Some might be aware that the Holy Spirit chose to foretell to us the divine plans for the political future of our nation, especially at the federal level, many times, years ahead of the actual historical events. This has enabled us to contribute our quota to ensuring that the church prays aright.
O’ EARTH! PREPARE FOR WHAT IS COMING SHORTLY! Please before you read this article below I would like you to please give yourself answers to the following three questions. Do you agree that these 3 (three) things must happen before the return of JESUS CHRIST (incorporating Rapture and War of Armageddon):
- Increasing Despondency, Despoiling, Difficulty and Desperation of Life on Earth?
- World scale Revival and Awakening leading to Re-unification of the Church of God and the Great World Harvest?
- 7 years of Tribulation on Earth unleashed by Satan’s man – the Beast from the Sea aka The Anti-Christ?
The earth is 6, 014 (six thousand and fourteen) years old from Adam to Today (as I write this article 28th October, 2014). In the eyes of God the Earth is 6 (six) days old (3 Peter 3: 8, Psalms 90: 4). God divided the time frame of Earth into 2 (two) days each (that is 2000 years) of 3 (three) different dispensations for mankind and left the last 7th day (that is 1000 years) for the rest of Earth under the Government and Leadership of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9: 6 – 7, Zechariah 14: 9 – 11, Mathew 25: 31). This is what is commonly called the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ (Revelations 20: 1 – 7, Daniel 7: 9, 18, 22, and 27).
Major Events of Each 2000 Years For each 2000 years of earth and human history God allowed 3 major worldwide events to happen. These events transcended the whole earth and mankind:
1st 2000 years (From Adam & Eve to Noah’s Age is 2000 years)
- The deluge of Noah – Genesis 6 – 9.
- Division of Earth into Continents and Islands – Genesis 10: 25.
- Confusing and multiplication of languages – Genesis 11: 6 – 9.
2nd 2000 years (From Noah’s Age to Jesus’ time on Earth is 2000 years)
- The Birth of Jesus Christ – Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.
- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts of the Apostles.
- The Day of Pentecost – Grand Arrival of the Holy Ghost – Luke 24: 49, Acts 1: 4 – 5, 8; 2: 1 – 47.
3rd 2000 years (From Jesus’ time on Earth to year AD 2000 is 2000 years)
- World scale Revival and Awakening – This will give birth to the Re-unification of the Church of God and the Great World Harvest (Haggai 2: 6 – 9, Mathew 24: 14, Romans 10: 18, John 12: 19; 17: 20 – 21, Luke 2: 30; 3: 6, Isaiah 32: 15 – 20; 40: 9 – 11; 44: 3 – 8; 45: 8; 52: 7 – 12; 62: 11 – 12).
- 7 years of Tribulation on Earth and Reign of the Anti-Christ.
- Return of Jesus Christ (featuring Rapture and War of Armageddon).
Delay of the Return of Jesus Christ, but not anymore!
This present Generation and Age is actually the one for the return of Jesus Christ, even though many have died and gone expecting Jesus Christ to return. Jesus Christ has delayed His return for a purpose (3 Peter 3: 9) and He hinted us of this delay in Mathew 25: 1 – 13 especially in verse 5 and in Hebrews 10: 35 – 39 especially in verse 37. Please also see Isaiah Chapters 24 to 29. But He also warned severally that He will return suddenly when many will be asleep, some tired of waiting for His return and some saying or not believing that He will return again. When Jesus Christ returns the Christians will be divided into the WISE and FOOLISH VIRGINS and WICKED SERVANTS while the rest are the DOGS WITHOUT.
This delay is on now for approximately 14 (fourteen) years, counting from year AD 2000 to year AD 2014. Remember the world apprehension and brouhaha of the year 2000 – millennium bug, Y2K compliant and all that. It was because the world and even the Church expected a spectacular event to occur like the return of Jesus Christ on entering year 2000 but nothing happened. Jesus Christ has delayed His coming primarily because:
- The Church is in a sorry and sinful state and thus not ready for Him.
- The Church of God is still splintered and sectarian; this is giving Satan a field’s day because a house divided against itself cannot stand. The Church must Re-unify in Holiness before Jesus Christ is to return as we had in the Bible book of Acts of the Apostles.
- God’s Global Revival and Salvation Blueprint has not been activated or executed yet for the Global Harvest to come in.
- The other event I mentioned in the 3rd 2000 years are also yet to occur
This is the final move of God, the final flood of God’s Spirit, that is, the consummation of His End Time plan. When all these things happen in the order I have mentioned them then the stage will be set for the return of Jesus Christ and then Jesus, the Bridegroom will call for His Bride and say: “Come up hither” , then He will return in Power and Glory as He said in Mathew 24: 29 – 31.
In summary God totalled this earth to exist for only 7 (seven) days, that is, 7000 (seven thousand) years and for Satan, the god of this world to hold sway for only 6000 (six thousand) years plus. God is a master planner and declares the end from the beginning. God is also right on time and never late. Look unto the sovereign Lord and you will never be ashamed. Earth! Prepare for what is coming shortly! Hallelujah! Keep the Flag flying and the Oil burning. Maran’atha. – Bro. Yusuf Rufa’i
President, Yusuf Rufa’i Gospel Library Foundation (YURUGOLF) Lagos, Nigeria Tel: +234 80 28 78 28 91, 70 55 55 41 88 Web: www.ambassadoryususufrufai.blogspot.com www.redeemedpeople.blogspot.com www.facebook.com/ambassadoryusufrufai
WHY THE CHURCH IS WITHERING? Amos 5: 21-24: “I hate all your show and pretence—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry.”
Romans 12: 2: “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”
Church! What plagues thee? Church what ailed thee? The Church is made up of individuals who ought to have been called out from the dirty rest of the world. So, if the Church is still sinful or outwardly converted but inwardly unchanged, then it is because there is no true and scriptural repentance on the part of the individuals who make up the Church. I have a question for you: Did the world creep into the Church or did the Church creep into the world? 5 Very Big Problems of the Church
- If a supposedly follower of Jesus Christ is not separated from sin, he or she will be a gateway for evil to enter the fellowship or church
- If a person is not separated from self; (that is, flesh or carnality), he or she will hinder the move of the Holy Spirit
- If on the other hand, the individual is not separated from the world, a gate has been opened for covetousness, greed and hypocrisy to enter the fellowship or church
- The absence of oneness, love and accord in the body of Christ. With each group believing the lie that it can go or do it all alone. Jesus never meant this for His Church. The enemy through men has done this. Often it is difficult to find the Church in communities or nations agree on a common theme talk less of globally
- Making do with a sinful, disobedient, faithless, fearful, compromising, unregenerate, merchandising clergy and leadership
What is the Solution?
- The Church must acknowledge her sins, judge herself and put away evil and wicked persons in her midst even if it is in the leadership (1 Cor. 5: 9 – 13, Amos 5: 10, 14 – 15, Joel 2: 12 – 17)
- Repentance must be genuine and complete (Matt. 3: 2; 4: 17, Phil. 2: 12, 2 Pet. 1: 5 – 11, 2 Cor. 6: 14 – 18; 7: 1)
- Be absolutely obedient to Jesus Christ who purchased the Church with His blood and yield completely to the Holy Spirit whom the Church is sealed with. Men do not own the Church , it belongs to the Holy Ghost
The foundation for a fruitful and successful Christian life or church is genuine repentance and discipleship. The lack of these produces false Christianity or church. It is a hard truth. If as a Christian you cannot stay away from sin and evil, or the fruits in your life consistently reflect sin and evil, then you are not a Christian or church of God.
If the Church is to follow Jesus Christ into Glory and Bliss or be the Church of power, filled with and regularly experiencing the mighty move of the Holy Ghost, the solutions espoused above must happen or else the Church will reap what she sows. Prepare to meet your God, O Church! (Amos 4: 12).
THE SPRING RAIN IS HERE AGAIN
Joel 2: 23: New Living Translation “Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rains he sends are an expression of his grace. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.
King James Version “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.”
Contemporary English Version “People of Zion, celebrate in honour of the LORD your God! He is generous and has sent the Autumn and Spring rains.”
Revised Standard Version “Be glad, O sons of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD, your God; for he has given the Early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you Abundant rain, the Early and the Latter rain, as before.” Everyone who is a child of God and of Jesus Christ please join me in thanking God. Please lift up your voice with mirth in praises to God. Please do this because He has released the SPRING RAIN. The LATTER RAIN is pouring forth now. The SPRING RAIN DISPENSATION according to God’s calendar and plan is here – it has come. It is the last before the close of the farming season and thus the last before the close of the Age.
Church of God, child of God, Minister of God, if you have been waiting or expecting the Power, the Anointing, the Blessings and Angelic visitations OF OLD I make bold to declare to you by the Spirit of God that the One who made the Heaven and Earth has released it. Rejoice and be glad! What we have been anticipating earnestly has been released in DOUBLE MEASURE!
“Instead of your shame you shall have a DOUBLE PORTION; instead of dishonour you shall rejoice in your lot; therefore in your land you shall possess a DOUBLE PORTION; yours shall be everlasting joy” Isaiah 61:7 (RSV).
Rejoice! Rejoice Church of God, Rejoice people of God; it is here with us now. Consider the testimony below of Ben Bernard of Gereja, in far away Malaysia and run with this Knowledge and Grace: “Recently, the Lord began to speak to my son (15 years old) Joshua about Bishop David Oyedepo through dreams and open visions. The Lord told him about the new assignment He gave to the Bishop concerning A GREAT REAWEKENING THAT WOULD TAKE PLACE IN THE WORLD. Based on these revelations and impartation from the books (Bishop’s books), the Lord instructed us to embark on a journey to Africa to see the Bishop. So, we obeyed. One of the things the Lord told us to say to him was concerning the new place of double portion He was about to take him to, which was backed up with JOEL 2: 23. God repeated DOUBLE PORTION continuously and I could hear clearly that IT WAS TIME FOR THE SPRING RAIN” (Culled from a news letter Encounter with Destiny through Books by Bishop David Oyedepo, 2013).
What is the Spring rain for? It is for the Great Reawakening or the Global Harvest and for the spreading of the Cities of God with the presence of God that is on the verge. And these shall be the result of the Spring rain in the House of God and among the peoples of God: “The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with wine and olive oil” Joel 2: 24 (NLT). “Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem” Zechariah 1: 17 (KJV). Learn more Former Rain (First or Autumn) & Latter Rain (Spring). Its presence denotes God’s favour and its absence denotes God’s displeasure. Deut. 11: 13 – 17, Job 29: 23, Prov. 16: 15, Jer. 3: 3; 5: 24, Hosea 6: 3, Zech. 10: 1, James 5: 7.
O’ Lord thank you for Raining down the Anointing and Blessings.
THE EVOLUTION OF BOKO HARAM (1)
Muhammed Yusuf, founder of “Boko Haram” (BH) was a devout student and follower of Sheik Jafar Mohammed, a notable and influential Islamic scholar before he encountered a radical ideology (modelled on the Afghan Taliban) which counselled a total boycott of democracy, government and Western education. Yusuf was attracted to this ‘pure’ form of Islam which led to a confrontation with his former mentor, who regarded such teachings as extremist, and who was later assassinated, probably by Yusuf’s followers in Kano in 2007. Shehu Sani claims that BH’s actual origin dates back to 1995 when it was called Sahaba and led by one Abubakar Lawan who later proceeded to the University of Medina for studies, paving way for Yusuf’s takeover. Some others trace the “Boko Haram” tendency to the Maitatsine group of the 1980’s. The group is however formally believed to have started in Maiduguri in 2002.
The group’s formal name is Jama’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’wati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad) though observers nicknamed them “Boko Haram” (consistent with their teachings and conduct) which meant “western education is sacrilege/sin/forbidden”. They seek to abolish the secular Nigerian constitution in favour of an Islamic state, and want to establish a complete Sharia based state in the 19 Northern States and all over Nigeria. Sometimes known as “Yusuffiya” after its founder, BH also abhors banking, taxation and western jurisprudence/court systems and regarded the mixing of boys and girls in schools improper. Yusuf also rejected scientific explanations for natural phenomenon. It appears clear (and was recently admitted by the new leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, a hard-line assistant of Yusuf now reportedly based in Qoundere, Cameroun) that the group’s membership include Chadians, Nigeriens, Cameroonians and other non-Nigerians and its organisational structure provided for “Amirs” in Chad and Niger!
Yusuf’s landlord and in-law, late Baba Fugu, allowed him to build a mosque in the railway quarters area of Maiduguri, and along with Shekau, Yusuf developed his “state-within-a-state”-including a cabinet, a ruling council (Shura Council), departments, brigade of guards, military wing (with the “armies” recruited from the large pool of “Almajiris”), Hisbah, a large farm and court with Yusuf as judge! As Yusuf’s empire expanded, there is little doubt that the security agencies and the Nigerian state were aware of these developments. But in its dysfunctional state, they either looked the other way, or when security warned their counsel was ignored! Yusuf’s message resonated with the large number of pious, poor, uneducated, unemployed and disaffected youth and even some undergraduates and University lecturers joined his ranks. As his influence expanded, Boko Haram became attractive to politicians and soon was to form an “alliance” with the Borno State Government under Senator Ali Modu Sherriff who became governor in 2003. Sherriff appointed one of Yusuf’s associates, Alhaji Buji Foi as Commissioner for Religious Affairs and Water Resources and took the group under his wings, further expanding their influence and power and making Yusuf quite wealthy.
There was a political and social context to all this. Modu Sherriff was an opposition ANPP governor who was ready to use any means possible to defend his power base from the marauding PDP. Sherriff and his fellow ANPP governors as well as their presidential candidate, then Muhammadu Buhari had championed what Obasanjo called “political Sharia” to insulate themselves from the ruling PDP onslaught.BH expanded to Bauchi, Yobe, Kano and other Northern States, and quite plausibly helped ANPP sustain their holds on Borno and Yobe and to capture Bauchi and Kano from the PDP. Then Sherriff and Yusuf fell apart! Knowing the power of his Frankenstein creation, Sherriff (and Isa Yuguda who having secured power on the ANPP platform had headed back to PDP) launched a “pre-emptive” (in Yuguda’s words) strike against BH between July 26 and 29, 2009 routing the group in Bauchi, Maiduguri, Yobe and Kano States… or so it then seemed! It was convenient to all concerned to kill Yusuf, Boi and Baba Fugu! Meanwhile, the political environment was changing in favour of BH’s narrative! President Yar’adua who gave the order to crush BH died and Northern politicians, Imams, Emirs, and elite appeared unhappy that his Vice-Prsident, Jonathan, a Southern Christian would take-over from him. To make things worse, Jonathan proceeded to contest and win the 2011 elections against Northern threats and intimidation.
BH duly underwent a transformation. To provide troops, jail breaks were organized-on September 8, 2010 from Bauchi Prisons; and Yola Prisons on April 22, 2011-where detained members were freed. A transition in terms of funding, logistics, training, operational capabilities, intelligence and audacity was also evident. How and who oversaw these transformations? At the latest, by January 2010 when BH launched its Jihad with its first terrorist attack in Maiduguri, it may have been linked with Al Queda as recently confirmed by the Nigerian foreign minister. From ride-by shootings on “okadas” in Maiduguri and environs, they graduated to audacious attacks on police headquarters in Abuja; and the Christmas day bombing of the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State! Suicide bombings also came into the mix!
The suspicious circumstances of the “escape” of Kabiru “Sokoto” (of Biu), the alleged Madalla bomber in the custody of Zakari Biu confirms that BH may have links high up in the police, security agencies, traditional and religious establishment, and political and elite circles.
The Evolution of Boko Haram (2)
It seems Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda was instrumental in persuading late President Yar’adua to curtail the menace of “Boko Haram”. Yuguda having decamped from PDP to ANPP, duly won the governorship in 2007. He subsequently became Yar’adua’s son-in-law, and returned to the PDP, possibly losing some political goodwill in the process. He may have dreaded returning to the electorate in 2011 with “Boko Haram” roaming free in Bauchi! I have previously noted that having fallen out with the sect, then Borno governor Modu Sherriff was also eager to see off Boko Haram. When security forces turned on “Boko Haram”, between July 26 and 29, they responded in a surprising manner- in Maiduguri, they exacted “revenge” in a perverse manner by turning on the nearest Christians!
While under attack from the army and the police, Muhammed Yusuf ordered his followers to capture hundreds of Christians. The male captives had a simple choice-renounce your faith or die! For the females, it was renounce your faith or stay as captives, meaning slavery, servitude or worse! The worst treatment was reserved for Christian clergymen- three pastors were beheaded with the executioners shouting “Allah Akbar” in wild celebrations accompanied by celebratory gunfire. Pastor George Orjih of Goodnews Church Wulari, Maiduguri was one of the three. Muhammed Yusuf personally urged him to renounce his faith and live, to which the Pastor rejected and instead actually preached to Yusuf to accept the Christian salvation! Incensed, Yusuf ordered his immediate slaughter! Fortunately for most of the captives, the government prevailed in that confrontation and most of them were released after Yusuf’s capture.
Once it launched its Jihad in 2010, Boko Haram has had four categories of targets-specific Islamic clerics who disagreed with its teachings or methods; government and security institutions and personnel; institutions which they considered abhorrent to Islam-particularly hotels and beer parlours; and Christians and/Churches. It is easy to understand why they would attack the first three groups-opposing Islamic clerics could potentially undermine their theology and legitimacy; government and security agencies had attacked and killed their leaders; the disdain Moslems are supposed to have for alcohol and prostitution is well-known. The resort to targeting Churches and Christians who till then had played no part whatsoever in this essentially intra-Muslim quarrel was inexplicable- the then president, governors of all states in which BH were attacked, the then National Security Adviser, etc., all being Muslims. The trend of BH were attacking Churches and Christians has since accelerated, rather than decline culminating in the Christmas Day 2010 attacks on Churches in Jos; 2011 bombing of the Madalla Church and killings in Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Borno, Bauchi, Niger and Plateau States.
As previously stated, one can observe a clear transition from BH when it was pre-occupied with local politics in the North-East and Kano, and the newer version which seems to have a national or even international agenda (evidenced by the attack on the UN headquarters). It is clear that BH has been influenced by Nigerian politics in general, and the North-South power struggle that ensued after Yar’adua’s death in particular. Indeed, it is possible to interpret their January 2, 2012 ultimatum on Southerners to leave the North in explicit political terms-perhaps an attempt to reverse the April 2011 scenario in which a Christian Southerner obtained twenty-five per cent of the votes or more in most Northern States! One could also draw a parallel between the objectives of this ultimatum and the post-election violence which erupted across Northern Nigeria last April. Northern politicians such as Adamu Ciroma, Lawal Kaita, Yahaya Kwande, Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar had made statements which may have contributed towards creating and environment conducive to or indifferent to political violence. Changes in Boko Haram’s methods and activities (such as suicide bombing) also suggest a link-up with Al Qaeda.
The body language of some Northern leaders (such as Borno elders who spoke out only whenever government took military action and the initially tepid response of the Northern establishment) while not establishing complicity with BH, indicated at least mixed emotions! The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) very recently issued a shocking statement claiming falsely that BH’s ultimatum was in response to an earlier one issued by the “South-South” in effect justifying same! The most blatant justification of BH has however been the one by CBN governor Sanusi Lamido who claimed to the Financial Times, that the phenomenon was a consequence of divergent federal resource flows to the South-South and North-East since 13 per cent derivations principle in 1999! Sanusi ignored any facts that contradicted his logic-Cross-River and Edo States (both in South-South) which get next-to-nothing from derivation should then be consumed by terrorism; South-West and North-Central States who do not benefit from derivation haven’t shown the same tendency; the South- East zone actually receives lower federal allocations than North-East; and how does Sanusi explain the pre-1999 religious riots in the North (when Northern States took the highest allocations based on population figures) including the Maitstsine crisis, or the 1995 beheading of Gideon Akaluka in Kano?
I recommend that anyone interested in resolving the crisis of poverty, unemployment and ignorance in the North, should seek the solution in education, skills acquisition, focus on economic development and avoidance of extremist religious philosophy! The BH crisis has its roots in a dangerous combination of extremist religious ideology abysmal social conditions and political brinkmanship!!!
The evolution of Boko Haram (3)
This columnist has written at least six articles dedicated to “Boko Haram”-“The Evolution of Boko Haram” Parts 1 and 2 on February 1 and 8, 2012; “Johnnie Carson, the US and Boko Haram” on April 18, 2012; “The Malian Jihad” on January 23, 2012; “The Politics of Boko Haram” on April 10, 2013; and “Amnesty and Emergency” on May 22, 2013 and other articles treating the issue in part and on social media. Through all these, my position hasn’t changed-the phenomenon has religious, political, social, military and global dimensions and appeasement is unlikely to resolve the crises.
Boko Haram (BH) is motivated by extremist religious ideology and seeks to overawe Nigeria’s secular constitution in favour of an Islamic Caliphate governed under fundamentalist Sharia. Socio-economic conditions in the North generally and North-East in particular facilitate religious demagoguery poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and ignorance, decades of tolerance for sectarian politics combined with hegemonic aspirations and an inclination to deploy violence for political ends, and a large, “un-parented” and uneducated youth population bereft of skills and employability whose only social conditioning has been through a bankrupt “Almajiri” system. National politics, since 1999, particularly since the demise of late President Yar’adua and the regionalised 2011 presidential contest encouraged a climate suitable for transmutation of what was till 2011, a localized band of religious miscreants with links to regional politicians into a national terrorist organization with the objective of destroying an unwanted presidency. Given these facts, the debate over whether Boko Haram is religious, political or otherwise is silly, nonsensical and pointless! The group is explicitly religious, has patently political objectives, exploits abject socio-economic conditions and weak governance, and is able to leverage a politico-religious narrative of marginalization of faith and religion!
The US and Western nations have been in denial regarding BH and made utterly faulty and escapist diagnosis and prescriptions for resolving the matter-Johnnie Carson wanted Nigeria to appoint more “Northerners” to “important” positions (unaware (?) that except the Presidency (which they had until then disproportionately dominated), Northern Muslims occupied many of the most important positions in the land-Vice President, ruling party chair, Chief Justice, Representatives Speaker, CBN Governor, Ministers of Defence, FCT, Foreign Affairs and Education, NSA, Inspector General, Attorney General, Head of Service, Court of Appeal President etc.) and to create a Ministry of Northern Affairs; Hillary Clinton refused to designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on the faulty logic that doing so would alienate the North (curious given the official Northern positions that the group represented neither Islam nor the North); and Obama and Cameron tried their best to pretend not to notice BH even when it bombed the UN office in Abuja, Churches, newspaper houses and markets!
Till date we retain several wrong assumptions about Boko Haram-that most of the terrorists are infiltrators from neighbouring countries-Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Mali, even Somalia etc.-but the more empirical observation may in fact be that Nigeria is now the epicentre of a West and Central African terrorist network that may in fact destabilize other countries. I will not be surprised to find for instance, that the inspiration, funding and logistics for the failed Jihads in Mali and the Central African Republic may have partly or substantially emanated from Nigeria, No one doubts that BH has now linked up with Al-Qaeda and Somalia’s Al-Shabab! Another error has been discussing “Boko Haram”, “Ansarul” (the Malian-related, more internationally-focused brand of Boko Haram) and “Fulani Herdsmen” (the domestic terrorism franchise for the Middle-Belt of Nigeria) as though they were separate groups! Recent evidence confirms as I have always suspected that all are one and the same! Two other facts are evident-the Nigerian state would be wise to investigate the linkages to Sudan in Nigerian terrorism. The media expose by a retired ambassador, Bola Dada and the recent escape of Nyanya bombing suspect, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche to that country suggests that Sudan plays a significant role in nurturing Nigeria’s Islamic fundamentalists!!! More troubling is the likelihood that elements in the armed forces and security services may be involved in sabotaging operational strategies and information in the war against BH! Nigerian soldiers evidently believe so, going by the mutiny against the now withdrawn GOC in Maiduguri, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed!!!
The internationalization of the ‘war’ against BH in the aftermath of the Chibok school girls’ abduction and involvement of US, France (which thankfully achieved of US, France (which thankfully achieved a breakthrough in regional cooperation incorporating Nigeria. Cameroun, Chad, Benin and Niger), Britain, China and Israel may be useful in addressing the problem. On the other hand, the development may signal the weakening of the Nigerian state and its possible decline!
The critical question Nigeria and the international community avoids confronting is “who provides the funding and logistics for Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen and other terrorists groups operating in Nigeria?” Does anyone really believe that “Imam Shekau” is the “leader” of the group that has been tormenting our nation for the past three years? (I am inclined to the DSS position that Shekau is a “title” and “identity” just like “Abu Qaqa” and is really a dispensable image rather than substantive leader) How does Shekau, who operates in the border regions of the North-East record and upload his videos and transmit them to AFP? How do the Hilux vans, rocket launchers and arms and ammunition deployed by Boko Haram get to Shekau and his men? We know where the foot soldiers of Boko Haram are, but who are the brains and wallets of Boko Haram, and where are they?
While we ponder these question, Nigeria’s President Jonathan confirms that Boko Haram has now killed twelve thousand innocent citizens!!!
THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL MOVEMENT OF NIGERIA AND ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM
UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES
In retrospect, the amalgamation of 1914 produced a country but not a nation. There was an amalgamation of two protectorates but there was no integration and this created serious fault lines that exist till today. The unity of the two protectorates was not part of the British Agenda. Rather, Britain sought to maintain a hold on Nigeria through a policy of divide and rule.
In effect, Nigeria remains a country made up of two races pulling in opposite directions. There is the African race titling towards a Westernized ideology and the Arab race, made up of Fulanis, Hausas, and Kanuris in favor of adopting the Arabian culture.
At independence in 1960, the impression was created that “all” Nigerians opted for Liberal Democracy as the national ideology. As the years progressed, it became clear that citizens of the Arab stock were more in favor of a system of rule of which an “important ingredient is the application of the Muslim Law”.
While paying lip service to democracy, the political, religious, traditional and military leaders from the North were insidiously working to undermine democracy and promote Sharia, which is based on Islam and is patterned after the Arabian culture, of which the North has been exposed to for hundreds of year.
Operating under the Islamic practice of “Taqiyya”, which permits a Muslim to deceive an “infidel” in order to gain the mastery over him, leaders of the North surreptitiously “smuggled” Nigeria into OIC in 1986 and kept it out of public knowledge for some years until 1996, when Sultan Dasuki confirmed to the Pope that Nigeria is a member of OIC.
The Islamization Agenda was solidified in the period 1975 – 1999 under the military rule, of which majority of the military heads of state were Muslims from the North. The Muslim Military leaders favored an Islamic model of ideology because it promoted dictatorship. They set up an “invisible” government which operates behind the scene in the Presidency and constantly undermines liberal democracy while promoting Sharia. The “invisible government” is still active till today.
The invasion of the nation by Islamic terrorism and smuggling of Sharia into the Constitution, thereby creating a dual ideology for the nation, are reflections of the activities of the “invisible government”. Boko Haram, membership of Nigeria in OIC, Islam in Africa Organization, D8, as well as compromise of Section 10 of the Constitution on separation of state and religion, are all interwoven conspiracies to abolish liberal democracy in Nigeria and declare Sharia as the national ideology and the nation as an Islamic state.
RESPONDING TO THE ISSUES
The Christian Social Movement of Nigeria has realized that if the plan of the Islamists should succeed, Democracy would be destroyed. Therefore, it has decided to press for:
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
- Constituent Assembly to draw up a new Constitution based on one ideology, which is liberal democracy.
The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is ambivalent in its provisions and pronouncements regarding the practice of religion in the country. It is surprising that sections of the populace who have been maligned by these constitutional ambiguities have lived with them for so long. The result of the inaction of these adversely affected citizens is the religious wars that Nigeria continues to experience with escalating ferocity.
The Nigerian military Government that gave us the 1999 Constitution currently in use via Military Decree No. 24 on 5th May, 1999 wrote on its page 19 that, “We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria … having firmly and solemnly resolved … do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following Constitution.” Nothing could be further from the truth because the people of Nigeria were not consulted via the conventional process of a national referendum.
For a definition and understanding of what secularism means, we shall rely on the definition and opinions expressed in a seminal paper by Dr. Godwin N. Okeke and published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, Volume 2, Issue 3 of March 2013 (pages 65 – 69) titled, The Ambivalence of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution in Matters Relating to Secularism: a Case for a Constitutional Review. He defined secularism as a system of social organization or that does not allow religion to influence the government. It is the belief that religion should not influence the government. He explains further that a secular state is therefore a state or country that purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen of a particular religion/non-religion over other religions/non-religion. Although secular states do not have a state religion or equivalent, the absence of a state religion does not guarantee that a state is secular. He opines that secularism is commonly regarded as an ideology that holds that religious issues should not be the basis of politics, or, in the extreme, that religion has no place in public life. Secularism, therefore, seeks to preserve the religious neutrality of government and cultures.
Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution provided for religion and secularity at the same time in four sections. These are: (1) Section 10, which attempts to establish the secularity of the Nigerian state by providing that, “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion.” (2) Section 38, which re-enforces the rights of Nigerians to freedom of thought, conscience and religion in its 4 sub-sections. (3) Sections 275 and 280, which make a volt-face and contradict the two earlier quoted Sections. Section 275 provides for the creation of States Sharia Courts of Appeal while Section 280 provides for the creation of States Customary Courts of Appeal.
First, the provisions found in Sections 10 and 38 are completely negated and rendered void by the provisions found in Sections of 275 and 280. Second, the adherents of other religions apart from Islam have been relegated to an inferior status and discriminated against by the provisions in Section 275 because their religions have not been given equal recognition by the same Constitution. Third, while these provisions recognize the important place of religion in our national life, they pretend that we can operate some modicum of secularism and not pluralism.
The matter of secularism or non-secularism of the current Nigeria Constitution came to a head at the just-concluded National Conference 2014 when two delegates representing the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Joseph Bagobiri, representing the Northern Central Zone, and Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, representing the South West Zone, brought up what they described as the unfair treatment of Christians and Christianity in the country. They submitted at a plenary session that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was skewed in favor of Islam and Muslims and called on delegates to correct this anomaly.
Pastor Bosun Emmanuel submitted that the 1999 Constitution mentions ‘Shariah’ 73 times, ‘Grand Khadi’ 54 times, ‘Islam’ 28 times and ‘Muslims’ 10 times but does not mention the words ‘Christ’, ‘Christian’, ‘Christianity’ or ‘church’ even once. He concluded his submission very politely by saying, “Some mischievous elements are taking these lapses in the Constitution to come to the ungodly decision that probably the State is an Islamic State.” The submissions of the two Christian delegates angered their Muslim counterparts who tried to shout them down.
Pastor Bosun Emmanuel has elucidated his message further in other fora where he opines that the major flaw in our 1999 Constitution is its “dual ideology” because it is ambivalent in its religious provisions. He explains that while the compendium tries to guarantee freedom of choice of religion to all Nigerians in one breath, it promotes one religion in another. Also, while the same Constitution debars the Federal and State Governments from adopting a state religion, it violates this itself by recognizing one religion above all others.
In our national life today, 12 out of the 36 States of Nigeria have blatantly violated the clear provisions of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution which states that, “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion”. These 12 States have each adopted one religion as State religion via State law. Zamfara State led in this impunity in in 2005 and 11 other States have since towed the same path.
It is no wonder that the constitutionally favored citizens of Nigeria abhor the idea of replacing the 1999 Constitution. It is also no wonder that the makers of that Constitution made the process of constitutional amendment very cumbersome. National Conference delegates who protested against one of the final Conference document titled, 2014 Draft Constitution, must be among the constitutionally favored few in the country. Surprisingly, the mere change of name of this same document appeased them.
The 2014 National Conference recommended 395 amendments to the 1999 Constitution. What would become of this Constitution after all these amendments might have been implemented? A new constitution would have been introduced by whatever name we care to call it. The opponents of a new constitution for the country seem to be overly jittery at such prospects for reasons best known to them. The delegates who held a press conference to declare their support for this final Conference document titled, 2014 Draft Constitution, and the Conference leadership who drafted it had no qualms whatsoever with the document or its title.
It must be obvious to readers at this point that the Nigerian 1999 Constitution is fundamentally flawed in the treatment of Nigerian citizens and must be thoroughly reviewed because it cannot be sustained much longer. If such a review would, of necessity, mean amending substantial portions of it (up to 80%) then the country is due for a new constitution by popular demand. The Nigerian 1999 Constitution is anything but secular.
Nigeria’s religious is ‘political religion’ in the main. That is, the huge obsession by religion by Nigerians is basically for political reasons. Nigerians foist religion to the fore in governance, politics, economics, social debate and in virtually every other facet of national life just so that adherents of their own religions gets whatever there is to gain – seats/participation in government, land, money, higher offices, first position, etc, and not for spiritual growth, economic development or justice. Political religion is all about one religion cheating other religions.
The teachings and tenets of the country’s various religions do not seem to mean a thing to their adherents. Religion has not improved the morals of most politicians nor even the clergy. The various clergy and their politician compatriots enjoy a cozy relationship. The 2002 Pew Global Attitudes Project scored Nigeria 92% (second only to Indonesia) in importance of religion to the people. In the same year Transparency International scored us one of the most corrupt nations on earth. Probably the most emotive and potentially explosive issue in Nigeria today is our constitutional religious imbalance. Let those concerned address the problem quickly.
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THE BURDEN OF THE CROSS
2000 years ago, there were two groups of men representing different interests. One group comprised of unlearned, poor, unknown, and ordinary men. The other group comprised of the movers and the shakers of the society, those whom you might refer to as the men of timber and caliber.
This piece started as a comment in response to a very thought provoking and excellent write up by Nosa Idahosa, a childhood friend, brother and classmate of mine back at Edo College who is now resident in the US. In that piece He talked about the message by Pastor Bosun to the Nigerian Church and I wish everyone could read what Nosa had to say. Quite a beautiful piece it was.
ON THE VERGE OF A HUMUNGOUS REVIVAL
By Abduyusuf Rufa’i Prepare for revival. Revival is coming to Nigeria and to the world. Revival is also coming to the body of Christ – the Kingdom of God on earth. We are actually on the threshold of a mighty and lasting revival, one that will lead into the return of the Lord, the Day of the Lord – Rapture to be precise. One day, the Holy Spirit while teaching and revealing to me, gave me an illustration. He said, ‘‘Yusuf, it will be like a fruit that on getting ripe for consumption, it is immediately plucked. I will pluck my Church from the world as soon as it is ripe and ready for me’’ (Mark 4: 29). Revival is God’s will and it predates our times. Revival has its origin in the Old Testament, precisely to the time of Moses. Moses was the first Revivalist. Revival in simple English means reviving what is dead or gone comatose. The dictionary defines revival as a process in which some thing becomes active or strong again. In other words, God and His ways become popular again. Another synonym for Revival is AWAKENING. Revival is not a man’s idea, it is God’s. The scriptures say, “Known is all the works of God even prior to the beginning” (Acts 15: 18). The scripture also have it that, “God declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46: 9 – 10). God has arranged Revival for seasons and certain generations. What He does, is that, in His wisdom, He looks for a man that will take up the gauntlet as Revivalist. When God calls or raises His servants, it is not all He designates as revivalists or calls to fulfill this role.
The ministry of Revival is a special call with special responsibilities. Every revival most often ushers a new dispensation in God’s agenda or time table and stamps the will or ways of God for that generation or dispensation. Nothing is new, every revival is meant to shine forth the light of God in a dark world and point and direct men back to God in order to avoid or escape the judgment or curse of God. No genuine Revivalist activities points men to himself but to the Living and Just God. If you study or observe keenly you will find out that Revivalist who did what they did ended up being reformers, transformers and change agents.
The revivals that have cascaded from the Old Testament to the New Testament to the 19th Century and to our present times all carried the same theme: the knowledge of God and the return of man to God.
Before I talk about some revivalist let’s look at a few scriptures that point to revival:
- Genesis 49: 10:
The rod of authority will not be taken from Judah, and he will not be without a law-giver, till he comes who has the right to it, and the peoples will put themselves under his rule. (BBE)
- Isaiah 52: 10:
The Lord has let his holy arm be seen by the eyes of all nations; and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. (BBE)
- Psalm 110: 3:
Your people give themselves gladly in the day of your power; like the dew of the morning on the holy mountains is the army of your young men. (BBE)
These scriptures have Messianic themes but they also satisfy and point without any ambiguity to revival. That is, God’s raw power and awesome manifest presence or move that pierces the hearts of men, pulling down every wall of partition between God and man and bringing about repentance and the reverential fear of God or the dread of His severity. With revival, we see a glorious shinning forth of light and the dispelling of darkness on a massive and compelling scale. Revival is not only contagious, it is inspiring. Revival has often started in one place and spread to other areas even to other nations.
When God called Moses to be a Revivalist, He said, “Go and deliver my people and bring them to this mountain to worship me.” Moses gave Israel the Law of God and taught them the ways of God. What about Elijah. He stamped God’s righteousness in Israel, wiped out about 950 false prophets and turned the hearts of men back to God. Elijah was a fearless and confrontational man of God, and equally jealous for God – qualities that every Revivalist must posses. For Elisha who carried the double anointing of Elijah, he walked in the paths his master and mentor trod. How about Jonah, a Revivalist whose fiery preaching turned a whole powerful and very sinful nation back to God, just in a couple of days. Let’s put Ezra in focus. While Nehemiah his counterpart rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and offered selfless and purposeful leadership, Ezra as a spiritual leader rebuilt the walls of the hearts of men. As a ready scribe he restored the consciousness of the precepts and laws of God to Israel such that all of Israel wept profusely and vowed never to forget the Law again. Israel repented and sought God in tears. Enter John the Baptizer; he was the last prophet and Revivalist of the Old Testament. John preached the same old message God had always sounded to Israel through His prophets and priests, “Repent” for the remission of sins. John was in the order of Elijah and was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. Absolutely fearless and unperturbed, his only concern was to preach repentance to the people and make the way straight for the Lord to emerge. John was a revivalist to the core. The prophecy concerning John from the mouth of an Angel detailing his primary assignment is recorded in Luke 1: 16 – 17:
And through him great numbers of the children of Israel will be turned to the Lord their God. And he will go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and wrongdoers to the way of righteousness; to make ready a people whose hearts have been turned to the Lord. (BBE)
(This is important because another Revivalist in this order with the same assignment is coming; and I mean it because scriptures say so and revelations from the Holy Ghost have revealed it). Having had the way prepared and made straight for Him, when Jesus emerged on the scene, He started off from where John left off. In the course of Jesus’ ministry, many were healed, set free and ultimately turned back to God. The core of Jesus’ revival message was “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”.
Let’s zero in on Peter, that bold, fearless and outspoken Apostle of Jesus. In his impromptu sermon, he thundered to the people to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus...” The scriptures tells us that, “when they heard this, they were cut to the heart… and said men and brethren what shall we do?” In that day’s preaching 3, 000 men without counting women and children gave their lives to Jesus. Their hearts were turned back to God. In subsequent preaching 5, 000 men repented; in another, the scripture simply said multitudes turned to God. Peter in deed was a Revivalist who spearheaded the first revival after the ascension of Jesus Christ.
Then came Apostle Paul, New Testament’s greatest Revivalist. Workaholic Paul and his cohorts literally turned the then world upside down. Paul was a non-compromising and no nonsense Revivalist. His messages and missionary journeys of repentance were fiery, far reaching and are still reverberating today.
In contemporary times the world has experienced powerful revivals. Examples include the revival that started in Germany after Martin Luther pinned to the wall of a catholic church a piece of paper inscribed ‘‘the just shall live by faith’’ notice and his subsequent spat with the catholic church establishment over their false teachings. There is also the Azusa Revival spearheaded by William J. Seymour in California, USA in the 1900s.
Evan Roberts spearheaded the great Welsh 1904 – 1905 revival; Roberts turned the whole country of Wales back to God. In Nigeria we have had the revival spearheaded by Joseph Ayo Babalola in the 1930’s. Apostle Babalola’s revival gave strength and new look to Pentecostalism in Nigeria. In the 1970’s we had the revival spearheaded by Archbishop Benson Idahosa. It was the time Christians were known as ‘‘SU’’ an aphorism for a fanatic. During this era many people made a positive decision to follow Jesus, as the consciousness was high in Nigeria.
Archbishop Idahosa as a Revivalist was not only bold and fearless, he was confrontational. It is obvious that he was in the order of Elijah and Nigeria and the nations miss this man of God.
At the moment a silent revival is on, began a couple of years ago by the iconic man of God, Enoch Adejare Adeboye. Yours truly is one of those who has had the fire of God ignited in his bones by this great vessel of God.
Elijah turned the hearts of the people back to the God of Israel (1 Kings 18: 37, 38 and 39). He prepared them for God. John the Baptizer turned the hearts of the people back to the God of Israel (Luke 1: 16, 17). He prepared them for Jesus Christ.
God is about to implement His strategy again. Like they say, “You don’t change a winning team.” You don’t change a time tested and winning strategy. Another Revivalist, a prophet, a teacher, an evangelist, a man of God in the order of Moses and Elijah is coming. He will lead the people like Moses and go in the power of Elijah. He will turn the hearts of the people to God and prepare the way for the return of the Lord – the Day (rapture) when Jesus shall say to His bride on earth: “Come up hither.”
As the last prophet in the last days, he will tell the people of the visitation and the curse of the Lord. Bible prophecy agrees and contemporary revelations of the Holy Spirit confirm this.
Malachi 4: 4 – 6 says:
“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Sinai for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great day and dreadful day of the Lord (this refers to the Rapture and tribulations that will follow immediately on earth when Jesus finally touches down visibly and physically on Mount Olives). And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come (that is, Jesus) and strike the earth with a curse.”
This is what John Maxwell, a respected Bible Scholar and Christian Leadership Expert said concerning the prophetic scripture above:
“…God promises to send Elijah the prophet before this terrible day of the Lord. Like so many prophecies, this scripture has two fulfillments. The first came after Jesus was born in Bethlehem; as the Elijah figure, John the Baptizer prepared the way. The ultimate fulfillment of this passage will occur in the last days, when God will send another Elijah figure to prepare the way for His second coming. God practices the Law of Timing, making sure everything is in order when He makes His move…” Revival is coming; anticipate it and prepare for it. I rest my case.
Keep the Flag flying and the Oil burning, Maran’atha.
Your Brother and Servant in the Lord; former Broadcast Journalist and Senior Editor, and now an Ambassador and Purveyor of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
For more resource, contact or visit him at:-
+234 80 28 78 28 91, 70 55 55 41 88
We are coming into an era in the global oil industry that I will describe as an "abundance of oil." The last time the world saw this era was in 1973, during the oil glut. In recent times, there have been large new findings of oil, and newer sources are springing up in Russia, Papa New Guinea, Qatar, Canada and in smaller countries such as Ghana, Mexico, Tanzania, and in established plays such as the Gulf of Mexico
What this means for global consumers is good news as the laws of economics will drive the price of oil down in an era of abundance. What this will mean for oil producers such as Nigeria is a squeeze. Currently we are struggling to find markets for our crude and the established destinations are closing up. The United States used to be a trusted destination but now the channel is shrinking if not closed up altogether. It appears every country is being blessed with oil now and focusing on their own internal markets. With no local refineries to pick up the slack for us, the outlook seems a bit grey for Nigeria...
...Except we pray. Pray for wisdom for our leaders for a Pharaoh/Joseph collaboration that will see us through this tide. The easiest route open to the government will be to increase the price of fuel at the pumps which will be resisted by the populace. World oil production may be curtailed by OPEC in the near term to manage the glut. With curtailment will come falling revenues and unpaid wages as State Governments put a squeeze on salaries. Businesses will slow down as people limit spending.
I am not one to spread fear neither do I want to start a panic but this reality is slowly picking up pace...we are too dependent on oil not to be affected. And the sad thing is nobody is paying any attention to the markets and the trends. With oil at over 90% of GDP, the tremors of an oil abundance will be felt as buyers of our crude oil begin to position for less crude or willing to pay cheaper prices beneath what we have benchmarked in the budget
What does this mean for us? My gut feeling is people will wisely slow down on discretionary spending, limit nice-to-have capital purchases, and hold cash. In unusual periods such as this, assets gradually become liabilities to the man who has not eaten for days. And like the Egyptians in Joseph's day, some will beg to sell their assets for grain. Transference of assets take place during this time. Warren Buffet, the second richest man in the world say, "when you buy what you don't need, you soon will sell what you need." The IMF President said recently that new oil discovery will only hurt our economy...not a lot of people are taking her seriously
This scenario may or may not likely happen, but the trend is not going in the right direction currently. And our leaders are not fixated on the matter. It may be too late when they realize the pendulum has shifted. Just a word to get us prepared for an eventuality as the Shemitah year begins