The on-going massacre of innocent lives by terrorists under the guise of religion has claimed thousands of lives apart from the abduction of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls and over 16,000 other women and children, excluding the number of those forced into recruitment by the terrorists to fight their war.
The ongoing bloodshed is truly beyond comprehension, beyond explanation and beyond imagination or reason. Nigerians are now victims of political rascality from their leaders and subjected to accommodating garbage press releases by those saddled with the task of fighting the terrorists.
We are daily fed with an unbelievable number of insurgents killed either by air bombardments or otherwise and yet, the number of the insurgents keeps on swelling and they remain determined and courageous. We are denied the right to challenge the authenticity of released figures for obvious reasons.
We hear some ‘unbelievable’ complains from our security personnel at the battlefields via social and electronic media of sharp corrupt practices against their superior officers that are far away from the battlefields. But we are told that Boko Haram will soon be history in a few weeks.
Several Nigerians were forced to relocate from troubled areas to neighbouring impoverished countries in search of peace. In his days of alleged clueless leadership spiced with greed, former president Jonathan smartly twisted the unfortunate security situation to a political issue, ostensibly to divert attention for an escape from the blame of incapacitation.
He relied more on cook and bull stories from several committees and biased security agencies that only enjoyed huge allowances, at the comfort of their living rooms.
In one of his misguided statements, Labaran Maku, then information minister blamed All Progressives Congress (APC) for the unfortunate situation bedevilling the country at that time just to settle a political score and paint the party black.
In the end, what Maku expected as ‘reward’ for such a ‘pleasing’ statement, was his disgrace by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that forced him to seek solace in All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). The offence of APC was for saying the truth was what qualified it to be linked to terrorism by Maku who is now languishing in political oblivion.
To concur what Maku said, former President Jonathan at their PDP 65th National Executive Committee jamboree in Abuja, said, “Most of our PDP States are doing well. In fact, security challenges are less in the PDP states because of the commitment of the governors”.
Such a frightening statement came from Jonathan who was mean with the truth as there were more pronounced security challenges bedevilling Plateau, Benue, Kaduna and Taraba States then controlled by PDP and daily cases of kidnappings, rapes and armed robbery more pronounced in other PDP-controlled states excluding activities of oil thieves suspected to be PDP kin pins that Jonathan ignored.
As a perceived political novice then piloting Nigeria, Jonathan deserved our pardon for his sleaze if his political interactions overtime with indecent minds are considered.
Pretentiously, Nigeria’s leaders under PDP instead of purifying themselves opted to call for prayers to defeat the better-armed insurgents while their actions were at variance with prayers.
Hurriedly, selected Muslims and Christians were sponsored to offer special prayers at the Abuja National Mosque and at the National Ecumenical Centre apart from individualistic daily prayers to salvage Nigeria from security challenges. Those prayers reached the roofs of where they were said for reasons of impurity of mind and soul. Jonathan and his co-travellers were the problems bedevilling Nigeria. The prayers were answered and Jonathan was defeated at the presidential election, and PDP went into crisis.
While the ‘special prayers’ were said by selected faithful, there was interesting news going round that billions of public funds were channelled to another selected sponsored prayer warriors flown to Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem and the Vatican while poor lives in the country were denied access to healthcare service, portable water, employment opportunities etc but the likes of Kennedy Opara were smiling to the banks from the National Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board for being charlatans and morons.
Another political game-plan was the arrival of the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Archbishop of Canterbury to politicize the issue and deceive the threatened to believing falsehood that government cared. How holy were those invited for the game to be believed?
Despite the hypocritical ‘efforts’ still Almighty answered those prayers to expose the corrupt tendencies and fake living styles of our then leaders who were desperate to remain in power. But for how many years have we been praying against terrorists, armed robbers, rapists and kidnappers yet no solution because the various governments never consider any need. Were the prayers offered by the ‘super’ faithful ever tailored to acceptance? Perhaps Nigerians are yet to know that the Almighty listens and answers prayers of the most, minute creation but yet to answer and solve theirs for impurity. The situation indicates our prayers are usually laced with corruption, deceit, pretence and foolery. The Almighty abhors corruption in any form and accepts no offering (Sadaqat) from haram (unlawful).
The Almighty Creator answers the prayers of the sincere and honest. He answers the prayers of those that worship and fear Him honestly. The Almighty says it in Innal Laha Ta’ala Tayyibun in the Muslim scriptures as quoted by Bala Muhammed in his Weekly Trust back page column of Saturday, June 7 that, “He does not honour the prayer of a thief. In the Christian faith, it is the same unless there is repentance”.
In the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as narrated by Muslim, the Prophet said, “Oh people, Allah is good and He accepts only that which is good”.
The Holy Prophet mentioned a traveller who lifted his hands for prayers, “Oh Lord, Oh Lord; but the traveller’s food was unlawful, his drink unlawful, his clothes unlawful and his nourishment unlawful. How then could his prayers be answered?
The Holy Prophet explained that despite the traveller’s desperate situation for a divine solution, his prayers could not be answered by the Almighty because his food, drink, clothing and nourishment were sourced unlawfully (Haram).
The cause of Boko Haram insurgency needs proper investigation for address as the huge budgetary allocation to fight the insurgency needs a thorough probe. Prayers with ill-gotten money may not end the insurgency as foolishly and ignorantly believed. Money budgeted to fight the insurgency is allegedly diverted by those charged with the onerous task with their collaborators in power.
Nigeria’s Executive Thieves, their wives and children including the uniformed smile to banks from what, was budgeted to fight insurgents and yet, Nigerians are deceived to pray against a problem they never created. Boko Haram was a creation of bad governance and extra-judicial killings. Can solution come from prayers while the minds of those, in-charge are not pure? It is only in Nigeria that religion is practised upside down tailored to greed and hypocrisy.
A cross-section of Nigeria’s leaders believe the God they worship is their family member and playmate to be fooled at will while some say He is a forgiving God that can be offended at will and still forgive. Nigeria’s leaders pretend to God by supporting corruption for ostentatious living against what religions preach and yet expect to prosper.
A look at NNPC shows how trust and honesty were murdered by Diezani Alli-son Madueke while Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala the then finance minister dished unbelievable figures for deceit. Labaran Maku specialized in deceit while other ministers and aides were busy trumpeting a failed transformation agenda, yet the Almighty Creator was expected to save Nigeria. Were those the leaders to pray for acceptance by the Almighty God despite being rotten and smellish? Illicit Nigerian prayers can only be answered by those enslaving others through bad governance not by the living God we worship. Sponsored prayers, by those that shortchange the innocent against the commandment of the Creator are thrown to the garbage.
That explains why Nigeria is always enmeshed in problems with offered prayers going nowhere. Sincerity and honesty are weapons to defeat terrorists, but not pretence, corruption and deceit for political reasons and selfish interest.
At one of his weekly general audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis said, “When a person lives in evil, when they blaspheme God’s name, when they exploit others, when they lord over others, when they live just for money, vanity, power and pride, then the blessed fear of God gives us a warning: Watch out! All of this power and money, with all of your pride and vanity, you will not be happy.
“Many people don’t feel any fear of the Lord because their hearts have been hardened by corruption”.
Despite a series of marathon prayers, insurgency thrives alongside corrupt practices in a country whose former leader once said that stealing is not corruption. When the corrupt are exposed, the whistleblower suffers. When efforts are made to fish out the thieves, the suspected rush to court for cover from their co-travellers in the Temple of Justice and the leader watches with pride. That is our Nigeria.
As the acting chairman of the Anti-corruption Agency, EFCC has gone on suspension from office along with his directors, we are calling for a review of all cases handled by the agency including unattended petitions. More rots would be exposed!
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues