Monthly Archives: May 2014

Our Children and their stolen Innocence

10255491_10203027861031694_7233558847708848074_nWhat day is it today?
Tehillah and Duke.
None is 5 years old yet. But they have a strange assortment of words in their vocabulary. No, not from movies. From living.

“Dad, our Pastor’s daughter was killed by the bomb blast.”
“We shall not die, in Jesus’ name.”
“Dad, 15 students died…”
“Boko Haram will not come here in Jesus’ name.”
“Roadblock”,
“Mopol”
“Guns”
“Checkpoint”
“War”
And on, and on.

On the other hand, I can’t remember if they’ve ever attended a children day’s celebration in the open field (or Stadium).

On this Children’s day, I feel for all the children whose innocence has been stolen from them, not by Holly or Nolly Wood, but by the jungle our beautiful nation is turning into… I feel for the Nigerian child upon whom adulthood is violently foisted.

There is no time to be a child in many parts of our land. Not anymore…

Yet, I remember with indicting nostalgia, rehearsing for Children day’s parade.

What will my children, our children, remember?

I remember the thrill of seeing pupils — song in mouth, flag in hand — from other schools, filing through the streets like columns of Angels in procession, to the celebration grounds. What will Tehillah, and Duke, and Asher remember?

I Remember
The special songs, and acrobatic displays, and heat of the scorching sun, and the bond, and the cultural dance, and band boys, and Ice cream (ehm, well, coloured Ice-water). I remember slow-march, and creative Eyes-right. Flutes, tired legs, the joy of coming first, chewing gums, and the pain of not winning. What of Aunties who groomed us for the day; and Uncles who taught us the winning style? Dont you remember? I remember… I remember even more.

May 27,
What will my children remember?

Today, they are at home.
No outings. No novelty. ‘None of the above’. Nothing memorable to file away in Memory for future musings and recollection. Hmm!

Remind me, what day is it today?

Tehillah, Duke, Asher:
Someday, if you are still children, I hope you’d KNOW what it means, what it feels, when I say ‘Happy children’s day!’

Today is a sombre day
Our girls are still missing

But hope…
Someday

#GodBlessMyMotherLand

Grateful & Pained

Pass or Fail
The pain remains
Live or die
The hurt hunts

It is a painful pleasure to thank God for deliverance when
Fellow brothers and sisters have been so dismembered

It’s more, yet akin to the dilemma after the crucial exam
You passed: jubilant. Then news comes: your friend didn’t

You are now not sure how to manage your fortune
So, you try to console your friend
Friend tries to congratulate you
That’s the humane bit of humans

Trouble is, today
Many Christians are too spiritual to be humane
They dress selfishness in a garb of Thanksgiving
They array Insensitivity in a raiment of Gratitude
Brazen pride ooze out
White-coated as capsules of spirituality

When God spares you from
Bomb blasts, or
Assassins, or
Auto-accident
Thank Him. Thank Him
Simple

It’s not because you are
More spiritual, or
More obedient, or
Somehow invincible
It’s not because you refused to die
It’s about Him; not you

Calm down
More spiritual and
More obedient Christians than you — have died
Under more perplexing conditions

Jesus — once and for all — closed the door on any sort of merit-taking when we escape tragedies. He said:

“those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were sinners above all men who lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, No…”
(Luke 13:4,5)

Some spiritual fellow won’t like this, but Nigerians:
Pagans
And Muslims
And Christians
All have testimonies
How they were delivered from the recent bomb blasts
And from sundry such tragedies

See,
Someone may have died
Because she made a mistake
Or was disobedient
Or was insensitive
But
You are not alive
Because you haven’t made the mistakes
Or been so disobedient
And as insensitive

Let’s not lose our sense of
Wonder
And Mystery
And Finitude
And Humbled-gratitude
In a guise of spiritual attainment and competence

I’m glad He’s kept me
I’m pained others left

His ways
God’s ways
Are past finding out

Mercy!
Mercy!!
Mercy!!!

We cry
Holy!
Holy!!
Holy!!!
Is the One who is God-Alone!

The Weapon of Voice

“…An adequate relationship with God permits and requires a human voice that will speak out against every wrong perpetrated either on earth or by heaven.” — Walter Brueggemann.

I find fault with people working to ruin GEJ’s government. But I can’t blame them for his response. His response is his responsibility.

Every government has opposition. And, Opposition ‘oppose’ (That’s what they do!). The onus is on the Incumbent to minimize the bite of the opposition. This is what he hasn’t done satisfactorily, giving room for and legitimizing the public outcry, protests, and social media campaigns. @BringBackOurGirls

PRIORITIES
Criticizing the President, in the current case is a non issue as far as I’m concerned. Sincerely, when the lives of so many innocent girls are at stake, as is the case, I am baffled that what some people are primarily concerned about is HOW we talk to/about the President, a President whose response was glaringly tardy and uninspiring, in the aftermath of the abduction. I am baffled.

Some of us should repent!

VOICE
The American President, contrary to what some Nigerians think, is one of the most criticized leaders in the world. apparently, the more freedom of speech a people enjoy, the more speech you’ll get from the people.

I am ashamed of many of our Prominent Christian leaders in the land who have remained mum or have been vaguely vocal over this matter, especially (but not exclusively) those who are publicly cordial with the President. They champion a PRAY-ONLY stance. Today, the noise of the deviants — in large parts (plus Prayers no doubt) — has rightly positioned this matter as an international emergency.

THE POINT IS
Whether the girls are found through the help now offered by the International community is besides the point. At the end of the day, we ordinary Nigerians, as applicable, would have done about the most we can do.
We spoke up.
We stood up.
We prayed up.

We will tell ourselves that:
We used our voice against violence and perceived unresponsiveness. We raised a cry to God, a campaign against terror, and an alarm against complacent, unresponsive leadership. We have the weapon of our voice. We used it.

I want to be sure, to be confident that I was not among those who
held back…
Those who were
Vocal Champions of silence.

I want to be sure that I
Prayed up
Stood up
Spoke up.

I continue
To Pray
To Stand
To Speak
To Hope

ONE DESIRE…
Ultimately, I hope and believe, that someday, soon enough, we will have our girls back.

May God, and the President He has confirmed over us now unite to ‪#‎PleaseBringBackOurGirls‬.

“It is simply astonishing that when the powerless find voice, done at great risk, things must happen differently among the powerful, including God.”
— Walter Brueggemann

‪#‎bringBackOurGirls‬

MY GROUSE, MR. PRESIDENT

Dear Mr. President,

I have heard that some Planners and Propagandists are working hard to give you a bad name, make Nigeria ungovernable for you and possibly force you out of office. I have heard. And I believe there is a lot of truth in what I have heard. After-all, there is no smoke without fire.

Sir, maybe you can’t altogether stop them from their plans and propagandas. But right now, I don’t care what they plan. I care that I have a President who has left them free to roam, to plan, and above all, to execute.

The Grid
Whatever tied your hands, Mr. President, is your worst enemy; not the Planners and Propagandists. Remember the saying about not being able to stop a bird from flying, but being able to do something about whether it perches on your head..? Sir, the bird seems to have perched unchecked. Next level, it has not only perched but has made nests (a colony) in your ‘hair’, for breeding and bleeding. Figures vary on the number of Mates & Allies & Chicks & sympathizers in its nest-in-your-hair, as I write.

I don’t blame you for whatever the self acclaimed great-grand Children of Dan Fodio are scheming… If they are. True, I don’t blame you for that. I blame you Sir, for your seeming ineptitude. No ruler (read President) bears the sword in vain.

You are called C-in-C of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for a reason. More sir, aren’t you arguably the most Powerful President in the world, constitutionally? Why aren’t you using your enormous, enviable powers against the Powers-against-Nigeria?

Since you claim to be a Christian like I also do. Let’s do a quick, brief stop at the Bible: Speaking to citizens about their political leaders, scriptures say:

For he (Mr President) is the servant of God to you for good. but IF YOU DO EVIL, HAVE FEAR; for the sword is not in his hand for nothing: he is God’s servant, MAKING GOD’S PUNISHMENT COME ON THE EVIL-DOER. — Romans 13:4 (My parenthesis & caps)

Please, live up to your mandate under God. That’s all!

Have you not heard; haven’t you observed? There is a reversal in the land. Those who do evil have NO FEAR. Those who are law-abiding have ALL THE FEAR. This is an aberration of the plain expectation of God and of the Nigerian people. Correct this absurdity, this injustice going on under your watch. Reverse this reversed order.

You can!
Sir, unleash terror on evil doers. Let the thought of being caught THINKING, not even DOING evil — in the order of Boko Haram — send down spasms of fear through the spine of every son of Belial in this land. You have necessary and sufficient powers to make this proposal a reality. Let those that do evil have fear, as the bible commands and as Nigerians demand & deserve.

Bar or Bury ’em
Nobody is too big to be put behind bars or beneath the earth if he or she dares a nation like Nigeria has been dared. Truth be told: nobody will believe you, Sir, if you try to tell us you don’t have Intelligence info as per those sponsoring mayhem in the land. Put them behind bars while their trial lasts… Let them go out of circulation. Targeting their footsoldiers alone, as seems to have been the case, isn’t helping us. Frustrate the sponsors. You can!

In essence
You have not demonstrated a resolve, in stopping the Carnage in the land, anywhere near the felt resolve of those perpetrating these atrocities within our borders.

This, Mr. president, is my grouse.

God bless Nigeria

Keeping & Feeding Boko Haram:

Can we ever tell ourselves the truth in this country?

If I am questioning ‘ability’ by posing the ‘can’ question, the answer is easily a ‘Yes’. Yes, we can tell ourselves the truth.

But of course I’m asking the big question: “WILL we ever tell ourselves the truth in this country?” Someday, maybe. But WHEN will such a day break?

We have kept and fed BH by the continual dual acts of blatant, brazen Lie-telling and an Ostrich posture, a posture facilitated by Cowardice-masquerading-as-religion (Religion is a handy excuse for inactivity, in this country at least, and for Christians especially).

LIES THAT KEEP BH ALIVE AND THRIVING!
“Poverty, Unemployment and underdevelopment are the root causes of the agitation…” Big lie!
(It cost fortunes to sustain the BH movement)

“Religion has nothing to do with this…” Big lie!
(Those suicide bombers are not dying for PDP or APC, by their own admission)

“The government is doing its best…” Big big lie!
(No ‘big shot’ has been convicted for BH related offense)

“The Northern Elites/Elders are doing their best…” Fat lie!
(Most of them are elusive and vague. They are guilty of complicity or scared of consequences. Those who have been vocal against BH have been threatened, attacked or killed).

“BH is faceless…” Lie!
(They have known camps in known forests in known regions of Nigeria. Does Sambisa ring a bell?)

“Their sponsors are unidentifiable, and when identified are untouchable…” Nonsense!
(No comment. Pure nonsense)

“Nigeria will split if Government takes decisive action against the Nigerians behind BH…” Flat lie!
(Nigerians, not the leaders, are the reason why there is still Nigeria)

“The president’s exit from office, alone, will end the attacks…” Lie!
(BH predates him. What they want must be more than him.)

“Sensoring the content of religious sermons (in churches and mosques) will help curb religious radicalization…” Unrealizable lie!
(It is first a violation of freedom of conscience and speech. Then there will be practical insurmountable problems with execution).

END NOTES
If the government claims not to have reliable intelligence report on the brain behind BH, our intelligence units have lost their legitimacy. They should be scrapped.

It takes lots of money to prosecute the sort of sustained attacks we have suffered at the hands of the beast called BH. They must leave a trail. Nay, trails! Trails in their financial transactions. Trails in arms sourcing. Trails in their recruitment exercise. They must leave trails everywhere, enough to identify the sponsors.

Fighting the foot soldiers of BH alone, won’t take us far on the path of progress against BH. We must come at them from beneath (sponsors) and above (foot soldiers).

When we mollify ourselves with lies, for fear of the discomforts of truth, we may call such act ‘Progressive’, or ‘Enlightened’; it matters nothing. It remains what it is: ruinous, damnable lies.

Tell the truth and it will discomfort many of us.
Continue with the lies and we will all drown.

Only the truth, nothing but the truth saves; will save us!

Next, I should talk about “Religion and Boko Haram” or “Religion and everything else”.

But for now, what other lies do you think we are peddling in the fight against Boko Haram? What’s the truth; What do you think?
Let’s have your opinion.