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Six weeks for six years


He sets forth a Parable: a city enjoying security and quietude, abundantly supplied with sustenance from every place: Yet it was ungrateful for the favours of the Almighty: so He made it taste of hunger and terror like a garment (Q. 16:113)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Brethren, these times are indeed not particularly good times. It feels as if the nation’s destiny has been put on hold. It feels as if six weeks, yes six weeks, would never come. But while some are counting down to March 28 for the presidential election, leaders of the nation are using the six weeks interregnum to undo everything they have done before and do everything they have left undone during the past years. Suddenly, the Nigerian military has rediscovered its famed prowess; suddenly the war against unIslamic terrorists in the North Eastern parts of the country is achieving such successes it has never recorded for the past six years.

Brethren, how I wish it is not six but sixteen weeks. Rather, how would it have been if the years already spent by this administration is rolled back to the last six years. Yes, that means the Boko Haram insurgency could have since become a thing of the past. Our roads, particularly the Lagos-Ibadan and Benin-Ore expressway would have been done and delivered. Roll back the days to the past six years and there you have it- remodeled airports across the nation. By the way, who knows the delivery date of the current projects being executed in the Airports. Visit the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) and you would be reminded of what airports should not look like. The bus shuttle that conveys passengers to and from the airport due to the on-going project being executed by CCECC is sometimes as epileptic as the good-old “NEPA”. To worsen the case, a private bus shuttle is constantly on the ready. Owned probably by one of those who are close to those who control the airport’s super-structure, passengers are usually encouraged to part with some money in order to join the bus to the airport. Reason for this simple- the public shuttle is never on time! The last time I had cause to visit the airport, the buses that are packed in the courtyard remind you of disused airplanes which continue to litter the terraces in the tarmac of our airports. They remind you of the leadership deficit we currently suffer.

  Brethren, how I wish the years could be rolled back to the last six. Then the exchange rate of the dollar to the Naira was around a hundred and fifty of the local currency. Now it is two hundred and twenty naira to just one dollar. Thus our local currency images the deficiencies in our moral currency.

  Six years ago the political landscape was a bit more stable than it is presently. There was no credible and viable opposition. Everybody remained in one single political ‘family’. There were no defections of the scale we witnessed last year. The ‘umbrella’ was big enough for all. There was consensus in Abuja that the commonwealth is like a fountain that would never go dry.

But things have since changed. Chairs have changed; fair has become foul and foul has become fair. Political ‘angels’ of yesterday are now political ‘devils’ of today and vice versa. People in Osun would never have imagined a day when the former Governor, General Oyinlola would become a bosom friend to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. A brother of mine who knew the old Alhaji who was killed in the cross fight between the two gladiators before Ogbeni became the governor shook his head the other day when he saw Governor Rauf on the same podium with his former detractor. He muttered in sadness saying: “how would that man feel in his grave now when he is told that Osun is now a new world where the night and the day are now meshed together”. 

But as it was years ago when some people’s head were put on the guillotine, when some compatriots of mine and yours were sacrificed to the gods of Hitlerism and the philosophy of ‘my way or no way’ in politics, the landscape is currently being soaked by the blood of hapless youths who continue to die for their political god-fathers.

  Brethren, is it not an irony that the poor shall always die in defense of the rich? Is it not an irony that this land is full of heroes who shall never be celebrated?

Brethren, let us go back six years in time. There you were in a land reeking in insuperable odour of corruption. There you were in a land which the Almighty refers to in the Quran thus: “He sets forth a Parable: a city enjoying security and quiet, abundantly supplied with sustenance from every place: Yet was it ungrateful for the favours of the Almighty: so He made it taste of hunger and terror like a garment (from every side), because of the (evil) which (its people) wrought (Quran 16:113). 

  Brethren, we chose this path by ourselves; we either ‘change’ the course or ‘transform’ the path. The past six years have seen a geometric increase in incidences of corruption in the country; it has always witnessed a very dynamic approach to battling it – see no evil, speak no evil and do nothing. Ours is a nation that holds that there are certain problems that get solved simply by looking at it!

But in line with Bonaparte’s suggestion, it seems our leaders have discovered the right moment. Bonaparte says “To choose the right moment in which to act is the great art of men…” 

  The right moment is figured in the next couple of weeks. The right moment is here. The war against insurgency is being won. The right moment is here. But what we are not sure of is whether we can fix this nation during these fleeting moments, during the next couple of weeks given the fact that we never did during the past six or seven years. Someone says if you know what I did in the past you would most likely be able to predict what I would do in future.

  Brethren, let us side step the political for the spiritual. Let me ask you: what can you roll back in your relationship with your Creator? How have you related to Him in your personal life? Have you really been a faithful and loving servant of His? Brother, is it not true that you get to know the depth of your love for the Almighty when you find yourself in situations where the Satan tells you to loathe Him. In other words, the essence of our faith in Him is not and cannot be delimited only to circumstances when we are blessed by Him; Prophet Yaquub (a.s) was a man of faith before he lost everything he had; he remained a man of faith when all his earthly possessions were taken away from him; you can only remain a faithful servant of His when you choose to be beside Him during summer and winter; when you know in your heart that it is He who causes happiness and sadness. (08122465111 for texts only)     

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