The President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Revd (Dr) Israel Akanji, has called on Nigerians to seek the face of God for His Divine intervention to stem the raging storm affecting all the strata of the society.
Akanji made the call on Friday in Ibadan, in his independence message to Nigerians entitled: “When God Rouses Himself” with the text taken from Psalm 44.
He said: “And therefore, as we celebrate this 62nd Independence and we lament, let’s not end it with laments. Let us call on God for His mercies and when God Rouses Himself concerning Nigeria, He will speak and the storms will die and the storms will go down and the storms will be stopped.”
Akanji prayed that the Lord would rouse Himself concerning Nigeria and still the storm.
“And then, we shall be free and we shall carry on with a developing nationhood that will glorify God and bless humanity. God bless you, “he said.
According to him, as we celebrate our independence in Nigeria, and we lament a lot of things that have gone wrong, our people will be free from the powers of the storm.
“Their fears we be taken away, their comfort will return to them because Jesus spoke to the storm and the storm heard His word and ceased. Let us not ended in lament, let us remember that Jesus has the power to stop the storm.
“He has the power to speak to that, which is trying to destroy our lives. Jesus can interrupt it. Jesus, can we rebuke it and Jesus can stop it completely and make it die,” Akanji said.
On independence, he said that 62 years ago, we got our independence and we began the journey of nationhood. According to him, we have a lot of reasons today to thank God for all that God has done for us in our nation.
“There has been so much growth in every aspect of national life; growth in education, growth in agriculture, growth in commerce, growth, even in our habitations.
“Our cities have enlarged, our small towns have grown, so many things have happened since Independence.
“Communities that had no schools now have schools, lots of infrastructure are there, we have greatly developed and we have reasons to give, thanks to the almighty God, on this 62nd Independence celebration.
“However, we all know that as a nation, we have been struggling during these 62 years struggling for nationhood, struggling to develop ourselves into what is expected of, also, struggling to become like other nations that are reckoned as exemplary Nations among the community of States.
“We have been struggling and in this area we have a lot of deficiencies, there are a lot of grounds uncovered and there are a lot of things to do.
“Therefore, during this Independence anniversary, as we thank God for what God has done for us and celebrate with one another, for all the achievements that we see.”
Akanji said that, if we want to do what is right at this 62nd independence, definitely, Nigerians must also look inward and bring their lamentation and cries to God.
He said that just like the lamentation of the Israelites, Nigeria was like “a byword” and all kinds of things were spoken about it.
“Our neighbours, they speak to deride us, because in Nigeria the simplest of things are not properly done.
“It is such a country that is so blessed by God and yet, the country does not reflect this blessing as it ought to be.
“Nigeria, is a rich country, but poverty is high in Nigeria. Illiteracy is high in Nigeria. Nigeria is a highly-placed country, every part of this country you can plant.
“The vegetation is wonderful, the rainfall is great, the weather is good, climate balance, and everything is favorable for us in Nigeria.
“In this same country, where we have many intellectuals that have been great blessings to many parts of the world, we have so many problems.
“Schools will close down for so long, tertiary institutions cannot function as well. So, we see that we have a lot of challenges.
“Now, this was how the Israelites saw themselves and there was communal laments and I feel that during this 62nd anniversary we also have reasons to lament for some of the bad experiences which we are experiencing as people.”