[FILES] Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari
I had planned to write a message to our outgoing leader in Abuja that he can still make history within the next five months. I had wanted to reconstruct the story of Hurricane Murtala Mumammed who was in power for only six eventful months when he dreamed of Abuja the nation’s capital, arguably the most remarkable achievements of the military regimes in Nigeria. I had wanted to remind our leader in Abuja that it was during the regime of that same Murtala that Nigeria asserted herself as the authentic African leader. Within the six months, (Murtala) led other African leaders to call the bluff of the G-7 leaders at an extra-ordinary session of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU, now AU) where he declared that “Africa has come of Age…” and no longer to be tossed around by the shenanigans of Western powers on Angola. That period’s foreign policy thrust has been unforgettable. I had wanted to encourage our leader to borrow from the dynamism and brilliance of that Hurricane Murtala’s short regime and do something remarkable before leaving Abuja on May 29, 2023. But then I heard a small still voice, which nudged me on to write to all Nigerians not to be discouraged by what hasn’t happened in the last seven and half years that the locusts appear to have eaten. And so my message today on the first day of 2023 is a Message of Hope. I think as an oracle of God and a patriot, I want us to have some introspection on ‘Triumph of Hope over Experience’.
As I was saying here, let today set the tone for this time of goodwill, a season of love and triumph of the human spirit over the power of darkness in our great country, Africa’s and black race’s tower of strength. It is therefore not a time to read from the book of lamentation, (as I always claim here), which has never been identified anywhere as a strategy for either personal or national development. So, I would like to send a message of goodwill to Nigerians today in this season of anomie. Permit me therefore to preach on a subject we hardly invest in here – HOPE.
As I once claimed here, most of us think we don’t have hope of a better tomorrow given the myriad of challenges we have at this moment when we are supposed to be celebrating some remarkable change since 2015. At this time of gloom, HOPE can’t be a popular word, in any case. But as a man of God, the God of man has asked me to tell my people again that there is a glimmer of hope for the most populous black nation on earth, Nigeria. I see hope. Yes hope, despite the fire on many mountains, it shall come to pass that Nigeria, yes Nigeria, will lend to nations. And people from many powerful nations will queue up to obtain the Nigerian passport. I see hope. Let’s forget about the rampaging corruption in the land at the moment. Let’s again ignore those who celebrate phony integrity over competence. Let’s celebrate imminent restructuring of the federation that our leaders fool themselves about: they always laugh at us in their meetings. They think we can’t get federalism. Don’t worry, my people, ‘everything gonna be all right’ as a prophet of hope from Jamaica, once noted. I see hope, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o saw years ago when he declared in one of his classics, I always quote that, ‘Hope of a better tomorrow is the only comfort you can give to a weeping child’. I declare again as an oracle of God, ‘It is well with Nigeria whether the thieves of state, the wicked ones at all levels like it or not.
The Lord has asked me to warn again the wicked, who think they are prospering at the moment. Our God has asked me to declare to them that Nigeris a good land. Oh yes, a good land that will sooner than later celebrate the majesty of democracy and the law. We will sing redemption songs, yes, songs of freedom soon by His grace. This gloom, this present and clear danger too will pass. Nigeria shall be free.
My people, don’t give up on Nigeria. Reflect on Bongo’s Ikwe’s classic, ‘Still Searching’ in which he noted: ‘Nothing good comes easy…’ Don’t curse the country. Don’t open your mouth to join some ignorant people who can’t see the hope that I see: Don’t say, ‘Nigeria is finished’ because of clueless rulers at the moment. They can use N37 billion to renovate phase 1 of a parliament building built with only N10.7 billion. Stay cool: They may not probe further the curious recovery of a whopping $5.2 billion from a former military head of state they now want us to treat as an ancestor who releases money to us spiritually from time to time. There is power in the spoken word! Please, join us the blessed optimists to declare ‘God bless Nigeria’. Let’s join the tribe of few but serious intercessors who pray fervently for the end of principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places in Nigeria. The One who created Nigeria by His powers and outstretched hands has assured me through His engrafted words that because He created the blacksmith that blows the coals in the fire and even created the wasters to destroy, no weapon fashioned against Nigeria and the 2023 election by wicked politicians shall prosper again!
I have been told from above to see nothing but HOPE, yes HOPE of a better Nigeria soon and very soon. I see revolution in digital technologies. I see explosion in an agribusiness and all the value chains. I see hope.
Don’t worry. Be not discouraged about our leaders who can’t manage their homes and politics even in their home states. This too shall pass. It is good that we have discovered at this time that they, after all, have neither integrity nor capacity to lead us. We, in the Office of the Citizen, are aware of your concern that it is difficult at this time to see how democracy can thrive in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. Don’t worry! Invest in this intangible thing called HOPE. Don’t lose it. I know you want to tell me why it isn’t easy to invest in HOPE when some people are rounding off writing books on, ‘Triumph of Recklessness ’and ‘Audacity of Corruption’ in a jurisdiction where you are asking people to invest in a pearl called HOPE. I know you want to ask me whether that doesn’t amount to casting one’s pearl before a swine. Don’t worry. Just cast your bread upon this water. After many days, you will find it more precious! Let me tell you some little, simple things about this precious gift called HOPE. Let’s explore why it is so important at this time.
Hope doesn’t appear rational. It doesn’t make sense as an anonymous writer on NoemiPhotograhy once noted. Hope sees beyond the obvious. Hope may seem naive. But without hope, what else do we have? Let’s consider the following facts about HOPE. Faith and Hope are closely linked, but different. Hope is a precursor to faith. While faith is believing and trusting in something that you cannot see, hope is imagining that there is something there to even believe and trust in. It is the belief in what could be. Hope redefines what is probable and opens the paths to the impossible. For example, faith is putting your trust in God to help in a financial difficulty, but hope opens the door to even let yourself consider that there may be a way out of your problem.
Without hope, there can be no faith, because we would not even stoop to pray about those things we could not imagine. Proverbs 13:12 tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there.
More on why hope is important at this time: Well, life is difficult. There are many obstacles. Having goals is not enough. One has to keep getting closer to those goals, amidst all the inevitable twists and turns of life. Hope allows people to approach problems with a mindset and strategy-set suitable to success, thereby increasing the chances they will actually accomplish their goals.
Even in this world, hope still remains strong on the list of human needs. It is like a single candle during the night: it gives light for us to continue on and find the way out of the darkness. This light of hope burns so strongly in the hearts of some. Hope is all we need to keep on living. It is the foundation to build one’s life upon. It is a commitment to continue to struggle, creates endurance and strength in a person. Otherwise he or she is simply sitting back and wishing away his or her life. Wait for this: because of hope some people take action and decide what will become of their life. People must also accept finite disappointment, but must never lose infinite hope, because in life there will be many failures, but without hope, there will never be a single achievement. Hope is a very necessary component of everyday life. We must never give up and never think that our goal is impossible or too hard to attain. If everyone thought that the goals that they had set in life were too difficult, there wouldn’t be any of the great inventions today, and this world would be a much different place. Hence, hope will always be the road map and light to the darkest path of life. It will be one’s guide on his or her path to happiness.
Hope lifts my eyes. Hope let’s me see what could be. Hope tells me there is more. Hope forces me to keep walking, searching, longing, loving…hope leads to faith.
That’s why hope is so important to us. Believing in ourselves or in the people around us will bring disappointment. But, allowing hope to lead us to faith means that life is about more than us and our lives. It’s about things eternal. You can see the power of HOPE. You can see the reason for investment in it at this perilous time. According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We…hold to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.”
We are talking about ‘a living hope; a life giving hope; a hope that sees beyond our current troubles. Don’t quit. Don’t rush to Canada, et al. It is not the land of your birth. Have just a ray of hope in Nigeria. Don’t leave its politics and policies to mediocrities, the dealers who parade themselves as leaders now. Get involved in any spheres you can influence either in private or public sector. Don’t ask for the Barnabas anymore. Don’t ask for a good man anymore. Just be a good man or woman wherever you are. Be the example you want Nigeria to be.