By Rev Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu ([email protected])
The prophet is simply defined as God’s spokesman or woman. In the Old Testament Bible, as mouthpiece of God, the prophets were concerned with social justice. From Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel down to John the baptist and Jesus, this role remained recurrent.The prophets, therefore, do not shy away from politics, because the functioning of the society depends so much on it.
The prophets are, simply put, the guard flies of the society, for both the leaders and the followers. They do not just foretell how the mighty will triumph over the weak or vice versa. They are not just like fortunetellers who predict lotto results.We notice that the role of Prophet Nathan was not to foretell that David will kill Uriah and take his wife Bathsheba or that the son of Bathsheba, Solomon, would become the future King of Isreal but rather to condemn the sinful acts of David.John the baptist did not just prophesy that Herod will kill his brother Philip and possess his wife.
His mission was to condemn the wicked deed of the king.The duty of the prophets is to weigh every human action, revealed or not, in the scale of God’s justice and love.If actually Fr Mbaka saw any relevation, like he claims, his duty should have been to see the revelation in the light of God’s justice and to have warned those concerned on the consequences of injustice, wickedness and sin. Prophets are God’s spokesmen and women and not allies and mouthpiece of politicians.
A prophet reveals the will of God to the people and does not sanction the evil plans of dictators who disresprct and hijack the will of the people for selfish, partisan or tribal interests. In the Bible, prophets who do this were called the false prophets.”And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken.” Cf. Ezekiel 22.28. One of such false prophets was named Hananiah. “Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you persuaded this nation to trust in lies.” (Jeremiah 28:15).Rather than anointing Buhari as God’s chosen one, a prophet like Jeremiah would have warned who ever that might be victorious on the consequences of injustice, corruption, nepotism and hate.
An Ezekiel would have seen the plans to remove Emeka Ihedioha from the prism of the people’s mandate and equity because Nigeria practices a democracy and not a theocracy. It is the people who chose their leaders. They are not imposed by God. The role of the prophet in a democratic dispensation is to insist that vote counts, that the will of the people is not hijacked.
The duty of the prophet in an election marred with rigging, thuggery, violence, over-voting, underaged voting, corrupt electoral body, corrupt judiciary, arson, and killing is not to predict who would be able to out-rig the other or bulldoze his or her way through but to draw the attention of everyone to equity and fair play.
A prophet should therefore not annoint or favour one candidate against the other. His duty is to consistently, even at the risk of his life, in all things and from everyone, demand for justice without which peace, progress and establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth would be unattainable.