With Dr. Ofonime Bassey
War is a definition mostly given by observers while participants prefer calling it liberation movement. Some would say it is ‘Fighting-for-Justice’. Others would go with: Self-Defense. Regardless of the name that identifies it, it still won’t change the fact that the hideous act of maiming, killing and looting is promoted by irresponsible leaders who through ignorance or selfishness laid its foundation. This is quite evident in their anti-justice policies and body language.
Today in our land, there is a growing concern for justice and peace. However, to achieve justice and peace in Nigeria, we must better understand how God views it so we don’t end up running from pillar to post. The truth is, God is merciful but the Bible also emphasizes the fact that He is a just God who will judge injustice and wrongs without bias.
God sees the hearts and minds of men and will judge all men based on it. A reference to the following Bible verses would aid a better understanding of God’s intentions. The righteous cares about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern (Prov 29:7). This is what the LORD Almighty said: Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Zachariah 7:9
Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever (Psalm 37: 27-29). Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19
As Christians, it is expected we stand up against injustice, seek peace and love others in words and actions. Peace is possible through us engineered by God. Since God’s will would always prevail and evil dealt with, we should have no cause for alarm, and just go ahead to do our bits. Romans 12:19 tells us that vengeance belongs to God and he will repay. The Bible teaches adequately how justice and love are antidotes for true peace.
In any case, you have to understand that peace does not just happen; it is intentionally waged through the spirit of love, justice, tolerance and peace leadership. Where love and justice are absent, forget about peace because they are the seeds that bear the fruit called PEACE. The atmosphere for peace and prosperity is what responsible leaders are daily building. They understand that one foolish decision of today is capable of destroying an investment of a thousand years.
Remember, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Smoke doesn’t just show up without a fire. Let us be wise, let us do the needful, and the time for all that is now. Enough of pushing others to the fore, as when they get to the limits, it’s almost natural they bounce back. Let’s get down to business, waging peace through the way we lead and teach, raising the banner of the Prince of Peace together. The business of peace is not for one person, it is for everybody! The Lord God will help Nigeria in Jesus’ name.
Dr. Ofonime Emmanuel Bassey, Institute of Peace Leadership/NISSI Foundation for Skills Acquisition and Reorientation. Email: email@example.com