Our beloved country, Nigeria, has gradually become a land flowing with tears and human blood; a land where people are no longer feeling secured. Dear reader, I may not know how you feel seeing the lifeless bodies of 73 innocent Nigerians been driven round Makurdi metropolis in a motorcade of five trailers and six ambulances? How did you feel when these 73 Nigerians were been lowered down into the grave one after the other? Have you ever thought of the orphans and widows of these victims? Remember, we are not just talking about 73 cows here. We are not even talking about 73 log of woods; Rather 73 able men and women, innocent Nigerians. And as you know, without God’s grace, it could be anybody or anywhere, as long as Nigeria concerned.
Any attempt to justify these killings is worse than the killings itself. Even if we succeed in convincing the world that these deaths were caused by communal clashes that does not justify their killings either. The fact remains, innocent Nigerians were brutally slaughtered like animals and yet no single suspect was arrested. Even at that, I expected the Federal government to at least declare a day of mourning for these innocent Nigerians. Imagine, if it were to be an ordinary politician, am sure, the national flag would have been lowered with a public holiday of mourning. I even expected all the churches and Mosques in Nigeria to at least observe a minute of silent prayer for these innocent souls – but who cares? After all, Benue State is not any other state. So, let the dead bury their own deaths.
While commenting on this ugly situation, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State laments, “Our sons and daughters, pregnant wives, children, fathers and mothers were slaughtered like animals…” Unbelievable! Did I hear Pregnant women? This is the most barbaric act in the history of humanity. In most cases no one is allowed to kill women and children during war. Only a heartless and barbaric coward can lay his bloody hands on innocent women and children; how much more vulnerable pregnant women. This is an abomination! The land of Nigeria has been desecrated. Nigeria should not just declare a day of mourning, it should even declare a period of cleansing. The land of Nigeria must be cleansed through prayer, fasting and mourning to avoid future recurrence.
As the blood of innocent souls keep flowing, I don’t know if you have ever asked yourself, what is happening in Nigeria? What is responsible for the Nigerian economic recession? Why are Nigerian youths trooping out of Nigeria? Why do we have more Internally Displaced people in Nigeria whereas Nigeria is yet to be declared a warring nation? What is responsible for the increase in fuel prize? What happened to our precious Naira? What about the prize of ordinary bag of rice? Why are Nigerians busy killing themselves? What about the consequences of these bloodshed?
When Cain slaughtered his brother, Abel, he did not go unpunished. The Lord God said to him, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth” (Genesis 4:10-12). This passage says it all!
BLOOD IS SACRED: The human blood is the most sacred part of the human body. It is also the principle that defines our common origin. We all, whether white or black, Christians or Muslims, leaders and even ordinary citizens, share in the same blood, with same colour which is red. Blood is also the essence of life. Without blood there will be no life. Any attack against human blood is an attack against human life and human dignity.
In the book of Leviticus the Lord God declares, “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’…for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off’ (Leviticus 17:11,14). Indeed, the human blood is the essence of human life.
Since the human blood is sacred and is also the essence of human life, in the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord therefore declares, “So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and blood guiltiness be on you. (Deuteronomy 19:10). The Lord condemns the shedding of innocent blood. Nothing defiles the land as the blood of the innocent. And that is why when Cain killed his brother Abel the Lord says that the blood of his brother was crying to him from the ground.
Those who destroy the blood of their fellow human beings cannot go unpunished. In the book of Genesis the Lord declares, “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.” (Genesis 9:5-6). Even in the New Testament where our Lord Jesus Christ preached the gospel of Mercy, He also insisted that “upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” (Matthew 23:35). In a nutshell, our Lord Jesus Christ concludes, “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). The wicked will not go unpunished!
With this we can be rest assured that the Lord God will not fold his arms to see the destruction of his chosen ones. The psalmist stated clearly what awaits the murderers: “A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him” (Proverbs 28:17). That was exactly what happened .to Cain after he must have killed his brother. Even those who support the murders will not go unpunished.
The ugly situation of things in Nigeria, especially the constant killings of innocent citizens has led to confusion, ill-feelings and all kinds of hate speeches. Most people are not happy with this evil development. Indeed, nobody is expected to be happy. Only a heartless fool will feel indifferent with what is happening here in Nigeria, especially in the area of insecurity.
Unfortunately, there are divergent views among the Men of God in Nigeria, while so many of them are silent and indifferent over the killings in Nigeria, some of them are beginning to pray for vengeance and even encourage their members to fight back or at least stop patronizing the goods of the suspected murderers.
However, no amount of anger, curses or even vengeance will solve the problem we are facing right now. Two wrongs cannot make a right. Even in the Old Testament where most people believe in an eye for an eye, the Lord declares in the book of Deuteronomy, “Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; because the day of their calamity is at hand, their doom comes swiftly” (Deuteronomy 32:35).
In the New Testament St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, declares, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads” (Romans 12:19-20). God is the only one that can fight for us. He is there to defend us.
Far back in the Old Testament when the Egyptians were chasing the Israelites, Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still” (Exodus 14:13-14). As long as we rely on God for our safety and protection, He will surely defend us. If we cooperate with God and remain still even in the midst of persecution, these heartless murders we see today in our country, very soon we shall see them no more!