I am one of those people who don’t like to deceive themselves. If you have a sibling, child or a parent at the age of 53 who has nothing to show for it, has rather done more harm than good to the people around him/her and has no plan for the children, but will rather squeeze out of them; and then the person turns 54, is such birthday worth celebrating? Nigeria’s case is even worse and it’s a big shame.
If Nigeria were to be an individual, it has failed on almost all counts, as a parent, as a child, as a sibling, as a teacher, as a leader, as a doctor, as an engineer, as a lecturer, as a Christian, as a Muslim, as a religious leader, as a police officer, as a military officer, as almost anything a human being could be or dabble into. It has also failed on almost all counts as an institution, as a hospital, as a school, as a university, as a church, as a mosque, as a home, as a police force, as almost any institution that could ever exist or be established.
Now, war and bloodshed seem imminent with the 2015 elections approaching, Nigeria has now become a game of thrones just like in the TV Series with families and tribes fighting for the Iron Throne (The Presidency). This is my message to the Nigerians and Christians busy deceiving themselves celebrating independence, going to church and praying “Independence Day Prayers” when they are major contributors to the bad situation of the country which will only change by our individual efforts of positive change, love, judgment and justice, which would then make our prayers make sense.
A Game of Thrones
In the series, it is said that seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros, with the primary families being the Stark, Lannister and Baratheon families. (TV Calendar, 2014). According to TV Calendar, the Lannisters are hatching an incestuous plot to take control with the Targaryens also plotting a return to power. The conflict between these families and others, including the Greyjoys, the Tullys, the Arryns, and the Tyrells, leads to war; while in the north, an ancient evil awakens that could clear out all of them and the Night’s Watch is all that stands between the realms of men and the horrors beyond.
I don’t see any much difference between this TV series and the case of Nigeria. They also have religions, like the Faith of the Seven (dominant), Old Gods of the Forest (minority), Drowned God (localized minority) and Lord of Light, which we’ve seen Stannis Baratheon sacrifice to in a bid to conquer the throne (Wikia, 2014). We also have Daenerys Targaryen with her dragons.
In Nigeria, we have the three main tribes, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa seeking for power. Amongst these main tribes, they are shared into six geopolitical zones: South-East, South-West, South-South, North East, North-West, and North-Central. The country also has different religious beliefs with two being dominant, Christianity and Islam. There are also a few atheists and idol worshipers who believe in juju (black magic) majorly found in the rural areas and of which many politicians truly depend on for power and protection with Christianity or Islam as pretence.
We then also have political parties through which they operate from and must go through to emerge as legal candidates for political office. So, we have the tribes contending, the zones contending, the religions contending with Boko Haram compared to the evil in the TV series threatening to wipe out the human race, also contending, only that they are threatening to wipe out the Christian and western race. So, that even includes Muslims that are westernized, which explains why they also kill their fellow Muslims. But we Christians know that they are moving for an Islamic state, which means Christianity would be wiped out.
In 2011, we saw the South-South emerge with the next president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, who finally took over following the demise of his predecessor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, after being initially refused the office constitutionally. “Praise God” was on the minds and lips of millions of Nigerians who feared power falling to the north.
Following his victory in the elections, we then heard of his northern counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, endorsing the killing of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who were serving their country via INEC in the north by northerners who were unhappy about the outcome of the presidential election, claiming the rascals were only fighting for their right having been cheated (Ogoke, 2011).
We later saw Asari Dokubo come on TV and threaten an outbreak of war if Jonathan doesn’t run and win the 2015 presidential election. He said “he can’t come home” talking about the possible case of Jonathan actually not contesting. But wait, it was a response to the threat by Buhari as against 2015 who reportedly said this to his party members:
“God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood” (Alechenu, Fabiyi, Odesola & Adetayo, 2012).
From this statement alone, we can highly assume and even conclude that he was behind the post-election bloodshed in 2011 which took the lives of innocent NYSC members. There is an almost perfect correlation between this current threat and past murders in his favour. We then have those in the South-East also pushing for a sovereign state “Biafra” after a failed attempt by Odumegwu Ojukwu in 1967. The South-East would definitely still bring out a presidential candidate through another party, but if it’s not PDP or APC, we all know they are joking. But at least, they are compensated with South-South’s Jonathan on the throne.
Ironically, party outcomes and alliances for presidential candidacy have been funny, like the South-West’s ACN joining forces with scary and blood thirsty northerner, Buhari’s party, CPC to form APC in an attempt to take over the throne. This definitely puts Buhari as a top runner for their party ticket. Wouldn’t it be a joke conducting primary elections with Buhari, a man who has already proclaimed bloodshed in the country should he not win in 2015, whose supporters slaughtered innocent NYSC members following his loss in 2011?
Funny enough, we saw the former ACN picking Nuhu Ribadu in 2011 as their presidential candidate. In 2007, it was Atiku Abubakar who was just jumping from PDP to ACN and back all for his thirst for power. He later went back to PDP and lost in the primaries to Jonathan. Now Atiku is back to APC again for the 2015 elections, having no place in PDP, claiming APC is his final bus stop, urging Nigerians to see him as a brand new politician desirous of taking the country to greater heights (Odunsi, 2014). I
sn’t this interesting? Now, Buhari and Atiku are in Bola Tinubu and Buhari’s APC all in a bid to claim the throne. PDP on the other hand seems to be comfortable with Jonathan as their candidate again, the South-South man has gotten backing from the northerners in the party. He has been endorsed as the sole presidential candidate for PDP. Nigeria! What a game of thrones!
Well, as for me, I’m no politician, I’m a truth-sayer. I believe Buhari’s threats are obvious that he should never near that sit of power. Atiku on the other hand who just jumps from party to party just to get a presidential ticket is also quite convincing that he should never near that sit of power, apart from the fact that they are northerners whom Nigerians dread, having seen what they are capable of doing, killing Christians, southerners and Ibos more specifically (in the past) and always wanting to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state (but of course, this is not a downgrading of the north, it is just based on historical dealings with the northerners).
Jonathan on the other hand didn’t turn out to be the chosen one for the emancipation of Nigerians from oppression, also being seen as a tool in the hands of certain “powers that be” in the country, yet who in his/her correct senses will vote Buhari or Atiku as against Jonathan? Nevertheless, we are not the ones on the Iron Throne, but from the pressure on him by the northerners fighting tooth and nail to make the country ungovernable for him, we can tell that the president is also being extremely careful.
The sad story is that there are no presidential candidates in Nigeria like the Bushes (LOL), the Obamas, the Clintons, and the Romneys of USA, who fight to thoroughly convince their citizens of the reason why they should be their next president; and even when Clinton lost to Obama, she humbly rode on to join Obama as the US Secretary of State. This is because the citizens have about 100% say in the determination of the presidential sit and other political offices in that country.
Goodluck Jonathan didn’t go for the presidential debate in 2011 with other aspirants, but organized his own show with D’banj as the anchor, and that was enough to re-establish his position on the throne. Can you just imagine? D’banj! Koko Master! Even when well educated men with vision like Pat Utomi ran in 2011, we all knew that it was all a joke, there was no point, even though we knew that he was a visionary.
Then came Chris Okotie (“from God”, LOL), I remember laughing out loud when I saw his campaign advert on TV. Even the Christians at large were just laughing. Who then is the fool, the god you claim told you to go and become president or you who actually came to fool yourself by running for presidency. Critics even say he ran on those two occasions just for the allowance they get for presidential candidacy.
With all these parties, sects and territories, who will wear the crown?
A Call to Nigerians: Let’s Stop Deceiving Ourselves
Nigerians at large (not all) are corrupt to the very bone marrow. Sitting down watching the TV they bought from the money they stole and calling the people they are watching on TV thieves. They read headlines of newspapers that they won’t buy and call the people they see on the newspapers corrupt thieves who don’t want them to enjoy and taste out of the national cake.
They oppress their fellow Nigerians in their places of work and criticize the government for insensitivity. They pay peanuts and withhold the peanut salaries of their workers for months and criticize the government for paying peanuts while enjoying the national cake. They lynch and burn petty thieves alive in jungle justice and wonder why they have no justice. They lynched and burnt four university students alive in Aluu community of Port Harcourt and wonder why they are being oppressed, calling the government wicked and corrupt.
They refuse deserving members of staff promotion; they employ graduates on contract basis paying them peanuts and using them as slaves; they seriously and outrightly engage in tribal discrimination in the work place, and they criticize the government for poor economic environment for businesses to thrive and tribal favouritism in the assignment of government positions.
The police officers extort, cheat and brutalize innocent souls, pedestrians and motorists and wonder why the government doesn’t value them. You can’t even report a case to the police station and get them to your aid without money, very rare. Governor Fashola banned okada riders (commercial motorcyclists) from plying major highways and even put signs on such roads; yet the police caught, extorted and brutalized innocent okada riders who plied minor routes obeying the law.
The military officers brutalize and kill innocent civilians in a civilian government where military officials shouldn’t even be seen on uniform on the streets and expect to be honoured and their families compensated when they die. They move about in sirens with no emergency, oppressing the innocent civilians. Last year or so, we saw Fashola accost a colonel who broke the law and plied the BRT lane; it was all over the news. Then this year, we heard of a soldier who was hit by a BRT bus and army officers burning down the BRT buses on that road in retaliation. I have been a victim of police injustice and militarily brutality, thank God I am alive. Remember, not all Nigerians, police officers and military officers, there are good ones among us.
Nigerians refuse to obey traffic laws and give room for their fellows to pass even when they know the latter has the right of way. Many traffic jams are as a result of this. They ignore zebra crossings and ask pedestrians if they are Zebras. I remember a man who almost knocked me down at a zebra crossing with a speed bump before it. He just sped past the speed bump and I had to run across the road. This same man stopped and was telling me my head was not correct (not in my right senses). He even attempted to come down from his vehicle and harass me in broad day light. God saved me. The pedestrians also ignore overhead bridges and abuse the Zebra crossings, even turning every road into a Zebra crossing, waiting for the driver that is bold enough to hit them. They pass one-way roads with clear signs and curse the police officers or other hungry officials that lurk, waiting for someone to break the law, for extorting from them. They cheat and sell counterfeit goods to the masses at the price of the original.
The university and higher educational system is another joke on its own. Students will write exams and won’t see their results until they are about to graduate. Lecturers will delay innocent students for years and for no reason, just because they can, and there is no justice. The lecturers have become gods in these institutions, teaching nonsense that cannot compete with the world, not even coming for lectures but setting exam questions, and there’s nothing the students can do about it. Enforcing books and handouts on students and writing down the names of those who bought to deal with defaulters. They sleep with their students (male lecturers in particular) at exam success point and the girls dare not say a word. They lecture in private universities while still maintaining their offices, collecting salaries and honoraria from both ends and then make the bona fide federal and state students to suffer. I am a living witness to all of this.
The doctors treat patients like corpses. A doctor once told me “abeg I don’t have time for that one now” and walked away. The nurses are so rude, words cannot describe their rudeness. The doctors have their own hospitals and give priority to their paying customers rather than the innocent citizens who run to the general hospitals for help.
The teachers manipulate scores and pass those who are doing private lesson with them, and even give them the questions before the exam. They curse and flog innocent pupils and students over nothing, just because they are angry and they are the ones holding the cane. The JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board) invigilators are the carriers of exam chips. I invigilated JAMB on two occasions and was criticized by the invigilators and exam candidates for stopping exam malpractice. I invigilated another exam in the university and my life was threatened by a student. I was advised by another invigilator to leave them to cheat and go to another row – I humbly took that advice, it was a life saver.
The government releases money for the masses and projects, they siphon it at the top and the masses will be busy cursing the government, not knowing that it is their own people that are oppressing them. I participated in the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) registration exercise of 2010 and the funds released to us were siphoned and shortened by thousands per head. And we say the government is corrupt?
I was the president of my community development (CD) group during my youth service, presiding over all three batches and I had not up to twenty volunteers who were ready to help or donate all through the service year. All they wanted to do was sign their CD card and get out of there. And we say the youths are the leaders of tomorrow? The list of experiences and conversations that go on in this country are so horrible and endless, even the government is a saint compared to them. We point to the government as being corrupt, but we are worse than the government. I am not a saint, nobody is, but in every opportunity I’ve had to make a difference, I know I’ve tried my best.
Let us just stop deceiving ourselves, we can only effect change when we are changed. We can only remove the speck in the eyes of the government when we remove the beam in our own eyes. It’s sad because even if anybody rises from the grassroots and runs for presidency, there’s a 90% chance that he/she would even be worse. For example, if any lecturer (especially from the federal and state universities) comes out for political office, I can place a 99% level of confidence that he/she will fail and even do worse. If we can’t manage the little that we have with no one watching us, how can we manage a whole country? The government may have failed in so many areas, but the cane that is flogging Nigerians is not directly from the government, it is from the grassroots. We are the ones flogging ourselves.
A Call to Christianity
Finally, my call is to Christians at large. We are all guilty of all offences listed above and even worse, because we hide under the name of Christianity to perpetrate evil, HYPOCRITES!!! How do I know? There are two major religions in this country, Christianity and Islam, you have to be one of the two, the chances that a Nigerian in the urban areas is not one of the two are very low, except those in rural areas who still practise black magic and a few who are atheists.
I am ashamed of Christians while upholding Christianity because if there is any one that should be the change, it should be Christians. But what do we see today? Christians are the ones pulling their fellow Christians down. They are not only heartless and wicked, but stone cold devils who would look you in the eye and stab you to the face. They are the very enemies of their own selves. While Sanusi Lamido was pushing for an Islamic bank that will not charge interest to its fellows, Christians were and are still busy building private universities that their own church members cannot afford.
Inside churches, Christians are busy fighting for church position and appointment, stepping on each other’s toes and crushing their heads to attain power, Christians! I had to renounce my church and fellowship positions a few times because of the politics and direct attacks. The doctor who basically told me to go and die was a Christian, the rude nurses I’ve encountered are Christians and church workers. The lecturers are also Muslims, but those I’ve majorly experienced are Christians.
Those at the work place that discriminate against and oppress people of other tribes are Christians! I am a living witness. Those that have betrayed, tried to blackmail, falsely accused and borne false witness against me were Christians. Those who have come to my home and tried to take advantage of us were Christians. Those that have cheated me, used me and dumped me were Christians. Both of the military men that assaulted me were Christians. The police officers were also Christians. My experience with Christians is another endless list.
They go against everything that Christ was, they go against everything that he stood and stands for (he lives), they go against love, judgment and justice. How then can these Christians expect to pray for a country’s bad condition that they are majorly responsible for? Does it make sense? How can you be praying against Boko Haram persecuting Christians in the north while you are in the south persecuting your fellow Christians? How can you be praying for a government to be ridden of corruption when you are corruption redefined?
You use your mouth to pray, but use your actions to negate the prayers. Even if God is answering, we can’t even notice any answers because we are just running in a maze we have created but forgotten about, because we are so deep inside it, that we don’t even realize that we are worse that the scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus constantly condemned and doomed in the very same Bible we read.
Don’t get me wrong I speak for constant prayers for the nation, funny enough, I have been praying for the country and my fellow Christians all over the country and the world everyday in devotion for months now; I never did that before (the workings of grace). I am saying, we need to change our attitudes and evil deeds against one another to effect the result of our prayers. If we pray for a better Nigeria, we will only see it when we become better people.
Christianity is practical, it should be taught and practiced. With Christianity being one of the dominant religions in Nigeria, and the president also being one, I believe that when we make adequate changes and start practising true Christianity, doing what is right, upholding judgment and justice and walking in love, it is impossible that this country would remain in oppression, impossible!
If I don’t end here, I would keep going on and on, my hands are already tired. If you call yourself a Christian, then start practising Christianity, start upholding judgment and justice, start walking in love, start doing the right thing. Start respecting authority and administration, if not, leave, don’t stay and become a pain in the neck. If you are an authority in your capacity, try to establish judgment and justice. I’m no hypocrite, I take responsibility for my actions, my wrongs and my weaknesses, but against humanity, against my fellow Christian, I will always stand for love, judgment and justice. I might not always be perfect in my dealings, but I will always try. Seek and pray for the peace of the land, God said in Jeremiah 29:7
“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.”
He said that we should seek it and pray for it, so this proves my theory that prayer without attitudinal change for the country will be largely futile. Paul, in Romans 12:18 then tells us again,
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
Let’s stop deceiving ourselves, let us deal with ourselves and then we can effect the change upwards.
Till we truly change and effect the necessary change upwards, attaining our true independence…
Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!
Alechenu, J., Fabiyi, O., Odesola, T., & Adetayo, O. (2012, May 16). Buhari under fire over threat of bloodshed. Punch. Retrieved from http://www.punchng.com/new/buhari- under-fire-over-threat-of-bloodshed/
Odunsi, W. (2014, September 23). See me as a new Atiku; APC is my final bus stop – Former Vice President. DailyPost Nigeria. Retrieved from http://dailypost.ng/2014/09/23/see-new-atiku-apc-final-bus-former-vice-president/
Ogoke, C. (2011, April 25). Buhari and the Killing of our Corpers. The Nigerian Voice. Retrieved from http://m.thenigerianvoice.com/mobile/50479/1/buhari-and-the-killing- of-our-corpers.html
TV Calendar (2014). Game of Thrones. Retrieved from http://www.pogdesign.co.uk/cat/Game-of-thrones-summary
Wikia (2014). Seven Kingdoms. Game of Thrones Wiki. Retrieved from http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Seven_Kingdoms