The Burden of Praying For Nigeria
By Taju Tijani
Hmmmm……..As the year crawled to its last gasp, the social media was thrown into a frenzied atmosphere of prayerfest. It is the sign of the end time for most Christians. You must wear your badge of being a Christian when you saunter in and out of the social media sphere. It is always ‘AMEN’ to a chain prayer shared by a contact or you might offend the Holy Spirit and be branded an anti-Christ. Ok o……We all try to be compliant either on Facebook or WhatsApp and offer chorus of Amens in order to arrest any misperception of who we are in Christ. Until…………..
Yes, until the New Year’s eve when I received a request to join a moving crowd of a prayer chain interceding on behalf of Nigeria. What? Someone requested that I should pray for Nija? Hahahahaaaaa!!! A bit of my Christian credentials may be necessary here. Don’t be deceived by my byline. I am a born again Christian. Baptised into his name and enjoying every moment in his presence. I read my Bible daily, pray fervently and find time to fast to seek answers to troubling times. I attend church on Sundays, still struggling with my tithes and offerings, but the fear of God is in me without measure. I love Jesus. I love the Father who purchased my salvation through the Cross of Cavalry.
I pray for my wife, children, friends, colleagues and my adopted country of UK. However, I have a burden. The burden of praying for Nigeria! Yes, it’s a burden to pray for Nigeria. And because I am not a hypocritical Christian, I politely told the sharer of the chain prayer who wanted to coopt me into an exercise in futility that I will not pray for Nigeria. Period. My answer was apt. “Madam, I am British, why should I pray for Nigeria?” She came back and responded. “So I am too. Praise God! Happy New Year 2018 IJMN”. I pursued and fired again. “But you will be praying for her. I won’t.” Then silence……….more prolong silence. Then in a real moment of ecstatic gusto, I said, “I will pray for Britain to continue to be a blessed nation where I can live in peace and realized all my God given potentials.”
Madam disappeared from the “chatosphere”. That was the end of story. I only hope that madam will not prejudge me as a bad Christian and anti-Nigeria. Whatever!!! There are many reasons why I will not pray for Nigeria. We have damn too many churches and mosques.
These are the institutions ordained by God to pray, intercede and heal a sick nation like Nigeria. Why? Their pastors and imams have gone to bed with politicians so much that majority of them are in their pay roll. The GO among them have left the flock and are now modern jet set who fly private jets from Mombasa to Miami and from Alicante to Atlanta. These are the people who are benefiting from the Nigerian system and they should be on their knees praying for a nation that is looking after them so fantastically.
I will not pray for Nija because of the politicians who have no fear of God and have all the same abandoned the Almighty because of a fleeting position. Check them out. They consult marabout. Majority of them have resorted to worshiping Ogun, Oya, Obatala, Esu, Crystals, Animals, Sango, Hindu, Feng Shui, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and sacred forests. Yes, I can understand that the beginning of the millennium ushered in heretical views and man’s quest for a divine God began to be questioned. Falling on their freely given spirit of choice, Nigerian politicians then began to look for God in occultic covens, shrines, Guru Maharaji hideout and in the fortified synagogue along Ikotun Egbe.
I will not pray for Nigeria because 57 years of prayers have not made Nigeria any greater. Prayer has not eradicated our corruption. Prayer has not given us constant light. Prayer has not forced an equitable redistribution of Nigeria’s commonwealth. Prayer has not made our roads any better. Prayer has not produced jobs to millions of jobless Nigerians. Prayer has not arrested kidnappings and assassinations. Prayer has not created a fair access to Nigeria’s justice system. Prayer has not reduced police brutality on defenseless Nigerians. Prayer has not reduced the average Nigerian’s appetite for greed and sharp business practices. Prayer has not stopped politicians from blatantly stealing public money. Prayer has not rebuild our broken institutions. Prayer has not forced any rethink on Senators who are rapacious hyenas on a daily prowl to ravage Nigeria to the bone.
Lack of moral and spiritual guidance have reduced Nigeria to the lowest pole of a failed state. Our failure as a nation could well be seen in the queues in foreign embassies in Nigeria. We are witnessing almost daily how easily politics of a zero vision can capsize destiny. The Nigerian youths who I called powerless bystanders are the ones who are still praying. Unsure of what prayer to pray, they are praying to God to grant them visa favour to leave a ruined paradise to a life of a new beginning anywhere but Nigeria.
Nigeria is pain. Nigeria is stress to millions of its citizens. Returnees from the hell of Libya and South Africa will not pray for Nigeria. Nigeria has failed them. Nigeria abandoned them to nations that terrorised their humanity while Nigeria, their country, looked the other way. Nigerians who are ready to be coopted into slavery harvest in a foreign land will never pray for Nigeria.
I will not pray for Nigeria. This is a burden for the Abuja politicians and elites who are suffocating and bankrupting a beautiful nation of talented men and women into beggars and servitude. Rather, I will unleash evocative prayers for Britain for turning my life around and for stretching her arm of safety net to me. Madam, once again, I will not pray for Nigeria!!! Happy New Year to all friends and enemies of “Distant Voices”. Catch you next week.