Nigeria: Darkest Night of A Distressed Nation – Richard Odusanya

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Richard Odusanya
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My fellow compatriots, I bring you good tidings with an assurance that there’s a silver lining behind every cloud. Of course, it is well-known, that ominous clouds are rumbling across Nigeria; we should never feel hopeless, because difficult times always lead to better days – difficult times are like dark clouds and silver linings resemble the sun’s rays, meaning the path is beautiful ahead. In difficult times, we learn several things, we learn how to survive; the key is not to lose hope and never give up. Essentially, In my trajectory, I have faced very serious challenges in life. The fact that I have overcome so much adversity in my life helps me to have hope during tough times.

Although, to be brutally honest about Nigeria’s predicament, it appears, like a dark cloud as evidenced, by the testimonials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria at the crucial convention a few years ago. In their postulations, the Bishops posited: “We are weighed down not only by uncertainties, but also by moral, economic and political problems … Our strength in adversity, Our health in weakness, Our comfort in sorrow” This is a Statement that reflects our current realities.

To put it bluntly, I am seriously concerned about us, Nigeria; our present predicament, our politics, our people, our economy, and our socio-cultural and infrastructural challenges. The Bishops’ prayers have never been more relevant than now. The “distress” and suffering caused by the exorbitant cost of living when it is becoming more and more difficult to secure even the bare necessities of life. The “distress” occasioned by increasing commodity prices and the accumulation of national debts must prove intolerable burdens for future generations to bear. Assuredly, the current multiple travails of Nigerians can be converted to positive uses, if we are so determined.

Again, the challenges of the darkest night are not peculiar to us in Nigeria, it is a global phenomenon. Nonetheless, our trust is in the words of salvation via the book Isaiah 60:19-22 “The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” 20: “Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” 21: “Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.” 22: “The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the Lord; in its time I will hasten it.”

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Throughout in His words, God tells us to choose joy in whatever we face, confident that He is working even through every trial and hard place, to bring us greater perseverance. We never gain greater strength and spiritual muscles simply by living an “easy” life. We can only build deeper faith by walking through the hard times that press us more closely into His Presence. Every biblical hero through the pages of the Word was tested and strengthened, not through simple, easy times, but through great times of suffering and difficulty. This should give us hope even today, that God knows our way, and the testing of our faith will produce endurance. It’s for far greater purposes than we may even realize.

To be honest, if there’s one thing our beloved country Nigeria needs right now it’s help from God. The good news–the great news–is that God is “a very present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46;1) This means God is a very present help in your times of trouble, the one you face right now. It also means his help is available for our nation. I think we can all agree we need it. ​As the saying goes, ‘No man is an island’ – everyone needs companionship and a shoulder to lean on. It is important to surround ourselves with family and friends for support and comfort in both times of joy and distress. Therefore, this is the time for support and sharing.

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Additionally, in these uncertain times of hyperinflation and insecurities in Nigeria, all of us have been feeling disturbed, fearful, and anxious for a long time now. Hence, the a need to engage possible sources of resilience which is an orientation to promote good. An orientation to promote good is a disposition to take actions that contribute to the good of oneself and others across different circumstances, including challenging ones. This disposition combines two elements: an intrinsic inclination to act benevolently and in the interest of others and the goodness of will and disposition to conduct oneself in morally justifiable ways.

As a writer, I pen this contribution bearing in mind, that you can’t ask someone to chew meat for you and restrict them from swallowing a bit of it. This is where we need to strike the delicate balance between personal relationships and the expectations of transparency, accountability, and integrity that come with public service. Therefore, we all have joint responsibilities in rebuilding our beloved country Nigeria.

In conclusion, permit me to share with you the profound words of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, an American attorney and author who served as the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, being married to former president Barack Obama. Michelle says ‘BECOMIMG’ is not about arriving somewhere but evolving. The former first lady, eloquently posited: “The very idea of a black woman as the First lady of the US was unthinkable. This is a classic masterpiece from Michelle Obama’s memoir ‘BECOMING’ reminiscing our current situation today as a nation.

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The aforementioned underscores the very essence of ‘Truth, a country’s history which always reminded the inhabitants that the place for black women and white women are different makes it beyond the bounds of possibility to imagine such a thing happening. In history, while there was constant discrimination, ‘white lady restrooms’ within a building and a separate one for ‘colored women’, colored was not called out honorifically and looked down upon for generations — Becoming, came close to decoding the last decade where Michelle becomes the First lady with the weight of this demeaning history.

Then, of course, whenever there are challenges, It is a sign that something good is coming but if only you overcome it. Nigeria will be great again if we adopt the principles of eternal vigilance in distressed circumstances. Let me, therefore, sign off with the phrase ‘This Too Shall Pass’.

Richard Odusanya

Richard Odusanya
@Richard_Odusanya is 9News Nigeria special guest writer on Politics, Africanism, African Emancipation and Humanitarianism
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