As you may have gleaned from the caption, this writer has a little grouse about how the dictionary recognises the word, witchcraft. Therefore, it is imperative to set sail by offering a little contextual clarification. First, witchcraft is used because of the lack of a worse word. It does not here refer to ‘the practice of magic, especially black magic; the use of spells’ nor ‘religious practice involving magic and affinity with nature, usually within a pagan tradition’ let alone ‘bewitching or fascinating attraction or charm.’
No, this piece is not about sorcery, witchery, white magic, the black arts, occultism, wizardry, necromancy, voodooism, demonry, diablerie, sortilege, etc. These all are child’s play when placed side by side with the atrocious or black-hearted ungodliness that most Nigerians hypocritically evince every time. The high priests of the English language should consider endorsing ‘wintch,’ a piece of nigerianism, since it is the one word closest in meaning to what we seek. Until then though, let’s deploy ‘witchcraft’ differently.
An alarming majority of Nigerians are into witchcraft. Yes, you heard me right. And, I can say it again. Nearly all Nigerians (rich, poor, southerner, northerner, Christian, Muslim, pagan, leader, follower, male, female, child, adult, name them) practise the most inhuman derivative of witchcraft.
The political, religious, office, business, military, paramilitary, school, market, team, traditional or whatever leader who psychopathically holds down followers or subordinates practises nothing other than witchcraft. Yes, it is witchcraft to want people permanently poor. It is witchcraft to think that those under you must remain there forever. You are a ‘wintch’ when you steal from the commonwealth.
When you make things or life too hard for others. When you hate good and like evil. When you laugh at mourners and frown at celebrators. When you desperately crave to be the only cock to crow.
When you reward mediocrity, nepotism or cronyism ahead of excellence or hard work. When you encourage backbiting, gossiping and the other anti-people mannerisms. When you enshrine divide-and-rule. When you drive against traffic, literally and figuratively, for instance, by praying some prayers.
As boss or captain, you are deep into witchcraft if any of the foregoing resembles you. However, fortunately and unfortunately, this interpersonal vice is not peculiar to just those at the top. A deputy or lieutenant who works to frustrate the efforts of the principal or supervisor is an internecine witchcraft agent. Citizens too, who either collected money to vote in useless leaders or refuse to cooperate with government.
Who vandalise public infrastructure. Who intentionally work or speak or write to distract the driver. Who just want to instigate crisis or strife or hate or bad blood. Who won’t pay tax or do their part nor stop malicious criticism or chronic grumbling.
‘Wintch,’ all of them. Who apart from never rejoicing with friends celebrating a milestone, go to every length hiding behind their little finger to pick holes in the cause of the celebration. Who suddenly because of competition, become blabbermouths. Who never show gratitude but never stop ranting on their satanic sense of entitlement.
You are guilty of witchcraft and shall die alone when you eat alone. When you play God -because of money or power or both. When you play blind, deaf and dumb -because of burning envy or crass stupidity or both. When you force injustice on the weak, the innocent, the sick, the homeless and the poor -because you think yourself hyperpotent.
When you manufacture, import, export, distribute or sell anything fake -medicine, food, equipment; anything, everything. When all you seek is the downfall of especially good people. When you concoct lies from the pit of hell against anyone, especially someone who once showed you kindness. When you work as an enemy after having convinced everyone to think you a friend.
It is witchcraft to believe that only your children should come to some good. To pray that God should kill someone you don’t like. To bear unforgivenes, anger or grudge longer than necessary. To do on to others as you won’t have them do on to you.
Witchcraft is plotting against innocence and godliness. Returning evil for good. Coveting like a selfish criminal. Wishing per time that it is you or you!
Preaching but not doing. Amassing money or sundry material things by hook or crook or never deploying money to benefit mankind. Looting or hiding the loot abroad -well, except the intention is to return it after your death. Sounding loud and all-righteous and all-knowing.
Stop arguing, and listen up. You are a ‘wintch’ if setting people up for a clash or demotion or shame comes easily to you. If your conscience convicts you every time. If you keep touching his anointed and doing his prophets harm.
If you constantly raise the bar for others while simultaneously lowering yours. If you consistently despise blessings in the lives of others but want them to mount a guard of honour when it’s your turn. If you frequently talk down on people. If you are intrinsically pugnacious or thankless or pessimistic.
As we head home, here are a few specifics. It is witchcraft if you ignored someone’s birthday but bear a grudge against such a one for forgetting yours. It is witchcraft to not support climbers but call them names when they elect to withhold goodies from the top. It is witchcraft to enjoy a particular favour -politically or financially speaking- but vehemently oppose another human being seeking it.
Enough of the witchcraft. We can do with -and indeed are in dire need of- none of it. Nigerians need a clean spirit and a good heart to transform not only our lives but also our country. God bless Nigeria!
Are we all praying for Obaseki?
No, I don’t know Gov. Godwin Obaseki personally nor am I from Edo State. But, there are a thousand and one reasons we all must storm heaven for his sake. God, who already has begun the work by frustrating the devices of the crafty, shall in September return him to Government House, Benin.
Yes, that will show, first: that no man is God. Second: that godfatherism in Edo was truly dead and buried in 2012 and cannot be exhumed just eight years after. Third: that all human beings are equal. Fourth: that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Fifth: fortunately, a majority of Edo people say he has had a marvellous first term. Sixth: no one changes a performer. And, seventh: Edo people (like everyone else) deserve better than an imposed governor!