In case you did not watch it yesterday on Channels TV’s Saturday Sunrise, Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, cited instances of Zulum’s decision, in far away United States of America. Gusau in his live interview, responded to a question on whether Governor Zulum’s declaration of tomorrow, Monday, for fasting and prayer, was not unusual in a democracy.
Hear what Isa Gusau said on Channels TV yesterday:
Yes, I have read some minority commentaries in the news saying the Governor’s call was strange. I took interest in the one saying such a call could only happen in Nigeria.
I think some of us in Nigeria try to be more westernized than the western world. If you go through the American history, there were years when Governors of states like Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia and others, officially declared days of fasting and prayers. In fact, when former US President Thomas Jefferson was Governor of Virginia, he once declared a day of fasting and prayers for Virginia where Washington is located. And then, some of these declarations, like the case in Boston under the state of Massachusetts, was in response to conflicts. Some of the fasting and prayer declarations by states in U.S history, were even made with public holidays in which clergymen publicly led citizens to pray for the well being of these states in response to peculiar issues. It is there is the U.S history, anyone can search on google, Ask.com and more than ten other search engines.
In addition, since 1952, the United States as an entire country, observes a national day of prayer that is held on the first Thursday of May every year and that day was passed by the US Congress. A sitting President makes an annual proclamation for national day of prayer. Last year’s national prayer day in the U.S was marked on 2nd of May 2019 and this year’s national day of prayer will be held on 7th of May which will be the first Thursday. Although there is no federal public holiday on that day, citizens are required, as a matter of duty passed by Congress, to go churches and mosques to offer prayers for the wellbeing of the United States.
Then again, for more than 230 years now, the United States declares a federal holiday on the last Thursday of November every year as a day of thanksgiving and praises to God. It is a day that the President leads Americans to pray for the U.S, families and to give thanks to God for the greatness He bestowed on the United States.
So, when people want to cite western democracy in response to Governor Zulum’s decision, we should endeavour to search the history of some of these countries especially the United States on whose democracy, our’s in Nigeria is being modeled. Governor Zulum’s declaration has inspired a united front against the boko haram; it will strengthen soldiers in the front lines when they know that an entire Borno State and beyond is praying for them. It is a good call with precedence in advanced democracies like the United States. More over, the Governor’s call was not only about prayers, it was a call to fight, fast and pray.
We should stop being more westernized than the western world. We should pray for our country, Isa Gusau said.