By Pat Chukwuma Amobi
Few days ago, I was behind my four wheels heading to Enugu through the old road. Two kilometers after the Four-Corner Junction, my eyes rammed at a bill-board with this inscription: “The God of Talk and Do Gospel Ministry.” Immediately, I marched on the break and started reflecting on the attractive inscription. Thereafter I continued my journey, shaking my head sideways chorusing, “Talk and Do!” I was asking myself if I really talk and do. In my class 3 in the secondary school I was known as a talkative. When our class prefect was legally impeached (demoted) due to negligence of duty, I was unanimously elected the class prefect. From then I was called senior talkative prefect (STP). I commanded the class to keep quiet and wrote the names of noise makers while I was a noise maker myself. I talked but I failed to do.
When I reached my destination at Enugu, my brain was already saturated with so many ideas on Talk and Do. I began an impromptu singing and dancing, “Talk and Do! Talk and Do!! Talk and Do!!!” My friend host came out suddenly and saw me singing and dancing. He started laughing. He asked, “Father, what is the meaning of this singing and dancing?” I replied, “My dear, I am talking and doing. I urge you to always talk and do. From today I have started talking and doing because the God I worship is the God of Talk and Do.” My friend was confused. He looked strength into my eyes and asked, “Are you drunk?” I responded, “Yes, I am drunk with Talk and Do.” My friend was more confused. He rushed into the kitchen and brought out a sumptuous meal and cold drinks. He then said, “Please, father, let us eat and drink before any further talk and do.” Sitting face to face on the dining table we began to talk and do with folk and knife. Our stomachs and digestive systems were happy in assimilating the product of our talking and doing at table.
Yes, our God is the God of Talk and Do. Whatever God says comes to fruition. When He makes promises, He fulfils them. He is not the God of deception like we human beings. He is always trustworthy. We must beware of those who talk but do not do. They promise you heaven and earth. Their tongues are as sweet as honey but their hearts are as bitter as bitter-leaf. A certain sugar-daddy promised his girlfriend anything she wanted as they were intoxicated with amorous love. After the deed, the poor girl asked the man to buy her a modern laptop. He ignored her request. The girl repeated the request. The sugar-daddy ordered her to leave his room before he could count three digits. After the count of three, the infuriated girl did not move an inch. The sugar-daddy angrily went behind the house and brandished a long sharp knife. The girl disappeared like lightening because a corpse does not give account of the cause of its death.
Parents ought to be the custodians of talk and do. Children learn more from what their parents do than from what they say. Some parents instruct their children to do one thing while they do the opposite. A certain father ordered his male and female children who have grown to adolescence never to engage in immoral relationship with the opposite sex. But whenever his wife traveled out for two or more days, he smuggled a woman into his room. As time went by, his adolescent children came to know of their father's immoral escapade. The male ones started smuggling girls into their room when their parents went to work. The females also smuggled boys into their own room. One day, they were caught in the act by their parents. The mother scolded them for their illicit behavior while the father gave them twenty-four strokes of the cane each. One of the punished children angrily shouted, “Daddy, mind yourself! Why do you punish us? We learnt this immoral act from you. Whenever Mummy travels out, you smuggle women into your room.” The wife cast suspicious eyes on her husband. He kept mute like a condemned criminal tied at stake to face firing squad. Parents, try to talk and do.
In religious circle, talk and do is very highly demanded of the men and women of God. Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees and the Scribes who talk but do not do. So, the Lord admonishes us to listen to what they say but not to practice what they do. They say one thing and do the opposite. Likewise, some of the ministers of the Gospel preach very well but do not practice what they preach. You and I may be guilty in one way or the other. Actions, they say, speak louder than words. In my seminary days, one of our erudite priest-professors was popularly known as Doing. He was so called because he emphasized more on practice rather than on mere talking. Often people mock at us when we stand at the pulpit, because they are aware that our lifestyles contradict our preaching. Dashanne Stokes says, “If your actions don't live up to your words, you have nothing to say.” Similarly, G. Swiss opines, “Your actions will always speak volume louder than your words ever will.”
Listen to the following popular life sayings: “What you do makes so much noise that I cannot hear what you say.” “I don't trust words, I trust actions.” “Show me, don't tell me.” “Your words mean nothing when your actions are the complete opposite.” “Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do.” “You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.” “I cannot believe what you say, because I can see what you do.” “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” “Don't tell people your dreams. Show them.” “Don't trust their words, trust their actions.”
Some of our leaders and politicians talk but do not do. During electioneering campaigns, they promise the electorate almost everything. But when they win and assume office, they do little or nothing. For instance, prior to the 2015 Presidential election, the ruling APC government promised Nigerians CHANGE in all its ramifications. Nigerians welcomed the change mantra and voted massively for the ruling party. Sadly after almost four years on the saddle, no meaningful change has been observed in the governance and lives of Nigerians. Instead of positive change, we are experiencing the negative. The rate of unemployment is getting higher. Hunger is still biting on the citizenry. The country has become more divided than united. Nepotism has been exalted to the highest level. The federal character enshrined in the Constitution has been jettisoned by lopsided appointments. Marginalization is in the increase. Power supply is still epileptic. We pay electricity bills while we use generators every day. Hence some industries have closed down and relocated to other countries. The worst is the wanton killing of innocent Nigerians here and there. The life of cows seems to be valued over human life. The security of lives and properties are not yet assured. Hence many Nigerians are living in the fear of the unknown. Corruption is still walking freely in Nigerian streets. We have not got our electoral system right.
As the 2019 general elections are drawing closer, we must shine our eyes. We must not be deceived again by politicians who make empty promises. We should vote for candidates and parties with practical manifestos. The antecedents of the candidates both in the state and national levels must be considered before casting our votes. We ought to vote for candidates who have the capacity of doing. On the Presidential level, we must vote for the best candidate who has the goodwill of all Nigerians at heart. He must be a President who will unite all Nigerians no matter the tribe or the religion. The federal character must be reflected in his actions. He must have the capacity of doing and leading us into the Promised Land like the biblical Joshua who continued from where Moses stopped. Governance is continuity. A good leader must be selfless and focused. Many presidential candidates have emerged from the different political parties. We should ask ourselves who among them has the capacity of moving the country forward by talking and doing.
Every good citizen of Nigeria should exercise his or her right of Franchise by voting or being voted for. We must think well before casting our votes. Do not sell your votes. The act of vote buying must be shunned. Any politician who buys your vote is not trustworthy. By selling your vote, you have sold your conscience. We must keep our Permanent Voter's Card (PVC) intact. After voting, we must also defend our votes. The snatching of ballot boxes and other sensitive electoral materials are criminal offences. Anyone, no matter how highly placed, caught in the act must be prosecuted and punished accordingly to act as deterrence to others.
A good leader, both at the state and national level, must emerge through a free, fair and credible election. No one gives what he or she does not have. Election rigging is the downfall of good governance. The moral law states that the end justifies the means, not vice versa. The Independent National Electoral Commission serves as umpire. If the umpire becomes partial in his judgment, then the game is tarnished. The umpire should be truly independent and impartial. Politics is a game. The umpire must avoid manipulating the game to favour any party or a candidate. Therefore, INEC must avoid the anointing of any party or candidate before, during and after the elections. Electoral result ought to reflect the will of the electorates at the polling booths. The collation of results must not be hijacked at any point.
Let INEC endeavour to talk and to do. The referee cannot change the goal-post at the middle of a football match to favour a particular team. An election should not be declared inconclusive in order to favour any party or any candidate.
If God does not watch over the city, the efforts of the watchmen are in vain. Therefore we must fall on our knees and pray for Divine intervention in the forthcoming 2019 General Elections. We shall be satisfied when the elections are free, fair, credible and devoid of violence. We want the Governors, Legislators and the President to be elected in 2019 to have the capacity of talking and doing. The Judiciary should also talk and do by maintaining Justice at all levels. No one, no matter how highly placed, should be above the Law. Each and every one of us should also talk and do in our various areas of engagement. Our talk and do ought to be for the glory of God and for the welfare of all Nigerians and all mankind. In order to obtain Eternal Salvation, we all must talk and do. We should not only be the hearers, but the doers of the Word of God.