By Dr. (Barr) Faraday Iwuchukwu
“The LORD examines the righteous but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates” (Psalms 11:5)
Violence has severally affected everyone in one way or the other. Violence is clearly reported in the News reports such as Newspapers, magazines, radio and television presentations. Violence is obviously feared on the streets, work places and children in Primary, Secondary schools, and tertiary institutions face violence from bullies in their environments. At various homes and offices people feel insecure even behind carefully locked doors. Millions especially women and children feel unsafe and much depends on the country. Statistical information states that 65%-70% of women have reported that they have been violently assaulted by their intimate partners. Men are not also spared from domestic violence from their partners irrespective of the terrorists- Boko Haram, Cultic rival groups in schools, notorious militants and peaceful separatists movements or agitators, there is also the violent- political or social uprisings or even terrorism here and there. Most times, these uprisings are unpredictable. The fears of violence are felt and experienced more so in the increased level of electronic gadgets or surveillance mounted or carried out in some places more so those that are viewed as targets of terrorism or criminality.
We are aware equally that the video- surveillance (close circuit television CTVs) manufacturing companies are smiling to the banks daily irrespective of the fact that there is a severe economic recession. These gadgets are paid for easily by the users in the work places, financial institutions or homes. The tax payers and other payers fees are often utilized in most cases to pay for these electronic gadgets despite the fact that they are acquired at cut throat prices. These security measures are on the increase. These could also become pervasive, invasive and are terribly expensive.
Are we not terribly troubled by the effects of violence? Should not these compel us to deeply reflect on our individual and societal ethics, values and belief systems? Is the media helping- electronic and print media helping to curtail or increase violence in our country? What effect does the reckless display of ill gotten wealth have on the increase or decrease of violence? Has our legal system or constitutional provisions weakened or boldened violence? What about our political (engineering) operations more so as we draw closer to 2019 election year or the current craze for satanic materialism.
For party primaries for nominating presidential, gubernatorial aspirants or other elective positions in our nascent democracy What proactive steps are in place to curtail violence?
The dangerously troubling issue of violence whether co-ordinated or unco-ordinated should severally convert us all to become regular or emergency prayer warriors. Are we not afraid of those who are equally afraid of us? Is anyone a monopolist when it comes to violence?
What crucial factors should determine our human attitude when it comes to the issues of violence? Are there no ways we can take proactive measures to protect ourselves from negative violence?
Our world today is terribly infatuated by violence whether developed or developing Nations. Is our present world not featuring violence in its entertainment industry. Nothing about media violence has changed so far. Hence there is the need for caution and wisdom from our world leaders. Has media violence not presented more graphic, sexual sadistic and satanic episodes? Can a particular age bracket of our teaming teenage population deeply distinguish between the real and unreal as they watch more of action-packed movies? Irrespective of the enormity of the prevailing situation, the true believers confidence in the Almighty God and his promises can't be destroyed or doubted.
God is indeed in control and will bring judgment upon the violent and terrorists soonest. There will be a divine set time for peace and peaceful co-existence as the present wicked, lawless, ungodly and immoral countries, personalities and entities will come to an abrupt end.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” for God shall bring every work into judgment, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
There will be a conclusion of all theories, arguments, philosophies, ideologies, socio-economic, political intellectual, professional, pursuits or career on Earth. Hence the Primary duty of man (“man here is used in a generic sense- man and woman) on Earth is to strive to exercise reverential fear of God, and to keep God's commandments as enshrined in Christ Jesus (Jesus Christ in your life when you fully and honesty embrace him without reservations) There will be a formal divine trial and verdict on every human conduct, speech and conviction.
What do you think God is thinking about you or reflecting on you in the light of your daily exercise? There is need for a change and this positive change must come through sound education with Christ as the cornerstone. According to Papa Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”
How much of this sound education or Christo-Centric education do our leaders in various areas have? How can it work well and smoothly when the ignorant, half-educated or ill educated gets catapulted to the corridors of power or sensitive leadership positions? Is it possible for your gaze at abyss to compel abyss to gaze back at you? Recovery can be a true race if leaders starve their distraction in order to feed their focus. Can an eye still see when it is blind?.
In view of Mark Estemil – “Freedom is an expensive gift always worth fighting for even if it costs us”. Our youth must eschew violence and find their own niches and excel in the New Nigeria of their dream. Our youth must dream big on the possible power of self –control. A reflection on the portrait on the Hundred Dollar bill of USA is that of Benjamin Franklin one of the founding Fathers of America who succinctly 270 years ago stated that “Rebellion to a tyrant is obedience to God”
It must also be stated that video Games have unhealthy obsession with bloodshed according to the British magazine for video-game enthusiasts.
Hence a love for video games is also a love for a degree of violence. It may not be possible to serve ourselves from all the exposure but the Bible warns us of the negative influence thus.
“Make no friendship with an angry man and with a furious man thou shall not go, lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul” (Proverbs 22:23-24) No one is in doubt that News is a big business just as news men/women know that violence often attracts viewers, and that higher the viewing the greater advertisers who in turn sponsor Television programmes severally and globally. Each of us has the power of choice to decide what type of entertainment and the kind of people to interact with or socialize with. Your personality is capable of being determined by who you deeply associate with socially, politically, spiritually, economically and professionally. It is in tune with honest living to associate with people who share or have the same values and goals that you desire to achieve or possess.
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20) There is the need to be tough yet gentle and be predictable in your unpredictability. Your life can't be a straight jacket. There is the possibility of flies organizing “debt demand” visitations on (sit tight leaders) you if you or someone stays too long in the toile (corridors of power with no meaningful and convincing achievements).
My advise to the younger generation (youth – “Not too young to run”) is that if nothing is ventured, nothing would be gained. Take a shot on any political office with courage that you know you will make a difference irrespective of the hurdles. Nigeria needs fresh air with fresh blood and fresh ideas in our political engagements. Youth can aspire upto the highest position in Nigeria, such can be men or women of positive pedigree, exposure, mental development and passion. Such youth should not bank or depend on the use of political thugs, cult groups or chestrated violence in the political processes.
I dare declare with my eyes open that a dynamic young leader with political ingenuinety, accomplishment and dexterity, proven and tested from this our south south, serving Governors especially ……….will emerge as the vice President of…………..party ……………?
There will be a few alignments and realignments of sorts and positional adjustments after the primaries- and elections. May God's will prevail. Some of our leaders are needfully stubborn in their goals or objectives but they are flexible in the process of achieving their goals. God knows us better than we do. Hence he has told us something about associating with violent people.
Influencing people's thinking, our business world spends billions of Dollars and trillions of Naira in few minutes of commercials just to impact. It is therefore reasonable to assume that a short movie on the acclaimed heroes of which may be immoral and violent will have little or major impact more so on the impressionable minds of our children of this era. Parents should vet the videos that their kids watch. Those who profit from media violence will no doubt argue that their products hardly do any harm . However this is subject to further debate and robust discourse. I hope to discuss next on what causes violence and how to deal with violence.