Faniyan: While we await elections, let’s pray
LORD God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth and all that is in them. We thank you for being good to Nigeria and making us to remain one united, blessed country since 1914.
We know you love our country Lord. We have gone through several tribulations, which could have destroyed the corporate existence of our nation – many of them caused by ourselves – but you protected us and we emerged victorious through them all.
You have blessed us with abundant mineral and natural resources. We have the black gold (petroleum) and gas in abundance, (of which we are the sixth largest producer in the world. We have abundant land for agriculture and perfect climate for all year round farming; we have large reserves of yet untapped mineral resources e.g. bitumen of which it is said that we have the second largest reserve in the world.
We thank you for all these. Please, accept our thanksgiving in your infinite mercy and goodness.
BUT now, Lord, we are approaching a critical and dangerous crossroads in our life as a nation. It is the forthcoming General Elections. Our father in heaven, this is not the first time we are having critical elections. But this one has taken the image of a spirit, which would either prosper or totally de-humanise us.
To be de-humanised more than we are presently may spell death. We do not want to die Lord. We want to live. But at the same time, we don’t want to just continue to live as disadvantaged, impoverished citizens amidst abundant wealth in our own land.
There are two major candidates who are vying for our votes to be elected king over us; from whom we have to make this seemingly life and death choice.
The one, Goodluck Jonathan is the incumbent king who has been ruling over us for the past six years; while the other, Muhammadu Buhari has, sometimes in the past, also been an unelected ruler over us for close to two years.
You alone, Lord, know these two men in and out. You are the one who created them. You can see their hearts. You know what they can do; and you alone know what each of them would do if and when he wins the coming election and assumes power.
As we are right now in supplication to you, you also see our own hearts – all 170 Million of us. Many of us are decidedly and fiercely torn between Jonathan – for “Continuity” and Buhari – for “Change”. Only a very few of us remain undecided even now.
Now, Lord, you can hear what the number of us on Jonathan’s side are saying: that Corruption has been with us since Nigeria came into existence, and have continually been entrenched in us by subsequent rulers. Some radicals across political boundaries have even said that the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 was a “corrupt” move – as it did not follow due process involving us, the peoples within the geographical space themselves! Peoples who are made up of over 300 different tribes/languages! They argue that Nigeria’s demon of corruption cannot be eliminated overnight – and Jonathan is conscious and alive to the task. They say he is genuinely committed to the development of Nigeria and Nigerians; that he has set in motion a deep-seated Transformation process pan Nigeria, never before executed since independence. These revolutionary thrusts are in the Power sector, Agriculture, Education (where, not even the so called Almajeri of the North are left behind) – to mention just a few. Because of the intensity of the rot and neglect over the years, the fruits of Jonathan’s Transformation will naturally take some time to manifest. However, some of them are visible even now. Jonathan, they say, may look soft on the surface, but his inner resolve is tough as steel to execute all his developmental programmes. Thus the call for Continuity.
But, even the most ardent supporters of Jonathan – who are not sadists, who are discerning – would not want the continuity of the Slaughter of innocent Nigerians almost on a daily basis by the Boko Haram terrorists, and the seeming incapability of Jonathan to stop the mayhem. They would not want to continue to watch helplessly as highly placed citizens appropriate most of the wealth of the country into their private pockets and get away with it! They would not want to watch as our resource Gas is continuously being burnt away and the Petroleum carted away and re-sold to us (including kerosene!) at exorbitant rates, again with only a few cabals reaping off billions of Naira. These are just a few of the calamities befalling us on a daily basis – which, many of us fear, would continue if Jonathan is returned as President.
Lord, you are the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient (All-Knowing) God. You are looking at Jonathan’s heart right now. Do you see your Fear in him? As it was you who brought him from relative obscurity on to the throne – (in the same way you brought David in the Good Book, from the bush and made him king over your people). Is Jonathan your chosen one for us, your people? Is he the one you are giving your covenant to? As you empowered King David, are you poised to empower King Jonathan to serve us? If Jonathan wins, will these calamities continue – or would he be imbued with the renewed spirit to right all these maladies to our relief?
Or is Buhari the Messiah we need Lord? Is he the one you want to enthrone for our relief?
Buhari has governed over us before. Many of us remember vividly his War Against Indiscipline (WAI). We remember the herculean Decree 4. We remember the backdated decrees and the elimination of Nigerians who were found guilty (in military courts!) of hard drugs, foreign exchange offences, etc. Buhari strikes the stance of a No-Nonsense king who would whip trespassers with serpents!
This Buhari is the king Nigeria needs now! That, Lord, is the cry of those of us who are on Buhari’s side. They argue that: we need a ruler with zero tolerance for Corruption which is the main virus propagating all the ills in the country; the excesses he inflicted on us then was as a military ruler – this time around, they say, as a democratically elected ruler in a democratic setting, his iron fist would be controlled and guided aright to yield maximum dividends for us all.
Heavenly Father, many of us are again not so sure. They swear that even while Buhari was apparently fighting corruption, there were loopholes and cases of favouritism in the dispensation of punishment. They remember the issue of a certain emir who passed through the eye of the needle with “53 suitcases”.
Can these isolated cases prove that Buhari is not the right one for us? Or is it just a lone inconsequential speck on a clean, clear blue sky?
If it is our sins that have been making you to be angry with us, Lord – that we have not had the good fortune to eat from the good of the land, please forgive us now.
Have mercy on us O God/ According to your unfailing Love/ According to your great compassion/ Blot out our transgressions/ Wash away all our iniquities/ And cleanse us from our sins.
We are now gearing up to vote for one of the major two candidates to be king over us. We can only act according to our own limited knowledge and wisdom.
We pray that you the Almighty, All-knowing God will move mightily against all forces of evil, suppression and oppression. Move mightily in the way only you can. Let your Spirit move mightily over our entire land. Move decisively in all of us; move over us and move around us – and enthrone the right ruler over us on February 14, 2015.
Hear Us Oh, Lord! Let your will be done in us and in Nigeria.
• Faniyan, an author and communications consultant,
wrote from Ikeja, Lagos.