By Uju Okorie
In 1976, school children in Soweto, South Africa began protesting about one aspect of the systemic oppression of the Apartheid regime.
The government of the day met them with fierce violence and an estimated 700 students were murdered in cold blood.
That massacre was a major turning point in South Africa’s history.
Post-massacre, the African National Congress, the party that led South Africa to its eventual victory over apartheid gained much stronger grounds.
That country was never the same again.
The South African government stank throughout the world as a result of that massacre and the stench did not leave for many years to come.
The massacre strengthened the spine of the black community, rather than weaken it. Protests continued. Voices continued to rise. Songs continued to be composed. The people refused to back down. And eventually Mandela was freed.
The government of Nigeria has replicated the same thing with the Lekki Massacre.
This time, we saw it live.
This time, we have better media to amplify our voices.
This time, the stench is stronger and more widespread.
I feel very strongly in my soul that there is a spiritual dimension to what is going on in this country. But still, we’ve got roles to play.
I shall highlight one of them in this post.
I would call it EVANGELISM.
We all know that the protests were begun by enlightened, mainly middle class people.
We had the poise and panache and could easy bring the entire world on our side.
But there is another group of equally aggrieved young people whose opportunities for good education the corrupt system in our country has destroyed. We failed to carry this group along. So while they watched the posh children speak English with the placards, they wondered what their role was going to be. Until the criminal organisation that is our government hired them. It became thugs vs peaceful protesters.
Methinks that as is the usual, the government lost control of them and we now have the problem we have in our hands. Thugs burning, looting and destroying businesses and institutions.
And this brings me to my point again.
I have been a Christian for a long time and I know first hand how powerful evangelism is.
When my friend Ngozi told me she had become a Christian, I burst into tears.
I had no idea that all the lifestyle evangelism I had been doing for years were taking any effect. Ngozi is now a pastor as I speak and way more fervent than I am.
The protest should now take the dimension of preaching the gospel of a new Nigeria to everyone.
And especially, to those underprivileged young people called thugs and hoodlums. We see them everyday, walking aimlessly, waiting for the next 2K so they could carry ballot boxes, maim and kill.
What if we took off our designers and went to their hoods to preach?
“The politician wey dey use you spoil things, where im children dey? Them dey America dey enjoy, you dey collect 2K to spoil your own children future. Guy, reason am.”
What if we went to the motor parks, mounted our speakers like those tradomedical people at Ariaria shouting “O na-ako gi oko na private part? Bia were ogwu ya ebe a!!”; what if we preached a new Nigeria instead?
In a rota.
Day in, day out; till 2023.
As one who has been involved in evangelism myself, I assure you with everything in me that we would win those boys over.
Come 2022, our corrupt politicians would have no one to do their dirty business for them.
E go shock them!
While we pray (intercessors, our tongues of fire blast still), we should make evangelism a strategy.
The baby is still in the birth canal.
Vitals are still stable.
CTG trace, still satisfactory.
The only factor that needs augmenting is maternal motivation.
Friends, we push still.
We push from the spiritual.
We push from the physical.
This corrupt system will crack, buckle and break into pieces.
Thank you for reading.
Uju Okorie is a Nigerian political commentator.