God’s judgement over Nigeria has started –Gbonigi
Eighty-nine-year old Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi is a retired Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Akure Diocese and an elder statesman.
In the spirit of Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary celebration, he reels out some prophetic words about Nigeria, expressing the hope he has for the country. In his words “I am getting on in years, in five months time, I will be 89 so I need to speak to this generation about Nigeria”, in this interview with SUNMOLA OLOWOOKERE.
As Nigeria clocks 59, What are your views about the project “Nigeria” so far s?
Nigeria is a country like most countries of the world that are populated with human beings and human beings are prone to mistakes, commit sins, do as they will and they even do the will of Satan instead of God. So, looking at Nigeria from that angle, I am however thankful to God that he has spared Nigeria till today, giving us the opportunity to repent because he does not want the destruction of anyone. What God desires for us is salvation, he wants us to be saved. Yes, God has been blessing us.
There is no doubt that Nigeria is one of the most blessed countries of the world. Nigeria is a country that God has blessed in many ways. Look at our forests, vegetation and rivers; River Niger, River Benue. Look at our lakes and springs where water springs out all years round. Many other good things that God has blessed us with. Food and trees from which we get nourishing fruits, and vegetables.
Look at our animals; big and small ones; birds, fishes in our oceans and animals which give us protein. God loves Nigeria. We have a country flowing with milk and honey.
God loves us. If God were to treat us the way we have been disobeying him and doing our own will instead of doing his will, he would have destroyed us.
Remember how it was recorded in the Bible, there was a time that the people of the world were so bad and so evil that God decided to wipe them out with water. That record is in Genesis chapter 6, but during the time of Noah. After the flood, there were only eight souls spared. But God said he would no longer destroy the people with water.
He knows the weaknesses of the human nature so he treats us with mercy. He left us to make changes by ourselves and know our sins to be sins, to hate our sins, confess our sins without any excuses, to have deep contrition and repent so that he will forgive us our sins.
The Bible makes it very clear that God did not want the death of sinners. He wants that sinners may repent so that he may forgive them, so that they may live. So God has been very kind to us as a people, as Nigerians.
Are you not disappointed at all about Nigeria?
The project Nigeria is God’s project so I cannot be disappointed with God’s project. Yes, it is so bad, but God is in charge we are in his hands. It is not going to continue to be like this.
Do you have hope concerning the situation of Nigeria?
I have hope, a very big hope. So it is not going to continue to be like this. It will not continue like this until we totally destroy ourselves. You see how we destroy ourselves now. We take the lives of people so lightly. Some people no longer have regard for human life. They kill people as they like. Like in Plateau state. There is violence all over the country. You see highway robbers and Fulani herdsmen. Look at what the Boko Haram has been doing since 2009; killing people like ants, as if they have no value.
If God were to treat us as we have been treating ourselves, if God were to punish us as we have been disobeying him, he ought to have destroyed us completely. He remember what he has done in the Lord Jesus Christ, he remember the babies that are being born into the world now that are completely innocent. The leaders have been so ungodly, selfish, proud, arrogant, destroying things that God has created. But when God looks at the little babies, he will see them as those that know nothing. So God has been so merciful. He only disciplines us so that we know sin to be sin, so that we may repent.
So what are your expectations about Nigeria?
God will raise up new leaders for Nigeria and new people. Leaders that will come into power not because they are looking for positions. Not leaders who are looking for positions so that they will have possessions. These are leaders who come into position of leadership so that they could serve God and the people.
They come into leadership to provide basic necessities for the people. Majority of our leaders today particularly in politics are leaders who are looking for positions to get possessions. They are selfish and self centred people who are looking for what they could get for themselves. They are greedy and exploiters.
They take the resources that have been given to us to provide for the needs of the people which if they use as God wants us to use them, they will also benefit from it. But they used the resources in ungodly way.
Hence the people are not benefitting social amenities like electricity. Some of us do not have clean and healthy water to drink so they suffer from diseases which ought not to be if people that are ruling us provide good water for us.
Looking at the standard of education we are receiving in Nigeria today. We have a large number of children that are out of school. If I remember correctly, they say that Nigeria is the fifth country having the highest number of out -of- school children. And judging by what God has given us, we should not have a child out of school.
All of them should be in school receiving good, enabling education right from day care to tertiary institution level.
Look at the industrial sector, large number of graduates leave school and have no work to do and because they have no work to do, the devil gives them work. As they say, an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. So he is employing them. Greedy politicians often use these unemployed youths as political thugs; fighting, killing people and destroying properties.
In the process, many of them are dying. Many of them try to go abroad and seek greener pastures. They go through the Sahara and die there. Some of them try to cross to European countries and they die in boat accidents. We are losing so many of them; intelligent, able-bodied and educated young people. We are losing them in millions. Those who do not leave the country are really suffering. We are suffering so much because of our sins. When we live in sin, there are repercussions.
God keeps warning us, behold I come quickly with my recompense, with my judgement in my hand to give to everyone according to his work; either good or bad. For example, I am Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, if I am loyal to God, his judgement on me will be of blessings but if I am not doing his will, God’s judgement on me will be terrible.
God has no favourite. He is a righteous God. So that is the situation of our country. God is in control.He says in his words “Behold I will make all things new”. I have started to make all things new. Can’t you see it”. God has started to make all things new in our country. As bad and evil as we are, God is already making things new in our country. And his judgement has started.
How do you mean sir?
Our people who are selfish and greedy, who have been stealing billions of money from Nigeria’s coffers, God has started to judge them and they are suffering already.
Some individuals who have billions of naira and brag about it saying that “I have money more than a state”, where did they get the money?” It is the money of the people that he has been looting. If we examine his life carefully, we will know that God is already judging him. God usually starts in a little way so that the sinner will become sober and repent. And if he continues in his evil ways, final judgement will come and destroy him altogether.
There is a passage in the Bible where people were saying “God has been too patient and slow. Some people had been doing terrible things and their deeds had been bringing suffering and death to innocent people. And the people will say that but he said he is a God of judgment, when is he going to judge? But God said through one of his servants, Peter, that slowness in God is not like we have slowness in human beings. It is not that God is too slow, it is just that God is too merciful. He does not want anybody to die.
However, he said that if they refuse to repent and God’s final judgement comes, the way he describes it is terrible. He said that he will destroy them with terrible fire. One that burns with sulphur and can make anyone that looks upon it with naked eyes to go blind. God ‘s judgement will destroy them in such a way that they won’t be able to collect the ash from their burnt bodies. That kind of judgment is coming. It has started in a small way, acting as warning for all of us including myself to repent before the terrible judgement will come.
Lastly sir, what is your advice to Nigerians and the leaders ?
My advice for Nigeria and we Nigerians including myself, Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi is that we should repent of our sins. We should love righteousness and hate sin . The sins we have been eating like food, drinking like water and licking like honey, we should now see them as poison and confess our sins. We must have deep sorrow. The Bible describes it as contrition. There are five steps; know our sins to be sins, hate our sins, confess our sins without making excuses, be truly sorry for our sins and repent. God says he will forgive us if we do that.
Secondly, we must have a desire to know God’s will and make our chief desire and determination to be to do God’s will in all things, at all times, in all places and under all circumstances. If we do God’s will only, Nigeria will become new and a righteous nation . Justice will reign and there will be peace. There is no peace in Nigeria today because we are not getting justice.