Government

Gates and Social Order

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Looking everywhere, one would see lawlessness and chaos all around in various forms. We seem to have this seemingly resistant strain of lawlessness infecting every fabric of our society, eating every fiber of our being. The stench from the resultant abscess is so offensive that citizens are denying their heritage, changing nationalities and pledging allegiance to other sovereignties. Every sphere of our lives is badly infected by this disease. You find its manifestation in the various arms of government, in business circles, in our civil affairs, in our religious houses and so on. It is everywhere! Because of lawlessness, several citizens do not enjoy essential amenities. Basic health care, standard education, good roads, stable power supply appear to be alien to our world. The law enforcement agencies also appear to be fueling lawlessness rather than curbing it. Anyone denying the fact that things are not right might be living in a self-created fantasy bubble.

With all sense of regard, I put the blame for this decadence and decay at the doorstep of the church. When I talk about the church, I am talking about you and I who call ourselves brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we are the church. Let’s stop pointing the finger at others. Every one of us is culpable!

The church should see itself as the custodian of the gates of the nation it resides in. Gates control what comes in or goes out. They determine what influences are in charge or what authority dominates the territory. The church has a responsibility to the nation it is a part of. It should superintend the forces that influence the various systems that make up our society. It must have a say in the establishment of social order in the nation.

This might seem a far cry from what actually obtains today, because so many people who call themselves Christians, Christian leaders inclusive, have their hands and feet terribly stained and unable to take their place at the gates. The whole breed now appears weak and powerless. And we watch helplessly as waves and waves of disorder and lawlessness pound the nation.

We talk and talk and end our discourses by saying ‘God help us’ or ‘It shall be well’. Yes, God has helped us and will continue to help us but what have we done about the situation? I am not immediately getting on the band wagon of ‘It’s not time for prayers, it’s time for action’. We must do the two. Any spiritually discerning person knows that the spiritual controls the physical. Nothing takes place in the physical domain that has not been determined in the spiritual realm. You can talk all you want, do all you can try to do, mobilize all you can,… if it is not sanctioned in the spiritual realm, it’s gonna crumble like a pack of cards.

The scripture in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is still as relevant today as it was 3000 years ago. If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

You might say we have been praying. But what really have we been praying about? Possibly, praying self-centred prayers, praying interest-based prayers, praying for food and raiment – prayers centred around our needs and lusts. But I know what selfless, united praying for the enthronement of God’s kingdom can do. I have witnessed the power of that too. We need to return to our place of authority at the gates and pray the will of God for our land. Let’s put aside our differences – our doctrines, denominations, tribal sentiments and personal lusts and pray out disorder and lawlessness and pray in an order of peace, justice, fairness and equity over Nigeria. Cast out from our territory the demons of chaos, lawlessness and disorder. Do this in your closet, in prayer meetings, music concerts, church services and everywhere you find yourself.

I am not quite done yet! If you are really going to have effective prayers, you have to have the right standing. You can’t be an agent of disorder and pray against lawlessness. You can’t be circumventing the laws of the land and pray for order. You can’t be using your position unfairly, breaking laws, abusing civility, suppressing justice and expect a change in our situation. We must deliberately decide to think right, speak right and do right. Only then will we have the leverage to determine our destiny and redeem our land.

I urge you wherever you are, to humble yourself, turn from any wicked way, pray the blessing and government of God over Nigeria and watch Him heal the nation. I tell you, when the spiritual contract is executed, all our positive physical efforts begin to yield results. We must pray. We must be upright and stand for justice and fairness. It will then be a reality that one will chase a thousand and two will chase ten thousand.

SELAH.

Photo by Annette Schuman on Unsplash

The Real Feel

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It’s about 3pm now and the temperature in Lagos according to AccuWeather is 30°C. The temperature in Abuja is 27°C. I also noticed there is another temperature reading called the Realfeel® temperature which is 35°C and 32°C for Lagos and Abuja respectively. The Realfeel® temperature reading is what the temperature really feels like on the skin. It can be warmer or colder than the actual temperature depending on the weather conditions. The Realfeel® temperature is determined using a number of factors including the temperature, humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity and wind. A lot of people prefer to use the Realfeel® temperature because it gives a sense of how they really feel.

Relating this to our economy, there is the report on the state of the economy based on certain key performance indicators, which the government of the day can churn out every now and then but there is also the real feel of the economy which the average man or woman on the street senses and which defines his or her perception of how well or poorly the economy is doing. The government can look at its KPIs and adjudge itself to be performing. It could talk about the increasing foreign reserves, the stable Naira exchange rate, the improvement in ranking for ease of doing business in the country. The government could boast of several arrests bordering on corruption charges. It could talk about the savings made in spite of the lower oil prices, the GPD growth or the addition of more power generation capacity.

But the real feel is what the man on the street perceives. It appears to gauge his survival chances. It is the perception of the woman who is hawking by the street corner to be able to provide a meal for her babies. It is about the experiences of the businessman or woman who considers himself or herself to be a fundamental part of the micro-economy of the nation. It is about the payment or non-payment of salaries, the availability of stable power when a loved one has to undergo a surgical procedure. It is about our hospitals, schools and businesses staying open or closed. It is about being able to move around freely or sleep soundly without fear of having an unwanted intrusion in your space. It is about having the assurance that your life as a citizen of the nation is as valued as you think you deserve. It is knowing that the benefits of your sweat-laced labour will be available to you when you need it. It is our primordial understanding of the economy based on other connected indices like security, justice reforms, the corruption index, international relations, etc.

Leadership and government in general must be relational. It must be sincere. It must help define the right perception of the economy for all. It must encourage the development of the right narratives for its most important stakeholder – the vulnerable citizen of Nigeria. It must be concerned about how the thoughts that weave the fabric of the future of the country are strung together. It must offer genuine hope and be actively seen to be committed to the peace and stability of the nation.

At this time in our nation when we remember our latest transition from military rule to the democratic form of government, our reflections would naturally centre around evaluating the gains of democracy. We would think about the dividends of democracy and once again look to the promises of a better future. Like a lady being courted, the citizens of Nigeria need the assurance that the best days are not just ahead but are here in our time. Happy Democracy Day!

©Godreigns Amedari