by Femi Fani-Kayode
Blessed be the name of the Most High God, the God whose I am and the God whom I serve. Blessed be His holy name forever.
I thank the presiding Bishop of this great Church for honouring me in this way and giving me the opportunity to share a few words with this massive congregation. I thank the Pastors and the Board of Trustees of the Church for inviting me.
I look at this massive gathering of believers and I am humbled. I am also a little intimidated. I regard it is an honour and a privilege for me to be here speaking to you today from this holy pulpit and in this hallowed hall and chamber.
Unlike most politicians I shall endeavour to be very brief and not to keep you here any longer than necessary. Permit me to get to the point without much ado.
We are at war in this nation. That is obvious and self-evident. Yet despite our circumstances we must harbour no fears because we are winning that war. I say this because my bible tells me that darkness cannot overcome light and that even though it may tarry, the vision of total victory is for an appointed time.
I have been told that some of you that are here today lost their loved ones who were soldiers that were gallantly fighting at the war front against the terrorists. I hear that some died in Bama, others in Konduga and some fell whilst defending Mubi.
I am touched to the marrow and my heart bleeds for the pain that you must be going through having lost your loved ones in this way. I want to assure you that the great sacrifice of these noble, courageous and gallant heroes shall not be in vain.
It is my sincere prayer that their souls rest in peace and that the cause for which they paid the supreme price is achieved. May God reward them and their loved ones for their service to our nation. No greater a gift can a man give than to lay down his life for his people and for his country. The veracity of this assertion can hardly be disputed.
And neither is there a more honourable or noble death than that of a soldier who falls at the warfront whilst fighting for his nation. Your loved ones fought gallantly for Nigeria and gave their lives for the future and unity of their country. We shall never forget them.
More importantly history and posterity shall be very kind to them and their names shall be listed amongst the greats who stood to defend our people and our cause when the days were dark and when the enemy knocked at our gates.
Again I am told that there are others here today whose family members were innocent and defenceless civilians but who were murdered in cold blood in the sanctity of their own homes by the butchers of Boko Haram.
What a terrible tragedy this is. It is a tragedy of monumental proportions and it has engulfed, not just the north-east, but our whole nation. It is a tragedy that touches, concerns and affects us all. Your loss is ours. We share your pain and we mourn with you.
I assure you that those that were killed in this cowardly, brutal and barbaric way will be avenged and those that killed them will face the judgement of God and the justice of men both in this world and in the world to come.
What dark times these are. Yet despite the darkness of the night let us not forget that joy comes in the morning. As the bible says, let us count our tribulations and suffering as nothing but joy knowing that our Lord and master has already paid the price for our salvation and deliverance by shedding His precious blood on the cross at Calvary.
Let us remember that in the end we shall prevail and we shall overcome because we serve a mighty God. Let us remember that evil can never overcome good and that the Church of Christ and our Christian faith itself was built on the blood of the martyrs and the persecution and suffering of the saints.
Let us hold on to God’s word. Let us be courageous. Let us exercise our faith and let us never forget that hope against all odds and strength, even in the face of the most trying times, are the hallmarks of a true believer. Let us remember that our God is irresistible and unbeatable and that in the end He makes all things beautiful.
Let us take heart and let us make no mistake about it: in the end, as surely as night follows day, we shall overcome. Let us remember that no matter what the media, the opposition, the Haramites and their secret friends in high places, the skeptics, the international community or anyone else tells us our Armed Forces remain the best, the most fearless, the most courageous, the most disciplined, the most effective and the most ferocious warriors on the African continent and we have every reason to be very proud of them.
If I were the President of this country, if I were compelled to do so by the circumstances, I would go to the four corners of the earth and to the edges of hell itself in order to procure the very best arms that money can buy for our soldiers so that they could protect our people and fight a good fight against the relentless barbarians that torment, afflict and plague our land.
If I had to I would violate every convention and norm in the land in order to bring the terrorists to justice and to degrade, kill, maim and destroy those who slaughter our people at will, who burn our homes, schools and churches , who violate and defile our women and who abduct and enslave our children.
People need to understand one thing: when fighting a war against an inhuman, barbaric and beastly enemy like Boko Haram in Nigeria or ISIS in Iraq, or Hamas in Gaza, or Al Shabab in Somalia, or Al Qaeda in Libya and Mali, or FIS in Algeria, or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or Daesh in Lebanon, or the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, or Al Nusra in Syria, or the Janjaweed in the Sudan or the Chechnyan separatists in Russia the gloves must come off.
History tells us that the policy of appeasement and the wilful and naive display of weakness and procrastination before wicked and heartless men with reprobate minds can only lead to a further display of violence and aggression against the innocent. There must be no display of restraint or weakness exhibited to the enemy in this war and no quarter must be given to him. This is because we are fighting against an adversary that is beastly in all his ways and that does not consider himself as being bound by the laws of war or any known and internationally-accepted rules of engagement.
In such a war all is fair and all is permissible no matter how extreme and no matter how frightful and ruthless. No mercy must be exhibited. Absolutely anything goes and anything is allowed.
We must wipe them and all that is theirs out completely because they are the ultimate expression of evil. We must wipe them off the face of the earth. We must crush and eliminate them totally and wipe out all trace and memory of them. This is our God-given duty. It is our divine obligation and we must not fail or shirk it.
We must win this war and thereby stop the beasts from taking our land, enslaving our loved ones, beheading our children, raping our women, burying alive our men, burning down our churches and wiping out our beautiful Christian faith.
As long as Jesus sits on the throne and as long as some of us remain alive they shall not pass and neither will they succeed in their cruel venture because ultimately we shall prevail. We will not, we must not, we shall not and we cannot lose this war.
It is rather these shameless and conscienceless cowards, huns, biblical Egyptians, Philistines and Amalekites: these enemies of God and those who secretly support and encourage them, that shall fail. This I know because the bible says ”the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church” and neither shall they prevail against the Lord’s counsel.
I say this with absolute and supreme confidence because our God never fails. I say it because He is the Alpha and the Omega: the Man of War, the Ancient of Days, the Holy One of Israel, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Lord God of Hosts whom none can resist in battle.
I say it because He knows the end even before the beginning. I say it because He is high and lifted up and the earth is His footstool. I say it because our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love: our God is an awesome God.
Finally let me say this. Some people do not like the sort of things that I am saying here today. They have tried to silence me by the use of cheap blackmail, intimidation, lies, insults, threats, disinformation, persecution, misrepresentation, fabrication, the open and free expression of blind rage and hate and other foul and sinister means.
They do not like what I say or the fact that I, perhaps more than anyone else, has exposed their hidden and increasingly obvious agenda. Consequently they have told the most despicable and horrendous lies and stories about me all in a desperate attempt to discredit me, ridicule me, subject me to public opprobrium and ensure that my words carry no weight.
They have even threatened my life on several occasions. Yet I still stand strong because the bible says ”He who keepeth Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers”. I shall not be intimidated. I shall stand up and speak my mind and I shall continue the good fight until my work on earth is done and the Lord Himself calls me home. And today, from this pulpit and from this hallowed chamber and sacred temple of the Living God, I am sending a message to such people. That message is as follows.
I make a solemn oath, in the name of the Living God and before the congregation of the saints, that no matter what you do to me I shall not flinch and neither shall I blink. The more you fight me and try to destroy me the stronger I shall get and the more powerful my voice will be. The more that you try to silence me, the more I shall speak. The more you try to hold me down, the more I shall rise up. This is because this battle and the cause that I am fighting is not mine but the Lord’s.
I never chose this path. I never opted to be involved in this struggle or to be part of it. Yet, for reasons best known to Him and by dint of circumstance and chance, the Lord chose me and He prepared me for it over many years.
On that journey of preparation I have seen all sorts of things and I have been subjected to all manner of indignities. I have suffered persecution and betrayal even from those that were the closest to me. I have been through the fire and furnace several times, over and over again, and each time I have come out on top, newly-refined like the finest gold.
The greater the heat and the more the pain I feel, the more refined and pure it makes me. What they meant for evil, the Lord meant for good. This is the doing of the Lord and it is marvellous in my sight. It is for His purpose to be manifested, for His counsel to stand, for His will to be done and for His name to be glorified that He has preserved and protected me and mine all these years and that He has delivered us from the hands of my strong enemies and all manner of evil.
If only my detractors understood me better and knew my testimony. If only they knew the nature, the faithfulness, the diligence and the awesome power of my God. If only they knew about my passion for the Body of Christ, my vision for my country, my love for my God, my determination to make things better for my people and the nature of my calling they would stop trying to silence, kill, cage, destroy and discredit me in the knowledge that they can never succeed.
To silence, kill, cage, destroy and discredit me you would first have to silence, kill, cage, destroy and discredit the one who brought me into this world to fulfil my destiny and who sent me forth.
And He cannot be silenced, killed, caged, destroyed or discredited by any mortal or any created being because He is the father of creation itself. He is far above all principalities and powers and He existed before the beginning of time.
He is the Lord of the Universe, the God of all flesh and He is faithful to His own. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Gideon, Joshua, Jeptha, Samson, Peter and Paul. He is the Lord God of the Armies of Israel. He is the Blood of the Sprinkling. He is the I Am That I Am. He is everything.
His name is Jehova Sharma: the Elohim, the El Shaddai, the Adonai and as long as He lives and rules in the affairs of nations and men I shall continue to do the work that He has sent me to do in this nation and in the nations of the world.
I said something two years ago and I crave the indulgence of this wonderful congregation to say it again today in this most holy and sacred pulpit, in the presence of the saints and in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I say it for the record and for the benefit of my numerous detractors and adversaries, including the bloodthirsty Haramites and their secret friends, supporters and allies in the political class and media who choose to remain in the darkest shadows.
To them I say this: even on the pain of death I will never stop speaking the truth about any situation touching and concerning my country. I will never stop fighting for what I believe is right. I will never stop opposing evil. I will never stop speaking out against injustice. I will never tremble and bow before any man. I will never lack the courage of my convictions and I will never prostitute my principles.
No matter how hard they try they will never silence or intimidate me because He that is in me, despite all my imperfections, is greater than He that is the world. I will never stop because the angels that are with me are more in number and greater in strength than the demons that are with my enemies.
More than ever before I am persuaded by He that gave me life and that sent me into this world that the battle has been won and the victory is ours. I say this because I see the manifestation of it every day and I know the God that I serve.
His name is faithful and He is awesome. Love, joy, breakthroughs, mercy, power, blessings, preservation, prosperity, long life, good health, grace, favour, light, truth, kindness and all that is good resides in Him and He dispenses it as He deems fit.
He never fails and He never lies. His speaks His word, it goes forth and He honours and perfects it. For this reason alone, and not because of any vain claims to infallibility or perfection, know this day that we, the people of faith and the children of the one true Living God shall prevail in this land despite the giants that we see.
We shall take Nigeria for our Resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We shall take this nation for He that came down as God incarnate in the flesh, that shed His precious blood on the cross, that was crucified, dead and buried, that conquered death, that rose again, that ascended into Heaven and that sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty making intercession for us day and night.
His name shall be glorified in every nook and cranny of this nation because there is no other God but Him. His name shall be exalted in our lives and in our circumstances and He shall wipe away our tears, remove our cloth of mourning and replace them with robes of joy and laughter unspeakable.
This I know because God is good and He will never forsake Him own. Whatever you are going through today just have faith, look up to Him, hang on to Him and trust Him for a better tomorrow.
We serve a God that never fails. Always remember that and let your joy be full. Never forget that He will never leave us or forsake us. Never forget that His holy word asks ”who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”. It answers the question by saying ”it is God that justifies”.
It asks ”who is he that condemeth?”. It answers by saying ”it is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us”.
It asks ”who can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
It answers by saying ”as it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither earth, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
This is the word of the Lord: hold on to it, shed your fears, fight the good fight, overcome the obstacles, live your dreams, achieve your objectives, live long and prosper and, most important of all, ensure that you prevail. God bless you all, God bless the Church and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer and former minister of aviation. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he was once a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC). He delivered this speech at the Valley View Church on Sunday, September 21, 2014.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.