I Stand and I Fight
By Femi Fani-Kayode.
The word of God is immutable and unassailable and He is faithful to keep it to the very end. If I know nothing else, this I know to be true. I know that scripture cannot be broken and that whether we live or die tomorrow is in the hands of God alone. I also know that injustice and deceit can never last and that persecution only fuels dissent. There comes a time in the life of a man when he must be a man and stand up and speak the truth, even where others are too timid and intimidated to do so. And he must do this in the knowledge that whatever the price that he may have to pay, whether it be assassination, arrest, detention, harassment, persecution, prosecution or utter destruction, he is ready to pay that price and take the glory and the honour that goes with it. By the grace of God I have today reached that point and I will bare my mind to the sickly tyrant freely. And after I have had my say I shall gallantly take my stand and with faith proclaim: let the demons of hell be invoked and conjured up and let them come forth and do their very worse, for they shall not pass and neither shall they prevail. For the word of God says "if thou shalt say in thine heart, these nations are more than I, how can I dispossess them? Thou shalt not be afraid of them but shall well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all of Egypt. The great temptations which thine eyes saw and the signs and the wonders, and the mighty hand and the stretched out arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out. So shall the Lord thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid... thou shalt not be affrighted at them, for the Lord thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible." And so it shall be as I stand on these holy words and boldly proclaim, o wicked tyrant, I stand and I fight against you. I stand and I fight in the name of the Living God. I stand and I fight in the name of Harrow and Cambridge. I stand and I fight in the name of Kelly and London. I stand and I fight as the son of my father. I stand and I fight as a proud and strong African. I stand and I fight as a resilient and irresistible Nigerian. I stand and I fight as a man of courage. I stand and I fight as a beautiful and irrepressible black man. I stand and I fight as a man of faith, a Christian who knows that his God is mighty and can never be defeated.
We are what we believe ourselves to be. I am unbeatable, irrepressible and indestructible. I am a covenant child of the Living God, a prince of the Faith and a son of the Kingdom. My head may be bloodied but it is not bowed. I do not know the meaning of fear and I have learnt to master the affliction of pain. I do not flinch. I stand and I fight with my whole being: with my body, with my spirit and with my soul. I stand and I fight to win and not to lose. I stand and I fight, tall and proud and by the power of the God that I serve, I shall always prevail. I stand and I fight because children of Israel are never alone. I stand and I fight because all tyrants must be resisted. I stand and I fight because God's word says, "He shall cut off the spirit of princes" and “He is terrible to the kings of the earth". And so to King Ahab the sickly tyrant, I have just this to say: you can detain me, you can malign me, you can arrest me and you can misrepresent me. You can persecute me, you can subjugate me, you can lie about me and you can scatter my household and my loved ones. You can vilify me, you can torment me, you can jeer at me and you can mock me. You can sack my associates, you can query my loyalists and you can cause my friends to flee the land. U can humiliate those who stand for me, you can pour scorn on those who love me, you can threaten those who speak for me and you can bribe those who work for me. You can plan, you can scheme, you can assign and you can direct and delegate destruction at my doorsteps and at my gates. You can intimidate and torment and you can use your kingly power to abuse and to destroy. You can make our destruction your eighth point agenda and you can commission your minions to ensure that it is perfected. You can do all these things yet ultimately you will fail because, like all beastly tyrants, you have forgotten the power of God in all your subterranean wickedness and in all your sinister schemes. Holding on to power at all costs? That is nothing new, Saul tried it and failed. Agag tried it and failed. Herod tried it and failed. Pharaoh tried it and failed. Sennacherub tried it and failed. Athalia tried it and failed. Nebudchadnezzar tried it and failed. Ahab tried it and failed. Haman tried it and failed. Omri tried it and failed and so did Nero and Caligula and Jezebel and countless others. For the God that stopped them is still alive and continues to rule in the affairs of men and He alone forges the destiny of nations. And in all this know one thing: that you cannot break me, you cannot kill me, you cannot defeat me and you cannot destroy me. This is because I am anointed for greatness and I am truly blessed by He who sits above the circles of the earth and by He who created all that is. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places and yea I have a goodly heritage. My future has been established and decreed by the oracles of God. It has been inscribed in the stars and it has been written in the books of heaven. It cannot be altered or aborted by you or your invocations and spells and your wicked ways. And yet perhaps you should know another: that your end has already been decreed by the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob and it is only a matter of time before it suddenly comes. For my soul stands defiant against you. I defy you with all my being. My contempt for you is resounding, for you are nothing but sickness and weakness and failure and deceit and emptiness. You are nothing but the darkness that seeks the darkness, both you and the Amalekite foundation from which you come. My God has spoken and on His word I stand. My spirit is lifted and it is filled with joy and strength. I stand and I fight because my victory is assured. I stand and I fight because I despise the shame. I stand and I fight because there is a greater tomorrow.. I stand and I fight because I will never bow before this beastly and deceitful tyrant. I stand and I fight because like Macbeth I must fight "until the flesh be hacked from my bones". I stand and I fight because I am who I am. I stand and I fight because I am a son of the great "I Am, That I Am". I stand and I fight because my God is "a man of war". I stand and I fight because you cannot kill a man that is already dead. I stand and I fight because I have a lioness, a daughter of Zion, who proudly stands by my side. I stand and I fight because the Lord has steeled my body, my spirit and my soul. I stand and I fight because the fewer the number, the greater the share of honour. I stand and I fight because King David stood and fought, and Gideon and Joshua and Jehu that went before him. So let the sickly tyrant rant and rave. Let him do his very worse. Let him, like Nero, play his fiddle whilst Rome burns and let him make merry in his wickedness and inglorious ways. Let him punish the father of the nation for giving him power. Let him plot and plan both night and day. Let him invoke strange spirits, consult the stars, torture, detain, defame, destroy, charge, frame, kill and maim. Let him bomb and burn and kill his 20 million. Let him bribe the militants of the Niger-Delta and let him offer them a plagued and unsustainable amnesty. Let him "cry havoc" and let slip the horrific dogs of war. Let him break and let him crush the very spirit of the people. Let him enslave the whole of our nation and cower us all into silence and submission. Let him enshrine the words "there is none besides me" into the federal constitution. Let him turn us into cowards and quislings, let him plunge us into darkness and let him bewitch our feeble souls. Yet in all his treacheries and schemings let him know one thing, that we are not shaken and neither are we moved. For even if he were to carve up our flesh and send our dismembered limbs to the four corners of the kingdom, our God is able to put us back together again and give us life, even more abundant. And even if he can kill our weak and worldly bodies, he cannot break our spirits and neither can he take our souls. For if our God can move mountains who and what is he? If our God be for us, what can he possibly do? Our God's word says "who is he that sayest a thing and it cometh to pass when the Lord God of Hosts has commanded it not?" It says, "who is he that lays a charge before God's elect, is it not Christ that justifies?" It says, "whose report will you believe and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" It says "who can separate us from the love of the Lord?" and that "nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us". We stand and we fight because we are indeed "more than conquerors". We stand and we fight because tin pot tyrants come and go: they are a dime a dozen, soon to be forgotten. We stand and we fight because heroes and martyrs, even if they fall in their course, will always live forever. We stand and we fight because we serve a mighty God who never fails and who will never leave us or forsake us. We stand and we fight knowing that the victory is ours. We stand and we fight for our honour, for our nation, for our women and for our children. We stand and we fight with courage, strength, defiance and joy knowing that though weeping may tarry in the night, “joy comes in the morning". We stand and we fight because His word says, "once has it been spoken and twice have we heard that all power belongs to God and the heavens do rule in the affairs of men". We stand and we fight because we have no other choice, for good will always triumph over evil and light will always overcome the darkness in the end. We stand and we fight because we fear not death, we fear not the tyrant and we fear not his gods and idols. We stand and we fight because our God will always love us and through Him and by Him our salvation is secure. We stand and we fight because we have been prepared for war. We stand and we fight because the Lord is our defence and the Holy One of Israel is our king and our God. We stand and we fight because His word boldly asks, "who is this uncircumcised Philistine that has chosen to defy the armies of the Living God?" We stand and we fight because He goes on to affirm that "I have found David my servant and with my holy oil have I anointed him". We stand and we fight because His holy word proclaims "who art thou o mountain before Zerrubabel? Thou shalt be made a plain".
We stand and we fight because we wax strong in battle. We stand and we fight because we cannot be defeated. We stand and we fight because we are not in the hands of men but rather we are under the power of God. We stand and we fight because He is our shield, He is our glory and the lifter of our heads. We stand and we fight because He will "pour out His wrath upon the heathen that have not known Him and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon His name." Of this I am sure, that our Lord will make them like a wheel and as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire, so will He persecute them with His tempest and make them afraid with His storm. He will fill their faces with shame, that they may seek His name night and day. He will let them be confounded and troubled forever; yea He will let them be put to shame and perish that men may know that He, whose name alone is Jehovah, is the most high over all the earth. So let it be and so it is and yet until then, we stand and we fight, we stand and we fight, we stand and we fight.
Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigeria’s former Minister of Aviation and former Minister of Culture and Tourism wrote this poem about President Umaru Yar’Adua in Nov. 2009 when the late President was still alive.