culled from VANGUARD October 26, 2006
Nigeria is proving to be notorious in many deviant ways. In corruption she is a pace setter. In the uncertainty and insecurity of life, her citizens are unremittingly apprehensive. In sycophancy, Nigerians have no rival.
They can make a bad man in authority look so good. Nigerians derive inexplicable joy from breaking laws hence traffic lights are inconvenient contrivances. They do not work in Nigeria. Half the students in Universities should not be there having cheated their way into the institutions. Virtually every Nigerian is claiming to be what he is not. Ours is a nation of fakes, masquerades, optical illusions, apparitions and supernaturals. Nothing is real; but every Nigerian puts on a survival mask, essential in a nation of bewilderments and falsehood.
Against the above background, it is no surprise that Nigeria has the greatest number of places of worship and prayer higher than in all the countries of Europe and Asia put together. Correspondingly, they have a large population of pastors, priests and prophets all in fierce competition for the souls of men. Churches and their leaders are accordingly devising new techniques and machinations to remain legitimate and viable.
A week to the 2006 world cup, an attention-seeking Nigerian man of God announced that he had just heard from God. He had been chosen to let Nigerians know that in spite of having been eliminated from further participation, except as spectators, Nigeria would physically be at the World Cup challenging for the trophy. Every effort made by his interviewer to make him appreciate how stupid he sounded, failed. He was so assertive that nothing could make him recant. By now Nigerians know that this prophet was talking nonsense but evoking the name of God arrogantly.
Sometime ago, a Reverend Minister, whose position in many public debates Nigerians have come to respect, told the nation in one of his most explicit pronouncements, that there will be no 2007 elections. Even before the question was put to him, he claimed that God has so divined it, and directed him to reveal it to Nigerians.
The week Peter Odili picked up his nomination form, Prophet Solomon Ajao of the Warriors of Christ Missions told Nigerians that the Rivers State Governor was the man chosen by God to succeed Obasanjo. It was claimed that he correctly predicted the death of Stella Obasanjo last year. And now, God had told him that Odili had been chosen to continue the unfinished job assigned to Obasanjo which was to deliver Nigeria from bondage. What a hoax!! If at the conclusion of Obasanjo’s eight years tenure, Nigeria remains firmly in bondage, it stands to reason, does it not; that God was not part of that project?
The 2007 presidential and general elections are looked forward to by most Nigerians, including hard-core third term proponents. I believe they had to make a public showing of their Obasanjo followership in order to warm themselves to him informed by his reputation for incurable vindictiveness. The man of God who told Nigerians that there will be no 2007 elections was either reckoning with Obasanjo’s never-say-die renown, or was taking a traditional prophet’s chance on an issue which can go either way.
Nigerians have become so mentally and psychologically disoriented and deflated, that men of God who promise their followers salvation, economic resurgence and deliverance, are exploiting their human weakness.
No body knows who the next President will be. But we can guess as many times as we can possibly be mistaken. Two religious leaders are in the running. Each tells Nigerians that they are only answering the order from God. That guarantees them the next presidency whereas only one President is required. Candidates Utomi, Odili, Uzor Kalu, Jerry Gana, Babangida, Udenwa and the rest of them, insists that they are God’s nominees. It is a field day for candidates with abundant faith in a supreme being. But only one president will emerge, perhaps one of those who have not carried the identity card with a God emblem.
It is time to ask ourselves which of our current crop of leaders had been known to be lacking in his religious beliefs and practices. None that we know. And yet they are, all of them, submerged in unpardonable corruption. Those holier than thou candidate bidding to replace current office holders are only seeking power which will enable them continue looting the treasury from where their predecessors stopped.
We should keep religion out of Government and out of the 2007 elections. After all, Rev King, the so-called man of God who allegedly raped, flogged and defiled his flock, could well have been a Presidential candidate. At least he was a man about whom a devout follower warned that we must believe in him or die as he was the expected saviour.