Excerpts from the speech of Pastor Enoch Adeboye at the Nehemiah Initiative Conference on Saturday on October 3 as televised by Channels Television
Your excellences, royal majesties, my brothers and sisters. I want to thank the almighty God for a day like this and thank the organisers for asking me to come and pray for you and pray for Nigerians.
When they told me, I would be ministering for 10 minutes, I said if I pray for 10 minutes, by the time I finish praying those listening to me would have fallen asleep.
I believe what they actually meant is that probably I should share a few thoughts with you before I pray.
I am sure you all know I am not a politician and I don’t belong to any political party. I have never been governor neither do I hope to be. As a matter of fact each I travel to some parts of the world and I have the opportunity of visiting heads of state, I usually thank God I am a pastor and not a politician because when you consider all the protocols, all the security checks, you can only come to the conclusion that it is easier to see Jesus Christ than to see some heads of state.
But before I became a pastor I was a mathematician, an applied mathematician. And mathematicians practically live their lives solving problems.
You see, when we begin to talk of Nigeria from the year 2060, the first question that a mathematician will want to ask is, if there will be a Nigeria in 2060. In other words, you are talking about something you are not 100 per cent sure.
Before we discuss Nigeria of 2060 we need to address the problems that we have now. If these problems are not solved, then this will just be an academic exercise.
Not that I don’t enjoy the exercise, at least it is refreshing. But you see, I think on one of the occasions I was on a long flight from London to Singapore, a journey of about 13 hours or something. After you have eaten and slept and woken up, you still have some 7 hours to go, you discover you have time to loaf around a little bit. I was thinking of Nigeria. And I think I will just share my thoughts with you.
By the time I finish sharing with you, you might consider it a joke from a mathematician. Because after all, mathematicians can be eccentric at times. I just felt that why can’t we have a system of government that is 100 per cent Nigeria, unique to us.
For example, we started with a British system of government. Somewhere along, we moved over to the American system of government. I was just wondering, can’t we have a combination of both and see whether it could help us solve the problem.
Because in mathematics if you want to solve a problem and you try what we call real analysis and it does not work, you move on to complex analysis and if that fails you move to vector analysis etc. I believe that probably we might need to look at the problem of Nigeria in a slightly different manner.
You see because some people feel that all our problems will be over if Nigeria should break up. I think that is trying to solve Nigeria’s problem as if it is a simple equation problem.
The problems of Nigeria will require quite a bit of simultaneous equations and some of them are not going to be linear either. Forgive me I am talking as a Mathematician.
So I was thinking why can’t have a system of government that will create what I call a kind of United Nations of Nigeria.
For example, we all know that we have to restructure. It’s either we restructure or break. You don’t have to be a prophet to know that. That is certain to come. Restructure or break up. Now we don’t want to break up. God forbid.
In restructuring why don’t we have a Nigerian kind of democracy? At the federal level for example why don’t we have a president and a prime minister? If we have a president and a prime minister and we share responsibilities between these two so that one is not an appendage of the other.
For example, if the president controls the army the prime minister controls the police. If the president controls resources like oil, mining, the prime minister controls finance and Inland Revenue to taxes, customs e.t.c
We just divide responsibility and we come to the state level. At the state level, you have the governor and the premier. You divide functions so that one does not become an appendage of the other. Maybe. This is just a mathematical suggestion.
If we are able to adopt this model, then we will need urgently to restore what we used to call the House of Chiefs.
I have a feeling that one of our major problems is that we have pushed the traditional rulers to the background. I believe that is a great error particularly for a country like Nigeria. I find it ridiculous that one would ask a traditional ruler to inform the local government chairman before he travels. Go to any town in Nigeria. Everybody in the town knows who the paramount ruler is and they respect him.
Many of them don’t even know the name of their local government chairmen. The traditional rulers are the actual landlords. They control the respect of their people. Their people will listen to them much more, I am sorry to say more than the politicians.
Just like they have the House of Lords in Britain, why can’t we have the House of Chiefs. We might expand like they do in Britain and include Bishops, I am not a Bishop so don’t think I am including myself. Bishops, chief Imams etc. can be included in the house.
These are people who can shape the opinion of the people. I am just putting this across as a presentation. Think about it. And then we must restructure and do it as soon as possible. A United States of Nigeria is likely to survive more than our present structure. But then, my assignment is to pray for you and pray for Nigeria. Let Us Pray!!!