GODLESS CITIZENS: where is the love?

“Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world” – Ernesto Ché Guevera

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world” – William Shakespeare

“If you do one good deed, your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one” – C.S. Lewis

“Every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone” – Lloyd Alexander

 

On that day, I decided I’ve had enough. This idiot dey take me for a fool, I thought. Today, the guy go see my bad side. It’s been about four months since he borrowed the cash. He came rushing to where we were, panting and gasping, his shirt dirty while his beard was unkempt.

It was Bola’s child’s naming ceremony. We had left Bola’s house and proceeded to Hajia’s place, to treat ourselves to a meal of ewedu and amala. We couldn’t eat the rubbish Bola’s people prepared for us; tasteless and watery soup with red oil everywhere. Nonsense! When he arrived at Hajia’s place, we had placed our orders. He told us his story; the wife needed a caesarian section ASAP, he hadn’t been paid his salary for some months, and he still owed his landlord house rent…bla bla bla. No one wanted to bail him out of the situation so I asked him how much he needed and he said 50grand. Ok, I would help. He was grateful and promised to pay back in a month. He called me his savior. He said he would name his son after me, if it turned out to be a male child. But I didn’t give a phuck; I just wanted to help.

Fast forward to this day; three months after he promised to pay back and he doesn’t pick my calls anymore. He didn’t even keep his promise of naming his son after me; he gave him a nobler name. I guess no one wants to have a son named Baruu. But today, I go treat his phuck up. I would mobilize some boys from the garage at the car park and proceed to his house. I knew the boys well; I had bought a few of them dry gin and kpoli in the past. We would kidnap his son, slaughter his cat and beat up his wife, I thought as I took another gulp from my green bottle. And then another gulp! I paid my bills and hurriedly left for the car park.

Very close to my destination, I saw a small crowd gather around a man lying on the ground. I came closer and noticed the man was having seizures and fitting. No one came close to him; they all kept a distance from the poor soul. Some took pictures while some recorded the events with their phones. Quickly, I rebuked them just like Jesus would. Ungodly ones! I removed some pieces of wood and other objects around the man to prevent any injuries. At the same time, I laid him by his right side and immediately, fluid drooled out of his mouth. I also loosened the tie around his neck. Some people were screaming, trying to prevent me from touching the man. One spoke in Yoruba, “oga, don’t you know you can contract the disease by touching him”. A dark elderly woman wearing a Hijab said the man was influenced by a demon. All the while, I kept doing what I felt I should do to stabilize the unfortunate man. Eventually, the seizures subsided and I helped the man to a nearby taxi and we proceeded to a hospital. And that was how my escapade to retrieve the cash ended. Phewww!

I wasn’t really surprised or puzzled by what transpired at the car park. In all honesty, I wasn’t. Now don’t get me wrong; or rather, let’s get something straight before we proceed. First of all, I am not a holy guy. On a scale of 1 to 10, I guess I’d have a 3. If the world were to end today, I guess my bet would be I am gonna make it to purgatory. That’s the best deal I could get. So this is not an article to condemn people but to set some things straight. Secondly, there are a lot of good people out there; not everybody has twisted minds in their approach to a lot of issues.

Last year, I read a newspaper article about a witch that was caught somewhere close to Abuja. It was alleged that some prayer warriors were saying their usually midnight kabashing. They kept praying till the early hours of the morning. All of a sudden (according to the prayer warriors, not me), a bird fell off the sky. As they rushed outside, the bird transformed to a woman and started confessing. Holy Crap!

Another one happened about two months ago. In this case, people alleged the bird was flying at a high speed and hit a high tension wire. As the bird fell to the ground, it transformed to a woman and started confessing that she was coming back from a meeting at a coven before she fell. As usual, people gathered around and took pictures and recorded the whole event. Instead of taking the poor woman to a hospital first for proper medical care, they watched her as she slowly faded away. Eventually, the cops came to her rescue but she died upon arrival at the hospital.

Call me an unbeliever or a stubborn grasshopper, e no matter. But it is really pathetic that in our present-day, people still believe these cock and bull stories. Ok, let’s assume these women were actually witches, what stops the people from taking them to hospitals for better assessment by a doctor. They could be psychiatric patients having delusions for all I care. It is a pity!

What would Jesus do if he were in your shoes? A woman was accused of adultery and brought before the Holy One. The mob was shouting and screaming for blood. Jesus wrote on the ground first, then looked up and told them to stone the woman if none of them had any sins. And what did they do? The cowards withdrew gradually until none of them was left. And then Jesus proceeded to forgive the woman of her sins. Case closed!

As a nation and a generation that profess Christ at the slightest instant, let’s try and be like him. Lynching, burning to death or refusing to help people we feel are possessed by evil spirits is really pitiable. We would gladly lend our support to preachers and men of God who sin but won’t do so to a common person. A pastor charges a thousand naira before members of the congregation can enter the revival arena and when we try to speak about it, tales of “…touch not my anointed” fills the air. But these same supporters would gladly burn a woman accused of witchcraft, screaming “…suffer not the witch to live”.

Doing good should be our responsibility as humans, and not some religious inclination. Choose ye today whom you shall follow!

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