Tuesday, May 09, 2006
The Heart Beat of the People
I cleared my desk for the week and prepared to go for the usual Friday evening prayer meeting in church. When I got outside my office, a different idea set into my mind and I found myself contemplating whether to board a vehicle to church (spend approx. N700 for a return journey) or go home free of charge by following a senior colleague.
There was a strong battle between my flesh and spirit. Whaoo... the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, but at the end of the day, The spirit always wins! Shout Halleluyah somebody!
The spirit won and I got on the next cab to attend the church service. At the entrance the flesh set in again, I saw a guy conversing with an usher at the entrance of the church and he was asking series of questions about what was going on inside the church, from the discussion, I discovered that the usual prayer meeting was not holding and the church building was being used as a venue for a special programme.
Oh, oh, I had missed my free ride for a service which was not holding. I stood by till the guy finished with his questioning and with dismay, I asked the usher, can we attend the program? To my amazement he said yes...... but with a but...... I had to register. I was already calculating the remaining money I had in my bag which was what I had left for the weekend, I asked how much it would cost me to register and with a churchly smile, he said.... 'Nothing, just put down your name and address'. I ran to the registration desk, did as was directed and went back to the entrance and the usher ushered me into the church.
I got in and joined in the praise and worship going on, after a while into the service, a man in flowing agbada accompanied by a number of people entered the church from the entrance at the back of the altar. I was able to recognise the man as Prof. Jerry Gana, a member of the Obasanjo cabinet.
Well, the service was fantastic particularly because it was on issues which were of great importance which burns with passion in me – Nigeria. We prayed and prophesied into Nigeria and we had horns to make declarations.
After about three prayer sessions, the main coordinator of the program, Pastor Kure came on and said he would like to introduce someone that was suppose to 'prophetically declare the program open with a message from Mr. President. He called on Prof. Jerry Gana to come up to the pulpit ....few claps and many murmurings from the congregation....
Prof. Gana began his speech, spoke about the guest minister who came in from the U.S and how it was important for us to continue to pray for Nigeria. At a point he mentioned that the President was inviting the guest minister to come to Aso Rock, the presidential villa to attend their monthly prayer meeting, the guest minister stood up and took a bow, .....no reaction from the congregation........
I guess Prof. Gana was astonished at this reaction, he reiterated the message of the president and added that he expected us to rejoice at the mention of Mr. President .......VERY few members of the congregation stood up and clapped....... excluding me.
I looked around the building and saw sullen faces, angry faces, numb looks etc, the atmosphere was COLD. Just with a look, you could decipher what the majority of the people were thinking. Certainly, not good thoughts about Mr. President and most likely not about his acclaimed dividends of democracy either.
I think we got that reaction because we were not a pre-organized crowd and not in a political incited gathering, we were real people, the real Nigerians and we gave the real reaction to what millions of Nigerians think about the impact of our President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on our country.
That was the heart beat of the people of Nigeria.
Mr. President, please take a pause and feel the pulse.