“80% of Nigeria’s problem is caused by Christians. I am a NIGERIAN…I am a CHRISTIAN.”
Those were the words I tweeted that caused a firestorm on twitter, uproar in my mentions and fiery call for instant explanation.
Let me give a brief synopsis about myself before I explain. I am a Christian, I believe in God, in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I grew up in a strict conservative home and very fortunate to be a Pastor’s kid. Also because of what I do, I have been fortunate to work with and alongside some big churches and Pastors both in Nigeria and the United States.
Now back to the pressing issue. Why such a controversial tweet? First of we can all agree that Nigeria is a secular state with about 50% Christians, 45% Muslims and 5% other religions (my speculation).
You would also agree with me that one of Nigeria’s major reoccurring problem is CORRUPTION. Every other problem (in my opinion) we have emanates from it except (to an extent) Boko Haram.
I have so many pressing issues with the Nigerian Christian (which I am a part of). It could be easier for me to categorize it into tribes but I am sure that subject has been flogged and drummed into our ears many times and the focus for me is on Christianity because we are also called to higher standards.
This is a true story of a family member (let’s call him Professor X) who served in the health sector under IBB, Shonekan, Abacha and Obasanjo. Under the directive of IBB, Prof X started a research into finding a cure for sickle cell. IBB personally funded the start of the research program. When Obasanjo came in, he was very interested in the research Prof X was doing and after being briefed that the research was at its final stage of human testing he decided to further fund it with 100million Naira. The then minister of health was angry that Prof X went directly to the President boycotting him and refused to sign a formal request letter as directed by the President. After two months he agreed to sign but demanded from Prof X that the board of directors of the Research were entitled to 10% of the money. Prof X a Christian, declined, stating that the fund is for research. The minister of health (also a Christian) with the board voted to relieve Prof X of his post on that account.
I know of another Christian who helped a former Vice President of Nigeria hide looted money in his bank, later circumvented the money for personal gains.
I can tell you true stories of how Christians in authority have abused their powers, enrich themselves and corrupt others around them but I am sure you know this already.
The aim here is not to cast aspersions on people or point accusing finger at the man (or woman) with the biggest sin but I am a Christian and the bible clearly says for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
Churches through the contribution of the members open schools and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as a matter of fact that kind of feat is commendable. It only becomes a problem when the members of the church can’t afford to attend these same schools.
We Christians in Nigeria can pray, fast, hold huge revivals, huge crusades, big concerts, seminars etc… and there’s nothing wrong with that too but can you just sit back, think for a moment…if we really do what we preach or hear preached wouldn’t Nigeria be way better by now. If the Christian who works in a bank, owns his business, civil servant, entertainment industry, auto mechanic, market woman, police, military etc do what is right by the Christian tenet, the change we all seek on our knees will be achieved when we stand.
I am not a Muslim so I cannot speak for what is being taught in the Islamic faith but as a Christian and as a Nigerian we need to hold ourselves to higher standards.
We have a President that is a Christian and Nigeria’s corruption practices has not dwindled neither has any known corrupt official been brought to apt justice. Doesn’t that speak volume of the faith we profess? Almost everybody I know sings the praise of the current Lagos State Governor. I lived in Lagos during Marwa’s reign when he introduced the very effective operation sweep. I don’t need to tell you what faith they both are. This is not to undermine the Christian Governors that are also doing a good job.
Now are there Christians doing the right thing every day to make Nigeria a better place? Yes, the 20%. Are some Muslims (and other religion) also causes of problems in Nigeria? Of course without any shadow of doubt but that’s not my focus.
“80% of Nigeria’s problem can be solved by Christians. I am a NIGERIAN…I am a CHRISTIAN”.
If you agree with this statement then I must submit to you that you also have to concede to the original tweet. You might disagree with my choice of words, phrasing and statistics but you and I must agree that as Christians we can change our country Nigeria both on our knees and our feet.
The aim of this write up is to beseech us to be better Christians not just in church or during religious activities but in our day to day life, in our place of work and in our homes. Take your Christianity to work, take it to school, take it home and be the change you always want to see.
By Onome Ovwori (@MrO_Onome)