Nigerians’ religiosity is centred on the God factor supremacy as the basis of ‘individual and corporate lives’ and relationships. The disobedience and greed in human factor to the God factor supremacy however, reveals the hypocrisy in our religiosity, leadership and followership. The God factor indicts our human factors that continue to put fellows Nigerians under perpetual poverty and underdevelopment. The God factor is that element of our dependence on God to do the part we cannot. The God factor in Nigeria, the black Africa’s most populous nation remains the nation’s strength and secret of ‘coming into being in … 1897’ till date. Colonial factor and rule in Nigeria, just as in places like Sudan, using the words of Professor Andrew Walls ‘did more for the spread of Islam than all the jihads…’ Colonial rule, ‘under the unusual guise of a condominium between Britain’ and host nations like Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt, ‘assisted a steady expansion of Islam and brought into being, at independence’ a divided country where a particular tribe see governance as their right over others. Despite the colonial factor and aggregation of several empires, kingdoms, various nations and tribes that constituted Nigeria, the God factor in Nigeria richly blessed each of the nationalities thereby manifesting and fulfilling God’s prayers in the book of Genesis (Gen 1:28-31). The God factor that insulated Nigeria from ‘terrible occurrences like monsoon, tornadoes, violent earthquakes’ bestowed riches and wealth that cannot be measured or fathomed. The abnormal circumstances in Nigeria are the natural and unnatural human factors and forces ‘that tend to interfere in the process of governance. The God factor in Nigeria provides hope for a better tomorrow despite the ‘shaky foundation on which the nation is planted in reckless disregard of the settled principles of federalism leading inevitably to the quagmire in which Nigeria finds itself’ today.
The God factor in Nigeria provides assurance of reversal as ‘the nation is fast racing to the bottom.’ Nigeria is racing to the bottom due to the greed and inability of the nation’s post-independence political, spiritual, and economic factors to ‘exercise courage to elect appropriate leaders with a sense of mission and commitment to organise and harness the immeasurable riches and wealth of the potentially great country.’ General Olusegun Obasanjo in his May 1999 Presidential inaugural address titles “New Dawn” said, “…Nigeria is wonderfully endowed, by the Almighty, with human and by other resources. It does no credit either to us or the entire black race if we fail in managing our resources for quick improvement in quality of life of our people. Instead of progress and development, which we are entitles to expect from those who governed us, we experienced in the last decade and half, and particularly in the last regime but one, persistent deterioration in the quality of our governance, leading to instability and the weakening of all public institutions. Good men were shunned and kept away from government, while those who should be kept away were drawn near. Relations between men and women who had been friends for many decades, and between communities that had lived together in peace for many generations become very bitter because of actions or inactions of the government … The citizens developed mistrust in the government … Government officials became progressively indifferent to propriety conduct … Government and all its agents became thoroughly corrupt and reckless.”
The Nigeria post-independence ‘inept, irresponsible, irresponsive, indifferent’ political, spiritual, and economic factors suggests Nigeria irredeemable. The Good News is that, the God factor makes Nigeria redeemable despite our increasing culture of absurdities. Nigeria’s culture of corruption confound human intelligence, skills and power hence, the need for a higher dimension. The God factor in Nigeria suggests and inspires renewal especially in our present impossible situation that threatens our hope, joy, peace and existence as a nation. The God factor saw us through the civil war and the military regime. The God factor that put an end to Generals Sanni Abacha and Babangida regimes is still keeping Nigeria till date. The God factor in answer to prayers of the masses continue to salvage Nigeria from total extinction just as the God factor gave answer to the cry of Israel and delivered them from their enemies. The God factor will surely deliver Nigeria from the internal and external enemies especially those who shared crude oil windfalls, misused and abused the Petroleum Technology Development Fund and most especially the current Tertiary Education Trust Fund. Nigerians continue to read about recoveries of Abacha loots among others without corresponding development. Human factors continue to put Nigeria under erratic power supply despite infusion of billions of dollars into the sector.
Truly, Nigeria history is plagued by religious divisions coupled with the divide between Christian south and Muslim north playing a central role in the country’s electoral politics; the divisions between Christian is becoming a way of life. The news about the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, obtaining the All Progressives Congress, APC, expression of interest and nomination forms worth N100 million while Nigeria universities are closed due to the strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU since February 14, 2022 calls for concern. The National Chairman of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke explained that “ASUU is on strike because the government could not meet its demands and not about an individual.” While ASUU is on strike, there is a report that the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities are planning to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for a five-day conference scheduled to hold from 18-23 July, 2022. It is also very sad that, our Minister of State for Education who cannot solve the education problem in Nigeria is now aspiring to rule Nigeria. Nwajuiba and his likes are not relenting in taking Nigerians for granted, raising money for campaigns and nomination forms.
There is another ‘joke taken too far’ by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele on the ‘purchase of Declaration of Intent and Nomination Forms to contest for the office of the President in the forthcoming general elections, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.’ Our political elites have lost their sensitivity to the yearning of the masses hence their unceasing illegal act of greed and over-ambition. We now have a Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who cannot handle the fragile economy of Nigeria for the past eight years and now want to be the President of Nigeria. It is glaring that in Nigeria, the problem of our education, economy, religious systems are used to pursue political objectives. Our systems are not set up to promote a national ideology or philosophy hence, no development but rather ethnic divisions, banditry, greed, lust for power, and hatred. The surge in number of people declaring for the presidency especially on the platform of the two biggest parties in Nigeria is a disservice to poor masses and million of jobless youths. Chief Edwin Clark aptly described the growing number of presidential aspirants as madness.
Professor Tunji Olaopa provides us a summary of God’s factor in the challenges facing Nigeria. Olaopa used a biblical allusion of Nigeria to a prodigal child at God’s mercy. The God factor in Nigeria, the 2023 elections, corruption and divisions summons those of us who proclaim faith in God to arise with a high responsibility of how we conduct ourselves. The political manifestations especially from ‘the two biggest political merchants’ All People Congress (APC) and People Democratic Party (PDP) ‘have turned politics in Nigeria to huge lottery business.’ The God factor in Nigeria and beyond 2023 elections warns Nigerians ‘that the government is not our saviour, and that many reforms might be accomplished better by private associations rather than the government. Of course, in order to empower private associations, we may have to remove the obstacles created by big government to private action.’ The warning to my fellow Nigerians is that, there is no difference between APC and PDP. Let Nigerians stop fighting ourselves to please the politicians. Most of the APC decampee are holding leadership positions in PDP and most of the PDP decampee are in leadership positions in APC. The Governors Forum also depict a cult of friends hence, they want to produce the president.
The God factor in Nigeria and beyond 2023 elections reminds us about God’s miraculous power is able to bring forth water out of the rock for the people. The God factor in Nigeria in relation to 2023 elections awakes Nigerians to our moral common ground as fellow citizens and not enemies and against the divisive attitudes of our political gamblers. The God factor in Nigeria is always available to rescue hapless Nigerians. The God factor in Nigeria and beyond 2023 elections is a reminder to the political elites that God is a God of judgement. Using the words of the late American President Ronal Reagan, the God factor in Nigeria 2023 elections assures us that “We are never defeated unless we give up on God.” The good news is that, the powerful God factor is at work in our behalf, going ahead of us, clearing the way, 24 hours a day, and even after 2023 elections.
The God factor in Nigeria and beyond 2023 elections calls for spiritual renewal from the spiritual altar as the basis and language for morality and ethical behaviour in Nigeria. The God factor in Nigeria beyond partisan politics calls for repentance from participating in corruption, a product of greed that benefits individual, community or a religious community. The God factor in Nigeria summons Nigerians to stop any ‘act which deviates from the formal rules of conduct governing the actions of someone in a position of public authority because of private motives such as wealth, power or status. The God factor in Nigeria is not a call to idleness but a summon to commitment from all religious adherents to live acceptable doctrinal and societal standards. The God factor in Nigeria challenge the commercialisation of religion and its inability to promote accountability and right values. Factoring in the God factor in Nigeria and beyond 2023 elections ‘releases faith as it is totally dependent on what He (God) can do through His strength and His strength is limitless.’ God factor in Nigeria and beyond 2023 elections reminds our political gamblers that they are mere men and women and limited by what they can do in their own temporary strength and positions.