FAITH MATTERS with Muhammad Hassan-Tom
Life is full of them. Indeed, life is equally divided betwixt the two. Good and evil would continue to coexist in this world and may only be separated hereafter in Heaven and Hell. Since earth is a testing ground for who would be which, these are the instruments of the trial.
Mankind’s main mission on earth, therefore, remains the quest to acquire more of the former and lose as much as possible of the latter. So far, human’s and jinns are the only known creation endowed with the relative freedom to choose between good and evil. Fortunately, our innate impulse is towards good and away from evil. Everyone wants to acquire assets and lose liabilities, both materially and spiritually. The major problem had always been how Satanic self-centredness confuses us into mistaking one for the other. In a few depraved instances, individuals and whole societies do knowingly opt for liabilities or evil over assets or good. Life is best when lived well and for good; evil in any form is enough misery for everyone. Nigeria must now more than ever make good use of its assets – human and natural – to provide the most good to the greatest number of its people. Paradise can be fairly mimicked right here on earth just as the hellish life is a reality to over 60 per cent of Nigerians living in poverty today, according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Easy money may seem sweet but it is actually evil. Nigeria is an outstanding example of how this “asset” that came in the form of abundant crude oil has turned out to be the single biggest liability to its peace and even progress. Beginning with the official declaration in the 1970s that the country had more money than it knew what to do with it to the senseless Udoji awards that put quantum salary bonuses in people’s pockets and started fuelling our current consumerism, it has ended up today with the unbridled penchant for corrupt enrichment even by those who do not need to steal to be comfortable. The good in us outstrips the evil. Almighty God, the fountainhead of all good is the Greatest. Even without any schooling, we are all wired to know the difference between good and bad. We also know that our assets are always more than our liabilities unless we chose to reverse the order.
We are geared to easily be good and reap the fruits in the form of peace and happiness unless we let Satan, a sworn foe, sway us to stray from the straight path. Similarly, Nigeria’s assets as a country far outweigh her liabilities. Although Satanic souls preach animosity, hatred, secession and war among its diverse population, the nation’s diversity in culture, ethnicity and religion is an asset waiting to be fully explored for greatness. The preponderance of youth who constitute over 70 per cent of the population is another asset that even so-called developed countries would wish for. We can also leverage on high population growth as China and India because according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision,” by 2050 the third most populous country on earth will be Nigeria which is poised to replace the United Stated of America. In each of the 774 local government area councils in the federation, there are at least ten agricultural and mineral endowments that remain at best under-explored.
An estimated 60 per cent of the country’s nearly one million square miles of arable land remains fallow. Since independence in 1960, there have been dozens of plans tailored along developing the national economy around the comparative advantages available across these sprawling geopolitical units. Now, all we need is effective leadership to help us put these assets in proper perspective and create the right attitude to totally reap the inherent advantages. This attitude is aptly captured in the country’s Pledge: “To be faithful, loyal and honest” and “to serve Nigeria with all our strengths.” These may not end all our problems but would certainly de-popularize bloody and divisive agitations for national disintegration whether by Boko Haram, Biafrans or other enemies of Nigeria.