On Bode George's Welcome Party

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Permit me to express my views on the type of prayers or worship that Christians are supposed to be observing. My views become necessary as a result of the razzmatazz that was euphemistically called Thanksgiving by Bode George and his horde of praise-singers.

Personally, I do not know why his release from Kirikiri Maximum Prison was celebrated with fanfare. At a point I got confused about the message he and his praise singers were trying to pass to gullible Nigerians. I got confused because I do not know whether, through their action, they were trying to tell us that there is virtue in crime, or whether it is a mark of respect to be an ex-convict. Or were they trying to tell us that he was framed up in the NPA corruption saga that led to his incaceration? Whatever message they tried to pass with that ignominous event, it was not proper for them to have done so. Laughable of all is that the event got a Presidential nod.

However, as a Christian, I know that in worshipping or praying to  God, we have various options to choose from. One of the prayers is the prayer of praise and adoration. Better still, we can still worship God in an atmosphere of praise and adoration. This type of prayer or worship is the one used in worshipping God in His majesty, glory and power, His beauty and love, and His mercy and grace. Personal devotional prayer always begins with this type of prayer. If it is worship, it is done in absolute obeisance to God with the two hands lifted to God who dwells in heaven.

The second type of prayer or worship is the one done in the spirit of penitence. This is the prayer or worship Bode George and his praise singers ought to have offered to God, and not thanksgiving. Why? It is the prayer or worship used in asking God for forgiveness of sin.  This type of prayer or worshp is always offered to God just as David exemplified it in the book of Psalm 51 of the Holy Bible. Even where one perceives himself or herself to be innocent in a case like this, the wise thing to do is to ask God to forgive those who wrongly accused him or her. If he saw the judgement that sent him to jail as not being properly dispensed, what he would have done was to ask God to forgive Justice Joseph Oyewole and some EFCC staff that patriotically followed up his case.

The third type of prayer or worshp is that of petition. It is the most popular kind. It is the prayer or worship used in asking God for something.

The fourth is the prayer or worship of thanksgiving. It is the prayer or worship of appreciation for gifts God has given to us. In this context it is the one offered by Bode George. Then one is now tempted to ask, what gift did God give him? Is taking residency at Kirikiri Maximum Prison for 2 years a gift of God? Or was the thanksgiving offered because the stolen money is still available for “chopping”? Well, God would help us to find the meaning of this kind of thanksgiving introduced by Bode George and PDP stalwarts and their supporters. However, one point still remains to be made clear, God does not give His children gifts through stealing, looting of public funds or splitting of contracts. Perhaps what Bode George and his praise singers are saying is that Justice Joseph Oyewole erroneously or naively sentenced ex-convict Bode George to prison. But the fact remains that the judgement was made public in a transparent manner, and it was well publicised.

However, I am using this piece to inform Nigerians, particularly the youths to shun crime in all its ramifications. Crime does not pay. Crime can never make one a hero. The only “benefit” of crime is that it can make one to be notorious. Finally, I am begging Nigerian youths who may have been gingered by the razzmatazz that greeted Bode George’s release from prison to ignore such motivation. They should strive to be hardworking and honest in every position they may be appointed to in the future.

—Isaac Asabor