Do Bad Things Really Happen to Bad People?

Image: Johnhain via

I’ve always liked this Somerset Maugham quote: “I do not believe myself to be a vindictive man; but when the immortal gods take a hand in the matter it is pardonable to view the results with complacency.”

My father once said: “I’ve never wished for any man’s death, but there have been a few wakes that left me light-hearted enough!”

“Gloating is good” when the greedy get their just desserts.

If you search the internet, one is most likely to come across topics such as “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?”  This question is similar to its opposite: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”

Image: Johnhain via
Image: Johnhain via

It is rare to come across my title here “Why does God allow bad things to happen to bad people?” This is because it rarely seems to happen, but when it does, once in a while, we may not even think about it that way. This is again because; our bad people (our leaders in Nigeria, in this instance) do seem to get away with all the good things in life till they die.

I don’t gloat about their “misfortune” but I surely don’t feel bad about it, either. In my article “Of Death, Rumours, Curses And Superstitions” I asked “But should we want Yar ‘Adua (and many of our leaders) dead? Should we wish death on fellow human being, for whatever reason? No! While these people had been short-changing and oppressing us for decades, I would rather have them behind bars serving long prison sentences with very hard labour and all their assets seized”.

It is a bit humorous to read or hear the curses rained down on our errant and insensitive leaders. Yes, maybe indeed they do deserve to be cussed and superstitious people that we are, we believe the curses will work, and that is why, for example, Maryam Babangida had ovarian cancer; or it was our curses, or prayers to God, that eventually dispatched Sanni Abacha; or made former Akwa Ibom Governor and now Senator Godswill Akpabio to be involved in a nasty accident such that he had to be flown abroad to be treated, while ironically, he had boasted of building a “world-class hospital” in his state; or that made former minister of petroleum and allegedly one of the most corrupt people in ex-President Jonathan’s cabinet, Diezani Allison-Madueke to have cancer, while she was still in office but refused to resign and treat herself until her government was voted out of power; or that made former Bayelsa Governor and confirmed rogue and absconder, DSP Alamieyeseigha to collapse and died recently, probably of fright at being seized and extradited to the UK?

Well, what do I know? Maybe; maybe not.

Almost all of us have confronted some equally sad and painful situation in our lives. We ask, “How can a just and all-powerful God allow so many terrible things to befall so many decent good people, while these apparently corrupt, sinful, selfish and greedy, uncaring leaders live the life? But do they?”

According to the Book of Genesis, the people of the world then are not innocent victims trapped in a natural disaster, that is, the Great Flood. The Bible explains that the entire civilization was corrupt and violent. Only Noah and his family were decent people. We are not told the exact nature of the crimes of this society, but God’s moral instruction to Noah after the flood perhaps gives some clues. God tells Noah not to eat animals while they are still alive and not to murder (Genesis 9:4-6). I am willing to accept that this was a really evil culture, an entire nation of sadistic murderers.

What is the ethical human response to the defeat of evil? Is it not right to feel joy, or at least relief, that those who commit atrocities are punished? In Judaism, there is a familiar Midrash that explains that when the Red Sea closed around the Egyptians and drowned them, the angels in heaven cheered. God rebuked them, saying, “How can you cheer when my creatures are dying?” (Tractate Sanhedrin 39b). But God does not reprove the Hebrews who are dancing and singing with exuberance at their deliverance. After all, people are not angels.

The unjust suffering of the innocent still evokes moral outrage and pain in most of us. We wish and hope that the good are rewarded. But we have become uncomfortable with the reverse. We know that human evil is complex, sometimes as much a sickness as a sin. We are often unwilling to grapple with human cruelty and wrongdoing, to expect justice against those who harm others, because that justice is often very difficult to define. Even God’s justice, as in the mighty flood, makes us nervous.

Will it not be better if all of these senseless rulers of our states and federation come together to establish one hospital in Nigeria, even if it is for the ruling class? Equip the place, bring in the best of the best of medical personnel around the world, bar non-ruling class from accessing the place by an act of NASS, pay the personnel in hard currency, not our toilet Naira, and make all the necessary medical equipment available with the appropriate professionals and maintenance. If this is done, they would not need to travel any time they need medical check-up or when fatality beckons on them, they will not waste our money in flying abroad and their medical histories will be readily available.

It was said that Mr Yar ‘Adua could not get the needed medical help we paid for and eventually died because it was difficult to get him treated because there was no personal medical history of his that could really be a kind of guide as to how his ailment could be treated.

While not gloating over the latest disaster that befell Mrs Allison-Madueke, it must however be mentioned that this is another glaring case of he (in this case, she) who the gods wants to destroy. The gods have struck our rulers with acute madness, blindness & deafness, so they can neither reason, see nor hear no matter how long their people cry for help. If not, how could they steal billions of money they do not really need, without a thought for the millions of needy people they were appointed or elected to serve and make life better for, leaving impoverishment, poverty, diseases, depression and misery to roam the land?

We have seen a few results here, and people shouldn’t complain, fortunately, their pilots once in a while forget themselves riding on the abandoned pothole riddled roads on top speed, thinking they are still in their space shuttle. If things like this don’t happen once in a while, how do you think they would come to their senses and fix some roads? Their Medicare related issues are more often than not contracted long before they enter into political races so don’t ever think that they will fix the ill equipped common general hospitals which are for the common man. Levels has changed and the only way they would command the respect of the ever stupid electorates is to let them know that they must fly somewhere to the Caribbean to relax after a hard day’s job. If you don’t like the status quo, then go contest as a governor in your state.

I have this hunch that the real roadmap for the country’s recovery from dilapidated infrastructure, inordinate ambition, embedded corruption and selfishness is playing out at jet speed. Guess what? With two or more cancers or fatal comas and/or loss of a limb or two and/or the vertebra column of some of our tormentors-in-chief, others will take a cue, doing the needful. This is sure good news and must excite the prayers warriors in our midst!

“Nigeria is 36 miles away from Heaven” If you don’t die of road accident or an illness which is ordinarily not fatal, you might be likely be killed by armed robbers or die of poverty and curable diseases. Don’t blame anybody; blame the puerile multiculturalism system being practised in the country. Multiculturalism is the JUNGLE system where people get away with wanton murder, deliberate contravention of the law and arrogated atrocities against the community. And Nigeria and Nigerians will not know peace and progress until something is done that will overhaul the whole system.

We will soon have Governors and Senators dropping out of the skies, literally, and since they ‘forgot’ to repair the roads because it was left to the poor man/woman to travel on, they should now be having car accidents too! And if they refuse to travel by road, then maybe cancers and comas and heart attacks should be their lot.

Keep your house in order and you will be a beneficiary. If University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was well equipped and well-staffed, DSP Alamieyeseigha would have received good medical care and probably would still be alive. And why wasn’t he flown to nearby “world-class hospital” built in Akwa Ibom by ex-governor, now Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Godswill Akpabio? Hopefully, this is a lesson to the other baboons that strip their country of their resources and keep them in foreign accounts in foreign countries, and the wicked Nigerians that helped him to loot the treasury, there’s no sympathy for the devil and for all those who stole monies meant to develop our country so that children can go to school and have good quality education, mothers can go to hospitals to deliver safely and comfortably, deaths on our roads reduced, affordable housing for everybody, etc., it is our prayers that they may never get away with it in our times. This is a lesson for all! Every individual that has made the masses/nation’s wealth theirs personally will not have peace.On a daily basis, we all continue to experience the brutalities that ordinary, harmless, defenceless citizens experience from our rulers and their so-called security aides. Many innocent lives have been lost, directly or indirectly, due to the insensitivity and uncaring attitude, corruption, greed and selfishness of most of our leaders, their aides and advisers, civil servants and security aides and escorts. What goes around will surely come around.

Learn from history and take it to heart. When you die, you don’t take anything with you to wherever you are going, and your children never really enjoy the massive loot you behind either. We are all doomed to die, but how you die and what you leave behind is what matters. Like Marcus Antonio said at the funeral of Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do, lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”.

Say the Truth always! It is the only way I know.


Written by
Akintokunbo A Adejumo
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