Many years ago while I was a student in the United States, I went to a small city of Terrell in the southern part of Texas on a holiday. At the city centre, I read a sign post mounted at the centre with the inscription “those who believe in God must have patience because God’s clock is very slow”. Beneath the giant post was another inscription said to have been affixed to the giant post which reads, “God’s clock is very slow.” Many years after I had returned to my country of birth, the people of Nigeria particularly the people of Imo State have had so many occasions of adoration like prayers requesting from God for one thing or another.
For example, many years ago in the 1990’s, there were the activities of 419’s that became so powerful and so lawless. People particularly the young girls were disappearing incessantly with no trace of their whereabouts. In order to confront this menace, several bodies began to organise prayer sessions, holding crusades upon crusades, shouting to the high heaven requesting God to expose the perpetrators of such heinous activities.
One day so many unusual things began to happen in the state capital of Owerri. One of them was that a long snake swallowed another snake. And this attracted public attention and comments. There were other unbelievable things happening in the city of Owerri which many described as the divine anger. One evening there appeared to be another unusual thing and that is the disappearance of a young boy who was hawking groundnut.
His disappearance jolted the entire city. Two days, his body was discovered in a little farm behind a local hotel at Amakohia in Owerri, buried in a shallow grave. What was so frightening and heartbreaking was when his head was displayed on NTA network news with drops of tears dripping from his eyes as he groaned to death.
This began what we then known by some authors as “a revolution at noon” as residents could not take it anymore. The Nigerian police had problems stopping wide spread protests and rioters who unleashed mayhem on some properties alleged to belong to some identified members of 419 who were allegedly linked to the disappearances of those persons in the city.
It was the time of a military Governor called Lt. Col. Tanko Zubairu who with the collaboration of the police tried seriously to quench the riot. In the midst of the hub-bub, a charred body of a young man fully roasted and some parts excised from the body said to have been used for feasting was discovered in a place near Federal Housing Area of the city with police detectives carrying the remaining portion of the body in an open wooden truck and this further inflamed the passion as more and more people joined the protest.
Consequently most of these alleged known members of the groups ran away from the city. Consequently a judicial panel of inquiry was set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Judge of the state in the person of Onumajuru to determine the causes and those directly or indirectly involved in the whole saga.
By the special grace of God, the city and state became quiet as ritual killings stopped and the disappearance of individuals came to an end. To many, the exposure and killing of young Ikechukwu was prayer answered. Recently, in the past one year since January 14, 2020 when the Supreme Court nullified the election of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha whom had been declared the winner of the governorship election of 2019, sworn in as governor was nullified to the greatest astonishment of the people including non- party persons.
Many prayer warriors and other fervent Christians of all denominations have continued to organise prayer sessions for the reversal of what they termed monumental manifestation of injustice. In the next few days, it will be almost one year since that land breaking judgment was delivered. In churches, mosques, adoration grounds and prayer houses have been shouting and praying unstoppable for one thing to happen- the reversal of that Supreme Court judgment.
While all these were going on and one year on, rumours, gossips and speculations have continued to thrive as many continued to hope for modern miracle to happen. On the other hand, many members of Imo State who have not been favoured have been complaining seriously about the current administration of Sen. Hope Uzodinma.
In fact, this is not a place to judge the performance of Governor Hope Uzodinma because while others believed that giving the curious his emergence, he has been doing well particularly in the areas of State security, social tranquility and economic thriving, others think otherwise. Yet the plethora of prayers has continued.
For me as an analyst and also a Christian, many are expecting that by now God should have answered their prayers. Furthermore, as a free thinker we shall not fail to know or believe that God’s time is the best. Or according to the inscription on a sign post in the city of Terrell that “God’s clock is very slow.” Perhaps, maybe or maybe not as many expect,” there is no end to prayers” as one author puts it, “there is no over dosage in prayer.”
One thing is certain, we as lesser mortals are limited and cannot question what God has sanctioned but irrespective of our thinking according to one Igbo proverb which says that,” if you snatch something from a child, and raise it up, you will be forced to put down the hand when it starts to pain you and then the child will take his property.”
No matter our opinions, expectations, I believe that God’s time is the best. What we need and want in Imo is peace, development and tranquility. Wishing us all a jubilant new year according to the wish of God.
By Dr. Chuks Osuji