SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015
CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF NAZARETH?
Philip findeth Nathaniel, and saith unto him, we have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathaniel said unto him, Could any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.’ Jh 1v 45-47.
IT was documented in history that Nazareth, one of the lowliest places on earth, nothing good could come out of it. Little wonder then that Nathaniel rehashed this historical truth to his friend, Philip.
Interestingly, Jesus recognised the import of Nathaniel’s comment and addressed him directly: ‘behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.’ But Nazareth was the birthplace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By His life, death and resurrection, the place opened up and became one of the pilgrimage centres in the world. So what used to be a derided place in history, but by the mercy of God now became a place of hope and honour.
Before now, looking at the Presidential and gubernatorial elections in Nigeria, the thinking of some people was that we might not get it right. More worrisome was the touted America’s prediction that Nigeria would likely breakup in 2015. Added to this prediction were such volatile issues as ethnicity, religious bigotry and insecurity occasioned by Boko Haram attacks among others. These considerations were rife because in some quarters, some persons felt that in Africa, leaders are usually obsessed with power and they find it very difficult to relinquish it even when the ovation is loudest. No wonder some commentators consider African leaders as ‘sit tight’ leaders. To them therefore, nothing good could likely come out of Nigeria’s 2015 elections.
However, we thank God with the successful elections now behind us (presidential, gubernatorial, National and state houses of assembly), although there may be some pockets of complaints, which we hope the election tribunals and the courts at the appropriate time will address. But let it be stated that something good came out of Nigeria even in its political landscape after all.
We must, therefore, salute the courage and hero of the 2015 elections, the outgoing President, His Excellency, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR who not only conceded defeat before INEC’s announcement of Presidential results, but also called and congratulated the President elect, General Muhammadu Buhari. In fact, what the outgoing President did has given hope and honour to the new Nigeria. With great optimism, Nigeria can now walk with its head high around the globe, because it had not only gotten it right after all, but something good has come out of it at the end of the day.
Therefore, we call upon all men of goodwill within and outside Nigerian shores to join us in thanking the Lord, Who made such possible through a sacrificial hero that saved Nigeria from intended bloodbath. To our God be the glory! Amen.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.