The Town Crier – Seven Kings, Seven Seasons
The other day, Brother David, the Supreme Winner spoke to Canaanites on the dangers to Nigeria's sovereignty as posed by the Boko Haram threat. It immediately dawned on me that it is not often that frustration cuts across so many barriers. The reign of terror unleashed on a wary nation by that odious organization known as Boko Haram seems to be creating wonders. This view becomes very pertinent when a particular holiness, who is in the habit of catching witches, suddenly found a common platform to associate with the common man. Not too long ago, his holiness was in the habit of visiting half dead and moribund head of state and arrogantly declaring to the nation that it owed no apologies nor explanations for such curious visits. However, the Boko Haram phobia has created such a true fear of God in us all, that even so-called prophets, evangelists and spiritual fathers seem at a loss. No explanation as to the cause, purpose and outcome of this evil insurrection seems to be forthcoming from those who are normally in constant communication with the seat of the Most High. Even, our dear internationally renowned prophet of all nations residing in the synagogue appears to be in the “spiritual wilderness” on this.
Perhaps one may not blame his holiness. Considering that Boko Haram has been unsparing in its ferocious attacks on Christians in Northern Nigeria. Boko Haram even claimed that Christians are eating Muslims, a claim yet to be verified. It is perhaps the alarming rate at which this Boko madness is affecting the church business in Nigeria that made our holy father speak out. He has said it times without number that he owed Nigerians no explanations. Or have we forgotten who he is (“do you know whom you are talking to?”). In all fairness to our most revered father, it becomes a problem, when an amorphous organization decided to unleash violence and terror against a particular religion. It even becomes more dangerous when that religion appear incapacitated. Boko Haram predicates its creed and violence on the promise of indeterminate number of virgins after creating havoc on earth. This is in “Alijanah”. However, modern day Pentecostalism was caught pants down; concentrating more on prosperity on earth. The problem now is how to enjoy this prosperity when Boko is around the corner to make life shorter. Truly, Nigerian Pentecostalism has a problem of unimaginable magnitude. It is only proper for his holiness, Brother David, to speak out being one of its arrowheads. Stupid Boko Haram must be creating a serious conflict in our holy fathers. How do they fine tune their teaching to include prosperity in heaven? It is then and only then that Nigerian Christians would be willing to stand up and confront Boko Haram. But the heavenly prosperity may well include period of relaxation with divine virgins. This may after all be the only effective antidote to Boko's threat. Boko realising that it does not control the monopoly of virgins in heaven may then decide to sheath its sword. Until then, Boko Haram would continue to have the upper hand, no doubt.
Brother David could no longer hide his frustration. He even volunteered to lead a holy Jihad against Boko Haram. Softly, softly, rother David. Careless talks are forbidden in present day Nigeria as per Boko instruction. Unless, of course, you have a standing army guiding you at all times. The agony of a diminishing Sunday – Sunday collection should not lead to a self-declared fatwa. Boko Haram is everywhere in Nigeria. Boko is watching you even though you may not know. Our holy father should borrow a leaf from dear Brother Jona who is laying claim to the nation's highest office. In reality though we ask ourselves, who is really in control, Bro Jona or Boko? Brother Jona knows what to say each time Boko Haram strikes, even whilst on a condolence visit to Knao, theatre of latest calamity. Poor Ado Bayero. He wept like a baby. Brother Jona was completely dry. What else does Nigerians expect him to do about this Boko headache? Brother Jona has realised that there is a limit to which good luck can sustain a man or a country for that matter. It is only left for fellow countrymen to realize their folly in following a man blindly on account of good luck. He has detached himself from it all. However, he is hell-bent on dragging it out with the civil society.
Haven't you heard of the fuel subsidy palaver? Brother Jona is so conscious of our pain but yet this is the best decision ever. Bro Jona is strenuously making efforts to cut the size of governance and wastages in same as evident by the following statistics in his 2012 budget to the national assembly of thieves (sorry, careless slip of tongue):
N280 million for two bulletproof Mercedes Benz saloon 600 E Guard at N140 million each
N356.72 million for new vehicles in the presidential fleet
5 Mercedes Benz 350 (semi plain/partial bullet proof) at N25 million each, 10 jeeps (assorted – Range Rover, Prado and Land Cruiser) at N10 million each, and accessories for these vehicles will cost N25 million
N57.43 million to upgrade facilities at the Presidential Villa
N127.50 million to overhaul power generating sets
N512.385 million to refurbish the family wing of the main residence
N385.35 million for land reclamation at the State House Medical Centre
N101.67 million for the rehabilitation of transformer substation in the villa
Do not fault peerless Bro Jona. He is vigorously confronting corruption and is making every effort to tame the Boko monster. For example, his security vote remains limitless and not accountable to anyone. After all, he is the Kabiyesi himself. Brother Jona really feels our pain and has decided to spend additional N97.95 million to extend State House car parks. He needs space for the fleet of wonderful cars. These cars are needed for discreetly monitoring our pain and how Boko is achieving its disdainful objectives. The allocated Nigerian money is to be spent on Nigerian causes, no matter what Boko says. After all, Bro Jona and his family are Nigerians and their maximum comfort would only serve to alleviate our collective suffering. Bro Jona really feels our pain.
It has become clear that Bro Ayo has been making noises with his CAN. Bro Ayo has made so much noise that he is tired of the noise himself. So much so for much touted Christian retaliation. However, Boko would not be swayed by rhetoric of noise. This problem seems to surpass empty threats. The long awaited divine intervention is so late in arriving. I have searched and still searching for the earth-shaking prophecies from the Synagogue. Bro TB is a prophet of no small dimension. He saw national teams and football clubs winning competitions – even though some prophecies were retrospective. But Boko is turning out to be a different ball game. It has simply evaporated from the spiritual crystal balls. The holy man of “all nations” appears to be in perpetual limbo on the Boko menace – so much for the depth of evil of Boko Haram.
Perhaps we need to remind Bro David that confronting Boko Haram is radically different from enjoying the luxuries of private jets or growing fat on a confused tertiary educational system. Boko battle does not appear to include comfort in its arsenal. It is completely different from boasting to a bemused audience when attempting to cajole a “witch for Jesus”. According to the Boko principle, a holy man is the first culprit in the cannibalism of Muslims. So, Bro David, beware! And while your call for divine break-up of Nigeria may elicit sympathy, such calls also portend problems. Pray, when Nigeria breaks up divinely, would it be a case of Canaanites versus Boko Haramites?
There was a time when our holy ones were wining and dining with the power base in Nigeria. And they still do. Despicable politicians, discredited bankers, notorious swindlers and all sorts. Some of these characters are even Pentecostal pastors. I remember one that has so colonized that stretch of road between Ibafo and Mowe on the Lagos Ibadan Expressway. Bro Enoch has a special gift of anointing politicians, especially discredited ones. He declared No Vacancy at Olumo Rock some few years back, yet the unscrupulous Daniel found a way to win. He went further and hosted Emere of Egbaland. Baba Iyabo visited that expansive stretch of land several times in the course of his abiku presidency. The macabre spectacle of Bro Jona kneeling down in front of Bro Enoch, in an attitude of reverence and spiritual ecstasy must have been the impetus for sustaining the understanding Bro Jona has in our pain. Many thanks to Bro Enoch. Never mind that Bro Enoch was not bothered by the rumours of the patrimonial lineage of Baba Iyabo. Rumours can sometimes be too informative as it has persistently maintained that his papa was actually an Eastern soldier on duty at Abeokuta. This may explain his persistent rejection by the Egba people, even in his local government council area.
Our holy fathers and mothers are not immune from blame on the present state of social degeneration, anarchy and disharmony. Very few can raise clean fingers up. They have promoted everything un-holy in our land, using every available means to fleece the ignorant masses. Whilst the Christian holy fathers and mothers included sleek business tactics, gimmick and modern communication weapon in its arsenal, the Muslim holy fathers are equally busy with their turbans, scurrying from place to place in the supreme comfort of their unassailable priority in the scheme of things. After all, Boko Haram is just around the corner as the enforcer and the protector. In retrospect, Babangida, made no mistake in taking Nigeria to the OIC. So while our holy fathers were busy catching witches, a dear holy madam, somewhere in the South South was busy counting millions while stigmatising innocent children. She even stated in a book that children who cry excessively are leaders of covens.
While teeth are still being gnashed and tears unending as a result of the distasteful condiments of the Boko Haram soup, it might be pertinent to remind Nigerians of the futility of entrusting so much to shoeless politicians in the future. As a people, we must learn that a any wave of good luck would some day reach a crescendo, thereafter bad luck would automatically set in. While bodies are still being counted in Kano, and Bauchi and Maiduguri continue to live in fear, we must learn that it takes guts and not just luck to rule a country like ours. While consoling Mr Opeh who lost a younger sibling and four other members of his family in Kano, it is perhaps apt to challenge Nigerians that these deaths must not be in vain. It is only sheer luck that can save Nigeria from an atrocious religious disintegration.
It is all a mess, a complete mess. While the thieving politicians continue to thrive even in this season of anomie, our holy fathers are scampering with fear with their tails tucked between their legs. Like the town crier who would shout himself hoarse in the city of the deaf, I say that rather than allow holy Bro David to lead a religious war for divine disintegration of the country, we should be more proactive as a people. Before the ongoing theatre of war is further widened on the opium of religion, it is perhaps better for Bro Jona to consult with his godfathers. It might be better for us all, as Nigerians, to choose the path of dialogue in resolving the vexatious Nigerian problem. The Yugoslav way is the only other option and possibly one staring at us in the face.
Brother Jonathan would not lose face by conceding something to the Nigerian people after all. We have provided shoes and he took away our comfort. We have provided loyalty which he repaid with betrayal. We provided trust which only got us abject poverty in return. However, this he can still do, if only to atone. To atone for his numerous sins against the Nigerian people. He used the might of state to suppress legitimate agitations against his pet project of fuel subsidy. A state might that has been turned to ridicule with the challenge of Boko Haram. Yet, he could still achieve something generations unborn would commend him for. There are numerous seasons for numerous kings. Only the good would elicit romance with history.
Jonathan could still be the convener of the long awaited Sovereign National Conference.
It is still not too late – a window of opportunity abound.
A word is enough for the wise.
(This piece is dedicated to Mr Opeh who lost almost an entire family of dear ones in the carnage at Kano. It is dedicated to the many suffering and unprotected Nigerians who continue to pay the heavy price for the systemic failure of the Nigerian nation. May Nigeria come out stronger and wiser from these unnecessary calamities.)
Dr Olusegun Fakoya