The weekend has been a busy one for me, but then I had to be at my church programme. I attend Latter Rain Assembly, a church where my passions had found its nest for the past six years. The Latter Rain Assembly is one place that is definitely passionate about Nigeria than any other Church I know in Nigeria. Legacy Youth Fellowship is the name given to the youth arm of the Church, and they had previously launched a campaign whose mission is to carry out the message of the new Nigeria to all the nook and crannies of the nation using the instrumentality of the youths in collaboration with other youth organizations and Churches. Though I have been a very silent participant in the programmes, I became keenly interested when they gave expression to these passions by organizing an open discussion,” Obama: is it possible in Nigeria? ” . Of course, if the Obama fever has not been given interpretation in your country, then it will soon be. I even heard some Irish individuals have even claimed ownership of 13% of him by saving there was some Irish blood in his lineage. Talk about success having so many fathers.
The speakers included Dare Babarinsa, of Tell Magazine, Gbenga Sesan of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria and Fela Durotoye CEO Visible Impact. In a compelling manner these speakers presented informative, apt and incisive presentations
Without giving a doubt about the depth of his knowledge in the fight for democracy, Mr. Dare Babarinsa began by critically asking if really Obama was a black man. Yes, He was skin-black by birth, but nurtured by white people. So what really made him the kind of person he is today? His nature or nurture? He also acceded to the fact that the progress of the American state has been made possible because of the contribution of Africans and blacks in general.
He began to challenge the notion and idea of Christians’ non-participation in politics. He said we want change, but not participation. We’d rather go to the expressway to pray for change than to join the dirty water of politics; therefore since wise people find it difficult to join politics, fools will rule them. I’m sure he is sending a message to his hometown in Ekiti State where intellectualism and thuggery are trying to find definition. He called for three different armies in Nigeria; an army of hard working people, an army of intellectuals and an army of educated Christian rulers.
Fela Durotoye moved in for the kill as he stepped in. he brought a different perspective to it by introducing the fact that what Obama has done is already imaginable, and therefore can be countered. But then it becomes a launching pad for what another person will/can do to actualize their dreams. God has told us we will do what eyes have not seen therefore, there is capacity in the gathering such that a greater than Obama is here. While trying to illustrate that in tackling our obstacles we should realise we only need to find the way through the obstacle thereby giving rise to the key (vision), handle (passion) and hinges (action) of the door.
He declares that the vision determines influence and nobody will reward us for having a dream (neither will God reward LRA for having a prophesy) we must deliver the dream. He declared he had never seen an award given to someone who wanted to do something. The people we call extraordinary people, are ordinary people who believe in their dreams, follow their dreams and achieve their dreams. He challenged everyone to deliver the future so that we can start achieving the future in little steps.
By the time Gbenga was coming up, everyone was already fired up by a multimedia presentation on our expensive democracy. Gbenga in his characteristic manner gave a parable of a boy who told people in his class he could walk on water. After days of saying this, his classmates dragged him to the seashore to try what he had always promised, after succeeding in the test they asked him how it became possible, and he told them that while he was saying that, he would go to the seashore and throw stones into the water. He moved on to ask us where we are throwing stones today because of our dreams tomorrow, he asked if we were actually reading books to build the future, or reading to pass time. He charged us by saying; anyone can walk on water, if you know where to step.
As if I knew he won’t forget, he mentioned how his education, his teachers and his background tried to limit him giving examples from his various schools. He ended by saying any one can change this country, change their destiny, if they are angry enough to take action, to do something.
Pastor Rotimi of the youth fellowship finally rounded up the meeting with lessons and prayers.
It was a good one but I think a lot more needs to be done. We have spent too much time thinking and talking of what we need to do and the things we have left undone. Even people who were asked to ask questions had more to add to what the speakers have said. These discussions are already going on in our offices, rooms, bus stops but then some people are already doing things to ensure that our dreams will be mortgaged. Some people are already ensuring that the next elections will not bring surprises like the Obama movement rendered the Clinton machinery powerless.
We need ideas; we all need to dance to the same drum beats in every language. Who will reach the agberos and NURTW officials who are the potentials weapons at a price? Who will educate our populace on what true electioneering means and not exchange their future for money at the polls. How will we tackle some demagogues in power who will stop at nothing to ensure the populace are suppressed in hunger, depression and a desperate battle for survival while they feed fat on the nation’s resources?
We have too many people believing this dream already. It took less than 500 foot soldiers to capture Nigeria. It took less than a 20-man committee to ensure he Obama fever spreads to every nation; it took Jesus 12 men to “torch” the world. It’s true; we have never lacked ideas of how we should solve our problems. The problem is like the house where the community of rats in a house have decided to bell that cat, but then, who will?