The Hallelujah Challenge and the Inherent Liberty of Personal Choice.

by Emeka Ezekwesiri Chigozie

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It has been an interesting month in June. That is just a grandiose statement to make when you live in Nigeria, where the unthinkable has become normal and the normal has become the unthinkable. It is such that our social milieu has a way of balancing bad news with good news, worse events with better events, outrageous occurrences with innocuous occurrences; and so in this state of affairs, sometimes the good, better and innocuous lose their essential attribute.

This is the current state of the month of June, where the good news of the arrest of Evans, the kidnapper, was mitigated by the outrageous hashtag of #Free_Evans; where the successful signing of a national budget, was countered by secession ultimatum and an invidious eviction notice; where observance of the Holy Ramadan is beleaguered by a resurgent Boko Haram; we could literarily go on and on, and just with regards to June alone. It is therefore not surprising that the emergence of an innocuous event like the #Hallelujah Challenge has created protagonist and antagonist views from many Nigerians.

Indeed I have chosen to consistently call the Hallelujah Challenge an “innocuous event”, because I want to draw us away from any evaluation of its perceived benefit or otherwise, which are strictly spiritually discerned matters. It is, as I see it and urge you to, a choice of how some people want to spend their time and their money, in strict adherence to their beliefs. It does no one any harm, nor does it undermine our national cohesion and resolve to end our abysmal circumstances.

That being the case, it does not invite any one to begin an analysis of the benefits or otherwise, and those who do, are playing to the gallery. It is not to be contested, that just like those who choose to watch the Kim Kardashians or even the Big Brother Nigeria held outside the supposed country in whose name it was organized, it is a personal choice to which the opinion of others matter little. It is thus a question of what one believes or not.

I am inclined to end, by pointing that it may be that God is impressed and interested in Nigeria through these rounds of worship, or it may be that He is completely disinterested, not finding any interest in Nigeria or her worshippers; and whichever it goes, it is safe to assume the former, since even if it is not the case, it can provide the psychological assurances and confidence needed to embark upon the increasingly daunting task of nation building.