2011 will remain a crucial year in contemporary history of the Middle East region of the world. For the very first time, a broom of revolution swept through the streets of many of the countries, which though was originally unplanned, uprooted some political leaderships which the people regarded as the soul of their deprivation, hopelessness, despair, hunger and starvation.
The revolutionary actions started in Tunisia, where a young man who was facing some economic troubles, decided to set himself ablaze. He saw the leadership of President Ben Ali as a desecration of his humanity. His death moved the people to mass revolt; and in a matter of days, Ali fled to Saudi Arabia as a refugee, and the tyrannical administration fell into pieces like a pack of not-well-arranged cards.
The incident in Tunisia, in which some lives and property were destroyed, spurred others into action in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, to mention a few. In Egypt, for instance, President Mubarak’s regime fell, as the man who had ruled for more than 30 years lost the seat of power. It was obvious that the people were disenchanted; the revolutionary action pulled people together in major cities of Egypt, who fought the regime to a standstill. In Libya, very similar situation occurred. After months of protestations and tragic confrontations against the 42 years old regime of colonial Mummar Ghadaffi, the leader fell, and he was in fact, killed. But many places suffered bullets-invation; people died enmasse, property was set ablaze. One feature of this revolt was that other nationals were attacked, dispossessed of their belongings and imprisoned. Some of the imprisoned were Nigerians.
In the prison, people were subjected to ignoble treatments – they were made to go hungry and helpless; their health situations were difficult. Some countries had to evacuate their nationals from Libya but one of the countries which failed to do so promptly was Nigeria.
During a recent Sunday service at The SCOAN,(29TH July, 2012),some of such previously imprisoned Nigerians had come to express gratitude to Prophet TB Joshua and the Emmanuel TV PARTNERS. Over 300 illegal immigrants into Libya had initially written to the Nigerian government to help secure their release, and evacuate them home, as done by some other countries. But no help came their way. The Nigerian Embassy in Libya was allegedly non-functional; nothing was done to assist the prisoners. Indeed, some of the Embassy staff were those who advised that the prisoners should write to the Federal Government of Nigeria through Prophet TB Joshua, a man generally known for his vast heart for charity and philanthropy. He had to read their collective letter on the Emmanuel TV, and within a twinkle of the eye, the prisoners found themselves on their way home.
As they narrated their stinging experiences through their spokespersons, they gave glory to God for setting them free. The spokespersons said that after the prayers of Prophet Joshua, they were miraculously released a mere two weeks later. Hunger and despair hit them so hard, but eventually, they were deported to Nigeria.
After welcoming them home, the prophet prayed for them, and handed over N100,000 to each of them (totaling N4 million) in order to encourage them to live with reality, and go back home and plan their lives afresh. The man of God said he gave out the money because he felt compelled to do that, under the circumstances. But that he gave out the cash on behalf of the Libyan and Nigerian governments. Each was also given three bags of rice, saying “God can make us do more for you. This is first aid. Go and see your families. Don’t be provoked”.
He said that even Libyans were helpless in the situation, and that there was no way else the situation could have been approached in that country. His tone was apologetic, and it showed the level of his love for the people and hatred for war. He also told the freed Nigerians that “I want to know what you are doing. Explain to your people what happened. Everything big starts little”.
The points of relevance are obvious. Joshua remains a great patriot and spiritual leader who has used his love of humanity and spirit of generosity to assist others, as characteristic of him. The gesture continued the second week when the second batch of the freed Nigerians also came to The SCOAN; they were also given, collectively, N12million and three bags of rice, each.
What should be the concern of government for its citizens is what he has done; but this is to demonstrate that he loves his country dearly; he is prepared to sacrifice on behalf of the young and needy; and he is quite passionate about his drive for philanthropic acts. No society can exist without its youth, but such youths should not be allowed to go into crimes, prostitution, drugs and other acts of immorality to survive. His action showed that the Nigerian Government has a role to play in the upliftment of our youths, in helping them when necessary, and in providing for them all as when due in order to make them proud citizens of Nigeria. His constant sermons on love and good neighbourliness will continue to be sources of inspiration to individuals, corporate organizations and Africans as a whole.