Nigeria Police Force and martyrs in Offa (II)
Ikirun was and still is a peaceful town; a sleepy town. A town whose inhabitants constantly glorify the name of the Almighty.
But the town was destined to witness the unholy. They came to Ikirun several times. Agents of hell.
They left only for them to come back again. And again.They have long ceased coming back. They stopped coming where there were no more banks in the town.
What is left is the carcass and ‘cadavers’ of the banks that were operating in that sleepy and peaceful town before. Presently Ikirun is at peace with itself; the peace that is devoid of life, of energy.
What about Sabongida in Owan West local government area of Edo state? Yes. Sabongida was given the “Offa” treatment years ago.
I was told by a Professor colleague whose wife is from that town that Sabongida lost its innocence the day the djinns with weapons of violence invaded the banks in the local government.
As it was in Ikirun, so it was in Sabongida; as it is in Ikirun, so it is in Sabongida presently. If my compatriot desires to cash one thousand naira from his pauperized account with that bank, he has to spend five hundred naira on transportation to the other city, far away from the homestead in order to make ends meet.
As it was Ikirun and Sabongida, so it threatens to be in Offa. Unless something ingenuous happens.
Contemplating the images of the villains from the theatre of the absurd in Offa in the social media, I began to question myself- exactly what type of society produces these kinds of youth that would celebrate the visitation of death and violence on their fellow human beings with relish and bottles of wine without any feeling of remorse?
From what type of loins and wombs could young boys such as these emerge; young boys who rejoice in darkening the horizon and in fiendishly orphanating scores of innocence children; youth which spares no moment to contemplate the reality that there is nothing like “asegbe” (action without reaction) in our world and that the only principle that predominates in our reality is “asepamo” (a seed that is planted which would soon bear fruits)? Exactly where has our society failed such that elements like this now comes back to haunt and oppress us all?
If indeed some of those villains had just come back from prisons and detention, what deficiencies are there in our judicial system that ensure the release of those minds already sold to hell from imprisonment and what are the post-imprisonment programmes that we have that would assist previous convicts integrate seamlessly and peacefully back into the society?
Of what impacts are sermons that we deliver every Fridays and Sundays? Is out silence not responsible for these atrocities?
It was during my contemplation of the above questions that I chanced upon the passage of the Quran with which I flagged this sermon off today. Yes. Such is the tradition and the divine method. Whenever humans fail to rise up to discharge their duties to the Almighty and to themselves, they qualify for retribution.
In al-Wajiz fi Tafsir al-kitab al-Aziz, al-Wahidi posits that the above verse or divine instruction was given to the believers as a warning against the retribution that would come should they fail to stop iniquitous indulgence in social apostacy and injustice, oppression of the weak and the poor, immorality and other vices.
He argues further that reference to al-fitnah in the verse is also to criminal silence of the majority in the face of the criminality of the minority.
In other words, the above message from the Almighty refers to those widespread social evils whose harmful effects are not confined to those who indulge in them, but which have the potential of affecting innocent members of the community.
For example, the failure of our society to provide direction and hope for its youth is like the failure of the owner of a house to provide for adequate disposal of waste and filth from his house.
We all know that diseases and pollution would result from such an action; pollution and diseases that would affect not only the man and his family but equally the whole environment.
Now what is true of unsanitary conditions in a physical sense, also holds true for filth and uncleanliness in a moral sense.
If immoral practices remain confined to a few people here and there but the overall moral concern of the society prevents those practices from becoming widespread and public, the possibility is there that their harmful effects would be limited.
But when the collective conscience of the society is weakened to a point whereby immoral practices are not suppressed, where people indulge in evils without any sense of shame and even go around vaunting their immoral deeds, when good people adopt a passive attitude and are content with being righteous merely in their own lives and are unconcerned with or prefer to be silent when others are committing heinous acts and sins, then the entire society invites its doom.
Such a society then becomes the victim of a scourge that does not distinguish between the grain and the chaff. This reminds me of the story of the people of Sabbath.
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