God made man in His own image and gave us control over all the earth. His first commandments to us were to be fruitful, to multiply, to replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion. All that God wanted and still wants from us is to be like Him on earth to increase and not diminish, to hear Him and act out His instructions and take care of this real estate called earth.

 Then Satan showed up at man's peak of blissful existence and through what seemed like ‘harmless' suggestions, ensnared us. After Eve ate the forbidden fruit, nothing happened. But as soon as Adam ate, both their eyes were opened. In what was the first blame game, Adam did not blame himself, he blamed the God who had instructed him not to eat the forbidden fruit. Adam said to God ‘the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.'

 We all know what needs to be done for babies to be born or for plants to grow, which is why if an ovulating woman gets raped she will get pregnant even though she was not a willing participant. The principles of business if properly applied will yield predictable results. God established these principles and they have come to stay, because God will not bend His rules and ways outside those He established. In a nutshell, we are responsible for the outcomes we get.

 Unfortunately, it has become fashionable to blame God every time we fail to live up to His image. God gave us faith but made it clear that we must act out our faith. This means that if we want uninterrupted electricity, we must do the things required to have electricity such as careful planning, the right investments, the right contractors and timelines. And after the facilities are built, we are to maintain them as at when due, even as anticipated future demand fuels more investments. That will be fruitfulness and multiplication and if we fail to do what is required we are responsible for our failures.

 When we rig elections, the beneficiaries do not owe the electorate any loyalty because they do not need them to retain office. The God of justice gets blamed for an outcome He did not orchestrate.

 God did not tell any one to sow seeds of hatred and discord amongst us; neither did He sanction false census figures rigged to secure the kind of advantage that He frowns at. God does not encourage laziness, yet we have elevated and celebrated it. And we blame Him when we reap the fruits of laziness.

 There are many who claim they have God's mandate to kill in His name. They burn down buildings to destroy evidence of massive corruption and end up blaming God. The unfortunate street urchins in the North called the almajaris are victims of the failure of man not God. Soon, we will be told the continuing injustice in the Niger Delta is also an act of God.

 Nigeria's failure is not God's failure. We have and continue to fail because we exercise God given free will in overwhelming negative practices and the outcome is staring us in the face. They are evident on pothole ridden roads, flooding and decades old dry taps. They manifest as breakdown of law and order and violent crime across the land. The sum total is a dysfunctional, corrupt and poor nation that has no business being poor. God will not come down to harness the exceptional riches that He has graciously bestowed on us, because He has empowered us to have dominion on earth. It is all up to us.

 Nigeria 's failures are the failure of Nigerians. The failure of Nigeria is the failure of leadership. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. It was the beginning of his journey through prison to the palace as prime minister of Egypt. In that position, Joseph saved his people from famine, including the same brothers whose treachery started his journey through the pit to the palace.

 Nigeria 's equivalent of Joseph walked through the valley of the shadow of death where his military brothers had jailed him for a crime he did not commit, until the goggled one, who had master minded it, ate apples and paid the price he wanted Nigeria 's Joseph to pay. This paved the way for him to move to Nigeria 's equivalent of the palace, Aso Rock. God trusted the original Joseph not to get even. But what did our own Joseph do? He went to war against his own people in Odi and Zaki Ibiam. He went to war against every one, a war that gave rise to the quest for a third term in office and fuelled unbridled corruption to amass wealth to fight political battles. In spite of his claims to the contrary, he rigged the election that brought unprepared people to succeed him and rule Nigeria. He ushered in more darkness in the face of unprecedented in flow of petrodollars. Are these acts of God or man? 

 While the original Joseph ignored Portipha's wife, our own was accused of less than fatherly conduct with his son's wife. The annulment of the June 12, 1993, elections was an act of evil men, not God. That act set us back and we may never stop ruing the missed opportunities of an election that would have fostered national unity.

 Man, whom God created in his own image, has chosen Satan as their role model. This is the only possible explanation for why Nigeria is in the deadly grips of political, economic and social darkness. And will remain there until we learn to apply the correct principles to every issue that besets us as a nation. That is the only way we can overcome, like all great men and nations. God put more than enough to take care of the people He put in Nigeria but He will not come down to till the ground to yield agricultural produce nor mine the amazing solid minerals and harness our vast potentials because after playing His part, it is now in our hands. 

 We can pray all the prayers in the world but if we are not ready to apply God's principles, our prayers will be nothing but ranting. God does not work for people, He works with people.

 God is not the one creating unemployment. Dunlop Nigeria is just one of the many companies that are offloading workers like flotsam because of power outages and a hostile business environment. Our collapsed educational system is the outcome of repeated failures of man. Do not be surprised if we start calling armed robbery acts of God!

Left alone, our thieving tribe of the political class will add one more commandment to the original ten and it will be ‘thou shall not be caught.' God has blessed us bountifully and if we do not care about Nigeria, who will? I must add that God does not need me to defend Him but I cannot watch us blame Him for our short comings.

Okechukwu Peter Nwobu

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