By Ogbonna Nwuke
God must indeed be so patient and merciful. Imagine for a moment what many say or do in His name and you will marvel.
Some swear in his Mighty name, knowing they just told a huge lie. You probably would have heard some say without batting an eyelid, “God spoke to me last night” even when they know that didn’t happen!
That’s the new world of hollier-than-thous; a world where any one could simply walk up to the pulpit, seize it and yarn.
Times were when only prophets could lay claims to hearing from God. Not any more. Now, men can say just about anything in the name of God.
Accordingly, all manner of men armed with the bible or koran; who wear cassock or claim to be clerics; who convert religion into a thriving business, a route for shedding innocent blood, a channel for bleeding men dry or a vehicle for brainwashing their followers in these times claim to see God.
They tell us the end times are here. They tell us they are our spiritual fathers here on earth and urge us to hurry with our tithes. They tell us their God is not a poor God and end up in private aircrafts owned by them.
They build schools that their parishioners cannot attend and charge scandalous school fees that only millionaires can afford.
Where, if I may ask, have these characters left the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Not to be outdone, their accomplices, some of them , circular leaders play God too. They say things in the name of God as puritans would do. They manipulate us in the name of God, acquire our commonwealth in the name of God and impoverish us in the name of God.
Through fiery speeches targeted at opponents, real or imagined, they spread rancour, hate and disaffection.
In God’s name they raise individuals against fellow individuals, communities against communities and nations against nations in pursuit of narrow parochial interests. They speak as though heaven has given them dominion over us.
Such is the nature of the earthly world that we live in that men have been led to suicide like we had in the case of the Guyana tragedy.
So a child born on the Israeli side and his type on the Palestinian border are sworn enemies even before they can learn the language of their birth. That should be normal in a world that Muslims and Christians once baked liven bread together.
In pursuit of a so-called pure race, the quest for superiority, at times in the wake of an Aryan culture and the hunger to dominate the earth, the world has fought two world wars.
Leaders and scholars have similarly inspired their fellow compatriots to rise against law and order and forced them through doctrines to believe that there is an utopian society that is possible through their guidance and say so.
The result is that men who should live in peace or who should leave their nations in peace are at war as the hideous, conniving desires of circular and non circular leaders who play God take front stage, driven by a pervading sense of perverse nationalism or righteousness which continues to lead to the slaughter of defenseless humans.
To ignore them long after they have served their time for instance, is to commit suicide. To ignore their brand of wisdom and run society in a manner different from their own vision is to court trouble. In order to protect their selfish interests, they adorn father figures with which to chastise us.
These men are everywhere. In Nigeria too, we have our fair share in men like former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
They want us to see them as too powerful, too knowledgeable. They want us to believe they love our dear nation; want us to think this country can’t carry on with out them.
Elsewhere, in other climes, men like Obasanjo are not interfering in the day to day management of their society because they realize their time is gone.
Not so for Obasanjo who believes he owns Nigeria. Where did Obasanjo leave his accusations against Atiku?
Those damaging accusations are chronicled in his books, recorded video clips and the media. Was Obasanjo lying when he made those comments or was he busy playing God?
Obasanjo had said in one of his celebrated speeches that God will not forgive him if he were to support Atiku. May be, like those who claim to see God, the Almighty before whom we all must bow has paid Obasanjo a visit.
And if Obasanjo who invoked the name of the Creator in outlining Atiku’s many sins had forgiven him, then the rest of us must do so.
If Atiku stole, did he steal from Obasanjo or did he commit theft against Nigeria? Who should forgive Atiku? Is it Obasanjo or Nigeria?
So what will happen to Nigeria if Obasanjo dies? Will Nigeria die too because the visionary, the one who must be obeyed and the one who must tell us what to do has passed on?
I am angry and their Nigerians who are angrier than I. Obasanjo’s double somersault is a betrayal of the trust and confidence that so many have reposed on him.
We can only conclude that Obasanjo hasn’t been telling the truth. So if you want Obasanjo on your side, all you need is to worship like Atiku has done. It is sad and disappointing that such a man still has the temerity to show us his face.
Leaders must have a sense of morality and a sense of duty. Above all, they must take cognizance of their place in history. Immediate rewards and relevance appears more important to Obasanjo.
I thought that in taking a degree in theology, Obasanjo truly meant well, at least for himself. Honestly, the dream of so many to follow in his footsteps has been shattered.
Try as hard as he can, Obasanjo isn’t an intellectual that he wants the world to see. He is a mere pragmatist who is striving hard to take advantage of every situation in his continued attempt to mold the country in his own image.
No wonder, Fela Anikulapo Kuti never gave Obasanjo, a fellow Yoruba any breathing space. Fela accused him in his music of high handedness and accused him of turning into a vocalist whenever corruption is mentioned.
Fela is long dead and evidence of what he said many years ago is here with us. If Atiku whom OBJ accused of crimes against the nation is as white as the sepulchre, then Obasanjo is truly the anointed vocalist of corruption that Fela spoke about.
Fela may not be the only one who could see traits of Obasanjo. Obasanjo has parted ways with his own daughter and parted ways with his own son over contradictions that seem to exist in his life.
What manner of man is Obasanjo? What does he want? The APC and the PDP were not good enough, Obasanjo told Nigerians. What was required was a coalition, the chorister intoned.
Now that he is dancing around the PDP, what happened to his call for a new breed coalition that would replace the APC and the PDP? What happened to that spurious lists that appeared overnight?
I refuse to be part of this circuit show. I refuse to associate with the views and ideas of one who could so easily use God’s name any how it suits him.
I refuse to be as profane as those who claim all righteousness do and refuse at a time of great social re-engineering in our great country to be confused by the dance of the naked.
I know many Nigerians are of this view as the nation decides its future. We want to see elders who stick to the truth.
As Obasanjo struggled to turn blue to black when he received Atiku, I could only ask, what manner of man could stand before those television cameras and put himself in reverse gear.
Some would say it is all politics and tell you for added measure, that what matters are interests. True.
Obasanjo didn’t need to toy with God’s name the way he did with such finality. It was morally wrong, given what we now know. Obasanjo owes Nigerians an apology for his many lies.
Above, where time appears to stand still, where angels praise the Lord and saints adore him, the Creator watches silently. It may be that His time has not come. It may be that he wonders why man has strayed so badly. It may equally be that He is not in a hurry to bring men to judgment. What a patient and merciful God he is.