Since Nigeria is a star gold medal winner in prayers and celebrated spirituality, I think this intervention should be a special focus on the rational prayers for Nigeria. In trying to take up this special task however, my attention was drawn to a verse in the Christian Holy Book: ‘You ask and receive not, because you asked amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts’ (James 4:3). Thus, the first prayer is that Nigerians would not continue to pray amiss.

First and foremost, it appears as if Nigerians are no longer interested in whether or not there are saboteurs or how many there are in Bola Tinubu’s government. They do not pray for a repeat of the Muhammadu Buhari era in which, even as a military General, his government was ‘hijacked by a cabal.’ In their view, that ought to have ended on May 28, 2023. So, it behooves the president to not wait until faulty impressions are formed about his government before proving that he means well for the country. Tinubu shouldn’t be seen as lacking in empathy, or having lost empathy with the people. Already, that impression is gaining traction and he needs to wake up before it snowballs into something else.

With the current situation of things, ours looks like a country afflicted, with weak institutions as one of its settled political imperatives. There is bleeding in every sector, with the economy suffering a lot of leakages. The country is gradually becoming unlivable, with poverty becoming not only a new normal but also making life miserable for the people. The tragedy of our economic theories is that they work in contrast to economic realities. Or what type of economic policy is it that the only option left for the poor is suicide?

When the naira redesign policy gave birth to unlooked-for effects and widespread chaos some months back, with the scarcity of naira notes as one of its many consequences, Nigerians were quick to heap the blame – and, rightly, too – on Godwin Emefiele who at the time was the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Now, Emefiele is out of the loop but the problem seems to have resurfaced even in a more threatening form.

Not long after this government came on board, Vice President Kashim Shettima vowed that insecurity would soon become a thing of the past because “President Tinubu, in the next couple of weeks, will unveil the ‘Fulaku’ solution, which will address the grievances and the exclusion of our Fulani cousins in the North West.” That was on July 16, 2023. Today is January 6, 2024. ‘Fulaku Solution’ is yet to be unveiled. So, nothing has changed. As a matter of fact, Nigerians are of the view that the situation is gradually getting out of control. Only on Christmas Eve, Fulani militia attack on some communities in Plateau State left no fewer than 200 people dead, with the terrorists vowing to return. So, if Fulaku is taking too long to feature, why can’t the president come up with a temporary strategy that can, in the least, make Nigerians sleep with their eyes half-closed? Isn’t the situation, as it is, killing?

The 3rd American president, Thomas Jefferson, once said: “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it” On a day like this, Dear God, we remember our leaders, help them to know that their purposes are to be leaders, and not bosses. Give them the sense of reasoning to know that they need not keep disturbing the Hosts of Heaven to come down to do those things You have already empowered them to do. In this New Year 2024, grant our lawful weapon handlers the wisdom to understand that the major function of their weapons is for legitimate defence, not to become exploiters and licensed terrorists.

Our Father in heaven, Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the time the price of the premium motor spirit, pms, will smile on them. Even when our border posts remain temptingly porous and the same set of Nigerians continue to man them, bless our beloved president with the wisdom to listen more to the mass of the people than those whose voices have already been heard and save our land from the conflict merchants who recklessly expand our national frontlines for political and economic benefits.

Mere clappers don’t engage in serious political activities. If at all they do, it is just for the peculiarities, the conspiracies and the complexities of filling their stomachs; and once that’s achieved, status quo ante bellum returns! From Lagos to Cross River, and from Ekiti to Adamawa, arise and grant our leaders the wisdom to know that poverty fuels rumours, and that rumours are harbingers of violence and unrest.

Mighty Creator, we also remember Your influence on the life of Joseph. On a single day, his name changed. His story changed. His status changed. Even his friends changed. We beseech Thee, O Lord, let there be no more fruitless efforts! Let there be no more labour loss! And let there be no more epileptic glory in our lives! In their stead, deepen our blessings beyond the capacity of our storehouses. Blot out emptiness from our lives and let the glory that’s on the wheelchair begin to speak out so that the world can glorify Your name through us!

Jehovah Nissi, You didn’t create us to be independent but to be dependent on You for our daily bread, protection and the fulfillment of Your purpose and vision. Even as we continue to fight over the distribution of two loaves and five fishes, unaware of the turn of events globally, help us to break the yoke of the life of struggle. Rescue every injured destiny and bring to limelight every hidden fortune! When trouble comes, give us strength to have Heaven on our side and command all the crooked places to be straightened. Show us our purpose and take us up out of every valley of deceit and defeat. You, who own all of the creation, are too consistent to leave us hanging or stranded. In all things, let Your angels of war engage every principality and power and bring down the kingdom of the rulers of darkness in our nation. We pray for the vision that has the capacity, resilience and determination that’ll make us not only trailblazers but also dream-achievers for Your world and Your people.

A man who has no reason to live will not fear how to die! Jehovah Elohim, teach us to know that You are not interested in giving us huge punishments for our behavior. Had You wanted it that way, You’d not have given Christ to the world to be killed; and there’d have been nobody to question Your authority because You’re God Almighty. So, give Your humble peasants the ability to exercise the powers of our fingers to vote out any agent of affliction from the top to the bottom, and not to be manipulated by two Derica of rice and one or two days’ pot of soup.

At a time like this, we want to use Leah Sharibu and the over-100 Chibok girls as points of contact for others who are still languishing in the terrorists’ den. Our Lord, the Helper of the helpless, rekindle their parents’ hope in You. Bring their children back alive and Nigerians will glorify Your name!

Finally, as days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, let the life and times of Obed-Edom the Gittite (1 Chronicles 13: 12-14) be a source of hope for determined minds.

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant them peace in Nigeria!

Baobab Africa
Baobab Africa People and Economy reports the continent majorly from a positive slant. We celebrate the continent. Not for us the negatives that undermine the African real story of challenging but inspiring growth.

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