MY heart as a Christian goes to our Lord Jesus Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son as recorded in the gospel according to Luke 5:11-32.
I urge you to read how our Lord prescribed reception and rehabilitation for a prodigal son like Chief Olabode George.
I want to commend President Goodluck Jonathan for recognising and welcoming Chief Bode George at the PDP rally in Lagos. Expectedly some who are terrified at the prospect of sharing the political space with Bode Goerge will deprecate such presidential generousity; so many media columnists and commentators have described the events following his release as a “celebration of criminality”.
I beg to differ, amongst the honest commentaries I have read is that by my friend Mr. Bamidele Aturu who said: “My view is that there is nothing at all wrong with somebody celebrating or thanking God for coming out of prison safely. I have been there; I know what it means for somebody to come out of Nigeria prison safely.
However, we must show a level of humility and sobriety. For him to thank God for his life, it’s a worthy celebration”.
The irony of most of the virulent attackers of Bode George today is that they are not on a higher moral ground. Bode George is unfortunate because he broke the proverbial “11th Commandment”: He got caught!!
Many of the traducers of George remind me of the man from your hometown who was completing a form, when he got to the column where he was asked: “Have you ever been convicted?”, he answered: “No”.
The next question was “reason” (intended for those who answered “yes”) but our man answered: “Never been caught”.
We remind them, that as they point at Bode George, four fingers point at them. This reminds one of the great words on marble by the presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu when he was EFCC Chair, viz:
“Tinubu and the rest (other governors) should consider themselves as very lucky. They ought to have been where Dariye, Fayose, Alamiesiegha are today. They cannot escape. It is a matter of time. They have the protection of the law. They enjoy immunity. We are after them because they will want to rule us again.
The Constitution is against indicted people. After their tenure, they will be prosecuted. They remain indicted and are not fit to hold public positions; these people have to answer for their misdeeds instead of giving the impression that they cannot be dealt with”. Today George has answered for his misdeeds, tomorrow we do not know for whom the bell tolls…
As for the commentaries and reactions of his political rivals and opponents, I say what do you expect? Ikemba Nnewi wittily stated that: “Whatever you are doing that your enemy doesn’t like, is good, continue doing it!!” He also said: “If somebody who has never supported you gives you an advice, do not take it”. I send the same counsel to Chief Bode George.
I understand that Bode George is a communicant at the Cathedral and he had received wise counsel in the past from that pulpit, I therefore highly recommend to him always to remember the homily by the Venerable Tayo Aduloju as given on Saturday 26th February 2011.
If he abides by that wise and holy counsel, one day he will appear before a Judge whose judgment has no appeal and if that Judge finds him guiltless, I assure him, of his place in the place where his enemies will truly envy him.
Mr. CHIBUZO AZIKE, a lawyer, writes from Lagos.