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You are the next champion!

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Rev. Fr. John Damian

Last weekend, the Nigeria’s Super Falcons proved to the world that the downfall of a man, or rather of a woman, is not the end of his/her life. At the opening Match of the just concluded African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), the Super Falcons were beaten by the Bayana Bayana of South Africa. As they met this same team in their final match, the Super Falcons were able to beat the Bayana Bayana, thereby maintaining their position as the African Champions. With this victory, the Falcons have retained this title for the 9th time. He who laughs last laughs the best! As I watched these young girls celebrating their victory over South Africa, a thought came to my mind, do you know that you are the next champion?

Last week, we commented on the ravages caused by this year’s flooding on farmers and how Custom officers terrorised food suppliers on the road. We reported how the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid, following the destruction of thousands of hectares of rice farmlands by flood in several communities across the nation. As God would have it, the Federal Government has responded promptly by promising to compensate the farmers and fishermen affected by the flood. This is a welcome development! With this, you will agree with me that the downfall of the farmers is not the end of their lives. The farmers will still retain their position as the Champions of Nigerian economy.

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As the farmers are smiling home, I would like to use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to consider the plight of importers and exporters. One man’s meat may be another man’s poison. With the ban on the importation of food and other essential commodities, most of our importers and exporters have been rendered poor due to this policy. Moreover, whenever there is shortage of food, either as a result of flooding, famine or other natural disasters, the nation should be wise enough to make provision for adequate food supply.

This was exactly what the sons of Jacob did, when famine hit their land. In the book of Genesis chapter 42, when Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he sent his sons to buy grains from Egypt and that was how they were able to survive the famine. With the approval of free trade policy, it will then be the turn of the importers and exporters to become Champions in food supply. The ban on food importation can be revisited whenever there is surplus in food supply, not when there is famine in the land due to heavy flooding.

Whatever be the case, today’s first reading from the prophet Baruch 5:1-9 declares that you are the next champion! This passage declares, “Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God… For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.” The period of sorrow and failure is over!


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