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An open letter to Nigerian religious leaders


Since the recent bombings in Abuja Nigeria, emotions have been running high with so many citizens expressing their anger online and offline. In the midst of it all, I have watched carefully and searched for any statement from religious leaders. For two days, I saw nothing except from a certain Pastor that claims to have prophesied the incident.

That wasn’t going to help in anyway so I ignored that and kept on searching. Finally, after two days the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Orisetjafor released a statement; how happy was I? but after reading it, I must confess I have been left deflated and disappointed. He didn’t suggest any solutions to the Boko Haram issue but simply condemned the act and placed a curse on the perpetrators. Whether that will solve our immediate problems is left for you to decide depending on your belief.

Since the unfortunate incident happened on Monday, I have seen comments from several religious Nigerians online, these comments include: ‘pray for Nigeria’, ‘let’s keep praying for Nigeria’, ‘don’t stop praying for Nigeria’and the most disturbing for me came from IK Osakodiwa of Rhythm FM suggesting that the issue of Boko Haram is spiritual and we need to intensify our prayers. If I may ask, are we the only nation in the world? Why has the devil chosen Nigeria? Is the issue of epileptic power supply spiritual? the issue of bad roads, spiritual?the issue of insecurity? how about the issue of corruption and missing funds?and the educational sector? unemployment? NIS recruitment tragedy?

�It is therefore evident that millions of Nigeria believe that the solution to Nigeria’s numerous problems lies in praying. The argument in favour of this has been ‘Nigerians are helpless’. Whilst this may be true, many of us know that we have been praying since 1960 and nothing has changed, sadly the situation has gone from bad to worse and I can smell war. We therefore have to change our tactics fast.
I have pictured in my head what will happen in religious centres across the nation over the weekend.
�I see people offering thanksgiving and sharing testimonies of how they missed the bomb blast by seconds. I see religious leaders assuring their members that they are safe from Boko Haram because they are God’s children.
I see prophesies of safety concerning the congregation’s children,their children’s children, their cattle and dogs etc.I see religious leaders asking the congregation to pray for Nigeria for a couple of minutes and in their sub-consciousness the congregation will believe they have done their bit to help with Nigeria’s issues. It is a vicious cycle that occurs from weekend to weekend. �However, one thing I am sure of is that several religious people died in that blast and several others die daily in our country from accidents due to bad roads, stray bullets due to insecurity and hunger due to poverty. My point is nobody is safe and it can happen to anyone at any time.
So what do we have to do? I have decided to view the solution to Nigeria’s problem from a religious angle. Since we are such a religious country and have so much respect for our religious leaders, I have cause to believe the solution lies therein. �Therefore, I am writing this to you because I know how respected you are and how millions of Nigerians take your word for what it is.

May I therefore, plead with Nigerian religious leaders to do things differently when their congregation gather for worship this weekend?
• Could you please let your members know that prayers only CANNOT and WILL not solve our problems. If it could, Nigeria will be the best country on earth because we have prayed and prayed and prayed
•� Could you please encourage them to start getting angry with the government and demand for their rights? The citizen of any country is entitled to some basic amenities from the government. Several governmentsin Nigeria have come and gone and have not been able to provide us with our entitlements. Many people have turned to God due to helplessness and hopelessness
•� Could you please let your congregation know that God will not come down to help us and we have to help ourselves
If you already do this, please intensify it this weekend when your congregation gathers for worship, we need to change the thinking of the average Nigerian. The moment we come to the realization that God will not come down to help us, I believe we will become more ‘aggressive’ and demand for change.
We have to start from somewhere.

Let’s do this for the future of generations unborn.
Religious Change Nigeria

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