Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Redemption Camp: Largest ‘City of God’ on earth

Here is Guardian review of the Largest city of God .

GOING by the breakneck speed with which they whiz through
the mostly craggy and pothole-ridden portions of the Lagos-
Ibadan Expressway, many motorists would seem to know very
little about the Redemption Camp beyond its signboards and
its modest white gate. This afternoon, however, a billboard
outside the gate shows a mother smiling down at her baby. It
is a picture of complete satisfaction from both. The
photograph illustrates the theme of the Holy Ghost Service,
‘God Will Make You Laugh,’ which was held on September 6. Considering
the decent condition of living in the Redemption Camp as The Guardian
discovered during its tour, and what is obtainable in other Nigerian
towns and cities, the prayers of the residents may have already been

• How former den of robbers, wild animals became a place of worship
A camp of many wonders
AT the entrance of the Camp, a nondescript security man looks casually
at approaching vehicles before waving them in. On the right side of the
gate, a neat and orderly row of tricycles painted in green with white
stripes awaits commuters going into the Camp. Quietly, and without the
hassles characterising life in other Nigerian settlements, passengers
walk to the tricycle taxi park, take their seats, and the journey begins
through a network of streets linked by tarred roads.
There is no noisy honking and blaring of horns. Drivers neither jeer
nor rain curses on other roads users. And there are no trailers
threatening to tip over and spill their inflammable content on hapless
road users. There are also no traffic snarls and all the disorder
associated with life in most of Nigeria’s chaotic cities. A number of road
signs indicate a speed limit of between 15 and 25 km per hour. Wafting
from loudspeakers in different parts of the camp is mellow Christian
music. The soothing effect of the songs is occasionally interrupted by
the deep baritone voice of the General Overseer (GO) of the Redeemed
Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A. Adeboye, who makes
exhortations in recorded messages. Next are the Pentecostal naming of
the roads and streets: Redeemer Avenue, Victory Avenue, Salvation
Way, Love Road, Holiness Road, New Song Road, and the list goes on.
Streets and addresses in the Redemption Camp get their names from the
biblical narratives and experiences.
Unlike many Nigerian towns and cities where existence is dreary, nasty
and often extremely disorganised, the Redeemed Camp is a town that
works. The air is clean and fresh, the roads are free of potholes, and the
general decay associated with urban living in Nigeria is almost non-
existent in the Camp. Electricity supply is uninterrupted, clean water
runs at the tap, environment is sanitised and decent transportation
system is in place. Nonetheless, The Guardian observed during its tour of
the area that, the sanity and serenity of the Redeem City might not be
as a result of daily session of prayer, praise and worship. Rather
authorities in the town have painstakingly made and implemented rules
and regulations to ensure that the place is not turned to yet another
Nigerian nightmare.

Rules and regulations governing behaviour in the Camp are clearly spelt
out in one of the billboards; “no hawking and no loitering during
service.” There is also a list of rules that the camp dwellers are to
observe. For instance, while the government in Lagos, as well as many
other states across the country is battling tooth and nail to rid its
domain of the activities of motorbike (Okada) riders, the authorities at
the Redemption Camp simply insisted that the place be a no-go area for
motorcycle taxis. The result is that cars are free to move without the
risk of colliding with bikes, while commuters are spared the ordeal of
falling off speeding bikes and breaking their limbs. Instead of the
reckless run of commercial motorcycles, what obtains in the Camp is the
beautiful sight of families riding bicycles as a way of exercising ......
To read more follow this link here

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