Abeni Aso-Oke

Nigeria and the Prophecy. By Olushola Omogbehin

Nigeria and the Prophecy

Abeni Aso-Oke

Abeni Aso-Oke

As the holy book in 2 Chronicle 20:20 posits: “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper”, we must in a time like this, when everything seems to be falling apart in the history of our dear Nigeria, begin to examine how the Nigeria of yesterday gave birth to the Nigeria of today despite our endowed abundant resources. We must be genuinely worried about what tomorrow holds for this great nation, particularly if the prophecy of Pa Sydney Granville Elton many years ago is anything to go by.

Pa Elton was a great apostolic vessel that can be described as one of the trailblazers of apostolic revival in Nigeria. As a young man growing up in England, he had the leading of God to come to a town called Ilesha in Nigeria and in obedience to the instruction, he came and settled in the small village in 1937 where he joined an ongoing movement of apostolic revival led by Apostle Ayodele Babalola. With the passage of time, Elton became mentor to the leading apostles of faith in Nigeria like W.F Kumuyi, E.A Adeboye, Benson Idahosa, Francis Wale Oke, Gbile Akanni, among others.

Abeni Aso-Oke

Being a man specifically sent by God to Nigeria, there is no doubt that God revealed so many things to him about our dear country and indeed, Africa. Profound among these was his 1986 prophecy over Nigeria. According to him, “Nigeria/Nigerians will be known for corruption worldwide but the tide will turn and Nigeria will also be known for righteousness worldwide. Many shall take hold of him that is a Nigerian, saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Doing a critique of this, is to first look at the trajectory of events in Nigeria that are gradually leading to the fulfillment of this prophecy, particularly how successive government has become the direct opposite of its predecessor and ended up as a thorn in the flesh of the people. We must also remind ourselves that the second rain of corruption started beating Nigeria after the aborted second republic in 1983, after the first one that occurred in the early 1960s’ which Chinua Achebe describes in There was a Country that within six years of independence, Nigeria had become a cesspool of corruption and misrule as public servants helped themselves with the nation’s wealth and elections blatantly rigged. The prophecy was released exactly when Gbadamosi Babangida’s took over power and corruption became state policy as Babangida regularly disbursed gifts ranging from vehicles to people in order to earn their loyalty.

Like the biblical Pharaoh, the first set of people God used to fulfill the first part of Pa Elton’s prophecy was Gbadamosi Babangida and Sani Abacha. The degree of corruption under Babangida nicknamed him “Maradona” while Abacha in his five years of rule was involved in series of corruption scandals to the extent that corruption watchdog, Transparency International estimated that he stole about $5bn of public money. But the good Lord abruptly ended his regime when he knew it was too much for us to bear. His sudden death was seen as an act of God, particularly when Nigeria returned to civil rule and Olusegun Obasanjo was brought out of prison to become president like the biblical Joseph. The death of Abacha and the subsequent enthronement of Obasanjo made many Nigerians to agree that God is interested in Nigeria’s story. Yes God is interested in us.

But instead of soften, the frond of Nigeria governance palm, stood stiffer after we returned to civil rule, simply because we were still parading the same set of leaders who have been leading us since 1960 and were already bereft of idea to lead but prefer to be at the corridor of power to inflict pain on Nigerians instead of towing the part of honour and bow out when the ovation was loudest. Therefore, contrary to the joy expressed by many Nigerians on the return of civil rule in 1999, the reverse was practically the case as the pain became multiplied, corruption became hydra-headed and old people that should be resting on their children took over governance and turn the young ones into slavery till date. But still fulfilling the prophecy, anyway.

As age usually comes with wisdom of might, a research into the reason for the psudo- leadership in the land without compunction reminded us of Frantz Fanon’s submission in Wretched of the Earth that: “the national middle class which takes over power at the end of colonial regime is an under developed middle class that practically has no economic power that can be compared to the bourgeoisie of the mother country it replaced.” Fanon believes that the then leaders (who are still parading themselves at the corridor of power) simply stepped into the shoe left behind by the colonial white without any agendum on how they will govern their people. This of course has been evident in the shameless display of leadership since 1960. God must have seen Nigerians suffering like the Israelites in Egypt and revealed through Pa Elton of his decision to wait for the appointed time and wipe out this set of leadership and set Nigerians (his people) free with new leadership.

As Egypt under the leadership of Pharaoh increased the burden of Israelites until it got to the climax that the people of Israel who formerly cast aspersion on the leadership of Moses could not bear it anymore, the awareness is beginning to ripe among Nigerian youths who have already demonstrated in 2022 through #ENDSARS’ protest as a litmus test of what they can do because when a goat is chased to the wall, it would automatically fight back when it has nowhere to run. As pharaoh increased the labour of the Israelites, so is the labour of Nigerians increased on daily basis as hunger paints human faces. Bread which used to be the food of common man is now unaffordable as bakery threatens to go on strike because of harsh economic condition for production.

Before we forget, a similar prophecy of Pa Elton about Apartheid in South Africa has been fulfilled. What was the prophecy? That: “Africa is like a gun pointed down. Its turret and muzzle is South Africa. Its trigger is Nigeria. The days would come when Apartheid (then at its peak in South Africa) will be removed from South Africa. In those days, the Gun of Africa would begin to fire for God’s purpose.” Apartheid according to this prophecy came to an end in the early 1990s in a sequence of bilateral and multi party negotiations that culminated into the creation of democratic government in 1994. Who says prophecy does not come to past? Nigeria is next to fulfilling her own destiny.

In the above prophecy, ‘turret’ is the part of a gun that is used to provide a projecting defensive position allowing covering fire to the adjacent wall in the days of military fortification but in general, it is used for decorative purpose. The “muzzle” of a gun dampens recoil and reduce barrel rise while “trigger” is the mechanism in a gun that activates the function of a ranged weapon such as speargun, firearms, airgun or crossbow. It is the switch that initiates a trap and a power tool. This analysis explains the vital roles of South Africa and Nigeria in the continent called Africa. This is also the reason Prof Lumumba once noted in an event in Nigeria that: “Africa will never be at ease as long as Nigeria is not at ease.”

Currently, it is as if the heaven has been let loose with hardship among Nigerians gaining crescendo everyday, particularly due to the policy of fuel subsidy removal which has practically brought about daily increase in the price of everything, floating of naira and the inherent corruption in us. As if the existing hardship is not enough, the removal of subsidy in electricity has now been announced by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Mr Sanusi Garba.

Lest we forget, prophecy is God’s revelation to his children to fore warn them, give hope, convey some special messages or proclaim some certain truth that are expected to give room for communication and guidance into the future. But ironically, Nigerian leaders since 1986 when this prophecy was given have not been able to do any form of preparation but busy looting our commonwealth. It is a clear case of Tomorrow Left Us Yesterday by Tayo Olafioye and “Tomorrow Died Yesterday” by Chimeka Garricks. Now that leaders from every sector in Nigeria have succeeded in killing Nigeria of today since yesterday, effort must be concerted to ensure that our tomorrow is not murdered today. What then should we do to actualize Pa Elton’s prophecy?

Having been so badly damaged, if Nigeria must be redeemed, government must be deliberate about its policies and make it pro people. We must go back to the foundation (constitution) which the holy book says if destroyed, what can the righteous do.  Our constitution is our foundation and currently, it is faulty. I am glad that the 10th Senate under the leadership of Sen. Akpabio has constituted a 45-man committee to review and amend the 1999 Constitution and bring about some adjustments with the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence leading such adjustment. But beyond the jamboree of incessant reviewing of our constitution without implementation, we admonish that this review should be holistic with immediate implementation. It should not be politics as usual and every faulty aspect in the extant laws should be re-visited by the committee such as state police, devolution of power, reducing cost of governance and other salient issues that bother on our day to day well-being.

For the fulfillment of the second part of the prophecy, government must invest in local production, particularly, attention should be on the natural endowment of each state and how they can be helped in this direction to produce in large quantity. This can be achieved by revamping some of our moribund cottage industries across different states of the federation so as to increase the capacity of production. The federal government led by Bola Tinubu should design a policy that will encourage local producers to produce more and how the patronage on their product can increase. Of course this can be enhanced when government officials lead the campaign like our revered Okonjo Iweala who has made a name for herself in our local fabrics industries. Let there be government policy that will enforce government officials to patronizing locally made goods because leadership is by example.

Bola Tinubu must be sincere in her fight against corruption. All the dogs, goats, pigs, snakes, ants, rodents, rats, termites that wasted our resources during Buhari administration should be fished out from their different habitat without mercy to face the law. The judicial procedure whereby a convict is given an option of fine to spending his jail term should be removed with immediate effect. Our corrupt politicians should be made to face the full consequence of their action. Importantly, government should set up a Price Control Board to regulate the incessant increase of prices of commodities in Nigeria.

As the holy book declares that “the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry,” the current ephemeral challenge notwithstanding, let us all decide to contribute our part for the fulfillment of the latter part of the prophecy. Nigeria is a great nation and the manifestation of her greatness is definitely not in doubt. We must not go to bed believing we have no part to play therein.

We are all stakeholders in the building of a modern Nigeria because according to Halford Luccock, no one can whistle a symphony; it takes an orchestral to play it. This means that a finger cannot beat the chest but the joint effort of our fingers to do so. Let us therefore join our fingers to fix Nigeria and fulfill the prophecy of Pa Elton because no prophecy fixes itself but people do. And let no man says it is over with Nigeria. Nigeria will be great again.

Olushola Omogbehin a public affairs analyst Writes from Abuja FCT Nigeria omogbehino@yahoo.com 08069220040

 

 

 

 

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