By NBF News
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Spartan children were taken through the crucible, groomed from birth for the toughened life of a soldier and exposed to the vagaries of nature. It was reputed that new-born babies in our riverine areas were thrown into the seas. Those of them that floated were the gifts from their gods and nobody had any reason to weep for the ones that drowned for they were not the 'sons of the soil' but 'illegal immigrants'.

It could be, therefore, that the first gifts parents make to their children in Argentina is football so that they will grow in it and live in it. Otherwise, how could one explain their wizardry of the round leather? When Diego Maradona, the indefatigable and soccer maestro of Argentina, vowed as was published in the Nation of July 3, that 'If we win the World Cup, I'll get naked and run around the Obelisk in the centre of Buenos Aires', it was not a wishful statement. Misled by that, sexy model, Riquelme Larissa, left all that was decency in her attire and vowed that she would run naked if Paraguay, her country, won the much coveted Cup.

Maradona did not make an empty vow because Argentina had won the cup severally and still had every chance of winning it. What was not clear was why he made the awful vow. It could have been the other way - that if they lost, he would do the insane thing of going naked. In that case, it would be a self-imposed penance, a disgrace to his person, that such a formidable team had lost its glory. Though still wrong, one could understand his passion. But that the great soccer tactician, would celebrate victory in obnoxious manner, where his children and all posterity would see his nakedness, smacked of crudity and Godlessness.

Naked? That is obscene! During the civil war, thieves were stripped naked in my town. At Amoji, a neighbouring town, it was the same punishment meted out to thieves. My friend from Edo State told me that it is still the punishment for unfaithful wives. The spirit behind stripping is to bring disgrace to those that brought shame to their community. It is also a deterrent for people still romancing with evil.

The culprits would prefer any punishment but stripping. Its agony is the exposure to the public of what the individual has been hiding all the years. To Ndigbo, a lady that delivered her baby in public has nothing to hide again. It would make no sense if Maradona later clothed himself, for it would be better for him to be naked for the rest of his life. But for naked-insane people, clothing themselves is a sign that they have been delivered. An example is the nude-mad man the Lord Jesus healed. He was 'sitting and clothed and in his right mind…' Mark 5:15.

But why did Diego Maradona choose to be naked? That is the direction the world is moving to.

I saw a lady carrying her baby yesterday and she almost stripped to the pant level. I could not reconcile how carrying a baby and going nude relate. In the Fashion Parade of The Sun newspaper, most of the offences committed are the indecent exposure of the body. Maradona, perhaps, had wanted to identify with what is in vogue, forgetting that the Almighty God, used the skin of the animal He killed to clothe Adam and Eve, teaching us how to cover our nudity. I think that God loves Argentina, a country I heard most of the players were wearing 'Jesus vests' which they covered with their jerseys. 'Those that honour Me, 'He says 'I will honour'.

Could it be that they lost because God did not want Maradona to paste an indecent name tag on himself. The first impression those who have always associated nudity with stealing would have, if they saw him nude on the television, would be to ask what he stole. For an Edo man, he would wonder whether be slept with another man's wife. In that case, the people from Argentina have much to celebrate in defeat than in victory which would be matched with the agony of their son's nudity. As no Church service is held in most Churches without reciting that Jesus 'Suffered under Pontius Pilate, no World Cup will ever be played without mentioning how 'Maradona ran nude'. If victory has compelled him to strip naked, it meant that victory was a curse to him and to his nation. Were he to be my father, I would disown him, for I would not like to have a dad whose nakedness would be captured in the internet.

Jephthah, in the Bible, wanted to appreciate God for granting him victory and therefore vowed to offer Him whatever he met first after his military expedition. It was his daughter, his only child, he met. One wonders why his vow was not on the positive side such as giving an award of national honour or cash gift to the person. We have to be very careful of our vows and must be ready to fulfill them. But since there is nothing offered to God that is too much, as we cannot out-give Him, his vow showed the depth of his love for Him. It is praise-worthy that he kept his vow.