You must have seen one of those must read stories. There is this one about a lady who was a prostitute. She did her job so well and for so long. It also meant that she had to undergo a lot of abortions. At one point she decided to undergo a full hysterectomy to avoid any need for further abortions. The doctors indulged her after getting her to sign the consent. One of the lines on the consent form said she agreed that she would never have a baby again.
Along the way, as these stories go, she got redeemed. She accepted Christ and became born again. Her new passion for Christ found favor in the heart of the dashing pastor of her new age church. In no time, the pastor proposed to her. She was reluctant to accept, for obvious reasons. The pastor insisted that God spoke to him to marry her. She asked the pastor to check again for he must have misunderstood what God said. After going back and forth with the pastor insisting that he heard God well, she told the pastor that her womb had been taken out.
“No problem,” the pastor said. “I’ll still marry you.”
They got married. Lo and behold, before you could say honeymoon over she became pregnant. And that was when the story became interesting.
She returned to the doctor that removed her womb and reported that she was pregnant. After a natural bout of dismissal and doubts, the doctor did a pregnancy test and as the story put it, “to his greatest surprisation” the pastor discovered that the woman was pregnant for real.
To crown it all, on the ninth month, she gave birth to a baby. Not just any baby- she gave birth to the gold standard baby- “a bouncing baby boy.”
I know. By now your heart has melted like a spoon of butter left in the sun. And that’s when the peddlers of this tale finally strike. They now say to you in upper case:
“IT WAS THE GRACE, FAVOUR AND MERCY OF GOD that the prostitute could have a child. Therefore, I decree upon your life that whatsoever that has or might have damaged in your life, in your body, in your skills, your career, your academics, your business, MAY THE FAVOUR, MERCY, GRACE AND MIRACLE OF GOD LOCATE YOU. YOU TYPE AMEN TO THIS PRAYER, IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME, AMEN. My brothers & sisters, God still does this kind of miracles, just write "Amen" and share this story to your friends, you will see GOD perform a Miracle in your life today!!!”
Immediately, thousands of our compatriots rush to type Amen. If it is the one that urges you to forward the tale to 60 friends in six minutes so that Bill Gates will drop an iPad under your pillow, thousands of us will do so.
Nobody pauses to ask simple questions. Like, where will a fertilized egg get implanted on when the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the cervix were taken out during hysterectomy? Even in a partial hysterectomy, if fertilized egg is not self-aborted before the woman knows she’s pregnant, it gets attached to the other organs of the abdomen or the walls of one of the fallopian tubes, immediately putting the life of the mother in danger. Gynecologists and obstetricians often remove such rare fetuses. Unless a didelphic uterus is involved, hysterectomy is as good as sterility.
Those are the questions we should be asking and not singing, Amen. But trust us, Nigerians! We long for signs and wonders in place of reason and proof.
President Goodluck Jonathan knows this. And that’s why his handlers have designed a strategy that will keep him in Aso Rock until 2019. That strategy is very simple: show the people their miserable lives and point to them the people to blame for it. That’s how elections are typically won. In the case of Jonathan, he has crafted the people to blame – others.
Even though the presidency just issued a book, “The Reforms that have transformed Nigeria (2010-2013),” they are not basing the upcoming campaign on highlighting the various achievements listed in the book which they claim has made the lives of Nigerians more meaningful. Instead, they want you to just write Amen.
The ethno-religious reality of Nigeria has made it very simple for the president. The safe zones of the president are the South-South and the South East, the Middle Belt and the Christian North. The only region at play in the 2015 election is the South West. The Jonathan-Sambo ticket’s only path into the South West is through the church. The president has to grab 40% of the votes in the South West to win the election.
The opposition party, the APC is placed in a difficult position by this reality. The party also needs the South West vote to win. To get a significant number of the South West vote, the party has to juggle some complex parameters.
First, on the biggest masquerade in APC- General Buhari. A good analogy of his political fortune can be deduced from that of Emeka Ojukwu when he returned from exile in 1982. On Ojukwu’s return, an analyst said that, “if Ojukwu joins NPN, NPN is finished and if he joins NPP, NPP is finished.” Looking at the 2015 elections, the feelers out there is that the fate of APC is to a large extent dependent on whether Buhari runs or not. If he runs, APC is finished and if he doesn’t run, APC is finished. This thinking is based on the calculation that no matter how much President Jonathan screws up, Buhari cannot overcome the fair or unfair negative perceptions of him in some parts of the south. Some potential northern candidates are using this argument to keep Buhari from contesting at all.
The APC can pick a South West candidate for president. To ensure that the candidate has a chance up north, he or she must be a Muslim. The other alternative is to pick a Northern candidate for president and then pick a South West candidate for vice president. In this permutation, the only viable candidate from the South West with the kind of crossover appeal is Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State. But the Northern candidate cannot be a Muslim, too. Otherwise that will play into the hands of Jonathan and his PDP group already tagging APC a Muslim party.
If Fashola is the presidential candidate, he could deliver the South West votes but will the North line up behind him in the numbers needed to deflate Jonathan’s inroad into the North via the Middlebelt and the Christian North? If Fashola is the vice-presidential candidate which northern candidate at the head of the ticket will inspire enough confidence in the South West to secure over 70% of the votes there? Buhari did not in 2011 and he will not do so in 2015.
That is why Jonathan’s only challenge in these permutations is to squeeze out 40% of the South West vote, irrespective of the candidate APC will come up with. And the only way to do so is to carry the bible and the cross until election time.
And once the bible and the cross come out, like in the story of the prostitute, it is miracle and grace that follows not logic and reason. Objectivity disappears. Empirical evidence becomes irrelevant. Amen stands upon other Amen until the ladder climbs up to heaven under the whirlwind of promises.