About two years ago or more, some buildings housing some hostel in the Synagogue Church of All Nations situated in Abule Egba area of Lagos State collapsed killing hundreds of worshipers. It was reported that there was a program going on at the time of the incidence. Most of the collapsed part of the buildings were emergency houses and huts under construction which were later elevated for several stories building to accommodate and made more accommodation available to the teeming workers that includes foreigners. This emergency houses were as a result of sudden increase in the numbers of worshipers and therefore an opportunity for the owners to make quick money. The roads leading to the church venue are no go area during service and this normally cause serious and untold hardship for commuters who plied those routes but the government and the owners of the church closed their eyes to the yearnings and weeping of the residents. Up till this moment, the church and the Nigeria Judiciary are still treating the people to what I called ‘naïve dance’ but we know that what Nigeria Supreme Court could not find out, a customary court in U.K. will definitely come out with it.
While the people of South Africa whose several nationals have not forgotten the sad omen, on Saturday 10th December 2016, a church known and called Reigners Bible Church International situated along Uyo Village Road near Government House collapsed killing more than one hundred worshipers. The church which was hurriedly put up to accommodate the State Governor in person of Udom Emmanuel, his executives and other invited guests was to witness the founder of the church in person of Apostle Akan Weeks being ordain a Bishop. While the governor and his executives’ escapes through some designated routes the deceased persons could not be lucky like the governor probably they were involved in sin more than the governor. Twenty four hours after the episode, the state governor has declared a two day mourning in honor of the departed souls and have promised to pay the medical bills of those still recuperating in the hospitals. The governor has not told us while he should use the state government fund to pay for medical bills of people that were invited for a program knowing too well that the money does not belong to the Reigners Bible Church International but the entire state including those that worship idols.
Today, it is obvious that our sitting governors and elected officers have forgotten their responsibility to the people and decided to team up with some idiots in the name of religious. Rather than sit down in the government house and plan with the executives to turn the fortune of the state around and create the much needed employment, our governors were always on the move for one fake church program or naming ceremonies. From the 8th century, Uyo economic is viable relying on its vast rubber plantation which created the largest employment for the citizenry. This was the time too when other people from other parts of the country migrates to this area to rent or lease not only rubber but palm trees which produces palm oil in large quantities. Today, these job creation opportunities have been lost to ‘gold oil’ which allowed our elected officers to loot all our common heritage. In decent countries of the world people worked from Monday to Saturday including nights meaning that the economy of such nations runs for twenty four hours non stoppage but not in Nigeria.
On Saturday 10/12/2016 when the accident occurred most of those people would not have been there if the governor have done his work by reviving the dilapidated rubber industries in the state because most of them would have been in the office working for their daily pay. It may not be ruled out too that most of them were there to receive part of the loot since they are aware that the governor is coming to the venue. Nigerians are not oblivious of the fact that our governors normally shared our hard earned money during such occasions and it is therefore imperative to wait for him in the church. Apart from the two commodities mentioned above the land of Akwa Ibom is also famous for the cultivation of yam, garri, vegetable, plantain, oranges, pear to mention but a few. The governor who supposed plan and rejuvenate the agricultural sector in line with the Buhari diversification programs is attending a one man church program to anoint a Bishop which is humiliating to the people of the state. The presence of the governor in such an event may not be unconnected to the looting of the states treasury through funny pastors and imams.
All over the world leaders are elected to touch the lives of the citizenry. In this country, they either organized crusades where they spent the people’s common wealth outside the constitutional requirements or travel to one of the European countries in the name of seminar and trainings. Some years ago, a Chairman of Sapele Local Government Area always organized crusades on a weekly basis while the council fund are looted with pen in the night after the crusade. Today, the council is owing its civil servants more than ten months salaries and there is no solution to it yet. Politicians should sit down and looked for a proper avenue to run the country while the issue of funny crusades and night vigils should be left for pastors and other church leaders to organize. Now that the country is in recession every level of government should be serious with planning and reengineering in order to move the country forward. The frequency of church collapsed in the country must be checked in order to save innocent lives and government should stop paying lip services to control measures which have affected every area of the nation’s economy.
The announcement by the government that it will set up a committee to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the church building is an afterthought and waste of the people’s fund. The church founder and the contractor should be arrested and prosecuted without delay. In the case of Synagogue Church in Lagos we have not seen the end of the case and it will still take another years for the case to come to an end while the bones of the deceased has dried up in their graves. I sincerely commensurate with the families of all those that lost their relations while wishing the deceased eternal rest in the bosom of the Lord. Since the election of Donald Trump of the United States as president he has been busy appointing worthy sons and daughters of America that will assist him in running the economy. The stories of fake pastors and imams visiting him on a proton prayer festival has no place in the heart of the man. What occupies his mind is how to bring the country out of the predicament fostered on the country by the Obama government.
This is a country where the failures becomes heroes and suppose be heroes becomes beggars. Apart from the fact that the state government has undertaken to pay for the medical bills of the patients, what becomes of them if they are discharged from the hospitals since many of them cannot do any meaningful work to earn a living due to the severity of the injuries sustained by them. The church fonder should be made to provide accommodation and feeding plans for the injured ones for life. It is not enough to pay for their medical bills and dump them after being discharged from the hospitals. The state government should revive all the ailing industries in the state to provide the desired employment. The state government should ensure a bill is passed by the state house of assembly to imprison any church officer whose premises led to the death of the people. Until we proved to the fake pastors and self-styled religious leaders that they are not bigger than the law of the land we will continue to witness the fall of church buildings.