By Bamidele Salako, June 28, 2018
I dey vex I swear. You know why?
The very fact that a number of Nigerians (some that I thought smarter) are ascribing responsibility for the gruesome murders and avoidable loss of lives over the past week to God’s supposed wrath or solely to Satan’s murderous past times, is the very reason why Nigeria WILL NEVER PROGRESS. No be curse.
Because as long as we continue to live in this sorry, elusive state of amnesic denial where we absolve ourselves of any responsibility in taking the bull by the horn to rightly identify and aggressively address the conspicuous causes of our woes as a nation, the situation will continue to deteriorate till we descend into an abyss of utter devastation, beyond any realistic means of redemption known to man.
Don’t we think? What is wrong with us?
God no dey vex for China wey atheists yapa, or for US wey be World Sin Capital, or for Canada wey wan legalize Cannabis or for Switzerland wey churches dey empty for Sunday mornings, or for the other working countries wey no even dey acknowledge say God dey. Una wey dey sleep church and mosque, dey pray before every state function, dey ask for forgiveness day in, day out, dey pay tithe and first fruits, dey give prophet’s offerings, na una God still dey vex for again? Wetin this una “God” want again na?
Do tragedies happen in these other countries? Yes. Mindless shootings have virtually become gourmet fare in the US. The citizens don’t blame God. They direct their angst at the White House and Congress who won’t pass stricter gun legislation because of their unholy dalliance with the NRA who have them by the crotch through slush funds. The people march against the politicians in Washington.
When lives are needlessly lost in working countries, citizens call for the heads of elected officials or hold the responsible parties accountable. While we were saying God was responsible for 9-11 attacks in the US as judgment on their manifold sins, George Bush went after Osama Bin Laden. In Nigeria, two people are automatically apportioned blame – God and the devil. That way we can palliate our consciences over our eventual inaction and continue to roll in the putrid mud of a particularly nauseating brand of buffoonery fostered quite generously by religion. Our wilful ignorance is bliss.
Is there a malevolent force beyond the natural that orchestrates misfortunes? Yes. My faith teaches me that the devil does and that he uses humans as tools. But same faith teaches that the devil is limited by the latitude of expression humans afford him. A force majeure can occur despite best laid plans of mice and men but we ought to be seen to be trying – to do our best as humans to reduce the occurrence and frequency of certain unfortunate events. It’s why we build good roads, we make solid traffic regulations and enforce them, we build good hospitals and provide quality basic and tertiary healthcare, we build good schools and serve quality competitive education (at least in sane countries). And all of this in spite of the fact that people will still have accidents and die on good roads, or in good hospitals or that the products of a good school may still go jobless. But we don’t become willing tools like many of us are in Nigeria, from politicians in Aso Rock right down to the regular citizens and then have the audacity to blame it all on God and the devil when we are simply sitting pretty in the cushion of thorns that we designed.
Polio (which by the way most countries wey no know God don eliminate) catch pikin – na God. Plane crash happen, God dey para. Avoidable accidents on clearly bad roads with lax traffic oversight – na bloodsucking demons of ember months or winchy winchy from villa. And you’re still wondering why we are where we are.
If we pray this much and God is still angry so much so his infamous emissary, death, has become a landlord in our nation, then maybe it’s high time we considered the alternative.
For once, I hope we will stop looking upward (to “God”) or downward (where we believe the devil is) and start looking self-ward, into the mirror, so we can get a crystal clear appreciation of the architects of our many miseries and misfortunes. Just maybe we’ll embrace the realisation that WE (or among us) are this “God” and this devil (or his willing recruits) who through various actions and inactions turn this nation into a brutish jungle.
Let’s deal with the devils we can see, created by us – the piss poor leadership at all levels, the bad roads, the appalling education, the broken public institutions, our eroded humanity, and many more.