During my primary school days at Our Lady of Fatima Boys' Primary School, Jos, there was a slang we used in tracing the owner of a lost article. That three-word slang is: Lost and found. Once upon a time, one of the pupils in my class 3A slept off while a mathematics lesson was going on. He was snoring like a sick pig and polluting the air at every second. I bore the brunt because I was sitting directly behind him. As our class teacher was writing on the board, I placed my right hand over the head of the sleeping guy and shouted, “Lost and found!” Suddenly the sleeper jumped up and shouted, “Where am I?” I responded, “You are in the class. Please stop sleeping and polluting the air.” All the pupils started laughing. The teacher turned sharply and asked, “Who are those idiots making that silly noise?” I replied, “Sir, we are not idiots. This pupil was lost in your mathematics class by sleeping. Consequently, I found him by waking him up.” The teacher and all the pupils in the class burst out laughing. As a reward, the teacher gave me a packet of Nasco biscuit for being my brother's keeper. From that day on, the sleeping pupil was nicknamed “Lost and Found.” Today, he is a renowned mathematician.
Osuofia, the Nollywood actor, said that it is better to get lost than to be dead. Do you concur? Have you been lost before and for how long? Once upon a time I got lost in a dream and was wandering aimlessly in a bushy path leading to an unknown destination. The fear of the unknown sent cold shivers down my spine. All of a sudden, I saw four huge men coming opposite me with sharp machetes in their right hands. The adrenalin in my body rose to the highest point. I ran into the bush for my dear life. The men started pursuing me. I was about to jump over a gully erosion when I suddenly woke up. I panted and did the sign of the cross three times and thanked God that it was a dream. Then I exclaimed, “Lost and found!” I was lost in the dream but found when I woke up. So many persons have gone lost in reality. Few were found, but many have not been found till today. Some of them might have been used for occultic purposes. Some may be alive but wandering about aimlessly without the prospect of being found again. Imagine the agony their families are passing through. Lord, have mercy!
We are morally bound to search for the owner of any substantial lost article we found by any possible means. The media is good at it. The owner must provide evidence of ownership. On a sad note, a scrupulous person can equally pose as the owner. Nowadays, it is often difficult to distinguish between a mad man and a mechanic; a chorister in hood and a graduate in hood. An Igbo adage says, “Throw a bone to a dog outside and let it fight it out with unseen forces.” Have you observed that when a dog is descending on a piece of meat, some unseen forces try to snatch the meat away from the dog's mouth? That's why the dog barks and roars sporadically until it finishes consuming the meat. In other words the fear of evil persons should not scare us from doing the right thing. The dog's eyes can see spirits. If you doubt this, then I advise you to go for surgical dog-eye transplant.
Since Nigeria's Independence in 1960, we have not gotten it right in this country. We are yet to get an ideal leader to rescue us from many years of wandering away from the true path of Democracy. We have been lost in corruption, nepotism, hatred, tribalism, civil war, dictatorship, injustice, unemployment, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution, marginalization, hunger in the midst of plenty, recession, senseless killings and the inability of the federal Government to protect the lives and properties of her citizens. No wonder well meaning Nigerians have lost hope in the present Buhari's led administration. We want a leader that would feel the heartbeat of his people without exception of any group, tribe or religion. Our country is getting lost and needs to be found and rescued from the hands of visible and invisible cabals. When this country is restructured on the right path, equity, justice and fair play can lead us on the way to the Promised Land. We are still very far away from it. Only a selfless, unbiased and God-fearing Leader can do this. Nigerians are lost and must be found soonest.
Last week, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria paid a tearful visit to President Buhari at Aso Rock Abuja to express their concern over the bad state of the Nation. In a nutshell the Bishops boldly said, “Your Excellency, there is too much suffering in the country: poverty, hunger, joblessness, insecurity, violence, fear … the list is endless. Our beloved country appears to be under siege. Many negative forces seem to be keeping a stranglehold on the population, especially the weaker and defenseless ones. There is a feeling of hopelessness across the country. Our youths are restive and many of them have taken to hard drugs, cultism and other forms of violent crime, while many have become victims of human trafficking. The Nation is nervous.” For me being nervous means that our country Nigeria is lost. She needs to be found and restored to her position among the Comity of Nations. Can the qualitative leader to do this enormous national task be found in the forthcoming 2019 Presidential Election? If your answer is yes, then you should approach the Independent National Electoral Commission office nearest to you and obtain your Permanent Voter's Card (PVC). If you have lost your own, report to the Commission also. In addition, if you are on transfer to another place, kindly ask INEC to transfer your voting power.
Recently, the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, while speaking to journalists disagreed with the Catholic Bishops' observations to President Buhari. He said that things are working well in the country and that Nigerians are happy and not hungry. According to him, the Bishops called on Buhari for being unhappy because they no longer receive huge tithes from corrupt Nigerians facing the Law. Well, when a child speaks you know his age. Governor Bello is guilty of “Argumentum ad hominem” (abusive argument). Reacting to Bello's negative comment, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor of the Catholic Diocese of Awka says, “We see the statement of Governor Yahaya Bello as just trying to distract the people. The Church has told the president the truth, if he likes let him listen.” Bishop Ezeokafor went further to clarify that the Catholic Church does not preach or depend on tithes as Bello is insinuating. Some of our leaders who are lost in power can say anything in order to attract undue favour from their paid masters. I am not surprised at Bello's negative comments because he ascended to power on a platter of gold. In Kogi State, he is known as the 'unelected governor.' The proper gubernatorial candidate who campaigned and won the seat slumped and died when the election was about to be concluded. His deputy would have taken over, but he was unjustly rigged out. Yahaya Bello was brought from nowhere and made a governor. That is why he is lost in power and yet to be found.
Prior to the Bishops' tearful call on President Buhari, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has written Buhari off and advised him not to re-contest the 2019 Presidential Election due to his very poor performance, nepotism and insecurity in the land. The former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, has also indirectly said the same thing. The Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Diocese during the last respect to late Alex Ekwueme at Enugu advised our national and state leaders to set “your house (Nigeria) in order.” He lamented over our leaders inability to set up a good hospital in this country. Hence they travel abroad for medication when they fall sick while the ordinary citizens perish in our poorly equipped hospitals. According to him various governments including the present APC federal Government came in through corruption and that is why it cannot justifiable fight corruption. He said that the South East cannot tolerate any cattle colony. He decried marginalization of the Igbo or any other tribe in Nigeria. He observed that our leaders are playing the politics of selfishness because they are lost in power. There is much hunger in the land. He advised our leaders to make themselves available to the people. A new Nigeria needs leaders who are new in brain and not expired leaders. We no longer want analogue leaders or recycling of old leaders who have nothing to offer. We are now in a digital era. Indeed, I appreciate the fearless sermon of Archbishop Chukwuma. Other religious leaders should also speak out so that our lost country may be found soonest and then be repositioned on the path to glory.
As sinners, we are lost from the path to our eternal salvation. God created us to know him, to serve him here on earth and to be happy with him forever in heaven. Since the unfortunate fall of man through disobedience, God's plan for mankind altered. But God being so kind and merciful sent his only Begotten Son on earth to rescue us from getting lost forever. The Saviour Jesus Christ was incarnated and died on the Cross in order that we may be found and saved. By so doing, Jesus has established universal salvation and opened once more the gate of heaven. The task before each of us is to work for our personal salvation by living good lives here on earth and by repenting from our lost paths. He who is being found must cooperate because God's grace works on nature.
Even when we are already lost in sin, the compassionate God is always ready to welcome us back. In other words, a repentant sinner can still make heaven. The story of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of St Luke Chapter 15 says it all. That prodigal son at a time was in a hopeless situation. He was hungry and was wearing tattered clothes like a mad man. Suddenly he came to his senses. Then he decided to go back to his father and ask him for pardon. While he was a long distance away, his father saw him and ran to him joyfully and embraced him. He welcomed him back. His prodigal son was lost but found.
Many of us are prodigal sons and prodigal daughters. Let us emulate the biblical prodigal son and go back to our heavenly Father through repentance from our sins. Heaven is real. Hell is real. Where shall we spend our eternity? If we fail to repent, then we shall be lost forever in hell fire. Hell is a dreaded place to spend one's eternity. Imagine the present heat wave we are experiencing here in Nigeria. An unconfirmed story in town says that the devil is doing renovation in hell by expanding its territory due to insufficient accommodation, because many souls are going to hell. During the process of the renovation, a path of the wall of hell fell down and the heat from hell poured down on earth especially here in Nigeria. That's why we can no more comfortably sleep at night due to the heat waves. It is said that the renovation will last for about two months. It is even said that the contractor handling the rebuilding works in hell is a Nigerian. I appeal to him to finish the work soonest so that we can sleep in peace.
Another unconfirmed story says that the last person who entered into hell forgot to close the door due to regrets. Then the fire of hell was let loose and engulfed our country Nigeria. That is the reason for the current heat wave we are battling with. I hereby passionately appeal to the next person going to hell to remember to close the door for God's sake. Are you the person? As you make your bed, so you lie on it. He who is lost must make himself available to be found. Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living.