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We support the N92bn pilgrimage subsidy

Silly Nigerians! Our elders say that when you give a ram to a masquerade, you release the rope. Not in Nigeria. Some people think they…

Silly Nigerians! Our elders say that when you give a ram to a masquerade, you release the rope. Not in Nigeria. Some people think they are smarter than our elected ruiners and their selected sages. They sit behind their gadgets spewing invectives at the saints that we have chosen to run the ship of state.

So, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his great wisdom has decided to prioritise prayers over and above science and even governance and these bellyaches say he is a disappointment as if he appointed them. Guys, your rights and wisdom end at the collation centres!

I personally have nothing but kudos to Mr President’s sagacity in granting free N92bn to pilgrims performing this year’s hajj as opposed to the N60bn for student loans. I could think of nothing more deserving of federally generated revenue than the spiritual health of the economy. Even the usually cantankerous Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has refrained from making comments. They know that if there is still something left when Israel has finished cleansing Palestine of humans, it’ll be their turn to benefit from this divine allocation.

The truth remains that if you have been following governments since 1999 you would agree that the president is walking on established protocols. Our beloved and beleaguered nation has been surviving on prayers.

According to what the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was able to track, Nigeria’s foreign and domestic debts stood at $11.42bn by the second quarter of 2023.

If you thought borrowing stopped at that, then you underestimate the ways of government. Every other day, Mr President and his cabinet; the governors and their lackeys – the rubber stamp legislature, fish in the murky waters of debt biting every bait that the loan sharks throw into the borrowing sea. As every amateur angler knows, if you throw a hook into the water on a good day, something bites. It may not be the species advertised in the fishing brochure, but these loan fishes bite.

There was a time when Olusegun Obasanjo tried to act as guarantor for every state loanee, but it wasn’t long when the governors ganged up and exerted their constitution-granted autonomy to borrow as they pleased.

The beauty of loans is that they are easy to obtain but difficult to pay back. No law requires that the regime that obtains the loan pays it back within its constitutional mandate. When it comes to loans, just as good parents leave inheritance for their children’s children, bad parents make their inheritors wallow in debt. While debts could be crippling, prayer remains the best way out.

Now, this may sound stupid to outsiders, atheists and agnostics; nothing is impossible to the believer. President Tinubu may not be a turban-wearing Taliban; he is an avowed believer with more pilgrimages under his belt than prescribed by his faith. Every prayer he has offered on those pilgrimages, including his wish to become president, has been answered. This is one reason he has faith in prayers, especially ones offered on the hallowed grounds of the Kaaba.

Nigerians believe in prayers even when most of their wishes end up in divine voicemail. They have no lack of evidence that their prayers are answered. A few wandering testimonies would suffice. Paul Enenche trained as a medical doctor before receiving the call. He recently testified that since he paid tithe or a 10th to God, the rice in his cupboard became inexhaustible.

Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a mathematician turned General Overseer (GO) of one of Nigeria’s richest spiritual businesses. The only pastor to have drank tea with God confessed that just by putting a church sticker on his domestic gas cylinder he enjoyed three years of free gas.

It may interest readers to know that our beloved president’s lovely wife is a pastor in Adeboye’s spiritual empire. Anyone wonder why the president issued an order that government vehicles be powered by gas with immediate effect and spontaneous alacrity?

It is a kind of faith that oozes from the fertile mind of a believer. The spiritually blind and mystically deaf may not make the connection. In the life of this administration, nobody should be surprised if government vehicles, including the ailing presidential fleet, start running on spiritual gas at any moment. Impossibility is only a word in the dictionary that believers have jettisoned.

We should wish all pilgrims safe travels to the Holy Land in the hope that their prayers for the nation supersede their wishes for personal gains. If they do, overnight, the heavenly hands of mercy could make the naira jump over the American dollar. After all, America (Canada and Europe), including China and Japan, are all “unbelieving” nations yet they prosper so much that they have become the dream of Nigerians. They daily queue up at the embassies of these countries praying for a miracle to help them japa to menial jobs abroad.

If pilgrims pray hard enough, we could even start picking up dollars on the streets as it rains. After all, didn’t the Biblical Israelis survive on manna from heaven? We should only hope that nobody murmurs. Those who murmured against Moses did not make it to the Promised Land. We must support our president’s every move to tighten the tax noose on our throats or convert and join the pilgrims’ train. Therein lies our salvation.


Fubara’s wins

With Usman Ododo in charge in Lokoja and Yahaya Bello a deadbeat, it is wise to apply for Rivers’ citizenship or adoption. Governor Sim (not the chip on your phone, silly) Fubara looks like a formidable warrior. One that never backs down from a fight. After losing his entire cabinet to his political godfather, Nyesom Wike, and surviving on a presidential ceasefire deal, many would have backed down. This young bulldozer that inherited Nasir el-Rufai’s demolition wand destroyed a state heirloom – the assembly – because he found a few cracks on the wall.

Lately, using a Wike-crafted-state law, he is finally rid of 80 per cent of the state legislature that was blocking his administration without lifting a finger. They shot themselves in the groin, making recovery very dire. Left with a majority of four, he made a gubernatorial proclamation to move the mace and its supporters to the government house; a move that even Vladimir Putin would have been wary of making.

From this position of strength, Fubara has sent Wike into the same land of regrets Wike sent his predecessors. The land of regrets never rights a wrong. The poor Wike now needs prayers to return to his assets in Port Harcourt. The overbearing shadows he kept in the seat of government have been exorcised. One wishes that Wike, like el-Rufai, learns from Bob Marley, that he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.

For now, Wike has called for rain, let’s hope he survives the floods. In times like this, the late Tai Solarin would pray – may your road be rough.

Dear Governor Sim, my forebears were notable warriors and I am stateless, please adopt me.


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