Praying a Country Into Development?

By Dike Chukwuma

Nigeria is a rolling disaster waiting to happen if concerted efforts are not put in place to fix it. It’s obvious we live each day in this country with uncertainties. Apart from not knowing when your maker has prepared for your homecoming, you have doubts in a country that is not known for any occurrence of any form of natural disaster.

Prayers don’t develop countries. If it does, we’ve been praying since 1960 and nonetheless among the most terrible of all nations. It’s not prayers that made China, Russia, France, US, Malaysia etc. who are economically, politically and technologically great today.

Let me give you a brief illustration into my argument that development is a well-planned activity, not just a miracle that comes by.

A young Russian boy was suffering a form of Cancer. He wrote to President Vladimir Putin requesting the President to visit him on his hospital bed, where he would make a dying wish. President Putin visited him in the hospital and the boy complained of the absence of medical facilities to treat him. He died shortly afterward.

When Putin learned of his death, he brought in German Doctors who specialized in the ailment and other complications which led to the death of the young boy. The Russian President thereafter commissioned the building of a Specialist Hospital for that ailment. It was built and named after the boy, Dima Rogachev Oncology Specialist Hospital.

Because of that hospital, cases of child deaths from Cancer-related ailments have dropped by 90% in the region. German Doctors still run it, training their Russian counterparts. It is also a Teaching Hospital for Doctors to Specialize in the field of Oncology.

I’m forced to say these types of stories happen in societies where there are investigations into why some deaths occur. In other words, a culture of openness to learn the lesson, good governance to initiate and domesticate change and an empathetic, compassionate government that wants to leave a legacy for the greater good of all. But this is the mindset of leaders who want to change the status quo of their nation.

From recent developments, Former President Babangida suffered (suffers) Radiculopathy, and the erstwhile President Umaru Yar’Adua died of Pericarditis. Only God knows what ails President Buhari. What effort has been made to deepen learning in these fields to ensure less people die of the same ailment?

I just wish we could use prayer to do everything, use prayer to build houses, bridges, roads, and hospitals, we would’ve had some fantastic hospitals, roads and bridges in this country, but it doesn’t work like that because Prayer without works is dead. Works with prayer yields results.

Asking for the masses to pray or waiting for God to come and do everything for you or seeking to achieve something when you have done nothing is vanity . I may as well label it as laziness, incompetence, irresponsibility or a combination of all them.

When President and Governors are saying we should pray, what readily comes to my mind is whether we paying taxes to God or to the government?

I am not an atheist and so believe in the efficacy of prayers. However, if we don’t rise and do the needful in this country, there’s nothing prayers can do. God will not come down and fix our roads, build our hospitals or fix our rotten education system. It all lies in our hands.