By EBELE ORAKPO
“When we say that God is a Nigerian, some people think we are hallucinating, but deep within me, I know it is true or how else can one explain how we have been surviving terrible situations that have sent other nations over the brinks?” asked Mary in the Oshodi-bound commuter vehicle this Tuesday morning as the vehicle made its way gradually in the heavy traffic.
“Cholera, Lassa fever, meningitis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, poliomyelitis, river blindness, Bird flu, Boko Haram, and now Ebola! I mean, God really loves us,” said Mary.
“Is that why you say God is a Nigerian? He loves everyone. After all, we are not the only ones being affected by all the things you mentioned,” said Matt.
Replied Mary: “Yes, but others have not been so lucky. Remember Sierra Leone, Liberia and Rwanda? Worse things have happened here and yet like the proverbial cat with nine lives, we still dey kampe. And I must add that we have not had natural disasters.”
Said Eddy: “You are right my sister. God is not unrighteous because He knows that we don’t have the capacity to handle natural disasters. Imagine if we have earthquakes, landslides, tornadoes, etc. We are finished! So God really loves us.”
“Remember bird flu and mad cow disease that killed people and animals in some countries? Bird flu has been with us for decades. We were eating the birds and the flu and never heard that anyone died of bird flu,” stated Mary.
“Our immunity is strong. Have you wondered why some of the Ebola victims survived despite the fact that there is no known cure for ebola?” asked Eddy.
“Yeah, I heard that viral infections are not cured with drugs; that the body builds up antibodies to fight the infection,” said Matt.
Narrated Vincent: “Talking about bird flu, I remember the story of a woman who took her chicken to the market to sell. The bird was sick. It was manifesting the signs and symptoms of bird flu. Luckily for her, a buyer came along and began to price the chicken. After much haggling and finally agreeing on a price, the bird began to ‘manifest’. First it closed its eyes and then began to turn the neck as if it was dancing skelewu.”
“Kai, the fowl wicked oo. Haba! How e go choose that kin time to display? I am sure the woman must have cursed it in her heart,” said Matt.
Continued Vincent: “The buyer noticed it and told the seller that the chicken was sick. Guess what the seller said..”
“Abeg tell us if you want to tell us. After all we were not there with you,” replied Mary.
“ The woman said: ‘Oh, no, it is not sick at all. It is perfectly healthy; it’s just shy because it is seeing you for the first time. You know first time meeting get as e dey be.”
“Smart woman. Typical Naija woman; always has answers to everything under the sun,” noted Tim.
“There is another story of a woman who took her sick chicken to the market to sell. She asked her little daughter to watch it and play with it so that it won’t sleep because if it sleeps, nobody will buy it. She then went to purchase something in another part of the market. Trust kids, as soon as the mother left, a buyer came and saw the girl playing with the chicken. She tried to draw the girl’s attention to find out the price of the chicken. The girl was too engrossed in her play with the bird that she did not notice the lady until she touched her and asked where her mom went. The girl replied that her mom went somewhere but instructed her to play with the chicken to prevent it from falling asleep so that a buyer could buy. That was the end of discussion,” said Vincent.
“If na you nko ? You go buy a sick bird?” asked Eddy.
Said Tim: “But seriously, when we were growing up, once my mother sees any of her birds dancing skelewu with eyes closed, she quickly slaughters it and we are happy to have a feast.”
“We will continue to overcome all the arrows of the devil – Boko Haram, Ebola and all others. God loves us too much.”