It is stale news that Nigeria is under the siege of terrorism. Armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, murder are now routine occurrences so much so that many people have lost count of the number of victims. Even though incidence of crime is nationwide, that of the Northern Nigeria, particularly North-Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa is particularly more troubling. The insurgent group popularly called Boko Haram has been wreaking a lot of havoc on the residents of the aforementioned states since 2009.
As I write this, the abduction of over 200 girls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State since April 14, 2014 has dominated the media, be it traditional or social. The #BringBackOurGirls advocates are dominating the social media. The Nigerian government has been trying to restore peace and order in the insurgents’ hot spots but if the truth must be said, our military seem overwhelmed due largely to a number of factors such as inadequate funding, corruption, sabotage and politics. Heart-warming, therefore, is the offer of assistance from some foreign governments such as France, the United States of America, China and the United Kingdom.
As the Nigerian government battles the insurgents without much success, I am tempted to ask:
Where are the prophets in Nigeria? Where are the celebrated “Oracles of God”? I mean the General Overseers, Pastors, Evangelists, Reverends, Bishops, Archbishops, and other titular religious leaders who always lay claim to know the mind of God? I ask again, where are our miracle merchants? Where are our own Prophet Elijah, King David and Moses? It will be recalled that in the Biblical account of 1 Kings 18, Prophet Elijah confronted the 450 prophets of Baal and defeated them on Mount Carmel. Also in the Bible, according to 1 Samuel 17, a young shepherd boy, David, removed the reproach of the nation of Israel by killing Goliath. The account read that after 40 days of taunting and mocking of Israel’s army by Goliath and the armed forces of Philistines, David with a mere sling and stone killed Goliath. It is also on record in the book of Exodus how God used Moses to deliver the Israelite from their generational bondage in Egypt.
If these Biblical accounts are not fictional stories; if they did happen as we are made to believe; if truly God is immutable and capable of doing all things as He said in Luke 1 verse 37, then, it is time to see live practical demonstration of His omnipotence through the works of His anointed servants in Nigeria. This country has a bourgeoning Christian population especially in the Southern part. Though it may be true that Boko Haram insurgency has been happening mostly in Northern Nigeria, our Christian leaders need to rise up against this menace before its tentacles spread to the South. I cannot imagine the devastating effect of a terrorist attack on any of our religious camps on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway or anywhere else where hundreds of thousands of worshippers gather for weekly, monthly or annual programmes.
Just imagine clerics like Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Ministry, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church, Pastor D.K. Olukoya of Mountain of Fire Ministries, Prophet T.B. Joshua of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy, Bishop John Praise Daniel of the Dominion Chapel International Churches, Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Bible Church and several others jointly or individually challenging Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, to a spiritual duel like Elijah of old did. Just imagine what the defeat of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups by Christian leaders will do to the growth of Christianity and restoration of peace in Nigeria. Not only will Christians be able to worship God in harmony, evangelism will become a piece of cake as many non-Christians will readily believe and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will our Christian leaders seize the moment to demonstrate their much talked about God-given spiritual prowess?
Why am I recommending this duel between Christian leaders and Boko Haram? Watch the latest video released by Abubakar Shekau. He made no pretence about his hatred of Christians and has promised to extend his reign of terror to Southern Nigeria. Our Christian leaders had better act to check these merchants of death and sorrow before they succeed in putting the Christian fold, and indeed the entire country, in disarray. I am not unmindful of all the prayers and fasting that have been declared and observed by Christians for the restoration of peace in Nigeria. The efficacy of these spiritual measures is not in doubt, but in addition, Christian leaders need to act, take action as directed by God. According to news reports, Chibok, where over 200 girls were abducted on April 14, is a predominantly Christian community in Borno State. About 180 of the kidnapped girls were said to be Christians. Should our spiritual leaders continue to play the ostrich about the potent danger posed by terrorism to their fold and the nation, they may wake up one day to minister to empty churches when the congregation may have become too scared to attend services.
Already in Lagos and a few other places in the South, dare-devil armed robbers have been reported to successfully raid some churches during services, and a couple of child kidnap cases have also been reported. Some of these happened during the day while others happened during vigil services. I know many of the church leaders claim to have divine mandate to make disciple of all the people. It would be great to demonstrate that by winning the soul of Shekau and his cohorts. It is time our religious leaders deployed their spiritual arsenals to the fight against terrorism which is an ill-wind that blows no good to the nation in particular, and the world in general.