I am lying down beside a winding stream in my favourite park. The park itself is in a remote place where nature has been preserved in all its originality. They do not allow cars into the park, so tourists have to park about two miles away, and then hike through the various pathways to whatever part of the park they wished to visit. I came early to get a suitable spot. My favourite spot under the tree, by the stream.
The stream is quiet, but you can hear the rush of the water as it makes its way through the park, making its own music sweet to my soul. The sun should have been hot overhead, but I am lying down in the shade of a giant almond tree, its branches shielding me away from the sun’s unrelenting rays. Despite the sun, there’s a cool breeze blowing, and I am dozing on and off in my temporary heaven, having just finished a bowl of jollof rice and spiced chicken, topped with a chilled can of chapman. Yes, I brought my food and drinks for this one man retreat. I came prepared.
My soul needed a refreshing, hence my trip to that imaginary park where there’s peace and tranquility! It seems I have suffered from a bout of delayed reactions, following the “Lekki Massacre”. It’s difficult to describe how I feel. I am mourning, yet I don’t know any of the injured or the dead. My heart is heavy and I carry a burden. I have tried to avoid the videos on social media and the news on TV. But it feels like I left it too late. The videos I’ve seen are still in my memory, creating havoc to my peace of mind. How can these things happen in today’s Nigeria? Such impunity, such effrontery to the people? I am so sad. It feels like they attacked me personally.
Seeing how I was feeling, I decided that I needed a reboot. I needed to get things off my chest. I needed a refreshing. Not to pretend that nothing happened, but to accept that there was an event beyond my control, with which I have to come to terms. I had prayed a few times in church organized prayer groups. But I found that most of the time, I didn’t want to pray; I wanted to vent. I wanted to talk about how unfair it was to attack unarmed children like that. Children who had not been violent. I wanted to raise a lamentation like the one in Ramah, Rachel weeping for her children because they were no more.
Nigeria, my country! There is much to lament about in you. Instead, I will make declarations, believing that those decrees I make will come to pass, as I release them in the name of Jesus. Nigeria, you are the land that the Lord has blessed. Righteousness and justice reign in you. You are a land that the inhabitants thrive in. People from other nations desire to come to join your people as they flourish and thrive in a land of milk and honey. Nigeria, God bless you and your people and make you a blessing to all. Your great riches have spread through the land, and there are jobs for everyone. Nigeria, a land of peace and plenty. So shall it be, in Jesus’ name. Amen.