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Yari, Zamfara and the parable of Sodom


Abdulaziz Yari

Sir: In many ways, I find a great deal of similitude between Zamfara’s meningitis metastasis and the extirpation of Sodom and Gomorrah. We now know, all thanks to Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari’s spiritual diagnosis, that God is still in the business of statecraft and He is as ever intolerant of sins.

With casualty cases totalling hundreds, the sanctimonious governor found no better explanation to why his people are contracting this deadly disease. But being a secularist, I don’t appreciate it when politicians express religious sentiments in polity. Apart from smacking of ineptitude, it serves as escapism for them from their constitutional responsibilities. One begins to wonder when bacteria and viruses began to be God’s executioners on the sinful.

It is surprising that Yari never mentioned the political ilk in all of this. He absolved the political class from the sins of the land. How convenient! How is it that fornication attracts graver punishment from God than for instance – embezzlement does? Bear in mind that theft of public funds affects the generality of the people while fornication affects practically no one but the practitioners. It is no news that Yari is in the eye of the storm and things may not turn out well.


Yari needs to understand that this is not a theocracy. It means Nigeria is not governed by the whims of any god. We don’t live in times in which an unauthorised census can irk the gods to cause genocide neither do we live in times in which perjury in the temple leads to instant death. It is time politicians made no bones telling the truth. This epidemic is simply a case of the people’s lack of hygiene and the failure of our health sector.

Yari and indeed the rest of the political class should know that alluding to religious dogmas don’t (re-)engineer a state. Nigeria isn’t a Sodom or Gomorrah. Nigeria is Nigeria and right now we have a problem. Now is the time we slough from our consciousness unproductive sentiments that are inimical to us.

Olaniyi Olayemi Luke,
OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

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