Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has lamented that Christianity in Nigeria and indeed the entire Nigerian society are being threatened by get-rich-quick mentality, which has been the root of practically all the vices and evil troubling the churches and the country.
Okowa blamed inordinate ambition for affluence and material possessions among Nigerians including Christians for the pervasive corruption, growing cases of occultism and ritual killings, kidnapping, armed robbery, advance fee fraud popularly known as ‘419’ or ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ and other violent crimes in the country.
The governor made these remarks at the first session of the 15th Synod of the Asaba Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Ubulu-Okiti in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
Okowa said, “The inordinate desire for wealth and material possessions inevitably results in compromise, covetousness and corruption. This is perhaps our greatest undoing as a nation today as people want to make money at all cost and the result is what we are seeing all around us – rise in cases of ritual killings, kidnapping, advance fee fraud (popularly known as Yahoo-Yahoo), violent crimes and even occultism in churches.
“While God is committed to meeting our needs, it is also His will that we do not make money making our main pursuit in life. His command remains to seek His Kingdom first and all other things will be added (Matthew 6:33).’’
While commending the theme of the synod, “The pursuit of the vain and the evanescent”, as apt and timely, the governor noted that it appropriately addresses the fundamental issues of life and death vis-a-vis man’s relationship with God.
According to Okowa, “It addresses the concerns of mortal beings that are daily caught in the dilemma of whether to pursue after that which is spiritual and, therefore, eternal or that which is material and, therefore, temporary. The choice is not often as easy as it may sound in a Sunday school class because out there in the real world things can get really sticky.
“Truth be told, we need many God-fearing leaders in all facets of our national life. Men and women who will think less of themselves but more of the people that they have been called to serve; because it is against the divine order for any leader to attempt to use his position to oppress and boss people around.”
“My advice is that we simply live our lives to worship, love, obey, trust God and leave the rest to Him.”
Earlier in a sermon, Bishop, Diocese of Dutse, Rt. Rev. Markus Danbinta, urged Christians to store their treasures in heaven rather than on earth. “Your deeds here on earth constitute your treasure in heaven; the deeds of kindness done to the people in need are done for Christ and are treasures in heaven.
“We are so mindful of our own things and needs, we don’t give much attention to other people, which is not good; and you should know that your character will also determine if you will go to heaven or not. Don’t be too attached to the world; see yourself as someone on pilgrimage on earth and aspire to make heaven with your deeds.’’