By Emma Aziken
It has been reported that one Pastor Abraham who allegedly offered tickets to heaven for N310,000 has been arraigned for allegedly obtaining money by false pretence.
The arrest of Pastor Abraham came about at the same time that two better-known pastors, Yemi Osinbajo and Tunde Bakare paid a whooping N100 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms required from those seeking the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Expectedly, many Christians and non-Christians have chastised Pastor Abraham over what they claim as his duplicity.
While we can never fully explain some of the vagaries of life and look unto God’s word that the secret things belong to God, it is, however, difficult to overlook the ironies that come from the N310,000 gate fee to heaven.
Indeed, the willingness of two of God’s prominent servants in Nigeria to pay the whooping N100 million each for a ticket that only one of them will get. So, if the two of them are really God’s children as your correspondent supposes, it means that they have taken N200 million from their father for this enterprise that one of them and most probably NONE of them will get!
We will also not overlook the circumstances that led to the flourishing business of Pastor Abraham charging N310,000 for tickets to heaven. It is the same circumstances that led to the rapid exit from the country of many young Nigerians.
It has lately been reported that some of the country’s leading banks have lost some of their more enterprising staff through emigration to Canada, Britain and the United States.
Those who are fleeing the country legitimately are trading away their investments in Nigeria, many selling stocks, properties and whatever they have to relocate to the ‘heaven’ of Canada, Britain and such.
Remarkably, many of those who do not have the assets to trade for legitimate emigration are using the land borders through North Africa to flee from Nigeria.
Yes, until the advent of the APC government, the emigration out of the country was mostly among the lower class, including those who were educated but did not have good jobs.
However, since the advent of the APC government, the emigration chorus has turned into a bandwagon for the middle class and some in the upper class with many abandoning their comforts and jobs to seek refuge out of the country.
It was to stop the emigration of the lower class that the APC promised Change in 2015. However, what came in was not the change that many looked up to. With security worsening, the economy on a free fall and those who were in the past indicted and even jailed for corruption becoming poster boys of the administration’s anti-corruption campaign, Nigerians have indeed been shell-shocked.
Indeed, in the matter of corruption, no one has been able to explain how the inexistent petroleum subsidy that President Muhammadu Buhari asserted prior to 2015, has multiplied under his administration to inexplicable levels.
It is even so at a time when industries are closing that the quantity of oil provisioned for subsidy payment has multiplied more than twice from 30 million barrels per day to 100 million barrels per day under the administration. Or how do you explain the fact that our borders have become so porous under the once dreaded Col. Hameed Ali as Comptroller General of the Customs? Col. Ali’s frugality when he was chief of staff to Buhari was well known and his appointment as customs boss was seen as a death blow to the legendary corruption in the customs.
But today, that corruption has progressed from the borders to the hinterland that customs officials allegedly allow several containers of contrabands to pass through the land and sea borders but progress to “confiscate” one of the containers for media show.
If one were to leave the issue of corruption, what of insecurity. The once hush-hush exploitation of solid minerals in Zamfara and neighbouring states has under the APC administration flared an insurgency that has now consumed that once peaceable region. Those who know say that the insurgency in the Northwest is especially fanned by big men involved in the exploration of solid minerals which is privatized and not brought to the national cake as expected.
In a situation where Nigerians travel on the road with much dread and live in their own country as secondhand citizens given the official and unofficial enthronement of bandits to power, it is not surprising that Pastor Abraham would easily hawk DELIVERANCE from Nigeria at N310,000.
Indeed, the saying these days is that calamity is Nigeria. Who wouldn’t want to abandon the calamity?
For various persons in power, including many paying N100 million for the APC forms, their family members are not near us. They have also joined the bandwagon and only visit from Dubai or wherever to serenade us.
So, it is against this background of Nigeria happening to its citizens, that Pastors Osinbajo and Bakare were able to harvest N100 million to pay for the gamble that is APC’s presidential ticket. How?
It is even more shocking that none of the pastors or even pretenders in the play has promised the kind of radical change that we need. Many of them are even pledging to continue from where this administration stopped! Beloved, given that scenario and with Pastor Abraham offering you Salvation for N310,000 which would you choose?
Indeed, by charging Pastor Abraham with whatever, the police in Nigeria have as usual caught the petty thief and are guarding the armed robber!