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Stop The Fight


#xenophobia attacks: The protesters passed through neighbourhoods that are home to many immigrants (Al Jazeera)

#xenophobia attacks: The protesters passed through neighbourhoods that are home to many immigrants (Al Jazeera)

I AM Omoni Oboli and I represent Naija! A lot has happened since my last article. The most significant being that we now have the first President-elect in Nigeria from a different political party waiting to assume office.

We now have a new leader arise from a free and fair election that ousted the incumbent President who organised the election.

We have seen the strong concerted effort by the military that has yielded fruit in bringing the much-dreaded Boko Haram to its knees, and the rescue of many stolen and enslaved girls and women from their stronghold.

We have seen a lifting of the Nigerian army spirit that has emboldened them to defy the fearful Sambisa forest and march into it in victory.

Where do I begin to thank God for these accomplishments? I can only say, “Thank you Lord!” These kidnapped girls and women lost their freedom, and we could never really imagine the horrors and evil they had to endure in hopelessness till they were rescued.

Their return is a victory for us all, and we pray that more will be returned and normal communal living in the troubled areas would be restored soon as a final victory against the perpetrators who sought only to destroy their right to be free.

We as a nation should be jumping for joy because even though they are not the Chibok girls, they are NIGERIAN girls and women and they are just as precious in our sights!

The trouble continues round the world with the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. That is so sad and disheartening, to put it mildly. It kind of reminds me of a story in the Bible where Jesus said that if an unclean spirit goes out of a man and the man remains empty, that spirit will come back, and finding the house empty, it will bring the seven demons more wicked than itself, so that the latter state of that man becomes worse than his former state.

Why does it remind me of this? When apartheid (demon number one) left South Africa, the ordinary citizen got liberated but the skill to assume their ‘rightful’ position was not given, he became an unskilled free man who couldn’t contribute productively to their nation in the areas that many of them dreamed of.

With no competent skill to give the employers of labour, and no change from the warring spirit that raged within, which are residues of the apartheid era, the apartheid demon came back to his empty house, and he didn’t come alone this time.

He came with the demon of hate, grand delusion, pain, racism, xenophobia, intolerance and extreme lack of self control, so that the post apartheid thought process became worse than before.

We are all one in Africa, so why do we feel the need to destroy each other, but we band with others from other continents to help them excel? It’s not normal! We should not see it as normal, nor accept it as the way we are. God has given us the gift of reasoning, so that we are not like the animals who are unaware of their existence the way we do. Hence, we are human (lowly) beings (aware of our existence).

There is a deep need to teach love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, which are the fruits of the Spirit.

This is where the community churches need to prove their mantle, by seeking to reach the heart of man rather than the flesh of the man which only responds to his external stimuli. This is not in any way peculiar to South Africa, because we have also seen the rising hate we tend to fill our hearts and minds with as regards our fellow countrymen.

We seem to have a proclivity to reach for those things that only serve to separate us instead of the ones that serve to unite us in our diversity.

We need to rise above the divisiveness of our African nature to see more clearly that the enemy we are gathered around to fight is the one we are shielding within ourselves. We have a new president, and there’s a natural tendency to wait for his failure, folding our hands idly, and refusing to reach out our hands to help make his failure unattainable.

That’s our nature! In the spirit of wanting ‘Change’ let us begin to change our attitudes towards our country to be one of being an agent of change rather than an observer of the process. We have been on the sidelines too long, and many football lovers can relate when I say that on the sidelines, your professional prowess will never increase to the point of increasing your value.

Our individual values will increase when our collective value is at the heart of our dealings with each other.

I’m reaching out to us all as Africans and fellow Nigerians, that our potentials have been potentials for way too long. Let’s turn our potential energy to kinetic energy so that we can move forward and not continue to slip and slide backwards thinking that we are making progress.

Iam also grateful to God for another year added to my life, and this year I chose to have a fun-filled #omonilookalike contest for the most likes on my Instagram page with my fans and friends. It was hilarious, and I learned a big lesson in tolerance, love, bonding, standing against obvious pressure and simply having fun with people. I look forward to more encounters with my fans, and more prizes will be given out, so keep a look out!

So, until next week, let’s endeavour to reach out to others in love, knowing that what we dish out are the very things we hope to receive. What do you want to receive? That’s what you should give. Keep smiling!



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