State of The Nation: Prayers will take Nigeria nowhere — Bishop Bernard
Lill|Aug. 10, 2019
By Egufe Yafugborhi
Ufuoma Bernard, Bishop, The Godist Church, in this reflection on state of the Nigerian nation in a chat with Vanguard in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, says prayers from an extreme wealth crazy clergy of latter day Church will never bail the nation out of its woes, but would rather aggravate the pains of the majority of the suffering masses.
Pervasive conducts of Nigeria’s religious leaders
Religion is supposed to be transcendental, it is supposed to be about service. A church is supposed to be non profit. But today, educational institutions owned by churches, both orthodox and new generation, are so expensive and members of the church pay same fees with non members even when they pay tithes and offering that raise the schools for the church.
There is scrambling for money today in churches. There is corruption in today’s religion. If you want to render service, why fight for it, why lobby for it? The church is in a society, it cannot be better than the society. Today it seems the church has been overwhelmed by the society.
What Jesus preached was ‘go ye into the world and change the world’, but today, the world has entered into the church and has changed the focus of the church. When society becomes very poor, religion becomes very rich, because when government cannot take care of basic needs of the people, they run to the church.
It is not as if the church takes care of their needs. What the church does at the end of the day is abracadabra. If the church needs anything, the church comes to the members to contribute. But if the members come to the church for anything, the church tells the members “my God will do it for you”.
Taming the capitalist obsessed clergy
I advice government to regulate church. No pastor should turn the church to a family business. No child of a founder should take over the church from him. I request that the minimum of a valid diploma in theology should be a requirement before anybody is made pastor.
I also suggest that where Nigerians should congregate as a church should be a safe place, a decent place. The church should be sanitized, the church should be moderated. If the church is moderated, then I believe every money churches make will be accounted for. The churches today is just like a personal property of the pastor. It ought not be so.
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Nigeria’s biggest enemy
The biggest enemies of Nigerians are politicians. They are not at all God fearing. Our politicians don’t get into politics to serve the masses but to provide for themselves. They are not there to provide security for the masses but themselves. Our politicians do not have thinking plan. God is a thinker.
I suggest the national assembly enact laws that will prohibit politicians from sending their children abroad for education. A politician who will not allow his children to school, access healthcare here in Nigeria, politician who will not eat with Nigerians must not be allowed to serve Nigerians.
And the Nigerian government must get it right with adequate and uninterrupted electricity supply in Nigeria and political positions should be made short terms. If a politician can’t perform well in his first term, he must not be allowed to go back and continue.
Faulty Nigerian system needs overhaul, not restructuring
“The Nigerian system is faulty so the system needs to be corrected. Nigeria does not need restructuring because Nigeria is already restructured. The Afenifere, Niger Delta, IPOB and others are calling for restructuring, but I say there is no need for restructuring. What we need is a system overhaul. What is my context of overhaul you may want to know.
My appeal to those in power is that Nigeria will never make progress until we make sure recurrent expenditure falls to 40% minimum, then capital expenditure goes to 60%. As it stands now, it is only 20% that is budgeted for capital expenditure, while 80% goes to recurrent expenditure and that 80% only services 1% of the population, politicians and the payment of civil servants salaries and emolument.
With National Assembly in place, restructuring is in place, we don’t need a National Conference. The legislators are in place. They should find out a prudent way to ensure the nation makes enough money, because every year you see them budgeting money for this and that, but the truth is that at the end of the day, there is even no cash. They don’t allocate the money but you will see the budget of eight trillion.
If they can free resources for capital projects and actually undertake these projects, we can breach our infrastructural deficits. Because the problem with Nigeria is infrastructural deficits. As it stands now, 25% is to infrastructure, 5% to GDP. For an economy like ours to be able to grow at 8-10% we need 75% GDP to infrastructure and we can only achieve this if capital expenditure goes up and recurrent expenditure comes down.
So the government should look at this critically, so that they can free money for security, for electricity, for health, for education. I believe with these components, the economy will move on. It is not prayer, prayer will not take us anywhere.
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Making the difference with Godism
Godism which is the message of God is an uncommon church. Godism has come to correct religious fallacies. Great religions are built on ideas, Godism is more like a refinery on mankind. Religion is dangerous, religion enslaves people. Godism can help Nigeria if Nigerians can adapt to it. It is sheer service to God and mankind. Godism Church was first rediscovered by me in 1985 in Lagos state at the age of 21. So every 7th August of every year the church anniversary iscelebrated. This year marks the 48th anniversary.
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