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Divine Gift For Nigeria’s Rebirth

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DEMOCRACY Day 2015 will go down in the history of Nigeria as a memorable day. May 29 that saw the transition from one democratic government to another, a change from the 15 years’ leadership of one party to the emergence of a President from another party. The historicity of the day becomes even more colourful by the fact that the journey, to the glory of God and the cooperation of Nigerians, has been enveloped in the divine gift of peace and serenity which has hovered over the nation since the ‘historic’ concession of defeat by the outgoing President. It could properly be defined as a divine gift, a gift that carries with it a specific, clear, and wholesome donor’s intention: that each and every Nigerian works for national rebirth. The implication here is that the Almighty God does not want ‘a business as usual’ democratic government which does not positively influence the status quo wherever it is hampering the soaring of this great and multi-endowed eagle, Nigeria. It means the wind of change that has been blowing since the vibrant campaign towards Election 2015 and has continued till today need not be seen as ‘wishful thinking’ but a divine command to right the wrong, correct the errors, repair the faults, and to actively, gently, respectfully, firmly, lovingly, and courageously work towards the rebirth of Nigeria.

The trillion naira’ question is “Are we ready to take up this vital task?” How prepared are we to work for the realization of this very urgent responsibility? What do we need to do as citizens and elected leaders to rebuild, recreate and raise all parts of Nigeria to a truly enduring glorious height? That the Almighty Creator/God/Allah/Absolute Being, is with us and ready to empower us for the success of this task to rebuild our nation, is obvious in the experience since the ‘successful’ end of Election 2015, as seen in our nation now brimming with an atmosphere of divine peace, new hope, and a renewal of confidence in the Nigerian dream; a dream that seeks to make Nigeria a force to be reckoned with in truth, in fact, in action, and in reality: we can now reasonably be termed the Giant of Africa, ‘great nation, good people.’

This is evident in the responses and reactions towards developments since Dr. Goodluck Jonathan congratulated General Muhammadu Buhari over his victory. Added to that must be the incoming government’s immediate swing into action, planning, calculation, realistic assessment of the state of things and its recognition of the difficulties necessary to be tackled urgently and courageously.

The renewed faith and confidence the world reposes in Nigeria has also been or is being expressed in all corners of the world, as a result of the successful conduct of election 2015 and the readiness to move from one democratic government to another. This has placed Nigeria on the same progressive path as the other great nations of the world already thriving on genuine democracy, evidenced in their level of development and care for their land and people. The expectations for the progressive development of Nigeria in her democracy (which will be made visible to all by the standard of all-round development and the contentment of every Nigerian when their basic needs are met without unhealthy discrimination) are thus given a great boost.

Small wonder then that since May 29th 2015, the world watches keenly, just as all men and women within our country and our expatriates keep watch with great optimism that progress is possible, probable and realizable. More questions continue to arise in wonderment and sometimes in anxiety: Do we remain committed to the blessed nation Nigeria in spite of the imperfections, impurities, and past disappointments? Is it really possible to change for the better? Can progress be made for Nigeria to become a more authentically democratic nation with all its dividends enjoyed by every citizen? The clear answer emerging from the progression we are currently witnessing these months, weeks, and days is: ‘Yes, we can,’ a dictum made popular and realizable in President Obama’s successful campaign in the United States of America and employed by other developed nations of the world. They dream good dreams, they engage each and every citizen in the task of nation building, they make sure the basic necessities of life, befitting human persons and their dignity as creatures ‘created in the image and likeness of God’, are concretely and truthfully brought within the reach of all. The optimistic answer suggests that, if the new government and the reawakened citizens of Nigeria join hands together to realistically bring about the rebirth of our beloved nation, by upholding the commands of the Almighty Creator and the principles enunciated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, Nigeria will really be reborn.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Raphael Igbaoyinbo, is a priest of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, Gwagwalada, Abuja; a Lecturer at the National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul Gwagwalada; and author of several books and articles, including the newly published book “Genuine Democracy and Divine Empowerment.” petrusshola@yahoo.co.uk.



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