‘Change in government is manifestation of frustrations’
Reverend Samuel Dali is the President of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) Church, which headquarters in Mubi, Adamawa State was moved to Jos after being destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents last year. He told ISA ABDUSALAMI AHOVI, that the defeat of terrorism was part of the change Nigerians voted for on March 28. Excerpts
The quest for change
The change came as a manifestation of frustration. Not that Nigeria really wanted the change but because they were frustrated. Therefore they capitalized on whatever that came in the name of change. It was an expression of Christian frustration and other Nigerians who have been dissatisfied with the then government. We also prayed especially when things were not going well in the country that God should take charge of the affairs of the country through the elections. Of course, we Christians prayed that God should elect somebody who can govern the country effectively. So, part of the changes were as a result of answered prayer. Next thing is, what the president, the elected governors and other political leaders will do shall determine whether this change is actually an answer to our prayers. We do hope that the change that came was truly an answer to our prayers as Nigerians.
Taking advantage of the change
President Muhammadu Buhari should realise that Nigerians were dissatisfied with the bad governance of the past government. He should address the issues of realities of life of an average Nigerian citizen especially the crisis that has been going on in the Northeastern part of the country. He should give confidence to the electorate as soon as possible by ending the insurgency that has ravaged life and property. He should take advantage of the whole Nigerians coming together to vote for somebody not based on his religion or tribe because they wanted somebody who can govern the country. He should govern as leader of the people and not a section of the country.
Change in Plateau State
Governor Simon should understand that the past state government allegedly neglected and marginalised some sections of the state and they are aggrieved. He should pay attention and listen to the people and address their common needs and problems to win the heart and love of the people of the state. Anything short of listening and addressing the need of the people would lead him into problems like his predecessor. The complaints of the people of the state were that the past government did not listen to people because nobody could challenge them. One of the problems of PDP was imposition of candidates and not allowing the people to decide for themselves. Lalong should listen to people and work with them.
Checking external influence
External influence on the government of Nigeria is what we cannot run away from because the world today is a global village. We should see that our relations with Western nations should be partnership. This is because in partnership, no one assumes to be totally in control because each party works for the interest of their own. Our government should be in partnership with external communities and not to allow them to dictate the pattern of our leadership. Muhammadu Buhari should take advantage of his partnership with foreign communities to see that his own country’s interest is met. He should be sure that his country is not cheated.
Relocating EYN to Jos
This is a long story. EYN church was founded in 1923 in Garkida in Adamawa state because of the agreement between the Missionaries that came to Nigeria. Initially each missionary group coming from different countries were apportioned a section in northern part of Nigeria and each of them was told not to interfere with the activities of others. The EYN church from America was given that part of Nigeria; therefore, all our life, development and evangelistic activities have been in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. Our church headquarters was in Mubi, close to Mararaba Kwarhi and when the Boko Haram started our church was the first to receive the heat in Maiduguri. On the 29 November 2014, the Boko Haram overran the whole of Michika and Mubi areas and our headquarters was taken over and subsequently destroyed beyond repairs including our newly built laboratory. That is why the headquarters is now in Jos. We call it annex headquarters.
The lessons of Boko Haram attacks
This crisis no doubt helped Nigerians to learn. Initially, when this crisis started, some segment of the people thought the target was only the Christians. When Boko Haram killed and chased away Christians, they turned to Muslims and killed most of them, therefore Christians and Muslims have been suffering till now. The faith of most Nigerians in that area especially Christians has been shattered and they are only trying to comfort themselves because we believe in prayers that God always hear and comfort us. We had horrible experience of how a father running with his two sons fell down and died leaving those children alone. We cannot tell of their fate. Women who were pregnant gave birth in the process of escaping and nobody could attend to them. The experience was quite horrible and our people are yet to recover.
First we should keep praying, asking God to take control of the government and use the leaders to patriotically alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians. Secondly, Nigerians should learn to be patriotic and try to avoid all acts of corruption and support the government. We should use our civic rights to call back any elected representative who falls below expectation. President Buhari should immediately stop the continuous rampage of the insurgents. He should provide the needed materials that the displaced people need. He should also stand strongly to fight corruption, which was part of the acts of insurgency, and ensure that Nigerian laws are obeyed and upheld