Let us pray for Nigerians

January 31, 2017 OPINION/NEWS


Prince Charles Dickson

A bimo ko gbon, a ni ko ma saa ku; ki ni npa omo bi aigbon? (A child lacks wisdom, and some say that what is important is that the child does not die; what kills more surely than lack of wisdom?)


Pray–to offer devout petition, praise, thanks to (God or an object of worship), plead: to call upon for help, entreat.

Enemy–A person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another: an adversary, an assailant, foe, attacker, and a bad person.


Some five years ago I wrote this essay under the topic “Praying for Nigeria’s enemies”, today it is imperative like we don’t know it, that there is a need to pray for ourselves since we hardly do anything than pray…

Sitting in the back pew; it was one of those revival services conducted by one of those Nigerian “god of men”.

He had finished his sermon, in my heart I reflected on how many million Nigerians were in church that Sunday morning, add that to the millions that were at Jumma’h services a Friday earlier and those whose worship days are other days and Saturdays. Another several million worship one-thing-some-thing…

The speaker had talked about praying for our leaders. He said that it was unfortunate with the APC managed change mantra, we still suffered leadership deficit. He lamented the poor quality of leaders, and the lack of focus, he complained about citizenry too, for a ‘penterascal’ preacher I was pleasantly surprised.

After 30 minutes we were asked to stand up, I did and a prayer minister, one beautiful fair damsel instructed us (congregation) to pray for Nigeria. I did, I always do anyway, after few minutes, she asked that we pray, bind and strangely again loose our enemies. I was struck as I watched the drama. The muttering started, others wailed, some were even crying. The minister, that’s what she was called, kept screaming intermittently into the microphone–Pray, pray, tell God to destroy them.

Well not to be left out, I snapped out and prayed I did–There was nothing to lose in praying. Our leaders won’t work but pray and attend prayer fellowships–You too reading this, please pray.

Civil servants after committing all sorts of crimes will still pray. Students will not read, they are told to pray for retentive memory and bind the demon of failure and the rest is simplista! Our football teams and sports representatives do not make preparations for tournaments, they just lazy up, about and around and ask Nigerians to pray for them.

With leaders like ours, who were ever ready to loot, and destroy and citizens who pray and wish their president dead…looking for enemies was no hard task, Father Lord punish and destroy them, I prayed and petitioned ‘my God’ to punish all those looting Nigeria, I prayed for His vengeance on members of the Judiciary, Executive, and Legislatives (past, current and future ones) that were part of the lootocracy.

I called on the terrestrials above to punish even to five generations those who through their actions insist that Nigerians will not have constant, reliable electricity.

I beseeched the god of my ancestors to punish in full measure, leaders, teachers, professors, parents that have contributed to a fallen standard of education. Those that have contributed to the educational rot, I asked Ifa to make sure they watch their wards rot away.

Be they in APC, PDP, JNI, CAN, traditional institutions, youth bodies, and opinion leaders and all that trouble Nigeria and conspire to keep it perpetually on her knees. I prayed that Orumila expose them, bring them to justice as we have by our actions accepted that we cannot do anything much but pray.

I prayed against those enemies that are responsible for potholes, death traps on our roads, that theirs to will meet their waterloo in those roads that they could have facilitated its repair but choose to turn a blind eye to.

While we face hard and trying times, tightening belts in almost disappearing waists, I prayed that those whose harmful designs of cannibalistic theft has denied the larger populace quality healthcare, infrastructural development, clean and portable water, good roads and functional education will be cut off in gruesome manner, like horror movies their lives will be a crate of unprecedented disaster both in public and private.

Enemies of Nigeria, I screamed, may they be beseeched with problems beyond them. You are a contractor, you have collected the upfront, shared it with the ruling party, the governor’s wife, son and aides, and the drugs were not supplied–God will hammer you o!

I shouted, you are a rapist, a kidnapper, an armed and pen robber. You sell question papers for qualifying exams, you are a crooked pastor, imam and voodoo priest, may the Almighty Allah reward you in same portion you have dealt others with…

So I prayed for Nigerians, pleading for help from a high deity to deal with persons that engage in antagonistic activities against Nigeria and her people, calling for some form of help to deal with harmful persons. Like enemies that wished the President dead, I swore prayerfully at them, the same way I cursed his handlers that cannot simply put together facts regarding the president who, though he’s entitled to every form of leave, vacation, and privacy, remains a public office holder thus loosing such rights.

I had lost count of the prayers that have been said and the spiritual reflections since we started the current democratic journey, prayers we said during Obasanjo, prayers for Yar’adua, I wondered about all those visiting prophets and imans, I wondered why we are still the way we are, with all the problems of the world bearing down our neck.

I was now sweating and the fair lady signaled for us to stop. I did, like many of us; we sang some songs of victory. She told us that God has answered our prayers and that the devil was in trouble in Nigeria–I pondered over that last comment and thinking, a foolish child is not much better than a dead child. I walked away wondering if God answered these prayers, many of us would curse rather than pray for Nigeria’s enemies because that’s what they deserve. The day cometh when action backed prayers will be said, no one will escape that day, and like all seasons—Only time will tell.










Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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