Saturday, 1 October 2016

We are Free!

Today, we are celebrating Nigeria's freedom as a Nation. Fifty Six years ago, Nigeria won her independence from Great Britain and became a self governing nation. Historically, freedom has always come at a price. South Africa's Nelson Mandella, one of Africa's greatest heroes lost his personal freedom for 27 years, (he called it a "long holiday")  in order to set his people free. The struggle against the vile aparthied system of government ended officially at the 1994 elections when Mandela became South Africa's first black president  from 1994--1999. The freedom from apartied is worth celebrating.

In America, John Brown an abolitionist, led an armed insurrection to overthrow slavery. His attempt cost him his life as he was captured, tried for treason and hung in Virginia in 1859. His actions, however began a serious debate on slavery and eventually led to the American civil war An estimated 750,000 soldiers lost their lives during the American Civil war ( that is more Americans lives than WWI and WWII combined). Despite the toll in human lives, the civil war won emancipation from slavery for black Americans.

The two examples here show that every major freedom we have experienced as a people can always trace back to some kind of significant price or bloodshed. If you read the history of any nation in the world you will find tales of suffering, struggle, bloodshed and indepence. Some nations in the world today still have ongoing struggles for independence.

As Nigerians, our national freedom is equally important and should be celebrated accordingly with commemorative dates and events. Every nation around the world has a few remarkable people whose agitation birthed their freedom and they celebrate these men and women as national heroes.

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe

Chief Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, usually referred to as Zik, was one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism. He was head of state of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He served as the second and last Governor-General from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966, holding the presidency throughout the Nigerian First Republic

Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Chief Obafemi Jeremiah  FR (who lived between 6 March 1909 and 9th of May 1987), was a nationalist and statesman who played a key role in the movement for Nigeria’s independence, the First and Second Republics and the Civil War. He is most notable as the outstanding first premier of the Western Region but was also a successful federal commissioner for finance and Vice President of the Federal Executive Council in the Civil War and was thrice a major contender for the country’s highest office.
Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was born late in 1912 in Bauchi. He was the son of a Bageri Muslim district head in the Bauchi divisional district of Lere.

 Balewa entered the government in 1952 as Minister of Works, and later served as Minister of Transport. In 1957, he was appointed Chief Minister, forming a coalition government between the NPC and the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), led by Nnamdi Azikiwe. He retained the post as Prime Minister when Nigeria gained independence in 1960, and was reelected in 1964.

However, as Prime Minister of Nigeria, he played important roles in the continent’s formative indigenous rule. He was one of the leaders in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity and creating a cooperative relationship with French speaking African countries

Sir Ahmadu Bello

Sir Ahmadu Bello (June 12, 1910 – January 15, 1966) was one of the early Nigerian politicians, and was the first premier of the Northern Nigeria region from 1954-1966. He was the Sardauna of Sokoto and one of the prominent leaders in Northern Nigeria alongside Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, both of whom were prominent in negotiations about the region’s place in an independent Nigeria.
In forming the 1960 independent federal government of Nigeria, Bello as president of the NPC, chose to remain Premier of Northern Nigeria and devolved the position of Prime Minister of the Federation to the deputy president of the NPC Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

Archbishop Benson Idahosa

He was at the forefront and a trail blazer of Pentecostalism in Nigeria and Africa. He is from Benin City in south-south region of Nigeria. He was a man of faith whose bold and fearless approach to ministry and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ brought liberation to multitudes of people all over the world.

But there is a bigger, more significant freedom we have that must be acknowledged because it gave freedom on a global scale.
The biggest freedom ever won for mankind came at the cost of one life. The death of God's only Son, Jesus Christ on Calvary. This death gave us complete freedom from sin and death and reconnected us to our Heavenly Father.
Galatians 3:13, 14 ( KJV)
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith".

The death of Jesus also paid for our freedom from sickness, poverty, curses, oppression and addictions.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) said; " The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants". A lot of revolutionists and radical thinkers have agreed with this statement but in the Light of Christ's sacrifice we find it inapplicable.
Once the price for something has been paid, does it make sense to go and pay for it again? Of course it doesn't.
You wouldn't go back to a store to pay twice for a TV just because there's no light to turn it on. No, you would simply connect it to the power source!  The same works with our freedom. Christ paid a one time payment for our complete freedom so we don't have to pay for freedom again simply because we aren't experiencing it in every area of our life.  That price has been paid, we just need to connect to the Source of Power, Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:1 in the Amplified version says, "It was for this freedom that Christ set us free [completely liberating us]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery [which you once removed]."
We have further encouragement in our new found freedom, the Bible says in Romans 8:15:
"For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry ABBA FATHER".

My prayer for you is that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free". (John 8:32 ESV)

God is  our Father, so walk in the freedom He provided for you.

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