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Do they pray for Dangote?

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By Oboh Agbonkhese

THE varieties of demons that exist in Nigeria are an interesting mix against which we daily do battle. There are malaria-causing, diarrhoea-inflicting and headache-distributing demons. And, believe it or not, some demons are specialists in polio apportionment. Of course, enemies are always around to direct the demons to the ‘right’ persons. For the doubting Thomas, a night in my area will do the same job those holes in Jesus’ palms and side did. On certain days of the week, ears are assaulted by verbal wars against demons of unbelievable kinds and the enemies that direct them. Definitely, on Fridays, kiss sleep farewell.

You still do not get me? The five churches in my area have decided that the weapons of their warfare are carnal. So public address systems connected to creaky amplifiers are on maximum volume. Add the noise from power generating sets to the mix and you have to pity these demons, because how they manage to retain their identities in the din and confusion is a feat. They are constantly subjected to ‘kill,’ ‘die,’ ‘fire,’ and ‘redirect.’

Some nights, about two or three of the churches, whether by accident or design, go into demon battles simultaneously. That is when I picture all the demons dying off from constant collision with one another, considering the barrage of missiles from competing voices. But since the vigils still hold on schedule, the demons must be surviving on the principle of fission: hit split-up, hit split-up. No end. So the battles continue.
Meanwhile, the perceived enemy has gone to hustle for the day after a quiet one-on-one with God. But the warriors must rest and prepare for another showdown or, when they go to work, perform below capacity. Aliko Dangote? I have not digressed at all.

*Alhaji Aliko Dangote
*Alhaji Aliko Dangote

To say Dangote is a wonderful and adventurous businessman, is stating the obvious. But no, he has not diversified into demon packaging and distribution. Just that right now, he is the only reason all the churches in my area should go into over-drive in battling demons. I will not mind one bit. This time, I will gladly supply the name of the offending demon: electricity-sabotaging demon!

If the power project he is spearheading ‘makes sense,’ a revolution would have started. Ten kobo will begin to buy lollypop again and my barber, who took another look at my head and began to charge N300 will repent. N300! In Egan! Where is that? Exactly the point. Even the state government does not know. Dangote must succeed. The new owners of privatised PHCN? I do not trust them. Not yet.

But I doubt if these warriors remember Dangote in their prayers. They are too busy. At the camps that infest the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, church workers sweep up used condoms the mornings after vigils. Some fight anti-marriage demons, while others move around in search of miracles. A sub-group are so concerned about making heaven, they destroy the earth. No wonder God kept the location of the Garden of Eden secret.

‘Christian’ means Christ-follower. And Jesus re-fired himself by going up a mountain at intervals. Afterward, He simply speaks and all obey. Speak, not shout. He once went up the mountain with some of His disciples. When they saw how demons were really taken care of, they asked Jesus to allow them stay up there. Selfish demons!

I do not know Islam’s take on demon bursting. I would have to ask my colleague, Ishola Haroon Balogun, but make him talk to me in English, his smooth Arabic frightens me.

Meanwhile, my landlady has cut down a vital source of free Vitamin C – a pawpaw tree – close to my door. The offence? Demons gather on the tree every night. While pawpaw demons caused her sleepless nights of binding and casting, they were bats that informed me of very fat, rich, yellow fruits ready for plucking!
It is just my opinion.

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