I began to laugh and laugh and laugh. I laughed so hard that
the taxi driver thought I was drunk. My friend is actually
the patient type, so he waited for me to finish my long
satirical laughter before he attempted to find out what I
found so terribly funny in his answer.
‘Everything!’ I said. ‘Everything is wrong with a people who
think God would one day come down and do for them what He has
placed in their hand to do’. I asked him; ‘for how long have
Nigerians been praying?’ To this question, he asked; ‘Do you
doubt what God can do?’
‘No’, I said, ‘I do not doubt what God can do. I am only
telling you what God cannot do!’
‘There is nothing impossible with God’ he insisted’.
‘Look my friend, I know the awesome power of God but there are
certain things he has committed into our hands to do and we
must do them if we want to progress as a nation. One of them
is nation building! We cannot be pulling this country down
every day with our own hands and then we rush back to the
churches and mosques to pray that God should give us a leader.
The Bible doesn’t say that prayer exalts a nation rather it
says it is righteousness that exalts a nation!’ Then I went
into a long sermon.
‘The reason why Nigerians have been praying for 53 years and
it appears God is not answering is because of our
unrighteousness. We are way too corporately religious but
individually outlandishly hypocritical. Why is our religious
piety not reflecting in our official conduct? We bear
religious names without knowing their meaning. Why should
people who bear James and John cheat each other in business?
Was John a cheat? Why do we leave ‘Christlikeness’ in the
church halls? All of us are guilty. Look at this taxi driver
who convinced us at the Airport that his Cab Air Conditioner
was working perfectly only to tell us halfway through the
journey that it has (just) failed; If you investigate, he may
be a respected elder in his church’.....
‘Haaaaa Ogaaaaa’ interrupted the driver.. .but I cut in.
‘Tell me you didn’t know about the fault of your car and I
will double your fee’. He kept quiet!
‘You see this is the problem’, I continued,’ until we
individually change our attitude to our neighbours and obey
the simple golden rule that Christ gave; do onto others the
way you would that they do unto you, prayers will just
continue to message our spiritual egos, while Nigeria
continues to go down.
‘When we look unto our leaders for guidance, they also look
unto us for approval. It is when we approve of their evil
conducts that they are encouraged to do more. Just imagine
that the over 150 million Nigerians decide to do righteousness
in all their dealings, will an ungodly President feel
comfortable in ASO Rock? The reason why a President, Governor,
Minister, Commissioner, Senator or Local government Chairman
could do wickedly and not feel an ounce of remorse is that he
is surrounded by a horde of godless men and women cheering him
on. Was Bode George not given a hero’s welcome from prison?
And the President recently nominated his (Bode’s) wife for a
presidential appointment, then the Senate confirmed! What
message does that send to the younger generation, other than
that corruption pays?
And talking about the President, who is there to challenge him
to do the right thing, when the Senators and House Members who
ordinarily should be a check on him, only look for ‘what-is-
in- it-for- us’ from every unkind, cruel and self-serving
policy from the President?
Nigeria will only begin to rise from the ashes when we change
our core value system. A country that has no sacred principles
of conduct for every citizen is doomed and there is nothing
prayer can do about it. Didn’t we call out our church members
in their millions for prayer and fasting before, during and
after the April 2011 Elections? Did Jonathan not receive
endorsement from Redemption Camp in the run up to the
election? Did God go to sleep while we prayed? How did we end
up with a lame, clueless, cold-hearted and insensitive
‘Oga, this thing wey you de talk, na true o!’ The driver said
soberly. It was then I realised I had been talking alone for
over thirty minutes. The holdup was easing gradually. We had
gone pass a FRSC check point. I remarked that, these officers
(FRSC) are supposed to find out what is causing the hold-up
down the road and mitigate it immediately. For goodness sake
this is the gateway to the Capital city of the biggest black
nation! I exclaimed in despair. Some meters ahead, not too
far from where the FRSC mounted their extortion point was a
broken down luxurious bus right in the middle of the service
lane the cause of the 6km long traffic queue!
My anger soared higher! ‘Imagine!’ I shouted! Mr. Chidoka or
(what is his name?) collects money every year to maintain
towing vans for situations like this but see what we get in
return. Yet this same man is unabashed enough to introduce a
new Number Plate scheme as a solution to Boko Haram! A man who
cannot mitigate mere traffic congestion wants us to believe he
can curb a sophisticated gang of bomb-makers! And to think
that Jonathan bought easily into the scam is astounding. What
database does he have?’
The driver came in again: ‘The man don see opportunity to chop
him own now, when another man come, him go change am again so
that we go pay again. All of them get their share!’
‘But these Boko Haram people are making a big mistake o’. I
‘What do you mean?’ My friend answered. He had been quiet all
‘Remember that October 1st 2010 bomb blast in Abuja?’
‘Who gave a statement denying MEND’s involvement?’
I think I get where you are going!
‘That’s not all, even the spokesman of the MEND spokesman used
to be a MEND spokesman!’
‘You always complicate simple stories. What has being
spokesmen got to do with Boko Haram?’
‘Everything! That’s the mistake whoever is behind Boko Haram
is making. They think the MEND spokesmen are bothered about
their bombs. Truth is that they are not! In fact they are
having a good laugh’.
What do you mean?
‘As long as these attack remain in the North and oil continues
to flow in the creeks of the Niger Delta providing enough
funds to squander, while Israeli agents provide security for
Mr. President and his boys, those who think Ebele is losing
sleep are mistaken. The guy is simply enjoying himself.’
‘You have strange theories’
‘Remember what his brother, the NSA said after about 150
people were killed in the bomb attacks by the Boko Haram bombs
in two Northern states? I know you won’t remember so I will
‘The guy said there was no cause for alarm! When the United
States warned of possible new attacks in the Federal Capital
Territory, the guy still remained adamant describing it as a
‘Meaning the BH can go on and destroy the North. Who cares? It
means 150 people killed in cold blood and still counting, does
not provoke any grain of sympathy or concern from a sitting
President and his ‘boys’. So as far as I can read his
demeanour, the Boko Haram menace is making things easier for
him. For one, it is diverting attention from his gross
ineptitude, wanton squander of state resources and providing a
ready excuse for his failures. Secondly the violence provides
ready justification for looting in the guise of security votes
can’t you see he has allocated 900billion to security in 2012
and nothing for subsidy. You and I know that security votes
are not accounted for. So that effectively makes him 900
billion richer by next year. If he gathers this for the next
three years, and add that to the 1.3 trillion Naira he would
be raking in annually from subsidy removal that’s an enormous
war chest to prosecute his 2015 Presidential ambition’.
‘Hmmm. I know your problem; you just don’t like Jonathan, but
‘Tell me why I should like him first!’
‘The man has a good name that brings luck to Nigeria! Can’t
you see that even Obama likes him? The IMF and World Bank are
happy with his transformational agenda!’
‘I don’t really care. By the way, what’s the difference
between Obama and Osama?’
‘Be careful. After all, the man said he is on top of the
‘Aaaaaah, maybe he thinks ‘security situation’ is the same
thing as the Dame Patience’.
‘Stop the mischief’
‘How else should one interpret such a reckless statement?
They have always claimed to be on top of it while the bombs
keep exploding! I really smell a hidden agenda’.
‘Yes, the two MEND spokesmen have a plan to annihilate the
North. Something some people call the ‘Northern Cameroun
treatment’. They say the North is a huge parasite. You know
the leech now? Yes, something like that’
‘Did Jonathan say a thin like that?’
‘Of course no. But his Special Assistant on Media said that
severally when he was with the Guardian. In 2008, when Asari
described the North as parasites, he immediately took it upon
himself the task of giving credence to the totally
unacceptable outburst from the Millitants, asking the Northen
governors who justifiably took exception to the outlandish
outburst to show some humility to the Militants! In fact that
must have been what endeared him to the President. Yes, how
else can one comprehend why an impartial President who loves
the whole country would choose a man who believes and preaches
ethnic superiority as his image maker?’
‘But the guy is trying’
‘I think so too, but the difference is that I think he is
trying his hands on all the wrong things!’
‘Check out his priorities and you will see what I am saying.
From Six-year single term to fuel subsidy removal, new plate
number scheme and the infamous interference in the PDP
primaries in Bayelsa, you know he is misdirecting his
energies. Nigerians need electricity, security and good roads
and not a meddlesome demi-god kingmaker’
‘But he should be interested in who becomes governor of his
home state at least’
‘Yes ‘interested’ is just the right word. He is free to be
interested but he must allow the people to choose their
leader. Why must a sitting governor be barred from contesting
for a second term? Remember last year his supporters argued
that it was not proper to deny a sitting President the
opportunity to contest for the Presidency’.
‘That was then, and this is now!’
That’s the very reason Nigerians should stop praying, because
a system build on falsehood and double standards cannot stand.