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Africa: Divine Call for Freedom

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We read from the Book of Proverbs 28: 16 - “A ruler lacking intelligence multiplies oppression; but he who abhors greed will endure.”

A ruler lacking intelligence multiplies oppression. Oppression! Millions of people have been deliberately kept illiterate and poor, as victims of manipulation by their leaders. There are millions whose healthcare is robbed by greedy politicians and left to die of minor illnesses either as teenagers or in their infancy. Today Mahatma Gandhi highlights seven things that destroy leaders: “Wealth without work; Pleasure without

conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; and Business without ethics." Gandhi believes God gave Africa everything a human being needs; there is no need for Africans to be held as prisoners of backwardness. We have the highest rate of hunger even when our soil is most fertile; Africa is the most unsafe region for women to give birth; the youth keep running away from joblessness while politicians live in wealth. What hope does leadership bring to Africa? Emperors, presidents, ministers; what are you doing for your people?

A lot of my fellow preachers are avoiding talking about the failure of leadership. Some Christians are so afraid of dictators. They hide the truth. I don’t know the kind of Bible they read; they say Christians should not stand persecution; and politics and religion don’t mix. But Alexander wrote: “in keeping silent about the evils of man, we are planting evil, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future." So today Jesus challenges us to stand on the pulpit and preach the things we grumble about behind closed doors.

Beloved, the Bible said, “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbour as yourself”. What does this mean? The Bible says when leaders love God and their neighbour they will not hurt their people. So, St. Matthew is asking that our leaders need to grow in favour with God and grow in favour with their citizens. A leader cannot claim to love God and at the same time hate his subjects.

The Bible says in Proverbs 28:2: “A country, for its sins, has many rulers; but with one wise ruler there is stability”.

Clearly, Proverbs does not place the suffering of the poor on Satan or Lucifer. Wicked leaders deliberately create conditions of poverty, illiteracy so that no one can challenge their rule. But the revolt against oppression in Tunisia made one great point, that people determined can change wicked leaders. Egypt learnt from Tunisia, Egyptians in 2011 demanded that Mubarak steps down, put an end to police brutality, rigging of elections, corruption and hardship — demands flowing from years of frustration.

In West Africa - Sierra Leone, two dictators have emerged in that beautiful country. There is a coup maker in the 90s with questionable human right record that is challenging the current President that has become multi-millionaire and created so much hate. I always wonder why small Sierra Leone is breeding so much hate and division since the end of their civil war. Why have the banks gone broke - people wait for days to get their savings? Why do people keep struggling for food, fuel? Look at the leadership!  A leader without decisive character can never be said to belong to himself … He belongs to whatever can make a captive of him. Sierra Leone, who decides for your leaders? Demons! The Bible says:

“O my people, plundered by your rulers, enslaved by your creditors! O my people, your leaders lead you astray”. Isaiah - 3:12:

What is the direction that Africa is taking its people? There is a man in the Government of Sierra Leone. This man in 2005 swindled airfares from 300 pilgrims. The pilgrims were stranded here in Abuja – they couldn’t go to Mecca. In their frustration, they sat in Abuja and pronounced curses on the man. Today the same man, very talented, but cursed by the broken hearts of Muslims, was a minister for minerals. I look at the deeds of this man and look at his office, government minister; and I know exactly how Sierra Leone condemned itself to destruction. You see, a talented man without moral discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways. That is the situation with Sierra Leone. It’s all noise and lies, with little progress

The Psalmist says - "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies”.  Psalm - 58:3

So from birth onwards, you see manifestations of evil leadership. Another young politician with a strong covenant with the devil heads the Internal Affairs Dept. This young man is in such a hurry to be rich. He offered up his son as a sacrifice to get a senior appointment in Government. Shortly after that the son died mysteriously and the politician, an illiterate who cannot read official documents, was instantaneously elevated into a senior Government position. Two years later his mother died when he put his bid in to become Vice President of the country. Between this man and the leader, iron ore extracted by the Marampa mines 35yrs ago was sold to a fraudster, Mr. Frank Timis, who secretly exported the mineral to have capital to start a dubious mining company. Most of Sierra Leone’s oil reserve are also said to have been sold to Timis. The last oil plots were sold a month ago. So, Sierra Leone’s oil money has been chopped even before the country starts to mine it. And now the Government has imported $5 million worth of deadly weapons for the police to use against their people. Already 6 people were slaughtered during a riot in the mines. Eh!

When shall we get integrity from African leadership? Why do politicians fail to work with people of integrity? William Buffet said: In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you. The lack of integrity in leaders is ripping Africa apart. Look at Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guinea is rich in oil but ranks high among the world's most corrupt countries.  President Obiang, longest-serving head of state in Africa after the death of Muhammad Gaddafi, has created great poverty, filth in cities and schools lying in ruin. The people have lost hope that they will ever be able to improve their lot. Last year, Obama realized that Obiang had stolen $100 million to enrich his own family and decided to seize his son’s assets: his $30 million California mansion, exotic cars, a private jet and a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia. America needs to seize and share this loot amongst the poorest of Equatorial Guineans.

Christians! When will African leaders know that God is watching every wicked act?

Ecclesiastes 5:8 says:  “If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.”

The Bible is the word of God. When you see leaders who see disgrace before they die, check the history of their lives. African leaders; save your souls and give hope to Africa. A leader is a dealer in hope. Give hope to Africa! You cannot expect hope to come when you surround yourself with crooked people. One of the leaders of Attitudinal Change programme that was expected to give hope to for Sierra Leone was the former spokesman for the AFRC rebels who slaughtered 5,000 people in Freetown in one week. Guess what, after 18 months the leaders of Attitudinal Change stole millions of dollars. But they are all free because they raised some campaign fund for State House. Kyie! I only hope Attitude change starts with the leadership; only hope leaders stop stealing and wickedness, attitude will change for all.

When you see what happens in Freetown, you will call Nigerians saints. The cost of a four lane highway in Abuja is $400,000 per kilometer; in Freetown the cost of Wilkinson road construction is $1.8 million per kilometer. Roads in Freetown are four times the cost of the Achimota highway in Ghana. And while property owners receive compensation for property destroyed in road construction in Nigeria, in Freetown the Chinese contractors pay house owners’ compensation directly to the President who distributes monies to youth groups on the street.  Freetown has wasted $15 million in road contracts.

Jesus, I thank you for this revelation. Thank you for revealing to me how the worship of money is the demon of Africa. Satan has positioned himself to capture Africa through its leaders. When Mobutu Sese Seko wanted Satan to capture Congo Zaire he turned his opposition into submission through corruption. Those he could not convert, he dealt with forcefully. Uprisings by Katangan gendarmeries were crushed. In legislative and presidential elections electorate are presented with a single list of candidates for the legislature and Mobutu was the only candidate for President. Zairian voters were offered two ballot choices: green for hope, and red for chaos: Mobutu won with a vote of 98.2%. By 1980 Mobutu’s wealth has amounted US$ 5 billion, most of it in Swiss banks and almost equivalent to the Congo’s entire foreign debt; all this while public service workers went months without being paid.

Why are African leaders too restless and obsessed about the world and ruin their people just to accumulate the things of the flesh?

The Bible says in John 2:16: "For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world."

So, when a state is captured by rulers of darkness who only seek material things, that state is doomed. The Bible says live a leadership by example. What example is the leadership showing for the people of Africa? Is it a leadership where people measure their worth by the cars they have, the mansions they build, and the number of girlfriends they support? Is it a leadership where politicians bribe union leaders and newspapers and radio stations? Where is Africa heading to? African Governments have killed the trade unions. Civil society is busy getting government contracts and defending the system so that they can join the politicians to drive big cars and own mansions. Sycophancy!  The President of Sierra Leone has funded offices with staff throughout the country called “Di Pa E Yie”. This is a new Government NGO that employs sycophants and praise singers who want their own cars and houses.

Brethren, God has no problem with people owning cars; it is when cars begin to drive you to wreck your nation, that is the problem. God has no problem with people building mansions, it is when you worship mansions and make others homeless because of your greed. God puts in us a capacity to lead others as a form of service to God. Let us pray for our leaders to serve God and not cars, money and mansions.

The worship of cars, money and mansions has destroyed the growth of Africa. A Minister in Sierra Leone was dismissed for fraud when working with OSIWA in Ghana. When he was Deputy Minister he successfully robbed $9.8 million for printing of GST receipts. His younger brother managed fund for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Over $10 million dollars was collected from donations from various sources for the celebration. Guess what – Sierra Leone celebrated its 50th Anniversary amidst a corruption scandal. The devil is penetrating Africa using our obsession for money, cars and mansions.

God! If our ancestors signed a covenant with the devil, today we pray that you remove the curse. Do not punish us for the sins of our leader. Forgive Mali and Togo where money buys everything in the education system: exam questions, scholarships, forged diplomas, false transcripts, or high level positions. To a point, corruption has led to chaos in Mali. In Sierra Leone a National Union for the ruling party owns four buses and determines who gets scholarships while the National Union of Sierra Leone students are without transport. Our nations moving from one crisis to another. Africa is as chaotic as the filthy minds of our leaders who claim to have good intension.

My people! The road to hell is paved with good intentions and bad interventions. Year in year out, either the Central Bank of Sierra Leone is printing new notes or is changing the currency. And when the leader finished chopping the wealth at the Central Bank – he went on radio and said: “few years ago, I met zero Leones in the coffers, now I struggle to pay salaries. Please be patient with me, I have good intentions.” Good intentions? No! This is evil.  You see a leader with such intentions has made the fight against corruption a new way for ruling parties to raise campaign funds. When public servants steal millions of dollars they are fined a few thousands by the courts, government officials contribute and pay the small fine, the rest stays with the criminals. No one goes to jail for big corruption, only for petty crimes.

We have seen African leaders like Jameh of the Gambia, Bokina Faso and Sierra Leone coordinating drug trafficking. A younger brother of the Minister of Aviation in Sierra Leone was convicted for drug trafficking in 2009. The drug case aroused serious international attention. Western powers never wanted the drug cartels in South America – Colombia to use Sierra Leone as a base for drug trafficking to Europe and America. Out of pressure from Western powers, the young man was sent to jail and his elder brother, the Minister was dismissed from cabinet. The Government made a special arrangement for the younger brother to spend his entire prison sentence walking as a free man in a luxurious apartment in a Government hospital in Freetown under the pretext that he was a sick prisoner. And listen to this - when the world’s attention drifted to Osama Bin Laden in 2010 - 2011, the President reappointed the drug minister as Senior Adviser to the President.

God save Africa from such misrule.  Today’s civilian leaders are copying the rule of leaders like Idi Amin Dada, of Uganda. Amin's rule was characterized by the worst human rights abuses and political repression Africa has ever seen. The number of people killed is estimated by human rights groups ranges from 300,000 to 500,000. Now Africa is in crisis.

African is in crisis of leadership. In Cote D’Ivoire until Henri Konan Bédié, was defeated by Alassane Ouattara, from the Dyula descent in 2010, he tried to protect his corrupt government by setting up the Gur against the Kwa and Kru againist the Mande sub-families. Robert Mugabe did the same -- setting up Ndebele against the Shona to maintain his corrupt rule. In Sierra Leone, the Government divides the country into the North, the South-east and Western Area. To the Western Area he just keeps his handsome smiling pictures hanging in many parts of the city. To the North he marginalises the majority tribe who look at how his family and friends live in wealth. I traveled to Northern Temne areas of the country and realised that they suffer more than many areas of Sierra Leone. Some of them eat mango porridge in the rainy season while President builds new houses for his entire family members.

African leaders deprive their people of education and boast they represent the grassroots. Who do politicians call the Grassroots? These are the victims of bad governance; people relegated to the margins of society and kept poor. People kept homeless and illiterate to the point that their rationality is blinded by their search for a daily living. These are the Grassroots. People who are too weak to stand for themselves! Why do you steal monies from the grassroots and do not help them to stand? Why don’t you get them educated to stand themselves? Why keep the poor, poorer and the illiterates, illiterate?

Sierra Leone is the only country in the world where the President put bags of money in his car to distribute to the grassroots. He calls it “direct cash transfer to the grassroots.” And the grassroots are kept uneducated. They are not strong enough to ask, how can a President who is paid $5,000 a month spend $200,000 a week? How come the President spends $200,000 a week, yet there is no money at the bank to pay salaries and to finance businesses? The people at the grassroots do not understand.

But the book of Proverbs gives Christians hope. Proverbs says that there is an end to wickedness:

"His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly." Proverbs 26:26

Wickedness will be exposed? So when African leaders think they are so, so clever; and can hide corruption in high places under the mask of having good intentions, God reveal the testimony when the Banks will go empty. If you turn your national broadcasting network into propaganda stations that sell untruths to citizens, Al Jazeera TV and CNN will expose your deeds. If you buy bullets and shoot and kill your people, God in heaven will punish you. Proverbs says there is an end to wickedness.

Beloved, Proverbs wrote: "Malice may be concealed by deception, but wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Africa will someday wake up to this truth. The truth is that a leader can award a $15 million contract to the President’s sister to supply agricultural tractors and equipment while the people live in hunger and hardship. The truth that State House can increase salary of the Corruption Commissioner from Le20m to Le72m to stop investigation of six of his ministers. Since then, the Anti-Corruption Committee has been losing major cases against government officials and settling matters out of court.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:14: “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing whether good or evil.”

Whosoever is preparing evil against Africa will be brought to judgment. Christians! Dedicate yourself to prayer and invite Christ to save the leadership of Africa. The world has seen how a nation’s cabinet plots an evil story, connives with a fake political party leader, to fly to the United Nations in New York and lie against an innocent UN Representative of the country. That country is cursed to damnation.

Proverbs 19:29: “Let the accusers be clothed with dishonor, and let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.”

Anyone involved in plotting evil against the African people will face shame and disgrace. Christians join me to read the Book of Psalm for these forces of darkness

Psalm 109: 8-14: “Let his days be few; Let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless. And his wife a widow; Let his children wander about and beg:  And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. Let the creditor seize all that he has; and let strangers plunder the product of his labor. Let there be none to extend loving kindness to him; nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let their name be blotted out.

Africa! This is a moment of change! This is moment to know the limitations of your wickedness. This is a moment to end the long-suffering of many, many people who have seen wars, hardship and misery. This is the time for someone to confess to the killing of a gentleman and his girlfriend who were set on fire in a house in Freetown.  For the murder of a former Bank Governor, Sam Bangura in the 1980s and Bash Taqi, Sierra Leone needs to turn away. For the bloodshed in Somalia and Sudan, Africa need to repent. From the bloodshed of 100,000 innocent people killed for blood diamonds in Sierra Leone and Liberia the poor should benefit from the vast oil resources of West Africa.

My friends, the cost of misrule in Africa is too high for the grassroots and the consequences are dire for youth and the children yet unborn. As Christians, we may, on occasion, sit lazily by and watch societies take the shape they want. Let us pray for our leaders to come to the throne of Grace. Mr. President, Ministers, Governors, Judges, come to the throne of God and be saved. Forget your evil plans; come to the heart of Jesus. African leaders, turn to Jesus. Accept Christ and save your people. Christians, pray and pray and pray and break the yoke of demonic covenants holding African Kingdoms.

Please stand up and sing with me – Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

Let us bow our heads and pray…

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