The Tower of Babel

by SOC Okenwa

In the Holy Bible the story of the tower of Babel was beautifully crafted and told by the spiritually-guided authors. According to the irrefutable accounts therein ancient men apparently questioning the supernatural wisdom and dominion of God decided foolishly to construct a skyscraper that would reach heaven so that they would challenge their Maker and may be ‘sack’ him from His Mighty throne!

As the project with well-defined objective was being executed the Mighty One intervened forcefully to put an end to the folly of man. He supernaturally caused incomprehensible language confusion among the men (at the construction site) sweating profusely and re-doubling efforts to achieve the goal: they were speaking different foreign languages; men who spoke one and only language with which they communicated among themselves and understood each other perfectly suddenly could no longer hear one another out. Confusion set in and the big plan was shelved as communication broke down completely!

The Bible makes us to understand that God ‘regretted’ after creating man in His own image because of the wicked evil-plotting nature of the mortal made out of mere dust. Ever since the Almighty created man He has not rested; try as He could controlling man and making him obey the Commandments handed down upon creation has been a tug of war. From one obscenity to craftiness, downright murderous plots to mendacity man has defied every room for reform sometimes urinating in the altar as it were without qualms.

Man as an intelligent animal is full of problems and reading his mind is the crux of the matter. Only God can decipher the mind of man full of intrigues. That is why you see our universe being desecrated by the handiwork of man. Ozone depletion, green (environmental) bastardisation, air pollution, space shuttles, cloning controversy, the bravado of science and what have you.

There are a whole lot of towers of Babel being ‘constructed’ around the world in defiance of established norms. Though the original idea of tower of Babel was borne out of unconscious ambition of man to attain heaven and perhaps ‘see’ God and in the process made name for themselves the present towers of Babel being moulded are of conscious significance: men striving to break barriers and demystify willfully the wonders of creation. The craving to defeat the gains and mysteries surrounding the origin of man and the great power behind such evolutionary event has taken another dimension with crazy voodoo scientists taking pleasure in ‘inventing’ one thing or another or providing ‘clues’ or ‘leads’ towards unravelling the creation theory.

Back home in Nigeria the tower of Babel story is apt. Though language-wise there’s no confusion the nation-hood edifice being built has suffered a lot of set-back akin to modern tower of Babel confusion. From late PM Balewa to the current President Yar’Adua confusion and visionlessness are not in short supply. A huge nation-state with diverse nationalities with cultural peculiarities Nigeria is home to men and women with ambition, heart and taste. The problem is that corruption has almost brought down the edifice whose construction started almost 47 years whence. The question is: wither Nigeria; quo vadis?

Where does one start to bemoan and lament cascading fortunes of our compatriots back home? Ever since electricity was invented in 1799 Nigeria is still struggling to provide power to the homes of her peoples. From NEPA to PHCN the sad story of crushing failure of politicians to provide service to those through whose ‘vote’ they climb to power has become an albatross, a conundrum. Those importing generating sets are making huge profits smiling to the bank while the government mouth commitment to make things better.

I am concentrating on electricity because it is generally agreed that the day Nigerians begin to enjoy uninterrupted 24/7 power supply the story of excruciating poverty in the hinterlands and cities will have changed for good. Though President Yar’Adua has elected to tackle head-on the monsters that sabotage efforts to provide steady power to the homes of Nigerians action should match the rhetoric.

Ex-President Obasanjo due to mischief, class or clan patronage or outright corruption chose not to take heed of late Bola Ige’s advice to sack the identified monster in PHCN snuffing life out of the energy organisation. Prof. Soyinka even intervened personally in a meeting with the ex-General after a briefing by Ige but Obasanjo refused to take the right decision. After pumping billions of naira to the power sector there’s virtually nothing on the ground to show for the stupendous resources thrown about.

President Umar Yar’Adua will be a hero if he can fix PHCN and make the deeply-corrupt agency work. A whole lot of criminals feeding fat on state funds are still masquerading their criminality in former NEPA. Heads must roll if a radical change is envisaged; no sacred cow sentiment. Whoever is found to be sitting on the joy of large number of Nigerians should be sacrificed. The era of impunity and godfatherism should be put behind us.

Cleaning up the Augean stable cannot be said to be an easy task but where there’s a will, they say, there’s a way. President Umar Yar’Adua may not be a christian so he may not believe in the doctrines of life as contained in the Bible. But there exists little or no difference between the christian God and moslem Allah, nomenclature notwithstanding. Biblically and Koranically Allah sent Isah (Jesus Christ) to come down for our collective salvation and Prophet Mohammed acknowledged this much. The President may well read Isaiah 10:1–3; 32:1–8; 59: 7–14 for more wisdom according to the Giver of life as he seeks (with the meddlesomeness of his benefactor, a factor to contend with) to fix Nigeria.

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