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The Parable Of The Lost.

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by Ayo Ogundipe    •    79 Views    •    likes, 0 dislikes    •    2 Comments

It’s been 45 days (as at the time of this post) since the Chibok school girls went missing, which unfortunately over time, seems to have become an internet fad with the hash-tag catch phrase #BringBackOurGirls. While some are genuinely using it as a way to protest, and create much needed awareness of the grim situation, some others have latched on to it for their selfish ulterior motives. 

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On a side-note, during my early morning contemplations, I got an epiphany of one of the Parables of Jesus, which is the title of this article, and somehow drew some semblance of similarity with the current happenings (earlier cited) in Nigeria, which I found quite instructive.

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I know to many, the Chibok hash-tag and its recent protest paraphernalia may now seem a tiring subject. However, I am not here to state the obvious, and add to the conundrum of the ineptitude of leadership in Nigeria to provide national security, a constitutional obligation to which it (the presidency) swore itself to oath, which we all know how that has panned out thus far, but to to add a bit of (personal) insight by way of observation.

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The parable of the lost coin goes thus;Luke 15:8. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?

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9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!'

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 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

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In similar circumstance to that which the government finds itself, the response is in contrast to that of the woman in the parable or even the shepherd in the similar parable of the lost sheep. It’s one of emotional disposition that seeks to garner sympathy rather than a more responsive and strategic maneuver. 

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Referencing the woman in parable, she went about seeking that one lost silver coin, recognising the value of the silver coin in its purchasing power. Every nation is built on it’s economic strength. Its people are that vital cog that drive the wheel of economic prosperity through trade activities of SMEs, which contribute to the overall GDP. Human Capital Development is the highest investment a nation can make towards nation building.

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 If only the government policies reflect this enough especially in the area of providing competent national security- prevention of crime against its citizenry (terrorism). Now it is common knowledge unfortunately, that any life is dispensable especially if you do not belong to the very elite few as evident with the lack-luster “performance” of the federal government in the rescue operation for the abducted girls. 

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When the reality of duty confront leadership, whatever proclivity is the orientation of such government would be the ultimate fate of such a nation. In our case it is one of hapless sympathy. It is  not enough that your ‘face changes’ when intimated with bad news such as terrorist attack on your citizens, or being in denial of the situation, an act akin to burying your head in the sand like an Ostrich (hoping the problem would some how solve itself)... or even in a handkerchief in this case crying. 

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In the “Parable Of The Lost Sheep’, when the shepherd was confronted with the knowledge of his missing sheep, the Shepherd went out looking, and found the lost sheep. Realising as the shepherd, it was his duty to keep watch over the flock, and not until he had redeemed himself, did he seek his neigbours to come dine with him, rejoicing and celebrating. It is instructive to note that the celebration comes only after a conquest is made. No one celebrates during a battle - it’s suicidal!

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As for the woman in the parable of the lost coin, she lit up a lamp, and swept her house till she found the coin. We are at a crisis situation in Nigeria, that needs an affirmative response not a sympathy-seeking reaction. We need to light up our lamps of integrity, and sweep through our individual conscience to speak the truth, and act accordingly.

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These extracts of biblical analogies seek not to further implicate our government, highlighting its unflattering incompetence, which it ironically has competently showcased over time, but an observation drawn on religious sentiment, touching a nerve center of common interaction to provoke our thinking; If we all clean our corner of the world no matter how small, the world would be a better place. The gentrification of Nigeria begins with individual accountability, each of us looking for that coin of personal integrity. We must be held accountable even to ourselves. They (the woman/shepherd) were responsible enough to take stock, and that was how they even knew in the first place, something did not quite add up. From then, ceased initiative to go looking for that which was lost, even in the dark with the aid of proper illumination (required expertise). It’s time to sweep the house clean Nigeria, but it begins with the man in the mirror, lest we be one coin short. To be one coin short, is one short fall to moral bankruptcy on a national scale. 

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Ayo Ogundipe

10:14 am, Tue Jun 2014

Thanks for your comment, unfortunately the word count pegs the amount of data entry. As I said in the e-mail, your second point on the issue of failure on the part of the people to place an ultimatum on the government, and ousting them when deemed necessary raises a valid point that highlights the crux of the matter - there is no consequence for the actions or inaction of the government, thereby indemnifying the government of any perceived shortcoming. In summary, the government cannot be held responsible (irresponsible leadership) ... and so the wound continues to fester.

Tosin Oye\'

16:39 pm, Sat May 2014

Your article is very thought-provoking and rightly places a demand on the individual and the polity to saddle up and start taking concrete steps to resolving the precarious situation we have now found ourselves in for the past 5 years. As much as we have gotten comfortable criticizing the government, the quality of our leaders reflects us, and vice-versa as a people we reflect the type of government we have. Until we stop that individualistic every man for himself mentality, until the entire citizenry finds its fate symbiotically and inextricably linked to the fate of others and develops a lasting and genuine in-grained sense of social justice, we are going nowhere. In other words, one person’s loss is another; one person’s misery is another’s; one person’s suffering is another’s; one person’s failure is another’s. Our government alone has not failed. We as a people have failed. We have failed on two notes. One—we have failed to devise an alternative solution