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!