problem! When did APC become a silent party?
Politically, we are also in severe distress. Three core issues of democratic governance have been disastrously handled: the appointment of ministers, the budget, and election, have all been handled in a disastrously lousy manner. The INEC chairman, a Professor, recently gave himself and INEC a pass-mark. He is not the first to do so. But it is on record that all the petty and mini elections- Kogi, (where there was a minor error) Bayelsa, Rivers (where fake result sheets were used), Abia and Anambra (which have been put on hold) Abuja Area Council and Kano ended disastrously. So, how can we manage national elections? The executive is at war with the legislature; various camps of APC are at war with each other and even members of the party at various strata are at war with the leadership and PDP is being put under the sword. Indeed, I had severally wondered whether we had entered a one-chance bus with the present government but the Labour Party, which suddenly found its voice had affirmed that we are actually in a precarious situation. Read them: The PMB government has ‘polarised the country, created social disconnect and broken the necessary cohesion needed at this time of our history and what we see is the efficacy of the government’s propaganda bakery which has consistently manufactured and produced excuses and lies to defraud the people’s mentality, cover up economic misfortune and give reasons for the appointment of misfits into government in a bid to satisfy local and regional pressure of party block-heads at the expense of the greater interest of the country’
I have forgotten what made Alan Paton in 1948 to wail: ‘Cry the beloved Country’. However, I think we need to cry for Nigeria. As a nation, our problems have worsened: we have never had it so bad: no fuel, no electricity, no gas, no job, no pay, no food and no peace. All this has generated despondency in a broke and broken nation, a collective national pain that shoots all round, and shaken faith in our existence. (Cosmas Odemenam, Sun, 25/3/16, p19). I think Prophet Joel appropriately foretold our situation today: We are now in a day of darkness, (no light) gloom, (due to socio-economic challenges) cloud (a foreboding scenario) and blackness (no gas to power the turbines and no fuel to power the generators)(Joel, 2:2) And the only thing we get from government is It is Jonathan’s fault; as if excuses had ever solved any problem!
We need to pray for Buhari but most important, we need to pray for Nigeria in distress. The few who believe that Nigeria has never had it so good should also pray for Nigeria in prosperity. Either way, we are praying for Nigeria. In addition, to the prayer, should add enough dose of good work because faith without good work is fake. For those who, for whatever reason, have not heard this powerful 22-year-old prayer, should read below.
All powerful and merciful Father, You are the God of Justice, Love and Peace. You rule over all the Nations on earth. Power and Might are in Your hands and No one can withstand You. We present Our country Nigeria before You. We praise and thank You for You are the source of all We have and are. We are sorry for all the sins We have committed and for the good deeds We failed to do. In Your Loving forgiveness, keep Us safe from the punishments We deserve. Lord, We are weighed down not only by uncertainties, but also by moral, economic and political problems. Listen to the cries of your people who confidently turn to you. God of infinite goodness, Our strength in adversity, Our health in weakness, Our comfort in sorrow, be merciful to us your people. Spare this Nation, Nigeria from chaos, anarchy and doom. Bless us with your kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace. We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Dr. Ikechukwu Muo (PhD, FCIB) is of Dept of Business Administration, Olabisi Onabanjo University, and Ogun State.