BURNING POT BY PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON, PH.D.
Let us pray for Nigerians
A bímọ kò gbọ́n, a ní kó má ṣàá kú; kí ní ńpa ọmọ bí àìgbọ́n? (A child lacks wisdom, and some say that what is important is that the child does not die; what kills more surely than lack of wisdom?)
Pray--to offer devout petition, praise, thanks to (God or an object of worship), plead: to call upon for help, entreat.
Enemy--A person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another: an adversary, an assailant, foe, attacker, and a bad person.
Some five years ago I wrote this essay under the topic "praying for Nigeria's enemies", today it is imperative like we don't know it, that there is a need to pray for ourselves since we hardly do anything than pray...
Sitting in the back pew; it was one of those revival services conducted by one of those Nigerian "god of men".
He had finished his sermon, in my heart I reflected on how many million Nigerians were in church that Sunday morning, add that to the millions that were at Jumma'h services a Friday earlier and those whose worship days are other days and Saturdays. Another several million worship one-thing-some-thing...
The speaker had talked about praying for our leaders. He said that it was unfortunate with the APC managed change mantra, we still suffered leadership deficit. He lamented the poor quality of leaders, and the lack of focus, he complained about citizenry too, for a ‘penterascal’ preacher I was pleasantly surprised.
After 30 minutes we were asked to stand up, I did and a prayer minister, one beautiful fair damsel instructed us (congregation) to pray for Nigeria. I did, I always do anyway, after few minutes, she asked that we pray, bind and strangely again loose our enemies. I was struck as I watched the drama. The muttering started, others wailed, some were even crying. The minister, that's what she was called, kept screening intermittently into the microphone--Pray, pray, tell God to destroy them.
Well not to be left out, I snapped out and prayed I did--There was nothing to loose in praying. Our leaders won’t work but pray and attend prayer fellowships--You too reading this, please pray.
Civil servants after committing all sorts of crimes will still pray. Students will not read, they are told to pray for retentive memory and bind the demon of failure and the rest is simplista! Our football teams and sports representatives do not make preparations for tournaments, they just lazy up, about and around and ask Nigerians to pray for them.
With leaders like ours, who were ever ready to loot, and destroy and citizens who pray and wish their president dead...looking for enemies was no hard task, Father Lord punish and destroy them, I prayed and petitioned 'my God' to punish all those looting Nigeria, I prayed for His vengeance on members of the Judiciary, Executive, and Legislatives (past, current and future ones) that were part of the lootocracy.
I called on the terrestrials above to punish even to five generations those who through their actions insist that Nigerians will not have constant, reliable electricity.
I beseeched the god of my ancestors to punish in full measure, leaders, teachers, professors, parents that have contributed to a fallen standard of education. Those that have contributed to the educational rot, I asked Ifa to make sure they watch their wards rot away.
Be they in APC, PDP, JNI, CAN, traditional institutions, youth bodies, and opinion leaders and all that trouble Nigeria and conspire to keep it perpetually on her knees. I prayed that Orumila expose them, bring them to justice as we have by our actions accepted that we cannot do anything much but pray.
I prayed against those enemies that are responsible for potholes, death traps on our roads, that theirs to will meet their waterloo in those roads that they could have facilitated its repair but choose to turn a blind eye to.
While we face hard and trying times, tightening belts in almost disappearing waists, I prayed that those whose harmful designs of cannibalistic theft has denied the larger populace quality healthcare, infrastructural development, clean and portable water, good roads and functional education will be cut off in gruesome manner, like horror movies their lives will be a crate of unprecedented disaster both in public and private.
Enemies of Nigeria, I screamed, may they be beseeched with problems beyond them. You are a contractor, you have collected the upfront, shared it with the ruling party, the governor's wife, son and aides, and the drugs were not supplied--God will hammer you o!
I shouted, you are a rapist, a kidnapper, an armed and pen robber. You sell question papers for qualifying exams, you are a crooked pastor, imam and voodoo priest, may the Almighty Allah reward you in same portion you have dealt others with...
So I prayed for Nigerians, pleading for help from a high deity to deal with persons that engages in antagonistic activities against Nigeria and her people, calling for some form of help to deal with harmful persons. Like enemies that wished the President dead, I swore prayerfully at them, same way I cursed his handlers that cannot simply put together facts regarding the president who though he's entitled to every form of leave, vacation, and privacy, remains a public office holder thus loosing such rights.
I had lost count of the prayers that have been said and the spiritual reflections since the we started the current democratic journey, prayers we said during Obasanjo, prayers for Yar'adua, I wondered about all those visiting prophets and imans, I wondered why we are still the way we are, with all the problems of the world bearing down our neck.
I was now sweating, and the fair lady, signaled for us to stop. I did, like many of us; we sang some songs of victory. She told us that God has answered our prayers and that the devil was in trouble in Nigeria--I pondered over that last comment and thinking, a foolish child is not much better than a dead child. I walked away wondering if God answered these prayers, many of us would curse rather than pray for Nigeria's enemies because that's what they deserve. The day cometh when action backed prayers will be said, no one will escape that day, and like all seasons—Only time will tell.