Opinion

Devils in Saints’ Camp

By Fr Pat Amobi Chukwuma

Once upon a time, a group of people gathered in a village square to celebrate their progressive annual feast. After praying and singing praises to the Almighty Father, they began eating, drinking, dancing and exchanging pleasantries. The spirit of merriment made them momentarily to forget the hardships they encountered individually and collectively in the past one year.

When highlife music started blaring, everyone took to the floor. As they were at the climax of the joyful celebration, some complex and dreadful beings in black and red attire suddenly appeared in their midst, armed with sophisticated weapons. There and then, the strange beings started shooting sporadically in all directions. The joyful celebration instantly turned sour.

Since life has no duplicated, everyone ran helter-skelter. In the confusion that ensued, some of the people were fatally mauled down. Some were seriously maimed while a few escaped unhurt. The villagers were thrown into mourning for twenty-one days. Afterwards, things never remained the same again. The village is now in a shadow of its own.

Somewhere else, a newly converted elderly man was formally received into a Christian Church on a Sunday. Thereafter, he underwent catechetical instruction for six months in preparation for baptism. He was married with five and half children.

The half child was human by appearance but satanic by behaviour. Hence, he was regarded as half human, half devil. The converted man’s wife was a devil incarnate. Thus, the new convert had one and a half devils in his house. In fact, he had almost despaired as a pagan. Consequently, he embraced Christianity in order to find hope.

On the day of his baptism, he stood firmly before the officiating priest for final interrogation and confession of Faith. The priest asked him, “Have you rejected Satan?” He kept mute. Then the priest asked again in a louder tone, “Have you rejected Satan!?” The aged convert was as silent as graveyard.

The priest became enraged and shouted, “Are you deaf and dumb!?” The old man in tears opened his lips with total sadness written all over his body and said, “Reverend Father, how can I reject Satan, when the wife I live with at home and one of children are devils? If I reject them here in the church, what will be my fate when I reach home?” There was a big confusion everywhere.

After some minutes of prayer and reflection, the priest declared, “From the evidence before me, your baptism is hereby suspended till further notice.” The minister left angrily in haste through the church back door while the suspended baptism candidate left for home through the front door in an atmosphere of confusion.

In the Book of Job, we read that when the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord, Satan also appeared among them (Job 1:7). When God saw Satan He asked him, “What have you been doing?” (Job1:7). Satan replied, “I have been walking here and there, roaming round the earth” (Job 1:7). So, my people let us shine our eyes in any meeting or gathering.

The devil always sneaks into our midst uninvited to cause confusion, to bring disunity and to destroy. No wonder Saint Peter sternly warns: “Be calm but vigilant because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him strong in faith and prayer” (1 Peter 5:8 – 9).To be forewarned, they say, is to be forearmed.

Anyone who eats with the devil, must do so with a long spoon in order to escape his trap. If you are camping anywhere, even in your family, be vigilant!

What is happening in Nigerian camp of recent? It is police and army brutality. The Special Anti Robbery Squad ignited the inferno by gross extortion, torture and killing of innocent persons over the years. Their victims as we have known were mostly youths. There is a limit to endurance.

Therefore, the youths all the country rose as if a whistle was blown and they shouted, “End SARS!” They organized nationwide peace protest for twelve consecutive days. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in consultation with President Muhammadu Buhari heeded to the youths demand and SARS was ended.

Then SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) was instantly formed to replace SARS. What is the difference between SARS and SWAT? Time shall tell.

The youths continued their peaceful protest for good governance in the country. If SARS ends without good governance, then there is no good result. The Federal Government urged the protesting youths to leave the streets and go home since SARS has ended.

The youths remained resolute to continue their peaceful protest till Nigeria is democratically restructured. At this point, the devils and their agents infiltrated the peaceful youths protest. On the night of 20th October 2020, the devil struck in total darkness. A group of Nigerian soldiers were invited by the powers that be to attack the unarmed youths at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.

In the bloody attack, an unconfirmed number of youths were gruesomely shot dead while some sustained various degrees of wound. The worst part of it was that the unidentified soldiers shot the young men protesting with Nigerian flags in their hands. This is a taboo. Who were those happy trigger soldiers? Who invited them to the scene? Who gave the command to shoot?

Who put off the light at the toll gate on that fateful night? Why did the former governor of Lagos State, Chief Bola Tinubu disappear when the incidence was about to happen? Later he reappeared from nowhere. Was the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, not aware of the deadly shooting? What was the role of the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, before and after the unfortunate killing of unarmed protesting youths? These questions are begging for answers.

Immediately the devils and their agents infiltrated the peaceful protest, odd things began to happen. Several persons lost their lives including some policemen. Private and public houses and establishments were burnt.

The peaceful protest turned into mayhem. Economic life of the country came to a halt. People ran helter-skelter for their lives. Schools and markets were closed. Miscreants took over the streets of Nigeria and the country was almost drifting to anarchy. Many concerned Nigerians spoke against the mayhem.

The President was neither seen nor heard as the inferno raged. But at last he was compelled to speak. Unfortunately his speech left so many Nigerians speechless. The nocturnal speech was devoid of actions required. It also lacked empathy for the innocent souls killed at Lekki. But it was better that he spoke at all than remaining silent like a dumb ass. A good father cannot remain silent and watch as things are going wrong in his home.

The late Sunny Okosun sang many years ago: “Which way Nigeria is heading to?   After many years of Independence we still have a long way to go?” God save us! The way to go is dialogue and restructuring. We have not gotten it right after 60 years. We must therefore, move forward and not backwards this time around.

The devils and their Commander-in-Chief that have been hindering our progress since Independence must be discovered and cast into abyss. Nigeria as the Giant of Africa is divinely blessed. How can we look helplessly while the devil and his agents are working for our downfall?

It is only here on earth that devils can penetrate the camp of the Saints. Nigeria and the rest of the world are inhabited by Saints and Sinners. But time shall come when the goats and sheep must be separated. Three things await each and every one of us (Saint or Sinner).

They are: death, judgment, heaven or hell. Everybody will reap what he or she sows on earth (Galatians 6:7). An English adage states, “As you make your bed, so shall you lie on it.” All those who lived their lives well here on earth will reap the fruits of their labour in heaven. On the other hand, all those who worked as devil’s agents, whether as leader or the led, will languish forever with Satan in hell fire. Therefore, two possibilities are before us: repentance or damnation.

The first day of November is the Solemnity of the Saints in Heaven. The Saints were like us during their earthly pilgrimage. They are called the Church Triumphant because they fought and won. We who are struggling here on earth are the Church Militant.

This means that we are in the battle field with the evil one. If we defeat him, then we shall triumph with the Saints in heaven. Unfortunately, if we lost the eternal battle we shall face everlasting torment in hell. God forbid! It will be a double tragedy for a Nigerian to go to hell, after undergoing our present torments. Holy Nigerians in heaven, pray for us!

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