Futility of miracle mentality in Nigeria

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miracle mentality in Nigeria




“Science has no power before our God; human reason and doubts are only barriers to your miracles. Do not doubt it, by this time next year, everybody in this church must be a billionaire!!! No spirit of poverty, sickness, hunger, witchcraft, backwardness or barrenness will ever come your way!” Amen!!! The congregation chorused a thundering ‘Amen’ to the prophecies of a pastor in a new generation church in Surulere. This is just a singular case of the widely advertised miracle mentality in Nigeria above reason, research, collaboration and production mentality.

Nigerian pastor performing “miracle” on a sick woman

 

In Genesis, God created man, and commanded him to subdue the earth[1] for his own good, fruitfulness and multiplication. From that moment man obtained the authority and capacity to utilize natural resources and forces on earth for human good.[2][3] Many people have manipulated parts of nature for human use through scientific inventions, discoveries, medical and technological wonders. But despite great successes achieved in understanding and utilizing nature for human good, many social, emotional, medical and physical problems remain unsolved. The limitations of human knowledge and ability are exposed when these problems surpass all established scientific remedies and efforts.[4] In such situations, the best physicians and scientists confess their limitations and the need for extraordinary interventions.

 

Miracle is an extraordinary manifestation of divine intervention.[5] The quality of being extraordinary[6] expresses the rareness of such events. It is not meant to happen all the time, nor to replace the role of human knowledge and effort in the society. Human beings are in constant need of health, comfort, security, affection, fulfilment and other good things of life. By discovering and sharing solutions to these human needs through research, man expresses the creative genius within him. By finding these solutions, humans find their relevance, which they inter-exchange as a means of livelihood.

 

Miracles are recorded when favourable events, which surpass human effort, understanding and explanation, occur in nature. Miracles do not invent cars and computers, but could guide researchers to the discovery of natural principles behind inventing cars. Miracles bring consolation and reassurance that humans are not totally abandoned in the perplexing universe. Yet, since we do not determine the extent and frequency of miracles, humans are bound to continue researching on concrete and transferrable solutions.

 

Research is a “systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”[7]

 

The purpose of research is to gain knowledge for using human and natural resources to solve problems all over the world.[8] The chemical researcher develops paracetamol and other drugs from natural resources for treating human headache and diseases everywhere in the world. The mechanical, electrical and electronic researchers develop phones, gadgets, cars and machines from natural resources to be used all over the world. Socialists, educator and psychologists develop systems for spreading knowledge, peace and emotional wellbeing all over the world. The more your inventions from natural resources or services solve human problems in any part of the the world, the more your reward, whether financial, moral, social, etcetera.

 

Unfortunately in Nigeria, the access to the mineral resources from which these solutions can be researched or developed are seized by the imposed style of government. These seized mineral resources for developing solutions to natural problems are auctioned to highest bidders, mostly foreign companies. The Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act states that…

“… all lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation…”[9] “No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound any water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.[10]The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act.”[11]

Eventually, the foreign companies use the resources to produce and import commodities to Nigeria at exorbitant prices.

Since there is no access to mineral resources for developing practical solutions to natural problems in the society, Nigerians are asked to seek divine intervention. Different government officials sponsor religious leaders to preach more prayer and fasting for miracles to solve natural problems of sickness, hunger, poverty, ignorance and unemployment. After this national adoption of miracle-mentality in Nigeria as the solution to national problems, different Imams, prophets, priests and pastors advertise their miracle centres. Different people study scripture passages as pastoral qualifications for prescribing miraculous medications (2 scripture passages-TDSx5/7 + Fasting-BDx7/7 + ritual-stat). If a miracle does not happen after the miraculous medication, a distant relative is accused of bewitching the miracle seeker. 

 

There are also allegations that some priests, pastors, Imams and other miracle workers repackage traditional voodoo to display miracles.[12] Afterwards, any occurrence of fortune is tagged a miracle for special thanksgiving: job offer, car purchase, receipt of Visa, etcetera. 

 

Somehow the miracle-mentality in Nigeria has its psychological effect of consolation and hope. It encourages suffering Nigerians to hold on to their unending hopes, since “only God can solve all our problems”. However, God will not do for us what he has given us the power, wisdom and natural resources to do for ourselves. Nigeria is blessed with surplus human capital and natural resources but lacks the agreement between ethnic communities to collaborate for productivity. “NIGERIANS HAVE NEVER AGREED – OR BEEN GIVEN THE CHANCE TO AGREE – WHAT NIGERIA IS.”[13] “Two cannot walk unless they agree”. Amos 3:3

 




 

In this absence of agreement for collaboration in using local resources for producing local needs, Nigerians remain ignorant of the processes of production. Yes, cars, computers and planes become extraordinary miracles for Nigerians, since they cannot explain how these technologies are made. The social peace and justice is not realizable with miracle mentality in Nigeria, since people hope for miracles instead of moving for dialogue and collaboration. This miracle mentality in Nigeria does not only discourage reasoning and productivity, but encourages individualism and greed. This is because humans tend to grab and accumulate useful entities that they cannot easily produce or acquire.

 

 

We may not continue to “attribute to God that which God has left for us.”[14] Hence, we can only study and collaborate to utilize local resources to solve local problems, instead of waiting on God. God sent us to go into the world and dominate the world with our brain  for productivity, and not to call on him every time. When we have done our part diligently, then miracles will be more meaningful and effective in evangelism. Without addressing this miracle mentality in Nigeria, we will continue mocking the Nigerian God by calling him to do for us, what other countries do for themselves. When turning cold water to hot water becomes a miracle, instead of producing electric boiler, then miracle mentality in Nigeria may never free us from poverty.

Miracle mentality in Nigeria
Miracle mentality in Nigeria

 

[1] Genesis 1:28

[2] http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/land-stewardship/ extracted on 15-09-2017

[3] Cf. Rt. Rev. A. Qiliho, Care for the Environment – A Divine Mandate. http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/media/61285/Aotearoa-NZ-Polynesia-Prov-report-ACEN-2011.pdf p.1

[4] Cf. Watchman Nee, God’s Power being Manifested in Man’s Weakness, http://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/GODS-POWER-BEING-MANIFESTED-IN-MANS-WEAKNESS.HTML

[5] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, When Nigerian god competes with oyibo men, http://restartnaija.com/2017/03/26/nigerian-religion-god-competes-oyibo-men/ extracted on 13-09-2017

[6] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/miracle

[7] National health Research Ethics Code, Abuja: Federal Ministry of Health, 2007. P3

[8] Cf. Ibid

[9] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[10] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[11] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[12] Guru Maraji, Pastors are using Juju on their ignorant members, Published on January 15, 2013 By Ifreke Inyang in Daily Post. http://dailypost.ng/2013/01/15/pastors-are-using-juju-on-their-ignorant-members-guru-maharaj-ji/

[13] cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. New York: Public Affairs, 2010. p.445

[14] Sanusi Lamido, http://www.nigerianewsgrio.com/sites/video/373716-only-3-policies-can-take-nigeria-out-of-recession-%E2%80%93-emir-sanusi-insists.html, 25-11-2016