Bauchi, Nigeria
An aerial view of Bauchi state in Nigeria. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

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A pastor in Nigeria says demons of corruption are holding the nation captive and, as a result, Nigeria's polity and societal fabric are experiencing underdevelopment and instability.

The Rev. Elisha Samson of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Bauchi state in northeast Nigeria made this observation in an exclusive interview in the city of Bauchi.

The only way out of the quagmire for Nigeria and its people, Samson said, is for everyone in the country—especially political leaders—to eschew corruption and offer the country sacrificial leadership that is built on the fear of God and being gracious to the people in the implementation of state policies.

"If we can make sacrifices, this can rule out greediness, selfishness, sectionalism and the rest. There is no doubt that our society will change for the better and Nigeria will again witness rapid development," Samson said.

The clergyman, who is the pastor of ECWA GoodNews Church in Bauchi, while quoting from the book of Isaiah 53, said he is emphasizing the need for Nigerian political leaders to imbibe a sacrificial leadership style of governance because Jesus Christ has set an example through His sacrificial death on the cross.

"The death of Jesus Christ is a sacrifice for all of mankind," Samson said. "From His sacrificial life, we too must be sacrificial in our relationship with others. And in doing so, we must not do it on the basis of who or what is to us, but being gracious to all we come across in the country." 

The ECWA pastor further said the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is significant and, hence, its observation by Christians across the world is anchored on the fact that it is the ultimate for the whole of mankind, as He died to offer salvation to all.

"The ultimate significance and purpose of Christ's death is that it is to take away the sorrows and griefs of all of us," Samson said. "He was pierced on the cross because of our transgressions. This is because we all have broken God's laws, broken His moral principles. And for us to be justified—that is, cleansed and made innocent as God intended us to be—Jesus Christ had to pay the supreme price on the cross, which is to die and take away our sins and reconciling us back to Himself."

Samson continued, "He, Jesus, was crushed for our iniquities. He has through His death on the cross taken away the sins of the whole world and hanged these sins on the cross. We were supposed to have attracted God's wrath because of our iniquities, but He took our place by dying for us. The Bible says, 'By His stripes we are healed.' What this means is that we have been offered healing in all spheres of our endeavors, be it physical or spiritual, either inwardly or outwardly."

Concluding, Samson said, "We are lost sheep, so the death of Jesus Christ is significant in that it leads the lost sheep back home. We were lost, but Christ, being the Good Shepherd, has led us back home to God."

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