Opinion: The #HallelujahChallenge and a People's Love for Magic |By: Wole Aguda

I stopped being a fan of exaggerated worship or public display of godliness when I realized that it was possible to be outwardly pristine and internally depraved of morality. Humanity has mastered the art of stripping clothes off the body of another with just the mind so public works are at best a facade. The real treasure of the person to me is therefore the mind from whence actions emanate. So, corporate worship, while excellent and an expression of the unity of the church is adorable, it is however meaningless when so called worshipers promote hate. You cannot serve God and Mammon. You either love or hate. You cannot gather in worship at night and abuse the daylight from Biafra agitators in the day, in same manner that you cannot raise up hands in worship at night and in the day cast aspersions on our Hausa brothers. If the mind is sound, it will love humanity at first line charge, and then other considerations follow. The collective assignment per Christian is first love. Do not assume that it can be anything else. Love must be No. 1.

I was not quite aware of the #HallelujahChallenge but my circle has many who are actively involved in that event. I am delighted that a single event could ramp up tens of thousands of worshippers via live feeds. It is an ingenious use of technology that leaves me satisfied. I have however wondered if the convener of this wonderful challenge would get the same response had he called for a conference where Hausa Christians prayed for Hausa/Fulani Muslims in the North East and in the North West. Would much be achieved if there was a #PrayChallenge organized by Christians in the South East for strictly men and women of Fulani extraction? Could we expect a robust outpouring of “Amens” and excitement were we called to pray for Boko Haram Bombers? Am I treading on impossible grounds already? Wait for this! Can we have a prayer challenge where Yoruba Christians read out the names of every Federal Lawmaker from the North in blessings and supplication to God for their success? Stop squeezing your mind – that is what love is! Love is not convenient; it is not when you feel uplifted ALONE before God. Love is what you give so why will it be such excruciating assignment to wish your Federal Lawmakers success? Why will it be so hard for Christians to rise in prayers for Fulani Herdsmen – afterall they all certainly aren’t the wretched of our earth! We have the peaceful peaceful ones, don’t we? The ones who who had been in Nigeria all the while before the guns proliferation madness should also be subjects of our well wishers, after all they have not yet poisoned our meat as seen in hate broadcasts.

You can’t place a human impression above divine duty. How do you love when in your heart of hearts, you do not want Buhari to return alive? How can you love when you cannot consider ever relocating to Kazaure from Ibadan? When you jump to the controversial conclusions that the major criminals in Nigeria are from a particular region, you sit in judgment. You, yes you with your royal holiness that cannot interpret dreams had in naps. The problem with Nigeria remains to me, the problem of unloving minds and what we have primed it to believe. Forget the big issues and let us, like Tekno in ‘Rara’ talk about the small things. Can you love a person just because the person is human? The descriptions of South East, South West, North East or North West are as artificial as the fake lashes on some sisters. They are only fine for the moment, not when they are beaten by rain and the elements. The call for the unity of Nigeria is better boosted by corporate agreement that love supersedes all things. Distrust is a result of a lack of love. Many marriages break down today because the love ebbed, leaving room for distrust. I can tell that. Why do we have multiple churches yet agitations for hateful breaks exploding exponentially?

I call on religious leaders everywhere to begin to use our opium constructively. Religion is an addiction and it should either be totally discarded or the valuable elements (every religion I believe has its useful parts) put to good use. If religions preach love, why is it concealed by adherents when issues of Nigerian unity prop up? It is not enough to be religious, it is not even enough to have religion. All we need is love, and then Nigeria attains greatness. Forget all the political grammar. The greatness that the likes of Nathaniel Bassey carry has been shown. Let us push this further to quash daylight ethnic hatred, seen or unseen, heard or not.

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