These Gods Are Afraid (2)

by Fola Ojo

Stella Oduah is neither the forerunner nor the frontrunner in the armored vehicles- running business. She just got mad with the maddening crowd and followed the foolish footsteps of many she met in the game. In their world, it is an unwritten law to buy armored vehicles and leave with them when their assignments are over. In their world, it is the imprimatur, and hence will be counter-culture to do otherwise. In Group Dynamics, this is called a groupthink. That’s how politicians think, and that’s what makes them tick, so somebody should leave that woman alone. If you think I am a loony trying to defend Stella, what we need to do is to round all of them up- both ministers- now, and ministers –then, and ask them if they ever bought over-invoiced armored vehicles, and what ministers-then did with the vehicles after their services were over. It is only fair to do that. But I can tell you that the can will be full of stinking, rotten worms when you open it. This exercise may even reveal that Stella is probably the most stellar among the scrutinized bunch.

Just months after purchasing a $45 million dollar jet, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio reportedly bought several bulletproof sprinter luxury vans from the US. This is just in addition to a fleet of top-of-the-line bulletproof luxury Jeeps the governor already has in his official armaments. This year, Governor Ajimobi of Oyo state was alleged to have purchased 33 SUV’s (not sure if it was armored or not) for party leaders in all the 33 local government councils in Oyo state. Last year, there was also an allegation that the Governor of Osun State bought two bullet proof Hummer Jeeps at N120m. In 2011, it was alleged that the Lagos State Governor bought three bullet proof jeeps at N600m. They are all afraid of something or someone. This is Bunker and Siege mentality, a reprehensible pusillanimity and condemnable poltroonery!

But wait a minute, am I wrong and they are right? Or Are they wrong still and I am right? Are they right to spend that much not to be afraid? Why are these men and women in the service of the people afraid, and what or who are they afraid of? I think I may have an idea. When you look at the process it takes to secure a political position in Nigeria, and the handwringing and betrayal that accost it, maybe they should be afraid. Friends ditch friends, friends kill friends, brothers kill brothers, sisters steal from sisters, and everybody lies through their teeth to one another. Maybe they should be afraid. The terrain is unpredictably treacherous, and everybody is after what everybody has. They want each other’s jobs because they want the opulence that comes with them, and they want recognition and stamp of control that are the boisterous benefits.

To be a survivor in the politicians’ world, you must be seen with an imposing swagger and presence, and heard loud and limpid if you want to be relevant. I am not referencing an imposing physical build, or a voice that naturally booms like thunder, You must be seen and heard with wells and walls. You must be seen with wells of money that will not dry, and impenetrable walls of protection. That is the idiolect in the world of Nigerian Politicians. Many of them have not only stepped on toes, they have stumped on friends and foes, and their fingers may be dripping innocent blood. May be they have betrayed many, and retaliation songs are now chanted thunderously behind them. And Maybe the Bunker mentality bandwagon and siege thinking effects are honest and appropriate responses to the prevalent general hazards that threaten lives in the environment to which they are not ready to succumb.

If that then is the case, when government’s policies and rules and the enforcement of them have created an environment that gets them apprehensive and fearful, then why are they not doing something about it? Sitting in a position of authority is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone who hungers to make changes happen, the best chance to effect changes that will make all of us less afraid of our environment.

It hurts our hearts when their behaviors further heighten tension and provoke fear. It hurts us when these people’s attitudes and antics make their surrogates and loved ones afraid of them. A sitting governor, we just heard, held his own wife behind bars in her own house because, according to the god-governor, “she is sick”. When has incarceration become rehabilitation? When has the governor’s house become a sanatorium for the mentally-challenged? When too-much power and money are arrogated to one mentally sick human being, everybody around him is deemed mentally sick by him. That is just the spirit behind too much money and power. It makes an immature mind mentally destabilized.

A young man became king in the Bible at the age of 16, his name is Uzziah. Because of his immaturity, he stepped out of bounds and walked into terrains that God had not asked him to walk. For Uzziah, there was too much money and power in the palace. He was later struck down with leprosy and died afterwards. Only people who have a good understanding that power and money come from God will have an understanding how to manage them. These politicians’ spiritual fathers who are placed in a position to teach them to do right are also joined in with the idols of Ephraim. Man of God in a train and convoy of scary siren-blasting tear through the streets, swaying and swaggering like a god, sandwiched by young unemployed boys called security who can never take the place of God’s warring angels. That is why these politicians are uncontrolled, because their “daddy” pastor won’t tell them the truth. This discussion is for another day.

As a behavioral scientist, I understand the human drive not to want to lose. Humans don’t cherish losing money, losing honey, losing power, losing position, losing control, and of course losing life. But the reality is that in the game of life, you win some and lose some, and eventually all you win will be lost. But our politicians want to win it all, and all the time, and forever. This will never happen. It is a quixotic quest. This life is just an ephemeral existence, you came with nothing, and you aren’t leaving with nothing. So, it means that in life you win some and lose all eventually. That should say it all, Mr. Governor, minister, commissioner, that is the summary of the whole matter.


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