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JANUARY 1, 2012, HAPPY NEW YEAR?


By: Bishop (Dr) Olushola A. Olukolade  
 Published January 4th, 2012

Today, 1st of January 2012 is the first New Year since the May election when Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was given the mandate by the Nigerian people to rule them for the next four years. We have had enough time to access how well or how poorly he had performed. This article is not a score card for him but rather to follow up on my previous two articles (the 1st 100 days of Jonathan, and the state of the nation).

You will agree with me, that Nigeria has her peculiar problems different from other nations developed or developing. Therefore, it is fair to say that she must look for her peculiar answers.

General Olusegun Obasanjo, the past President once said that, “if Jesus Christ should come down to rule Nigeria, He cannot solve the corruption problem of Nigeria”. A lot of Christian leaders took an issue with the ex-President, seeing the statement as an insult to our Lord Jesus Christ. I beg to differ. That statement is like a taxi driver in a hectic traffic jam on a Lagos busy highway telling a non-Yoruba man, “oko asewo”. The non-Yoruba man took it literally, to mean “the husband of a prostitute”. But that is not what the taxi driver meant, the taxi driver meant that this man is a prostitute and all the prostitutes out there are his wives and not his real wife at home. Somebody, have to be the President of Nigeria. Nigeria belongs to all of us; we must all join hands to find solutions to her problems.

After my article on the state of the nation on October 1, the STV today’s show invited me to their early morning program. One of the questions they asked me was, what are the religious leaders doing about the problems of this country especially corruption and security? They pointed out to me that I am one of the religious leaders in this country, that most Nigerians belong to one religion or the other. Just before that encounter, there was a debate on the Facebook social network, when a Facebook friend asked me why religious leaders in Nigeria should not go on hunger strike like a minister in India to bring the attention of people to the perennial problem of corruption in Nigeria. Lately, when the AASU went on strike, there was also an argument on the Facebook social network that AASU do not need any increase in salaries and one of the reasons given was the corruption among lecturers which students refer to as “sorting”.

I therefore like to take the issue of corruption especially the role of the religious leaders in this write up. It is certain that the root cause of insecurity and every other problem in Nigeria is corruption. If there is a mosquito in a house, and the residence decides to get rid of the mosquito, if they go inside to kill every mosquito in the house, such can’t get rid of the mosquitoes because they will find out that mosquitoes will continue to multiply. If they go outside the house and begin to drain all the water port holes and containers in the premises and then come inside to kill the mosquitoes they will discover that will have gotten rid of the mosquitoes in that neighborhood. With all the good intentions of the government to fight corruption in this Nation, all they have done, the actions of the EFCC etc. inclusive, are purely cosmetic. That was why it had never worked. Corruption must be eliminated from the root, the source, and its origin. I intend to prescribe in this article what shall root out corruption completely from Nigeria.

When revolution began from France in Europe, it would have no doubt spread into England but for John Wesley who began the prayer cells in England and with that, Britain was spared from that revolution.

Nigeria is the most blessed country that I know. God loves this country so much that He deposited every known mineral in commercial quantity in Nigeria. No Nation can boast of that. Of course, we all see how these minerals; oil for example, has become the main source of the menace of corruption, the enemy of our progress, the demon behind our insecurity and the threat that is trying to divide the nation even since the discovery of oil. I like to remind everyone that, these problems did not exist before oil was discovered in Nigeria. Oil was a blessing from God, one wonders if we can say truly that it’s a blessing today? We must not forget that it was this mineral resource that turned Nigeria to civil war and nearly broke the nation into two but for God. Every other problem since the discovery of oil in this nation: military coups, political instability the “wild wild west of the 60’s”, activism, killing of Ken Sarowiwa, militancy and now Boko Haram, were all caused by greed of the military/political class which is the real cause of corruption.

This made politics the most lucrative job in Nigeria today. Do or die politics became the order of the day and military generals will use all the knowledge acquired in their military schools to truncate democracy by rigging, killing, maiming, you name it. No wonder, to Nigerian politicians, an election is free and fair only when their party wins. At the eleventh hour at the last May presidential campaign, a retired military General who was a presidential candidate wept, and his cronies said that he was weeping for the youths of Nigeria.

I was quick to point out at that time, that he saw the writing of his defeat on the wall that was why he was weeping. If not, how can youths of Boko Haram become suicide bombers and die such shameful suicidal deaths, not to talk of other innocent bloods of our youths being shed by this same Boko Haram in churches, united nations buildings etc. This very retired General did not weep, because he saw these coming, but rather, that democracy seemed to be working! This unrepentant solider had not accepted defeat even after the Supreme Court had confirmed the victory of the legitimate winner. Can someone remind him the attitude of Al Gore in United States when the Supreme Court of America gave the election that the whole Americans believed that Al Gore won to his opponent? Even this General’s running mate who is a lawyer and a man of God is yet to accept the ruling of the Supreme Court as of today!

Corruption is not limited to the military and political class. It has eaten deep into the Nigerian cradle. I don’t need to remind you about our police force, immigration, customs and other paramilitaries or should I talk about the sorting among our lecturers? Or is it the church or other religious establishments that I should mention? Maybe, even the motor parks and among the touts? The students and their leaders, or the judges and the legal system as a whole cannot be spared in this. Even the press who is supposed to be the watch dog for the people is not free from this evil. Most of them will not print even an article like this without some remuneration. This is why you will not find this kind of articles in most papers because I strongly believe that any editor who will not jump on this kind of honest contribution to the growth of our democracy is not worth his salt. Only God can save Nigeria from Nigeria.

I saw the face of God from the first confrontation I received on this issue, because the people believed that religious leaders have failed this nation woefully and that the nation is paying dearly for it as evidence from all that is happening around us.

I can therefore conclude that what we are seeing now is just a warning. The same pattern of warnings that were obvious in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Libya, Niger republic, Sudan is brewing here in Nigeria today!

I will be quick to point out as part of the religious leaders of this nation that we are guilty as charged. If not, how can “a servant of God” turn out as one of the richest in the land? This happens in other nations especially in America, where today such wealthy Ministers of God, are being assessed to pay heavy taxes like other wealthy people in America. Riches, ought to be a privilege a Minister has to transfer the wealth to their congregation. I challenge the government to assess the wealth of every Minister in this country and begin to collect taxes as it is done in other nations. While it is not in my position to judge anybody, I will admonish that all of us who are privileged to be called of God to serve the people should henceforth distribute the blessing that God has given unto us for the people the reason for which God gave it to us in the first place.

We have no justification to preach integrity, morality, holiness or love if we are just as greedy and corrupt as any retired general, or politicians. It is sincerely unimaginable for an example if God gives us a school to educate our people that the cost of such schools should be more than what our members can afford. I believe and very strongly too that the only reason God will give us a school if we are his servant, is to be able to train our members. Otherwise, why should God give us a school? To make money? Money for what? A friend of mine, not a clergy that owns one of the most expensive universities in Nigeria once told me in the course of our discussion how much scholarship he gives out to students in this same university annually. It was huge and evenly distributed through all the geographic regions of the nation. This is a business man and really not obliged to do this. How much more, those of us who are called to serve these people as servants of the Most High God! The missionaries who brought education to this country, the kind of schools many of us went to, they established the schools for the people. They were not even Nigerians but they came to Nigeria to serve us. It was not their personal property, it was the church property. The cost was not beyond what an average member of their congregation could pay. The school was nearly an evangelical tool. I may humbly also point out, that our own church once had a nursery and primary school for many years. We made sure that we charged the least school fees in the neighborhood, we made sure that every child of every member of our church who could afford to pay was given half tuition scholarship, and any member who could not afford to pay for his or her children had automatic full scholarship. Not only that, for every minister of God of any denomination who brought their children to the school had half tuition scholarship. I may also like to inform us that my two sons went to the same school and I opted to pay full tuition for them because I could afford it. I made sure they went to that school so that the standard must be up to any other standard. So that my children and other children can have the same standard if not higher standard of learning than other more expensive schools around us. Many of these students are grownups today and they and their parents are witnesses to my claim. I am not saying this to say I have done anything; it was the church that did it. Perhaps it was because of this generosity, this uncommon spirit that caused people to see to it that the school was closed down. It was because of the corruption epidemic that the school had to close down, when I inevitably had to run abroad, to escape the hunting, and harassments of then military dictators. They so assaulted me and tried to put me out of circulation at all cost, that I had to run. It was then the government officials came and withdrew the approval of the school for no just cause and yet they refuse to return this approval upon my arrival. So we had no choice than to shut down the school rather than operate illegally.

What the powers that be did to me is being used to chase many bank executives today. They are the same people, same style, same approach, and they want Nigeria to believe that they will come back to rule this country! Eight banks were axed in 2009, and till today, three years after and running, the economy has remained comatose, and Nigerians cannot read between the lines, because they are wearing the toga of anti-corruption crusaders, while they are knee and neck deep in the evil of economic assault on these former bank owners. They are pulling us slowly and surely to the precipice and we are happy listening to their evil songs. They want Islamic bank installed, they are apostles for the removal of oil subsidy, all to deceive the simple minded, all their moves is to make this country ungovernable leading us by the day nearer to imminent disaster by spreading hardship, hunger and penury!

By the nature of our work, and the teaching of our master Jesus Christ, people bring gifts to us in gratitude for what God does in their lives through us. There are certain things that are necessities of life. A man of God should not do without such things. There are things that could be luxury to an ordinary person but a necessity to a man of God. That is why Paul the apostle said and rightfully so and that is what it ought to be “not that I speak in respect of want, but I have learnt, in whatever state I am therein to be content, I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be humble, both to abound and to suffer need”. It is therefore very unfair, ungodly and even a sin to condemn a man of God for a necessity, e.g. Jet. If a man of God is in Nairobi right now for a revival and he has to be in London in say 6 hours later, and there is no flight scheduled to leave for London in the airports, how is he supposed to get there? And yet, even for the salvation of one soul, the whole of Heaven will rejoice. Not to talk of healing and other goods that may be awaiting him in London. No amount of money can pay for such.

The ministers that are not so well to do should also take heed for this warning is also for them because they have refused to allow God to bless them by their actions and they now go about behaving even worse than unbelievers doing everything to acquire money which they can never have until they repent and change. They like to live like ministers who have being rewarded for their labor and have more than enough. It is only in uprightness that God blesses his servant. It is only in obedience to His word that God blesses His servants. When we preach prosperity and cause others to go and steal to give to us, such cannot last. It is only God that gives and does not add sorrow unto it.

In this year 2012, the judgment of God shall begin in Churches. Except the ministers repent, many churches will fold up and calamities will happen in places and to people we least expect. This will happen to small and big churches that refuse to repent. Men and women of God read my lips. This is a warning from God. Whoever ignores this ignores it to his or her peril. Do not say you are not warned.

Today, I make a clarion call to all Christians in this country: the Bible in 2 Chronicles 7:14, says “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. Let us make ourselves worthy to stand in gap for this nation. Like Abraham did when Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed and he asked God if he would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah even if there were ten righteous people in it and God promised to spare both the righteous and the wicked for the sake of the ten righteous people. God is about to visit Nigeria. There are over 150 million people according to the National population commission. Therefore, I appeal to Christians of this nation to enroll and commit themselves to pray with me for this country that God will have mercy upon us. Ten percent of 150 million is 15 million. To be exact, I was told that the figure was 165 million, so therefore let us estimate the population for 200 million. Ten percent of 200 million is 20 million. O compatriots, if God can find 20 million righteous people in Nigeria, He will surely spare our lives. In order that we will not go the way France went during the French revolution or the way Sodom and Gomorrah went during Gods visitation, let everyone that believe in the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus Christ enroll into this clarion call. Please enroll in the Facebook and join in the war against corruption, terrorism, and all other vices in our land. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Bishop (Dr) Olushola A. Olukolade

Prelate, Southern Nigeria Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Church of God in Christ

386 Herbert Macaulay Way

Yaba Lagos, Nigeria

23418935398, 08185796773, 08056633155


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