It is no secret that Nigerians hate their rulers. But when Nigerian “prayer warrior” masses start to curse and pray for the death of their rulers, then there is a problem. In contrast to Nigeria, South Africans of all stripes grieved and wailed over Nelson Mandela’s hospitalization just some couple of weeks ago. If you want to infuriate an English man, insult, or speak evil about their WWII leader, Winston Churchill.
Not so long ago, Nigerians would shun verbal abuse, eschew cursing and have respect for human life. I remember when Nigerians would cry when they see a little spill of human blood say from a vehicular accident. When there is a complete loss of life, the neighborhood will be as silent as a grave yard. Then, even if a known enemy died, Nigerians still sincerely cry because they value human life. But those days are far gone.
Today, the Nigerian psyche has been hardened by years of rabid economic hardship, poverty, greed, cultism, corruption and hedonism. It is now a daily incident to see dead bodies on the streets of Nigeria. Cultist youths, political rivals, religious sects kill one another in the middle of the day. They simply say “nothing dey happen” while people walk past as if nothing anomalous has actually happened. The life of a Nigerian is not worth a cent anymore.
On the 27th of December 2012 alone, the breaking news from one major Nigerian online news outlet goes: “Teenage gunmen kill business mogul, three security officials, seven others in Maiduguri”; “ABU professor, Hyacinth Mbibu, shot dead in Zaria”; “Nine dead, 11 injured in Osun auto crash”; “JTF kill 5 suspected terrorists, demolish bomb factory in Kaduna”. Those headlines tell the story better than what I can express in words.
The ludicrous dimension to all of these is the euphoria and jubilation expressed by Nigerian masses when a member of the Nigerian thiefocratic class (President, Governor, Senator, House of Rep member, Minister, local government chairman, etc) dies.
I did not know how much the average Nigerian psyche has been crushed until the recent events in the last couple of months. In order to know the feeling on the ground when the plane of Governor Danbaba Suntai’s of Taraba State crashed, I placed a call to several friends. Needless to say, these are Nigerians I consider somewhat “God-fearing” and decent in many respect. The first response I got from each and every one of them is “make them all die, we are praying for the next one to die”. It was as if they were all reading from the same script.
“But na person papa, brother, uncle na?” I will respond. “Ok, dey talk for there. Na because say you no dey naija that’s why you dey talk like that na”. The suffer we dey while they send their children overseas and enjoy themselves from stealing Naija money hen, it reach make God take punish all of them with their families. Make all of them die, die, die”, they will conclude like Mountain of Fire prayer warriors.
One quoted the bible to buttress his point: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn. We will continue to mourn all of them one-by-one. Only Fashola and Oshiomole with their family will live long among the current thieves”.
Just barely some weeks after that discussion, we heard the ailment rumors of Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke and Sullivan Chime, Enugu State Governor and Minister of Petroleum Alison-Madueke. As if that was not enough, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State was involved in a ghastly road accident that may have left one of his legs broken and his aide dead. I cannot help but remember all the curses and death prayers that Nigerian masses shower daily on their rulers.
Many Nigerians in recent times have become accustomed to cursing their rulers. Before you have a five minutes discussion on the state of Nigeria with a Nigerian these days they would have cursed the ruling class more than a hundred times. There is justifiable unprecedented hatred for the ruling class like never before in the history of the country.
I was not appalled when Nigerians seemed to celebrate the demise of Governor Yakowa. What surprised me was that Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State did not know (or pretended not to know) that Nigerian masses have a deep-seated hatred for the ruling class that have wasted and stolen the common wealth of the nation.
Following the celebration of Yakowa’s death, Governor Babangida Aliyu berated those Nigerians celebrating by saying “Immediately we start praying for our leaders to die, then we are asking that the whole society should die. We must pray for our leaders. We must go back to our faith and practice our religion as demanded by the almighty Allah. We must talk to our children. We must be involved in the moral and religious education of our children. This development shows that we are failing in the duty to train our children”.
Although Governor Aliyu used the word “leaders” in his statement, but I think he meant “rulers” because Nigeria in my opinion presently have very few public officials that we can ascribe the word “leaders”. So, I will stick to using the word “rulers” in place of “leaders”.
I concur with Governor Aliyu. Human life is sacred and should be valued. Unfortunately Governor, it appears to me that Nigerians cannot stop cursing or praying for the death of their rulers anymore. I will posit that the cursing and celebration of the death or misfortune of the ruling class will stop only when Nigerian masses feel their rulers care about them. Maybe they will stop cursing the ruling class when they stopped hearing about the billions of dollars embezzled by the rulers while they wallow in abject poverty.
When Nigerian masses see their rulers flaunting the wealth stolen from the national/state treasury; when they see the rulers flying abroad just for a stomach-ache while they die in Nigeria from just a head ache due to the lack of a health care system; when they see their rulers flying private jets while they travel on death-trap roads; when they see their rulers sending their kids to expensive schools abroad while they get crappy education, it is only human for them to start operating in a different frequency alas wishing death to the rulers.
Nigeria prayer warriors are to be feared. They are the best prayer warriors in the world. Nigeria rulers should immediately start doing the right thing that will please the Nigerian masses and their prayer warriors. If not, we will hear of more misfortune in the next couple of weeks, months and years ahead. All the rulers should henceforth take note because it will not be funny if the Nigerian prayer warriors are still shouting die, die die!!!
Is there any past or present Nigerian public ruler (or maybe you think should be called a “leader”) that you feel Nigerians should cry for or be proud of when something bad happens to him or her? Let me know your opinion.
May God bless Nigerians and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters