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*Nigeria: A Nation in Crisis - Ultimate key to Freedom from Tyrannical Political Leadership
By Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke
Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Every 4th of July is a very important day in American history. On 4th of July 1776, 236 years ago the 13 colonies that constituted the United States then declared independence from the rule of England’s King George III. The declaration of independence was introduced by Richard Henry lee of Virginia on June 7, 1776, which called for the continental Congress to declare the United States free from the British rule due to a major protest against “Taxation without Representation.” Three days later a committee of 56 names headed by Thomas Jefferson was appointed to prepare an appropriation writing for the declaration of independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
That paragraph became the sticking paragraph of that famous document. Americans around the globe celebrate their independence from British rule with parades, bands, marching, sinning, fanfare, etc. They will celebrate with in lavish meal, barbecues, picnics and family gatherings that include fanfare, gifts, pictures, crafts, games and entertainment. Adults, young boys and girls will reflect on the past history and freedom they enjoy in their great country. The national anthem will be sung and many foreigners seeking to become United States citizen will Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States.
“I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”
However, the struggle for their freedom did not come easy. It was not granted without major struggle, sacrifice and shedding of blood.
President John F. Kennedy, said, “The cost of freedom is always high but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: U.S. President Barack Obama
Their struggle for freedom and independence reminds of me of Nigeria’s long battle for her independence from Britain in the late 50’s. Nigeria’s independence was granted due to sustained national grievances of eminent leaders like the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Belewa and others against the British system of indirect rule. In 1960, Nigeria became an independent nation. However, religious intolerance, jihadist fundamentalism, ethnic bias and hatred, political instability, bad leadership, violence, war, ethnic h, immorality, economic woes, disobedience, injustice, and unrighteousness quickly marred our nation's prospect for development and progress. Until today, Nigerians have not really enjoyed any genuine freedom or political peace and national prosperity since its independence from the British colonial masters. In fact, the nation is currently in a serious crisis and challenge of leadership with Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalists and Jihadists killing innocent citizens in the Northern region with impunity. Corrupt government officials are looting public funds and embezzling public treasury; bad leaders without vision taking the people from a nation of strength to weakness and a nation of hope to hopelessness. 13-year democratic government has been a nightmare – a democratic tyranny! ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
No one can deny the fact that freedom is the supreme value of the Western societies and off-course humankind in general including the animals of all kinds. There are two things Americans got right – cars and freedom according a popular Super ball TV commercial. I agree that human freedom is perhaps the greatest ideal of the American society. It is the essence, beauty and glory of democracy and free-market society.
For years, philosophers, scholars and thinkers have argued and debated that freedom is the supreme value of the human soul. It is the yearning of every human heart – whether poor or rich. All human beings possess the same desire – to be free to pursue unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, because the human spirit is endowed by its Creator, God, with the desire to be free to pursue life, joy, peace and prosperity. In nutshell, freedom is the ultimate pursuit of the human spirit.
However, freedom is not easy to achieve and it is hard to maintain. Freedom comes with great responsibility. Freedom entails discipline, accountability. Throughout the history of humanity, people and nations have paid the ultimate price fighting for freedom. Millions have died in civil disobedience and warfare in pursuit of freedom. Warfare, religious violence, ethnic cleaning, civil disobedience and other means have been used to fight for freedom. True freedom cannot be achieved through political ideologies or democratic tyranny.
Even now in the 21st century with the explosion of information and communication technology, the struggle for freedom remains one of the horniest issues of our time. Why has human freedom remain illusive and difficult to attain despite scientific advancement and technological progress. Why has human freedom - which is no doubt the highest ideal of the Western society, remained a mirage for so many other nations around our Planet Earth? Why has human freedom become a yoke of slavery rather emancipation of the human soul, heart, mind and will. Could it be that mankind has not sought the true freedom - which is freedom in God – spiritual freedom or divine freedom?
Samuel Bowles, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst said “the cause of freedom is the cause of God.”
The Apostle Paul writes, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery” – Galatians 5:1). He added in Second Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
According to Charles Kingsley, English clergyman, university professor, historian, and novelist, “There are two freedoms – the false, where man is free to do what he likes; the true where he is free to do what he ought.”
Freedom is the central theme and one of the treasures of Christianity. Being redeemed and set free from sin, bondage and fear is the goal of Christianity. The freedom that comes through our Lord is a liberation and deliverance from these three things primarily:
God is compassionate and faithful. By His grace and mercy, He called all of us to be free through the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The freedom that comes through our Lord is a liberation and deliverance from Sin (Romans 6:18), Self (Galatians 5:1, 8-21) and Satan (Acts 26:18; Colossians. 1:13; 1 Peter 5:8). Freedom from Sin: The Apostle Paul writes, “You have set free from sin and have become salves to righteousness” – Romans 6:18). As human beings, Christ has set us free from the yoke of sin which leads to death and given us the power to become slaves to obedience, which leads to righteousness. We have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Holy Bible
Freedom from Self: True freedom can only take place when we are genuinely delivered from sin and translated into the light of the Son of God and when the desires of flesh has such as Sexual Immorality, Impurity, Debauchery, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Discord, Jealousy, Fits of Rage, Selfish Ambition, Dissensions, Factions, Envy, Drunkenness and Orgies -Galatians 5:19-21 have no dominion over us. Ultimate freedom occurs when the body, soul and spirit are freed from all forms of demonic manipulation and clothed with the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control Galatians 5:22-25. True freedom is liberation and deliverance from the desires of the flesh and is maintained through the spirit’s continues indwelling and through obedience to Holy Spirit’s leading.
Freedom from Satan: True freedom is achieved when man turns from Satan to God. Satan, the Bible teaches is the ruler of this world. He is the supreme ruler of the world. He dominates the whole world, patrols this earth, and is commander of a host of evil spirits through which he enslaves and keeps captives those without Christ. And so, all those without Christ are under the demonic manipulation and control of Satan. They are enslaved by the dominion and power of darkness. Unless humanity is delivered from the grip of Satan through the indwelling power of God, true freedom cannot be achieved. True and genuine freedom comes begins when we are united Christ and sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 1:7). The freedom provided by Christ is not a freedom for us to do whatever we want, but freedom to live the life that is pleasing to God. Our spiritual freedom and rest must never be used as a cover-up for evil or justification for conflict. Our freedom in Christ frees us for service to God and to other people in the way of righteousness.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.”
I like to further categorize freedom into societal and spiritual freedoms. I do not want to undermine the power and importance of societal freedom, but spiritual freedom is even more liberating and critical for societal freedom to have its perfect course.
Ultimate freedom cannot be created by man. Man can create societal freedom but not spiritual freedom. Societal freedom cannot reach its full course without spiritual freedom. Man must be free spiritually. Freedom in its true sense is a quality of God, just as love, beauty, harmony, joy; abundance and peace are qualities of God. Man cannot invent ultimate freedom. True freedom is a gift of God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. True freedom is the very nature and essence of who we are.
Nelson Mandela, an international icon of freedom fighter, once said, “Our path is to recognize freedom as state of consciousness, not a condition of circumstances”.
We must be renewed and freed in mind, heart and soul in order to attain human freedom. God is our source of true freedom and freedom is the essence of Christian faith. Today, as you celebrate, thank God for preserving the United States of America and for her continued fight in the war for liberty and freedom.
President John F. Kennedy said, “The cost of freedom is always high but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
Dr. Mike Murdock, the Wisdom guru writes, “4th of July is very important in American history – in their war for liberty and freedom. Americans have a holy hatred for tyrants, dictatorship and destroyers of the human will. That’s why they willingly confront terrorism anywhere they find it.”
Let us pray that God will stir up men and women with a holy hatred for tyranny to liberate our nation from bad leadership, corrupt government officials, ethnic hatred and colonial enslavement. More than ever than any time in history of the nation, Nigeria needs courageous, visionary and skilful leaders to emancipate our land from satanic political leadership and restore her historic honor and moral dignity in the global community. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
I wish you all happy 4th of July and most importantly God’s freedom. Let God's freedom become your ultimate gift as you celebrate today!
Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke is a public theologian, author, consultant and leadership scholar. He is the president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.
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