.’More Nigerians must be recruited into the military, police‘
By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja
As a result of security challenges which Nigeria is battling from all angles in the last decade, a-one day prayer programme tagged ‘Nigeria in Crisis: An Evening To Pray To Birth A New Nigeria’ was organized under the auspices of the National Transformational Summit by a British-based cleric, Pastor Wale Babatunde in Abuja on Sunday.
According to Pastor Babatunde who heads the World Harvest Christian Centre worldwide, the prayers could not have come at a better time because Nigeria as it is today is presently sitting on a keg of gunpowder if nothing urgent is done. He said the fabric which bounds Nigeria together as a country has been stretched beyond its limit. He said it is time for Christians to rise up in prayers and seek the face of God to save Nigeria from its current security challenges.
“There is no one in Nigeria today who does not know that Nigeria is in a crisis. We are at a crossroad. We have never been here before since the time of the civil war. A lot of people believe that Nigeria right now is sitting on a keg of gunpowder and it can explode at any time. And reading through the scripture, I have found out that it does not matter how bad a situation is, if Christians will indeed call unto God, there can be a change. That is why we are gathered today to petition heaven so that a new Nigeria can be born,” he said.
Pastor Babatunde said it is important for political and religious leaders to turn a new leaf from greed and corruption while calling on Christians and Muslims, men and women, old and young need to be involved in the process to birth a new Nigeria that the future generation will be very proud of. He also called for cultivation of new moral values for the upcoming generations which should encompass respect, truthfulness and loving one’s neighbour.
“I believe that apart from prayer, we need to start to cultivate new values. Nigeria is where it is today not because of a man, it is a collective thing. Nigeria was not like this during my growing up years and to me we have lost our values. Politicians; Christians and Muslims get there and steal our commonwealth. It is high time for us to go come back to teach values again for the love of our country. If you look at the present state of things in Nigeria, you will discover that a lot of our leaders have disappointed us. Now, we need to be teaching other values like respect, truthfulness and loving one’s neighbour. If we love our neighbour as we love ourselves, we are not going to be doing what we are doing at the moment. It is important that we begin to teach a new set of values to the younger generation,” the man of God added.
In his own submission,the senior pastor, the Strong House Abuja, Reverend Polycarp Gbaja, advised the government to recruit more Nigerians into the military and the police because security agencies in the country have been overstretched. He said having a military (Army, Navy and Air Force) strength of 70,000 and less than 40,000 personnel in the police is not enough for Nigeria with a country of more than 200 million people. He said Nigeria needs to learn from Egypt with a population of 70 million people with two million in the military.
He said, “We have a government that has not shown care to the citizens the way it should and the absence of a political will to tackle the issue of insecurity and nip it in the bud once and for all. We all know that the first and the primary mandate of any government is to secure the lives, the property and the opportunities of its citizens and this has failed in the last decade. We have the capacity, we have the population but our security agencies have been overstretched. How do you expect a country of 200 million to have 70,000 military personnel, that is, Army, Airforce and Navy combined and the Police which is less than 400,000 personnel? We need at least two million Nigerians in the military and three million in the police. Egypt with a population of about 70 million people has two million in its military, so how can Nigeria with a population that is almost thrice the population of Egypt has that military strength?
“We have deviated from what God has commanded us to do and that is why we are going through these tribulations. In Isaiah 58 – 59, God made a demand of four things from us and these are; Truth, Righteousness, Justice and Equity. These are the foundations upon which a country is built. But all these attributes are absent in today’s Nigeria. Truth has been replaced with deception, corruption with righteousness, injustice with injustice and instead of equity greed has pervaded everywhere. These negatives are signs of a dysfunctional society and that is why we need to come together and support ourselves in prayer,” Gbaja added.