‘Nigeria needs Clapham model to rid it of corruption’
No fewer than 100 people drawn from different sectors of the economy attended the inaugural service organised by the Living Waters Unlimited Church (LWUC), last Sunday, to officially announce the opening of its new branch in Lekki, Lagos. The branch, which has now become an army of professionals committed to fighting corruption just like the Clapham Saints, a group of London social reformers from 1790 to 1830 with William Wilberforce as their leader.
Speaking during the service on why Christians have a responsibility to engineer change and social reformations in their communities, the General Overseer of the church, Rev. Ladi Thompson, said members of the Lekki branch are ambassadors enlisted in the campaign to rid the nation of every form of corruption. He said the nation is approaching a crossroad and if nothing is done, there will be no country called Nigeria in the future.
“Our problem has become systemic and we need to go beyond religion, because governmental efforts to save Nigeria will not do. But the resolve of Christians committed to serving as change agents is what we need now.”
The cleric, who runs the popular Macedonian Initiatives (MI) for persecuted Christians in the north, said what Nigeria needs is the Clapham model responsible for the abolition of slave trade in Great Britain. Said he: “The Clapham saints were a group of social reformers in the Church of England, which operated from a tiny community in London from 1790 to 1830 with William Wilberforce as the spearhead. The group of wealthy Anglican evangelicals campaigned and mobilised against slave trade until it was abolished in 1807, leading to the passage of the Slave Abolition Act in 1833.
“You can just imagine what would have happened to Britain, if the Clapham sect had not arisen to combat the corruption of slave trade. The future of Great Britain was hanging in the balance, when the government, the business community, the Church of England and the scientific community ganged up to approve the corruption of slave trade. But armed with nothing more than prayers and the will to reform Britain, the famous Clapham sect met and worked together until slave trade was abolished.
“Today Nigeria is exactly at the same point and God directed us to start a parish in Lekki that would serve as a nesting and training ground for the Nigerian equivalents of William Wilberforce, Zachary Macauly, Fowell Buxton, Hannah Moore and other affluent families that chose to lift the banner of God’s word, rather than join in the extreme profits of the immoral slave trade.”
Thompson said the parish, christened Lekki Clapham, is poised to have the same effect in the polity of the nation.
Dr. Adejumobi Otekunrin, a pastor in the church, lamented that the health sector has been crippled by lack of value for human lives.
He said it was callous and inhuman to still have laws that require medical workers to obtain police permit before treating gunshot victims.
Otekunrin said: “Even if they are criminals, humanity demands that they are saved first then brought to justice. But if we just leave them to die, it shows we are of the devil because Jesus saves, not kill.”
Tunji Osinulu, an associate Pastor and a real estate consultant, who said he was instructed by God to return to Nigeria four years ago from the United States of America, could not hide his disgust at the degeneration in the society and churchgoers’ seeming apathy to the gradual meltdown of society.
“The peculiar gospel of God’s Kingdom preached by Jesus Christ is the only known solution to the type of darkness in Nigeria and it is only those who first seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness that can understand the first principles of the oracles of God,” he said.
A past president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Deaconess Bunmi Oke, said women and children are the most affected by the corruption virus.
With tears, Oke noted that God would need to raise a people with renewed conscience for the nation to be reformed. Prophet Yemi Adekunle, who has growing mission works in South Africa, said only the church has what it takes to change Nigeria.
“Nigeria will not be changed by politicians or activists. Only Christians can change this country. But we can only do that when we let go of our comfort zones,” he said.
Thompson said the parish would be a breeding ground for training and equipment of thorough, sound Christian professionals committed to charting a better future for the nation. He assured that “few years from now, many of those who receive their Biblical spiritual education here will be in positions of authority in Nigeria.”
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