I never knew that Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, had infected the entire landscape with its viral comedy on a pandemic scale. We are only lucky that, unlike the controversial coronavirus, this pandemic variant is mostly benign. It is also entertaining for the survivors, whether lowly or highly placed.
However, unlike coronavirus that has typically made the rich its lair, the Nollywood model makes actors of the rich but kills the poor, who die due to concomitant effects of financial brigandage in high places.
The fetid odour of thievery that oozes out from our government that supposedly made anti-corruption its major plank is benumbing. It is amazing how people with nifty fingers brazenly rape the public treasury and pile up loot that even their next generations may never finish while the rest of the people wallow in abject poverty.
Strangely, each time the world wants to give aid to poor nations, Nigeria would line up in expectation to receive from funds to which she should have been a contributor. We sulk like children whose lollipop is taken away if we fail, and even when we are lucky to get the aid, it ends up in private pockets. Even the loot we sometimes recover from the select few is relooted by some smart alecs. Shame!
When these looters are caught, they put up Nollywood theatrics that reduce the likes of Nkem Owoh (Osuofia) to pedestrian thespians. In this script of shame, Nigeria is easily the only country in which an unconscious person would still remove the hand of those attending to him when the hand hurts. Some suddenly take ill. Yes, otherwise springy people take ill and wear neck collars to court or are borne on stretchers inside courtrooms, flaunting spurious reports from complicit medics and lawyers angling for unending adjournments as if they are not in a hurry to prove their pontificated innocence.
Today, Nigeria is still receiving Abacha loot but where is Abacha? There are reports of one old politician, a friend to power, who rose from penury to prosperity, holding the nation by the jugular and threatening those who dared to ask questions. Where is he today? There are so many like that who have ended up as sumptuous delicacies for worms and manure for plants as is common to man. Yet we do not learn.
Thank God we are alive to read this so that we can turn a new leaf, if we are among this unholy team.
The Bible tells us about a young prince that went into a far country (Luke 15:11-32). We call him the prodigal son. It was actually his lifestyle that was prodigal, as many of us are wont. He frittered away his inheritance and began to suffer and began to feed with pigs.
Like him, many of us have gone to a far country, wasting our lives in riotous living sin. As a result, we are in dire straits, as all those that are joined to the devil. Now we feed on the husks meant for swine.
We have abandoned our noble birth and exchanged it with junk. We are now so lost we are feeding on food made for swine. What an abominable exchange! That a prince would descend to such low estate, as to mingle with lowly creatures and mess with unseemly lifestyle.
But I like the prodigal son. He came to his senses. He wondered how he could come to that ugly state. He took proper steps and returned home to his father, who received him warmly and threw a party in his honour.
How many of us would take similar steps today? Let us wisen up and emulate the prodigal son in his good elements. It is whoever carries twigs that goats will follow home. No river drowns a man in his house unless he goes to the riverbank. If the son of a rich man did not wander away from his father’s sight, how could he descend so low as to eat food meant for pigs?
Let us arise today and return to our compassionate father who is waiting to celebrate our return. When the prodigal son did, his father removed his rags and covered his shame with princely robes and decorated him instead.
We must not allow the lure of sin to deny us our heavenly entitlements. You must not allow the devil to deceive you into believing you are too far gone, you cannot return. We must not allow the jealousy of our brother (like the jealous brother of the prodigal son) prevent us from returning home to our father, who longs for our return.
As for this brother, where is the love of Christ? Has your character driven people away from the church? Do you rejoice at your brother’s downfall? Where is brotherly compassion? Let us not be in haste to condemn any sinner, whether a looter or a liar for so are all of us.
We must not let anybody put us down because of our past; they really not much better than we. What is important is our today, and tomorrow. After being celebrated on earth, after the influence and affluence, after the swagger and shakara, everyone ends up in a little piece of the earth without any of the trappings of earthly pursuits.
This message is for both Christian and non-Christians. It is also for the fools that say there is no God, as the Bible describes them. It is for those who doubt the existence of heaven and hell.
You lose nothing by living righteously but you lose everything if you live differently, only to discover too late when you close your eyes in death and find out that heaven and hell are real.
We have become products of our environment, succumbing to the influence of our decadent society. We want to be like the Joneses and follow in their footsteps to the detriment of our souls. However, the Bible urges us not to consent when sinners entice us (Proverbs1:10).
So, when occultists and ritualists entice you, consent not. When gamboling and debauchery entice you, consent not. When overly exposed to public treasury and it entices you, consent not. When you are enticed to pervert justice on the bench, consent not. When you are enticed to rig elections, consent not, whether you are president, governor, lawmaker or staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
When you are enticed to become a stud in a baby factory, consent not. When you are enticed by hunger or whatever to steal, sell or fry babies, consent not. When you are enticed to rape even female children in diapers, consent not. When you are enticed to sugarmommy teenage boys, consent not. When you are enticed to ravage other men’s daughters or wives while jealously guarding yours, consent not. When you are enticed to play political godfather, consent not.
Oh, pastor or imam, when you are enticed to preach a different gospel to deceive and snitch people’s money, consent not. And the lecturer that is enticed to award marks only on the inner thighs of your female students, consent not.
It is time we reclaimed our glorious destiny wantonly pillaged by the devil. And, frankly speaking, the devil does not deserve the credit he is given. He is a smart marketer, who strives hard to sell water even to the Eskimo. It is the fault of the Eskimo who neglects the spring all around him buys the devil’s poisoned water.
That is also why the Bible says in Romans 2.1, that you are inexcusable (if you fail now to spring up from where sin and the devil have dumped you).
Therefore, beloved, shun the devil today. It is such a disgraceful thing to turn Nigeria into Nollywood theatre. When we need to see Baba Sala, we know where to look for him; not in the court room or high office. You have messed your glory long enough with the devil. It is time this evil exchange ended and we reclaimed our glory to become the shining amour our Father designed us to be.
It is so shameful when dirty, unwashed and unsanitised hands are poked into our mouths in this era of coronavirus because we ate too much of abominable meat that must be vomited.