Dowen College Student’s Death, Others: A Failure of Our Spiritual Formations

Death of Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr

By Olugbenga Osinaike

A pastor was leading a prayer meeting and he told the congregation to pray that even if a bag of garri is sold for N100,000, God will provide money for them to buy.

That sounds like a good prayer point. But it seems to be the very reason our prayers are not working. We are cut off from the reality of our environment.

What stops the pastor from praying that God would intervene in our economy and make food affordable for all? Why distance ourselves as the chosen few that should be treated well; when the rain of God falls on both the bad and the good people.?

We forget that we live in a community. If God provides money for you to buy garri and your neighbour can’t afford it, it still comes back to you; because your neighbour will become a burden to you.

Why then are we not altruistic in our prayers? I remember when I was in paid employment. About three of us in the organisation would gather once a week to pray, primarily for the organisation.

We prayed with the understanding that if the company collapses, it would affect everybody, not only us. And if we pride ourselves on being able to secure another job immediately, what about the vulnerable ones. So it should not be about me…it should be about us. That is how we can get a better society.

That brings me to the pathetic death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, the student at Dowen College. His death is a failure of society and the failure of those who should provide guidance. It is by extension a failure of our spiritual formations.

I think it won’t be right to blame his parents for putting him n the hostel. It could have still have happened outside the hostel. Apparently, the boy was well brought up. Unfortunately, he found himself in a strange environment.

In a collective sense, his death is a lesson to us. The fact that your child is okay does not guarantee all will be well. The lesson for me is for us to carry the community burden. There is a need to collectively rise to save our society.

I marvel when I see those who do outreaches to young people and they are not being encouraged and supported. We fail to understand that the root of our problem as a country is the neglect of young people.

If they don’t get it right while growing up, they may never get it right. There are many churches without children sections. They lump them with the adults where they don’t really get to understand what they preach.

By extension, there are many parents who are only concerned about their children. That should not be. As a rule, we should take time to intercede for the schools our children attend and pick interest in the characters around them.

It should not just be about our children…it should be about other children. We need to carry the collective’s not about me and my family should be about us and how we can have a better society.