How did we get here? My Take On Violence and Using God as ‘Third Party Affiliate’
You bought a Flight ticket, got stuck in traffic, arrived at the airport twenty (20) minutes to take-off, and met a closed Counter. Even though the plane did not arrive until ten minutes after, you were told you already missed the flight.
Today, penalties paid in cash to re-validate your ticket; you’re way too early for your flight. After you checked-in, a text comes in that your flight has been delayed for One Hour! You try hard not to curse. The plane arrives eventually, you board, and as a typical Nigerian, bow your head to pray, and the only Prayer that escapes your lips is ‘GOD, PLEASE DON’T ACT’! Few bumps and about an hour later, at the arrival terminal, while waiting for your baggage, you stand by the conveyor belt and look up at the graphically assisted pictures of Mr President and Madam Aviation Minister, the smile of the former, and the eyes of the latter that seem to be fixated on you and then you breathe out ‘GOD, THANK YOU FOR NOT ACTING’
You work with the Aviation Authority, just a couple of weeks ago, a chartered plane split in half less than a minute after take-off, spewing charred bodies and a trapped casket dangerously close to your office. Today, you are getting totally unnerved at the drones flying ahead so you pray…‘GOD, PLEASE DON’T ACT’! Eleven hours later, you arrive at your Iju, Lagos-Ogun-or-whatever-State-Suits home and just as you’re about to settle for a late dinner, a Plane sounds pretty close overhead and the four letter ‘D’ word flashes across your mind and before you could say DANA! You drop your spoon by reflex as you pray ‘GOD, PLEASE DON’T ACT’!
Let me introduce you to God. You are not likely to know this God. He’s not the One Moses talked about as recorded in the Bible and Torah. He’s not the One Jesus claimed oneness with, nor is He the Allah that sent Jubril/Gabriel to Muhammed while meditating in the Carbonate Caves of Arabia. This God was created circa 1858 when the phrase: ACT OF GOD, known in French as Force Majeure crept into Law/Insurance.
This God is as capricious as the Esu of Yoruba mythology (Esu in Yoruba mythology is the god of the crossroads who grants ordinance to sacrifices, determines fate, and is the master of trickery, it is probably the trickery aspect that prompted Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther to erroneously translate the Devil as Esu in the Bible when he got to Genesis Chapter 3). Okay, let me not get carried away.
When Nigerians pray, it looks more likely that they pray to the 1858-Force Majeure-Esu God. When something terrible happens, the individual must have not prayed enough (the Yoruba Esu afflicts those who fail to make sacrifices).
An over speeding Car runs into a humongous pot-hole and somersaults, killing the Passengers. No one thinks of the reckless driver nor the passive passengers who do not want to come off as weak and afraid should they tell the driver to slow down. No one thinks of the corrupt politician who has appropriated the funds meant for the repair/maintenance of these roads, nor the Contractor who does a shoddy job, having ‘tipped’ several officials to secure the contract and had no funds left to cater to his ‘Mark-Up’, it has to be God, to whom the victims did not pray enough to, hence were left at the mercies of the ‘Witches’ who set their cauldrons in the middle of the road!
Ask the Christian who pays his Tithe dutifully why he does that. Tell him to think deeply before answering. Is he paying because he loves God or because the Pastor has quoted Malachi 3 so much that he’s afraid that if he doesn’t pay, the capricious God is going to strike him with various afflictions?
Ask the Muslim who gives Zakat; is he doing it as a wealth redistribution to help the poor as enjoined in the Quran (mainly in the Medinan Suras) and Hadith or out of fear of damnation and disaster?
It is interesting that in the United Kingdom, Muslims give more to Charity than Jews, with Protestants tailing behind, then Catholics, with the Atheists at the bottom of the Charity list (http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/22/19611201-muslims-give-more-to-charity-than-others-uk-poll-says). If this poll is anything to go by, the average Briton who has no thought of repercussions is NOT likely to give to charity! I would have conveniently extrapolated this trend to the entire Homo Sapiens Sapiens but some prominent secular humanists come to mind, even at that, I would still call them the handful exceptions to the rule.
Politicians and Millionaire Ex-Militants must love this God more than any of us at the lower end of the Food-Chain. The corrupt Politician can go ahead with his impunity as long as he knows that the average citizen would rather pray for ‘Divine-Intervention’ instead of marching on the Streets to say NO to impunity and tyranny. This God has his own Christ too, ‘the unseen shrink at every Tweet ’ who allows you to vent your pent-up frustrations, till the same Politicians come up with Twitter handles with their array of ‘False Prophets’ and Pseudo/Para Voltrons closing the Trinity loop.
A bunch of Clerics love this God too, contrary to Late ‘Oyii’ Chuba Okadigbo’s prediction in 1999 that Clerics would be ‘out of business’ with the advent of democracy, it is now a Game of Numbers too. The Politician needs the Cleric for two major reasons:
1) Numbers : The Politician knows that kneeling down before the Man of God right in front of about a Million strong congregation is going to hit the headlines, increase the ‘eye-witnesses’, make him come across as ‘Humble and God-Fearing’ and translate to VOTES.
2) Atonement: Who would rather build a Church/ Mosque, donate largesse to Places of Worship and grant license to Churches to build ‘Private Universities’ while ironically starve the Public Schools that were built by Missionaries and leave the Universities in Doldrums while the Roads remain Death Traps?
I could say more, but I really do not need to. Just breathe calmly as you note that when next a Politician jets off to the Holy Land at the time there are strong corruption charges hanging on his or her neck, it is an ACT OF GOD!
Friends, foes, collective ‘twittering children of anger’, LWKMD contortionists, listen to me and listen good. This might just be the much needed antidote to your ‘sophisticated ignorance’.
There is enough to depress anyone lately, that is, if you allow it. For some of us, we just lose ourselves in keypad punches and ‘finger away’ pent-up frustrations.
From the wilderness, sorry, creeks of the River Jordan (Niger, whatever) came a certain Baptist preaching the remission of sins. He had no shoes, ate wild locusts and honey (presumably so, since most of his Countrymen feed better than him). His name is Jo, the Baptist of Otuoke.
Unlike John the Baptist (his predecessor of over 2000 years), Jo the Baptist could work miracles. Like, turning a Company of Zealots (some call them Militants) into Josephs of Arimathea (so rich they can loan you a Mausoleum) of some sorts.
Although the ‘Amnesty’ miracle was birthed by his predecessor, he (Jo) it was who visited the creeks. Thousands of ‘repentant’ zealots came down by Warri River to lay down their Mark 4s to study War no more.
Alas! The Creeks still bleed and pipelines get punctured every now and then, but it is not the Ministry of Jo to end that, there cometh One after him who would baptise y’all with brimstone and fire! Amen, Somebody, anybody!
Some Kings of the North heard the feat of Jo and pleaded for him to repeat the same Miracle with another group of zealots in the North who have held the region/religion hostage…..Alas! He could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief except a heavily guarded visit.
Bar(awo)Alams was a notorious Robber/Insurrectionist, yet Jo the Baptist a la Pontius Pilatus style, freed him and delivered himself to be crucified in his place.
Unlike intolerant John the Baptist, Jo never called the Religious Leaders of the day Brood of Vipers! (Pauses before LWKMD contortionists decide to read the 4D into this logic).
Jo is married, and miracles run in his wife’s veins too, like: Coming to life after being dead for 7 Days, making an entire nation laugh through the power of her spoken words (English). As a matter of fact, it is the Writer’s opinion that Dame Lazarus la Stella Maria should write a book, and she should be canonized alive! (Caveat, Contortionists).
Jo has disciples, mostly sworn to do even greater works. You all probably grew up reading how Jesus fed 5000 (Five Thousand) People with 2 little fishes and 5 loaves of bread and you wondered in awe. Well, have you heard of 1 Million Naira (about $6300 /£ 4150) ‘Mr Bigg’s’ Lunch for Six (6) Party Chairmen! Those who criticized him have no inkling what God’s Will is! (Beware, pun creators).
Jo loves the poor, probably more that the Poor Man of Assisi whom the current Pope is named after. He is frustrated about the Miracle of Subsidy which does not benefit the poor but only benefits the affluent Middleclass. But the people spoke of stoning him the last time he tried to stop the Miracle. But then, perhaps the bigger miracle is the Palliative Miracle which only the eyes of faith can see…Dear Reader, if you can/have not see/seen this miracle, kneel down, repent and be baptised by the great Jo of Otuoke!
Jo really wants to be like Jesus, he just seems to have his own terms of aspiration. Jesus was hated by the Religious leaders of the day because he hired a Tax Collector and even dined with one. If you are not familiar with Judeo-Roman history, you just might find it hard to understand why the Jews hated Tax Collectors. They (the Tax Collectors) were the ‘Face’ of their Roman Oppressors. Worst part is that the Tax Collectors were not Roman, they were fellow Jews! Tax in those days, wasn’t anything like the modern Pay As You Earn, even though the trend is similar. Conquered territories were forced to pay their new ‘Masters’ from their toil and a Tax Collector was appointed from among the conquered tribe.
These ‘Tax Collectors’ love their Jobs and are more than eager to please their Masters. They lived under the delusion that they were a superior race to their own fellow Jews….this is not some history lesson; abegi if you still can’t figure, ever heard about the ‘House Negro’?
These Tax Collectors abound today, they are the face of an Oppressive Government that never had to clash Swords nor run Chariots to Rule. Have you forgotten so soon these very words: “We can’t pander to threats of the people we RULE”? If you’ve forgotten who said that, to whom, on what occasion, then you just discovered why you sucked at Religious Knowledge and History at the Secondary School Certificate level!
Jo dines with Tax Collectors, but unlike Jesus, whose presence was enough to convict Zacchaeus about his life of extortion and make him commit to returning extorted funds. What I fail to understand about Jo is how BarAlams would be said to have shown remorse without any announcement of returned loot! But then, maybe I’m wrong, maybe I am yet to fully grasp what remorse/repentance is all about, maybe the rule is, steal, don’t get caught, if you do, Pardon is an option.
Maybe BarAlams deserves praise instead of condemnation. Afterall, crude oil production has increased since he held his ‘Attack Dogs’ on the leash. Every Governor that seeks to loot must raise his own German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, Dobberman, call the Dogs by whatever name, Dog na Dog! You can even chose to cross-breed. Like some did and raised a Monster in the process.
The Ginger-Cassavabread man is free to ride the back of the Sly Fox to cross the Creeks, I can only hope that Cassavabread man would not morph into Cassavadead man, slain in the midst of the Creeks by his own trusted Dogs/Foxes. (Did y’all read the Ladybird series while growing up? If you didn’t, sorry your childhood is wasted!).
Today, the Daughter of Herodias is dancing, she’s going to dance so well, Herod would make an offer….One can only hope that she’s not going to ask for the ‘Hat’ of Jo on a Wooden Platter!
Footnote: And when the Gas Flare sinks at last behind the Creeks of Old, Peace to this young militant, that comes with Bombs of Words…
-QWERTYTYRANTINO appears on Twitter as @plumbtifex
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