By NNOROM AZUONYE
On Monday, January 9th, 2012 I received this BBM message from poet Toni Kan:
“People, pls, pls don’t send out broadcast messages until you verify them. Things are tense. Let’s not make them worse. Msgs about fighting, shooting, killings. Pls don’t broadcast until you make a few calls.”
It was very welcome to receive this message and I have forwarded it to most of my BBM contacts, especially those in Nigeria, who need to remain calm to be able to think clearly in these turbulent times.
It is not always clear where the intel that feeds these BBM broadcasts come from, or how authentic they are, but they can be quite disturbing. Here are some recent ones:
“Boko haram claimed responsibility of the Christmas day bombing,and promised more bombings on new year eve & new year day in strategic locations in Nigeria to press down their grievances, a representative of the dreaded sect said on BBC Hausa service. Nigerians are warned to avoid gathering like joints,clubs,cinemas,churches etc. cos those are likely targets of the next series of bombings which they call "the mother of all bombings in Nigeria" .please re-broadcast to. Family,friends and loved ones to save innocent lives,may we never be victims...... Jst got dat frm a friend now.”
The SSS Just announced d seizure of 10 containers of Bangers & Fireworks. Upon examination, Iτ̅ was discovered
1. They av d initial BH..meaning Boko Haram.
2. They are laced with Nitrate used for making Bombs.
3. When lighted Iτ̅ can blow up 10 x 10 sq metres
... 4. The containers were heading for d south western part of Nigeria.
5. Iτ̅ is believed some have already pass through
SSS warns Nigerians to be careful of d use of bangers & fireworks or if possible do away with them. Boko Haram means business.
Please re broadcast. We shall all live to see 2012
For those who stay in Abuja or who have relatives there.The American embassy have contacted all Americans to tell them to stay indoors, they said there are 3 cars in Abuja loaded with explosives planted @ different areas. They are yet to know their exact targets. Pass the message please.
The thought behind these BBM broadcasts are laudable as they appear to reflect a genuine concern for the welfare of fellow citizens. There is also a feeling that these are creative products of terror rumour merchants and that there is no basis for them at all. I have spoken to some friends and family in Northern Nigeria and they say that after reading some of these messages, not knowing which one is true or false, they err on the side of caution and worship God in their own homes rather than become sitting ducks in churches.
It breaks my heart to see just how helpless my Christian brothers seem to have become, and how this Boko Haram thing is wearing down the faith of some Christians. Yesterday, I got into an argument with a church deacon who said that Christians who stay away from churches out of fear of being killed by Boko Haram while they worship God are not Christians at all, because a true Christian should be prepared to die for God.
You see, I personally don’t think that if a Christian’s gut feeling is that there is truth behind a message of caution and stays out of harm’s way, that this is one of the things that can annoy God.
Like brother Toni Kan has urged, let BBM, Facebook or Twitter broadcasters verify their messages before sending them out. Recipients of these messages of caution, please pray for the grace to be directed by the Spirit on whether the intelligence behind these messages are credible. If in doubt, stay in your house and worship God there. If you must pay your tithe and offering in the church, you could always mail a cheque to your pastor. You can only worship God if there is breath in your lungs.