In Nigeria today, there is no discernible government – Anglican Cleric Bishop Fajemirokun

At an Ibadan  church service to mark the quarter century memorial of  a departed member, The Rt. Rev. T.O.B. Fajemirokun, Bishop of Ijesha North Diocese of the Anglican Communion gave a short beautiful address on the life of the departed  Mrs. Nihinlola Awofisayo and the family she left behind in 1988.  He praised the widower, Mr. Daniel Awofisayo, who became father and mother to the children – now all well-settled in various professions – through dark days and what must have been trying and tempting times.  The widower did not fall nor did he succumb to any temptations but stood resolute in his faith in the Almighty.

In what has now become a ritual in Nigeria whatever the occasion may be: weddings, funerals, etcetera, Bishop Fajemirokun’s address/sermon soon became a homily on life and living in Nigeria today.  He declared that the country has nothing resembling a government but one in which cacophonous voices, all claiming or acting as if in power:  “you hear Dokubo…” [the Delta militant] and many others but there’s no single authoritative voice representing majority of Nigerians.

Not too long ago, the retired Primate of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) caused a stir – rather, a deafening silence from majority of the congregation during a thanksgiving service to mark “democracy” day.  At such services where there are always willing pay-as-you-go men of Nigeria’s god, I don’t think the president was expecting the kind of prayers that Primate Jasper Akinola offered to the Almighty.  He had told the congregation that they should take those who have led Nigeria and her citizens to the problems they now face to the court of God’s justice – or words to that effect.  Anyway, it was a regular prayer format that demanded “Amen” at the end; Jonathan and his entourage that filled the State House’s chapel were very conspicuous in their silence for the requisite “Amen”!

Even as things go in Nigeria, it was a particularly trying times for the citizens in various facets of life: corruption as usual, etcetera.  Here is a paragraph from the Premium Times story:

“Other important cases which intersect corruption and that deserve attention, under the watch of Mr. President, are as follows: the UNDP African Human Development Report reveals that two thirds of Nigerians live in abject poverty; while the 2012 JAMB result tells us that only three students out of 1.5million students got more than 300 in the JAMB examination. These students include students in private schools.” 

For the rest of the story in which the ever-falling and embarrassing presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati referred to a presidential “Amen quota”, you may wish to check out the link below from a year ago this month:

The pulpit at All Saints Church, Jericho, Ibadan though an unimposing structure as such come, became the latest – as of that particular time, by the way on June 12 which was another anniversary of the presidential election that was clearly won by M.K.O Abiola but was stolen via annulment of the people’s mandate and voice th – podium for condemning the slide towards infamy that Nigeria is undergoing.

This is a welcome change because in the not too-distant past, clerics of various denominations sort of gave blank checks/cheques to President Jonathan in what was apparently a he’s-of-us free pass after years of Moslems ruling over the country; former President Obasanjo also got that same free pass.  Now, everybody can see the country going under either being ruled by a Moslem or a Christian.  In Nigeria, mis-governance has no coloration and no religious affiliation.  Those at the top, it seems now clear to most – are united in inflicting the tyranny of the few on the majority; democracy here is a farce.

Bishop Fajemirokun wondered aloud how long the rudderless governance style could sustain Nigeria and asked the congregation to continue to hold on to hope.

The only Lesson at the Memorial Service was read by one of the Awofisayo children, Dr. Oluseye Awofisayo, representing his brother and two sisters.  It was a very heart-warming service that joyously remembered the departed Comfort Nihinlola Awofisayo who died at age fifty-six through beautiful Hymns and two solos:  Handel’s I know that my Redeemer Liveth by Soprano, Yemi Falase whose father just happened to be the church organist of many years, Professor Ayodele Falase, former Vice Chancellor of Ibadan University.  The other solo, a Bass, was the choirmaster – also of many years standing – Engineer Akin Morakinyo who also performed Handel’s That God is Great.

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013. 2:30 p.m. [GMT]

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