Chris Steven, Abuja
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle has assured Nigerians that God is already intervening in the current unpleasant situation in the country noting that the hardship they are passing through as as result of economic recession would soon be over .
According to a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by his Media Assistant, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, Reverend Ayokunle gave this assurance in Abuja at the weekend while preaching at the on-going International General Workers Conference and Ordination Interview of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, on a topic, IT IS NOT BEYOND HIS CONTROL taking from Mark 11:35-41.
He used the storm that confronted Jesus Christ and his disciples in the passage to illustrate the economic recession and the attendant problems and said as Jesus calmed the storm for the disciples, “He is also speaking to the storm facing Nigeria and the storm of hardship will soon be over.”
His words: “The past year 2016 was exceptionally tough for many people and organizations because of the recession in our country, nonetheless, we are aware that Jesus is in the boat with us because God’s children are in this nation, by His grace, the storm of hardship would soon be over in this nation and we would experience great peace and abundance in this new year in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Our situation is not beyond the control of our Heavenly Father.
The year 2016 was a year of change indeed for many Nigerians. The expectations were very high when we entered the year because a new government just settled down to business and better days were expected, especially when the slogan under which the administration came into power was ‘change.’”
The CAN President who is also the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention explained that the CHANGE brought by the Buhari administration has two sides, positive and negative saying, “the change really came in many ways. Some were positive while some were negative”
The positive ones according to him included the progressive and successful war against Boko Haram terrorists.
“The Federal Government and our armed forces must be commended strongly for this and be encouraged to sustain the war against insurgency because in a country where there is no safety, there would be no development. Insurgents are enemies of the nation doing nobody any good except for their craziness. We would see their end in no distant time in the name of Jesus Christ.
Recovery of some of the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls. This was another feat for which the Federal Government deserves a pat on the back. If the previous administration had been reasonable and apt, we would have for long recovered these girls. The kidnap of the Chibok girls would continue to be remembered as the fatal failure of the immediate past administration. We pray that such would never happen again in this country in the name of Jesus Christ.” He said
Reverend Ayokunle also remarked that the war the administration has been waging against corruption has been heart gladdening and a beckon of hope for the nation noting that corruption is a cancer that has the potential to destroy our nation and humanity unless we are all do something deliberately to stamp it out.
“However, care should be taken that fight against corruption is not used for witch-hunt of opposition but rather all embracing. Corruption and corrupt people are not limited to any political party but all. They must be fished out and be properly prosecuted according to the law of the land. The excesses or over-zealousness of the law enforcement agents leading to forceful breaking into the houses of suspects must be discontinued. We are in a democracy where due process must be followed, we are not in a military government or dictatorship.” The CAN President added
He urged the Federal Government not to relent in the rehabilitation of some of the abandoned roads that it is currently undertaking stressing that the Government must take responsibility in order for the nation to develop and also allow voters enjoy the dividends of democracy”.
Reverend Ayokunle however pointed out what he called negative sides of the change that are making life difficult for all and sundry in the country and tasked the government to address it with a view to making life easy for the common man.
“As the disciples of Jesus did not expect storm in their journey, we also faced certain unbelievable hardships last year more than ever before. Some of these hardships were the following:The biting killings and destruction of farms by the Fulani Herdsmen without much being done by the government to prosecute the perpetrators of such acts.
The most recent of them was the Southern Kaduna massacre of which the majority of the dead were Christians. The response from the law enforcement agents was so lethargic that the Christian Association of Nigeria had to call for national day of mourning and prayer to seek God’s face so that the destruction might stop and to protest and let the government know that they had failed to protect their citizens.
No one that died untimely in that unchecked mayhem deserved to die. The killings of the Agatus and other citizens in Benue State under the watch of both State and Federal Governments were unfortunate and should be stopped immediately.
The rising wave of kidnapping. This used to be rampant in the East but has almost become a lucrative business now in the West and North. It was very bad experience that Nigerians do not deserve to be passing through. A special squad if possible should be trained with necessary surveillance equipment to fish out these criminals who are in the business of kidnapping for ransom. If the government claims that they are doing something, they must do more.
The increasing youth unemployment is another ugly situation that is being experienced in our nation. The earlier the government did something to it, the better it is going to be for us. University graduates are roaming the streets without anything to do. Those who are working have too many mouths of the unemployed adults to feed. This has increased the level of poverty in our nation and job creation remains a big challenge the government must pay serious attention to. The increasing wave of kidnapping may not be unconnected with the lack of tangible employment for many of our able bodied youths.
The inability of the government to pay salaries not only in the States but at Federal level as well is a bid dent on the government. My Bible says that the worker deserves prompt payment of his or her wages. Of course the Bible says that the wages must not be delayed till the next day. This delay in the payment of salaries has in turn affected the operations of many private organizations including the church. Our economy is public sector driven, so to a large extent, whatever is the economic policy of government has excruciating challenge over all other sectors.
The devaluation of naira which has led to galloping inflation to the extent that the cost of living has risen and makes life unbearable for people. Fowls used to be a common gift to friends during Christmas celebration, this year, it hardly featured as Christmas gift item. Humanly speaking, things are tough for many.
Businesses that are foreign currency dependent are closing down and people are loosing their jobs. This economic policy appears to lack human face. What is the essence of banning foreign goods when the government has not been able to make such goods locally available in abundance? Such ban would just encourage smuggling and a lot of revenue would be lost by the government”. He chronicled
Ayokunle however gave hope to the nation when he said, “Our Situation is Under God’s Control. We need to be assured however that no matter how tough things might have been in the past year or presently, 2017 is seen with the eyes of faith and we can assure that these storms will soon be over and a glorious dawn would be experienced by us all in the name of Jesus Christ”