In all my years of writing A Word in Season, I have never written anything political. But I’m about to do so now. Did you ask why? Our nation is at a critical point in our history. The enemies of Nigeria are spreading hate and beating the drums of war. Demons are possessing men and using them for all the wrong things. And were the saints not praying, it would have been worse.
Make no mistake about it, this is not just politics. It’s a battle for the soul of our nation and our collective destiny. It’s a battle between good and evil, between light and darkness!
Though I am not apolitical, I am not a member of any political party. As one who pastors a church with people from diverse political persuasions, my calling constrains me. So this is not a campaign tract with the intent of telling you who to vote for. I write as a proud Nigerian who believes in the greatness of our country and God’s strategic plans for her.
I recall an experience I had as a fresh graduate searching for opportunities to change my world and contribute to national development, I had joined a political party which I believed would provide me with the platform for such social engagement. It was countdown to elections and that day, our caucus was meeting to endorse one of the candidates. The choice was between an educated, urbane and visionary gentleman and a popular member of a gang known for fraud and other social ills. I thought that the choice was clear and simple. But when I stood up to urge our caucus to support the gentleman whom I believed would transform our community and reject the gangster whose interest, in my opinion, was to loot the public treasury, I was shouted down by the rest. A classmate of mine who was also a member of the caucus took the floor after me. I can still remember the fire in his eyes and disdain in his voice as he told me that the gangster would win without my vote. Then he sneered that if I was so concerned about morality I should go to the church and become a pastor as politics was not for good people. Of course, I did not agree with him but, looking back, I admit that he got two things right: their man won and became a public disaster. And I eventually became a pastor.
This month, we will be required to choose those who will govern us in our states and the nation at large. My joy is that elections are gradually becoming more credible in our country. I doubt if anyone anywhere in this nation today can boast that a candidate will win without our votes, like that man did in our caucus meeting long ago. That was why I defied all odds to get my Permanent Voters Card recently. I hope you have yours, too? We owe it to God and our country to exercise our franchise. I encourage you to go out and vote when the day comes. Vote to elect men with a heart for the people. Don’t believe what politicians are saying – they are all saying the same thing anyway! Don’t be fooled by their deceptive public posturing. Pray and let God lead you. Political parties don’t change a country; men do!
HOLD YOUR PEACE
Perhaps, you are reading this material after the elections. What analysts and book makers have predicted is that there will be post-election violence. Some have gone as far as predicting war. The question is, who will fight? Not the politicians – some of them are too old to fold their fingers into a fist! Most of them don’t know what a gun looks like. They are hoping and expecting us and our children to fight for them. And die for them. But, my brother, if you and I refuse to fight, there will be no fight. I am appealing to you to hold your peace, no matter the result of the elections. Let the courts settle every infraction. Elections will come and go but Nigeria must remain.
WILL YOU JOIN ME?
Recently, the Lord burdened my heart to begin to prepare Christians who are interested in politics for public office by praying with them, sharing with them God’s will for local and national transformation, and teaching them Kingdom values and servant leadership. I call it Strategic Action for Leadership and Transformation (SALT). If you wish to be invited to this non-partisan, non-tribal, non-denominational periodic event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text your name and email address to 08033742164. May this month be good for you!