Cure for demons in high places
As someone who has had the privilege of spending time in Aso Rock told us recently, there are demons troubling people in the highest offices in the land. We are told that due to the presence of these alien forces in high places, some occupants are afflicted by sickness and others are blighted in their thoughts and delivery. Many who have joined in the conversation think it is crap; and some have queried the validity of the entire concept. They say it is such a cheap attempt to explain the failure of our governance system.
My interest is not to debunk claims. Our country is in trouble and we cannot afford to be so dismissal. We must put all hands to work to unravel this latest affliction. What we need is solution, and urgently, too. So that government can begin to work. We have suffered enough paralysis in public finances, sleaze, budgetary failures, electoral fraud, etc. So, we must move forward.
I suggest that government initiates investigations to unravel this theory. Who invited the demons and how/when did they arrive at State House? Do they belong to any political party, so that when the party has ended its tenure the demons will pack their load? Or are they always around, irrespective of the party in government? Let’s not forget to find out whether they also afflict military regimes, because Gen Sani Abacha also lived there and we remember what happened. Any information about the invaders will be needed in order to precisely recommend a cure. I’m sure the DSS is already doing that, relying on their tested capacity to invade high places at night. In addition to paramilitary intelligence, men of God should be deplored to sniff out the ghosts, so that they will be arrested and dealt with.
My own task is to search far and near for clues. And no stone should be left unturned. How did we get here and what did we do to invite the disciples of Beelzebub? In older traditions and mythologies, things do not just happen. In other words, before you become the chief host of some demons, you must have looked for their trouble. Even when you do not look for trouble, sometimes when you become too successful and you begin to share platforms with the gods, chances are that they will come after you. In the realm and majesty of God Almighty, nature is well ordered. You must plant before you reap and it takes reasonable time to harvest. It requires patience to savour the goodness of the Most High. But if you seek self-help, by unjust means or some benevolent spirit catapulted you to attain some public office and you begin to take what belongs to others, you may have breached nature’s laws and you could be haunted by guilty conscience. And you could begin to see ghosts, where there are ordinary lizards.
So, how did we get here? There cannot be peace without justice; that is common sense. Even in matters of public health, it is not only the absence of physical ailments and diseases that we attribute to good health. Wikipedia describes health as the ability of individuals and communities to self-manage, when facing physical, mental or social challenges. Nigeria is unable to self-manage all its physical, mental and social challenges. There is angst and social dislocation in the lower rungs, while there is hallucination in the higher echelons, resulting from greed-induced mental siege.
True. Nigeria is sick and political leaders are disoriented. And they are seeing ghosts that are produced by wickedness in high places. Did Nigeria breach nature’s law and God’s order in the last 56 years? Did people in government manipulate governance at any point in the last 16 years, to favour some and disenfranchise others, elevate some and subdue others, weaken some and totally annihilate others? Are we ready in the new dispensation to confess our sins and repent or are we continuing in that old order of wickedness and revenge?
That same location, where you have the State House, Abuja, and the vast portion of the space that is now Federal Capital, once belonged to some aboriginal tribesmen. It is the ancestral homeland of the Gbayis, but they were prevailed upon to vacate their lands, that compensations would be paid and they would be peacefully and comfortably quartered in new locations. That was a long time ago, beginning from 1975. Till date, Abuja original inhabitants are still asking government to pay them and give them new homelands. Some were settled grudgingly in makeshift arrangements, while others are left to hang around FCT like ghosts. These people are powerless because nobody or group can withstand the State. But there is higher force that dispenses justice without fear or favour. There was a time in early 90s that I visited one of the so-called settlements for Abuja indigenes, going from the Law School, Bwari, towards Ija. It was like a lepers’ colony, built of zinc. We need to know where our troubles are coming from, so that help will come.
Abuja itself and all its glory did not drop from the heavens. Before our very eyes, resources from the Niger Delta were used to make Abuja what it is. The same Niger Delta is in a state of anomie and confusion, because Nigeria has conspired to rob her of peace. It all started with policies of the regime of Gen. Yakubu Gowon in the late 60s to mid 70s, which successive governments have multiplied and deepened. It is the injustices and manipulations inherent in our kind of federal system.
How just is the Constitution of the Federal Republic to all? How just is the process of states creation and local government creation to all? Who is manipulating what to favour his tribesmen and geo-political zone, while leaving others to be marginalised? There cannot be peace without justice. Even when the people are so disempowered to complain, some forces will speak on their behalf. Permit me this one example. By the time Midwest was created in 1963, there were 12 divisions in the region, the equivalent of today’s local government. Midwest at that time comprised what is now Delta and Edo put together. As at today, Delta has 25 local governments and Edo has 18. Injustice. Akoko Edo, which was a division in the old Midwest as at 1963, remains the same as of today. All other divisions have two, three or more local governments carved out of them. But Akoko-Edo has remained the oldest and untouched. Talk about wickedness in high places. Lagos has 20, while Kano has 44. Corruption.
Why will people in Aso Rock not be haunted, when they allowed the East-West road to remain incomplete for 16 years; not that there was no money to permanently fix it, but they preferred instead to warehouse the money to buy votes? Those who collected the money did not use it to campaign for the ousted regime. They kept it at home only to surrender them to the EFCC. That is punishment from the Divine.
With huge sums like $15m that are not legitimately earned, for example, there is the associated anxiety of how to make more and how to preserve such from robbers and EFFC. In the process, the owners become sleepless and added to very bizarre lifestyles, health complications set in. But in the chronology of their afflictions, they will not remember what they did to people’s commonwealth. They only see ghosts and demons.
At a time, stories emanating from Aso Rock were those of debauchery and orgies. A particular president was alleged to be very promiscuous. He ran after everything in skirt, they said. But I didn’t believe those stories because I felt Aso Rock was too serious to allow for raunchy tales. We heard similar tales of young governors between 1999 and 2007, who hosted university (female) students to all manner of frolicking. Now the funds are gone and states can’t pay salaries. Talk of the devil.
If there are demons in Aso Rock, more are in the 36 states and 774 councils. The thing to do is to confess our sins and restructure this country. Gowon has been praying and God is answering. But we need to institute justice, fairness and equity. That is the only cure for Nigeria’s demonic afflictions.