Parable of the self-appointed messiah
The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Namibia, Retired General Mamodu Basiri sat in his palatial office ruminating over the events of the past three and half years since he assumed the mantle of leadership of the Namibian nation as a democratically elected civilian despot. The tides of reckoning were moving too fast, and his country men and women were subjecting him to certain ‘uncharitable’ assessments of his stewardship. Too much had been said and written about his messianic mission for his beloved country.
He had mounted the saddle of leadership with the promise to clean the Augean stables and set his country men and women on the part of economic rediscovery and glory. But the burden of leadership has overstretched his sanity almost to breaking point. He was no longer sure how effective his sense of rational judgment was. One thing though, was very clear to him. He has failed woefully in his much touted messianic mission. But he was determined to cling to power at all costs.
Unfortunately he has been having consistent disturbing dreams about his plans for the future. An inner voice kept warning him that he was heading for inevitable tragedy if he insisted on clinging to political leadership of his country. More often than not, he had gone to bed dreaming of civil strife, killings, indiscriminate massacres of horrendous proportions, riots and sweeping revolution,mayhem, arson, looting and hideous blood-letting greater in magnitude than all the tragedies of the entire middle east, Syria, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda and Liberia put together. And each time in those dreams, he kept seeing old things passing away; power slipping away from his hands and a new order emerging.
The most worrisome aspect of the dreams was that, towards the end, a voice would say, “Basiri, the destiny of your people is in your hands. Unless you begin now to right the wrongs of the past, wage honest war against corruption, and conduct a free and fair presidential election, what you’ve just seen must surely come to pass”.
However, the President felt it was time to do something after he started seeing a vision of a man clothed in immaculately white apparel appearing to him and asking him if he had ever read the Bible. In the vision, he was confused and about to mumble something when the man opened the Book of Ecclesiastes before his eyes. And what did he see, ‘… the same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men moreover, are full of evils and there’s madness in their hearts while they live, and afterwards they join the dead… vanity of vanities and all is vanity…’ Soon after the President had finished reading, the man disappeared.
The President had been utterly disappointed. Why must the man deliver such message to him with the Bible instead of the Koran? Moreover, the man did not even wait to entertain any questions from him. The President had been deeply worried. The dreams certainly forbade evil. Perhaps the dreams reflected the unknown reality. He must abide by the promptings of those dreams. He must start now to answer to the call of that messianic destiny which the Almighty Allah bestowed upon him by first giving him the opportunity of ruling his beloved country as military head of state, and several years later, becoming the democratically elected President.
The President was pondering how to fulfill his messianic destiny when he had an inner voice saying, ‘’the choice is yours, Mr. President. The decisions we make determine our destiny. Luckily, you still have another date with history either as the man who conducted a free and fair presidential election; who gave democracy a fair chance to flourish and blossom; or as the man who abdicated his responsibility and allowed his country to be thrown into civil strife of unfathomable proportions. While the President was still contemplating, the voice continued. ‘Remember, you’re not alone in the struggle.” ‘’How…? Why…?” asked the President, deeply worried. “Because Messiahs do not usually come out on their own volition, a higher force usually sends them. The Namobian electorates, who gave you your messianic mandate cannot continue to fold their hands and watch you, throw it away and still seek to remain the President through electoral fraud’’.
Suddenly the President began to hear the entreaties of a different voice, heavy, hoarse, husky and intimidating. ‘’Your destiny is in our hands. We are the ones who gave you your electoral mandate. We are the ones who made you President. We too will not fold our hands and let you throw away the mandate we gave you’’. The President, utterly taken aback, managed to ask. ‘’And who are you?’’ ‘’We are the people who sponsored, promoted and made you President. We sold the messianic stuff to the Namobian electorates, otherwise you would have remained just the patron of herdsmen in one of the remote villages of the northwest of Namobia’’.
The President had been slightly angry. ‘’My promoter is Allah. He alone gave me my messianic destiny. I must fulfill the will of Allah. I must take my destiny in my hands. You are merely a bunch of opportunists. You can’t prevent me from moving my country forward. I must begin now to right the wrongs of the past and set my country on the part of glory. I believe this is my messianic destiny” And the President was determined to move his country forward.
Perhaps, he could still pull some strings, reinvent himself and redirect the course of his messianic destiny. He has been held captive, pushed to the wall and under siege by roaring wolves and voracious scavengers baring their fangs, poised and determined to subvert his destiny. But his sense of patriotism had been stirred and there was no stopping him from taking steps to fulfill his messianic destiny.
The President knew there will be no second chance. He had bungled the opportunity given to him. But there were certain remedial steps to take which, invariably, would make him, if not a messiah, at least one of the great heroes of contemporary Namobian history. Within the next four months, all those looters who claim to have promoted his Presidency will be arrested and prosecuted and those from the opposition who have had great injustices done to them would be appeased and compensated appropriately.
There would be no going back in his resolve to conduct a free and fair presidential election that will certainly usher in a new President for his beloved country. By so doing, Namobians would perceive him as a great hero, and on his part, he would have realized at least, a semblance of his messianic destiny after being the catalyst for moving his beloved country forward.