Professor of Christian Religion at the University of Ilorin, Pius Abioje, has disclosed that Nigeria is a dire need of critical prophets to address some of the societal ills in the country. The prophets, he noted, should be courageous enough to speak against exploitation, oppression and other form of social evils that are bane of good leadership in the country. Abioje, who delivered the 167th inaugural lecture of the University recently, said such prophets must not necessarily be adherents of Christian or Islamic religions but those who can muster the courage to be ‘‘vociferous’’. The Inaugural Lecturer, who is of the Department of Religions, Faculty of Arts of the institution, said those engaging in critical prophecy must resist the temptation of material and economic gains of the world and ‘‘must be ready to pay the bitter, if no ultimate price’’. Abioje whose lecture was titled: ‘‘Christian Prophets and other Prophets in Nigeria’’, drew a comparism between ‘‘critical prophecy and divergence between Jesus and Traditional Christianity ’’, and assert that ‘‘critical prophecy cannot be accommodated or tolerated in any institution that has become legalistic and autocratic’’. He said: ‘‘The first challenge to a Christian prophet may therefore be the readiness to face the possible wrath of the church ,in certain circumstances .The second challenge may be the political powers that be’’.    While stressing the need for spiritual rebirth ,he said ‘‘Nigerians should strive to become critical prophets; to speak against evil on behalf of God and try to live holy lives .In ancient times, as noted in this lecture ,critical  prophets were vociferous opponents of social evils ,such as injustice ,marginalization ,oppression ,and exploitation’’. He, however, said ‘‘Nigerians should learn to see critical prophets as friends of society, and pardon them whenever they happen to err, since no human being is infallible’’.

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