By Prince Charles Dickson
Buhari: I like coke
Opposition: Buhari declares war on Pepsi
And soon afterwards we chorus let us pray for Nigeria
So, on this particular day last week, the baby in my house who is just 9 years was taking the lead in prayers. As he prayed he got to the point…”we pray for the President Buhari, we ask God help him to do this, to do that…sincerely I cannot say that I was listening to every prayer request he was making of God on behalf Buhari.
For me, I wondered if God was even listening to our prayers as a nation. Reflecting on my son’s innocence I wondered how many Nigerians really pray for Buhari and what the prayers would be.
So, what prayers are we praying for Nigeria, when you remember Kachukwu and his flippancy on when we would get fuel, and if we would get it…when many recall that they spent the Easter holidays at the gas station?
Are we going to sincerely pray for the 27 state governors that cannot pay salaries, really what prayers does one say, when you work for a government that insults our collective intelligence by making assurances that January salaries will be paid at the last week of March?
Nigerians are so religious and really we are just a jolly-happy-go people. No matter the way they treat us my namesake Charles Ike-Okoh captures it this way “we no get wahala. Even if light no dey we dey smile. Even if petrol no dey we dey laugh. Even if government people chop all our money, God dey. Even if naira turn 500 to dollar, baakwomi. So long as life dey we get hope say one day e go better. We go go church thank Hod for the one we thief or share from the politicians. God dey. Even if Kachikwu tell us sharap we go sharap. Even hungry, fuel starved, light denied Nigerians still dey tell me happy Easter. How?! How the Easter take happy? Abegii!!!”
The Easter and everything Nigerian is happy because we pray, so when we drive on pot-hole ridden and coffin open roads, we pray that accidents are not our portion. I know several ministers that have stopped wearing belts tell us to pray and tighten our belts.
So let me pray, I pray for those who are excited at Mr. Buhari’s speech to his party’s NEC, I pray for those that are celebrating Tinubu’s strong counsel to Kachikwu on the fuel crisis, I love equally pray for Nigerians that have busied themselves on the RUMOR of the Governor who slapped his deputy and deputy return one hot slap back. I pray for those busy deceiving Nigerians on loot recovery and the dramatics. I pray for Amaechi and Wike for they are alive and that poor Corp member died. I pray for us as we feign ignorance at the Agatu killings…I pray for Nigerians as we mark two years of the Chibok schoolgirls abduction: for those who believe that it happened and those that say it’s politics. For us all my prayers are may it never be your portion the consequences of these prayers…
I ask are Nigerians praying that our schools will get back to the standard of the days of yore, or we are praying that dollars would come down for school tuition for our kids in Ghana. Are we praying that our hospitals will work again, or we are hopeful that the budget will translate to money in circulation so that we can resume our medical tourism.
So, I am in thoughts what kind of prayers would we pray for Fayose, if #I standwithBuhari, what should I pray for Aregbesola, with my salaries no where to be found. Do I pray my ancestors to deal with Fashola, as the megawatts continue to drop, or will thunder fire Jonathan and his crew who got us here, and hailstones hammer Buhari and his apologists for a lack of direction?
Tell me a minister that has not been paid his February salaries and I will pray for him, show me a governor who in the last month has bought fuel from a queue and I will pray for that governor. Including the common sense senator show me a legislator who is experiencing difficulty paying tuition for his/her ward and indeed I will not only pray but fast for such lawmaker.
Fridays and Sundays we cause a traffic in heaven bound movement by our prayers both Muslims and Christians but our actions are repulsive as a people the next day as we seek to outsmart each other, as government keeps lying to us, while we lie to ourselves.
Well, I will end this way…I pray that our leaders’ children are abducted, I pray that our leaders those that stole, and those currently stealing will suffer a form of hardship. Citizens that are bent on exploiting fellow citizens, you will be exploited in multiple measure. Each time you close your eyes or bow to pray whether to God or Allah…ask him to measure the same prayers you have prayed out, back to you.
While the efficacy of these prayers remains debatable. One unavoidable fact remains, no matter how much prayers we offer, good or bad, curses or blessings. We must know that prayers did not create a United Arab Emirates or Singapore, even with persons like Apkors aka Donald Trump in the United States, it is not by prayers but by the concerted and well drawn out purposeful leadership of great men and women that these countries are envied.
Are we ready to build systems and structures that can work, are we ready to run a nation founded on equity, justice, freedom, with both fiscal and structural federalism or we want to remain situated in federal character, quota system, blaming Messrs. Jonathan and Buhari, blaming each other and praying for miracles–only time will tell