Recently, the executive secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev Uja Tor Uja, in a chat with select journalists in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, urged Nigerians to believe in themselves and the nation. According to him, Nigerians should stop making other nations rich while making theirs poor. He also spoke on other national issues. ADOYI M. ABA and DANIEL AGBO were there.
Belief in Nigeria
What is important is for Nigerians to believe in God and believe in Nigeria. Each person in our land is designed to have two nations in the land – the nation in Christ and the nation in Nigeria. It looks to me that our confidence in Christ is shallow and our belief in Nigeria is absent. Many people believe they are prisoners in Nigeria, but Nigeria is God’s creation and a nation that is destined for great things. All nations were built by people and we can also build our nation. When somebody is poor, he is a local man, but once he is rich he abandons Nigeria and opens his bank accounts abroad and has no investments in Nigeria. We have come to the point where all Nigerians who have invested abroad should be challenged to repatriate that wealth to Nigeria and to contribute to the development of this nation.
This is because many countries of the world are looking forward to being a part of what we are doing in Nigeria. We need to stop the act of stashing money abroad, making other nations rich and our nation poor. Of course, we need to also show our confidence in Christ by living worthwhile lives and building an environment based on values.Values like truth, honesty, integrity, hard work, investment, productivity, and focus on the future. All Nigerians must be persuaded to believe in Christ and to believe in Nigeria. If you don’t believe in Nigeria, you do not have any business aspiring to be leader of Nigeria. Those who don’t believe in Nigeria are a disgrace to this nation. Of course, that is while some people abscond to other countries where they believe there are greener pastures. But Nigeria has the best greener pastures.
Enriching other nations
Nigeria has been responsible for the wealth of many nations; so why can’t we be responsible for the wealth of our nation? Some days ago, I read in the media that Italy is going into recession. Many Nigerians are absconding into Italy. Greece is just struggling to come out of recession, but Nigerians are absconding into Greece. Even America is not doing well. The nation with great potential, and hope for the future is Nigeria. So, let’s believe in Nigeria and believe in Christ who is the maker of all things and builder of all nations to lead us to our desired heaven. Because of building a strong pilgrimage, we have touched all those people who serve us. We have people who bring airplane to carry us and taxis to move with are where ever we want to go. When I came in, I noticed that they produce bags, shirts, caps shoes and different kinds of souvenirs for Nigerian pilgrims in their company colours or their national colours whereas we are paying for those things. Those things are not donations, they are part of the contract we sign with them to bring those things and we pay for them yet those things are used to advertise the companies and countries at our expense. When I came in, I told those companies that if we will continue working with you, produce all those things in our Nigerian colours. They didn’t like it, but they had no choice. We are the only country in the world with a commission like the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC). We are the only country in the world that runs organised pilgrimage several times a year.
Ghana appreciates Nigeria
Ghana recently sent a team led by a minister to come and under study how we run our pilgrimage in Nigeria with the aim of replicating it in their country. We took them around, gave them training because they said what we are doing here in Nigeria are working. There are many things we do here in Nigeria that are the best in the world, but the international Media want us to think that Nigeria is a death-trap. We must stand up to reject it. When the Ghanaians visited us, they were amazed that if we do something today by night they are listening to it on the news and the following day it is in the newspapers. They said in Ghana, they need more than one week for any news material to come out. The biggest newspaper in Ghana is in an eight-page one, but people keep saying Ghana is advanced, Ghana is better than Nigeria.
All those stories are because the international community wants to work against Nigeria, because it is the rising giant of the world. We are not a giant of Africa anymore; we are the rising giant of the world. I want us to believe in Nigeria. I served as a commissioner, I was being paid one thousand naira a month, when I left there was no even payoff or anything. No house loans, no car loans, nothing. And I was serving with all my life, but I believe in Nigeria. David Ben Gurion, the founder of The State of Israel, passed through many difficult parts, and when he received donations in almost billions of dollars, he invested all this in The State of Israel. But to his house in the Negev region, it is a two- bedroom apartment – two rooms and a parlour. We need pioneers who will selflessly invest in the development of Nigeria so that the country will go forward. David Ben Gurion said the future of Israel is more important than the comfort of a prime minister. I want us to believe that the future of Nigeria is more important than our immediate comfort. We will die and leave the comfort, but build the future so that people will be begging for visas around the world to come to Nigeria.
I believe absolutely in it and want to advise Nigerians to believe in our institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, the military. These are the institutions that
build and make us. Nobody can get to an elective position without INEC and nobody can have safety and security without the police and the military. I find it distasteful that everyday people come out throwing attacks on these institutions that build our lives. Yes, people can bring observations on things that are not correct. But for people to come out and start attacking INEC for rigging I think this is not right. I believe in
Nigerian systems and structures. It has its errors, but I think there is no nation without errors; Nigeria is improving. I believe what Professor Mahmud Jega did was result-oriented and credible. I think the present INEC is even going to take it further. Let’s believe in our system and in Nigeria without accepting wrong things. We can demand things to be corrected, but we can express confidence in our systems and structures.
So-called faction in PFN
Part of the reasons for this meeting is to try and harmonise all the strands of PFN, both here and at the national level. I am sure you know that the movement of a people usually create some kind of strands like that those we had in PFN, but I felt that all the strands should come together. This meeting has representatives of all arms and even the national officials know that I am here. They know that I am coming to put it together, but I am not doing it to any credit. Just for the body of Christ to come together. More importantly, for the biennial conference to be successful in order to heal the nation and open up a spiritual dimension for this land to progress. So, there is only one PFN in the state represented by the Deputy Elder Orinya and that’s all. We don’t need two PFNs.