The Oasis Reporters
January 27, 2019
By Greg Abolo
Happy days will soon arrive from one of Nigeria’s fastest growing Pentecostal churches to the long suffering internally displaced Nigerians in refugee-like looking camps dotted all over the North East and North Central parts of the country.
The Federal government says it has been sending foodstuffs to those in the camps, but many suggest that such deliveries get looted by crooked government officials.
The residents in the camps are those fleeing death from either the Islamist insurgents called Boko Haram, meaning ‘Western education is sin’ in Nigeria’s North East or the farmers of the North Central belt of the country who are being cleansed from their land allegedly by nomadic Fulani herdsman militia who need the lush green vegetation of the region to graze their cattle, put at about 30 million herds as the far northern sahelian belt faces desertification owing to global warming.
The frightening insurgency has meant that farming activities remain a dangerous occupation with the looming threat of massive starvation in the North, where rain falls for only three months of the year, and food stock hardly last many subsistence farming families.
Gross insufficiency has gravely weakened family cohesion and values in the region.
At a local branch Church of the Winners Chapel in a suburb of Ibadan, South West Nigeria, the resident pastor, Mr. Adekunle had asked his congregation last Sunday, January 20 to cost their breakfast and lunch. He said he knew that some Church members spend about 1,000 nr (one thousand naira only) on breakfast and lunch put together.
Since the church was on a worldwide fast for twenty one days where it is expected that members would skip breakfast and lunch, “multiply that amount by 21 days, and bring the money to the church, label the envelope, ‘For Internally Displaced People’s Camps’ and drop it in the offering basket next Sunday”.
Pastor Adekunle quoted from the book of Isaiah 58: 6- 12 :
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”
He further added that people in IDP’s are really suffering lack, dehumanization and lack of hope, urging Christians to remember them.
In expanding the theme, the presiding Bishop of the Winners Chapel also known as Living Faith Church at his pulpit in Sango Ota, Ogun state, South West Nigeria, he admonished all members to give to the IDP relief project.
The 21 day fasting and prayer season ends Sunday, January 27, 2019.
Other churches too like the Abuja based Dunamis Assembly led by Pastor Enenche, a medical doctor and indigene of Benue state in the devastated North Central region has often emptied his church coffers to provide relief to the Internally Displaced People’s Camps.
In another development, Nigerian born international internet Television host in the United States of America, Adeola Fayehun has aired programs on the dire conditions of women and girls in IDP camps who menstruate without pads in utter humiliation . She recently led a bid to get the women reusable pads as her contribution towards ameliorating the desperate conditions in such camps, including refugee camps keeping Cameroonian refugees.
She keeps her charity work real, including getting donors to send bags of rice, etc to desperate camps.