By Ebele Orakpo
“This year will be more difficult than last year – economically and financially going by the indices we are working with. There will be fewer jobs, decrease in oil price, the economy will be down and the polity will be heated up. We don’t need to deceive ourselves,” said Austin this Tuesday morning as the vehicle inched its way in the usual Lagos traffic.
“Bros abeg, no start oo. We are tired of bad news. We need fresh air!” interjected Ade. Continued Austin: “We must face reality and stop wishful thinking. It’s when we know these things that we can have faith in God and pray intelligently so that our case will be like the case of Israelis in Egypt during the plague.” At this point, one could have heard a pin drop because everyone was now paying close attention to what Austin was saying.
“There is so much money in this country but it does not go round because 60 per cent of the money is in the hands of only 200 Nigerians. I heard how a pilot who flies a private jet was called up in the middle of the night to go to Kano from Lagos to fly a sick person to the hospital. He left Lagos at 5.00am for Kano to pick up a sick person only to find out that it was a sick dog he had to fly to a Vet hospital in Benin. Of course they paid millions of naira for the private jet to carry a dog to Benin for an injection and it waited at the tarmac to take the dog back to Kano.”
“Goodness gracious! This is simply insane! Yet, we are made to understand that Nigeria has no money,” said Pat with surprise written all over her. “The painful thing is that it is not their money, it is your money. If it was only your money, it would have been bearable but they have cornered your children’s and grandchildren’s money. The Bible has made us to understand that as the day of Christ’s coming draws nearer, things will get worse,” said Austin.
“That is the Fresh Air you are getting,” said TJ.
Said Austin: “United Arab Emirates gained independence from Britain on December 2, 1971. It consisted of six sheikhdoms – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain and in February 1972, Ras al Khaymah joined the six. It was a country of about 35,000 people with 25,000 camels. All they did was breed camels and they lived in tents. Nigeria gave them loan to pay salaries but today, they have the three biggest airlines in the world – Emirates, Qatar and Itihad. Combined, their planes are more than those of other countries.
They have the tallest building in the world. There are underground trains everywhere but as at 1975, they were poorer than Nigeria. They were not fasting and praying oo, just by taking care of their resources, they were able to achieve so much. It is a thing of pride today in Nigeria to say ‘oh, the wedding of this person was in Dubai’; I spent my holidays in Dubai’ or I went shopping in Dubai.’ It looks like we are cursed.
When you see a fool, he thinks he is all right. No fool ever believes that something is wrong with him. Somebody built that place. So we must ask ourselves questions.”
“And to think that so many people have died and more are still dying because they could not afford medical care… dear God, please be the judge between us and our rulers,” prayed Sola.
“That’s why I keep saying that corruption, especially official corruption, should attract death penalty because they are doing so much harm to Nigerians, throwing millions into abject poverty and sending them to untimely grave. It’s so unfair! exclaimed Pat. “Ah, that will be too drastic,” said TJ.
“Then we are not serious yet. If you really know the ripple effect of official corruption, you won’t be saying this,” said Pat.
Narrates Mercy: “Reminds me of a guy who had serious issue with womanizing. He wanted to stop it so he went to his pastor and asked him to pray for him. As the pastor prayed, whether by inspiration or whatever, he said to the guy: ‘I want us to agree that any time you go back to adultery, God will make you impotent.” The guy reacted like someone who had been stung by a scorpion. ‘You must be joking. E never reach like that nah! Haba! You wan kill me?’
“At this, the pastor asked him to go because he was not really ready to be separated from the vice.” “If na you, you go gree for that kin prayer’?” asked Ade.