By Pat Amobi Chukwuma
Experience is the best teacher. Eneke the bird says that since men have learnt to shoot without aiming, he has learnt to fly without perching. The story of the evil woman whose husband put up for sale has thought many a lesson for life. Prevention is better than cure. Keeping alert is not cowardice. To take a risk is a dangerous gamble. Since our society became dangerous, most people have learnt to sleep with one eye closed and the other opened by day and by night.
After reading the story about the evil woman put on sale by her distressed husband, one man in my vicinity no longer takes chances. He loves his wife so dearly. He does not want any man to interfere with his precious wife. He went to market and bought many stickers written ‘NOT FOR SALE.’ He discussed his intention with his lovely and precious wife. Whenever she is about to go out, whether to church, work, market and even toilet, the husband places the NOT FOR SALE sticker in front and behind her dress. Anyone who comes across her laughs and says, “This woman is very funny.” What is funny about it?
What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. The women who love their husbands these days have also joined the queue. Whenever their husbands are about to go out, they place also NOT FOR SALE sticker in front and at their backs. In every twelve, there must be a Judas. Some of the men who cheat on their wives have devised another method of hiding FOR SALE stickers inside their pockets. Whenever they go out, they remove the NOT FOR SALE sticker and replace it with FOR SALE in order to attract gullible women. The unfaithful women are also doing the same. What a man can do, a woman can do better. Are you for sale or not for sale?
Those who have movable or unmovable property should shine their eyes well these days. A man cannot be at his home and crush his manhood by himself. My Igbo people say, “Anu gbaa ajo oso, a gbaa ya ajo egbe.” This means that you device a suitable solution to tackle the problem that stares at you. The cat says that the reason why it defecates and covers its excreta with sand is because it is easy for one’s property to be owned by another. In some places, especially in landed property or house, we see sign-posts with inscriptions like: “This land is not for sale” or “Please be warned. This house is not for sale.” Somewhere I saw this frightening inscription: “This Land is not for sale. Anyone who sells it or buys it will die a sudden death.” At another place in front of an unoccupied house I saw this bold inscription: “This House is not for sale. Anybody who sells it or buys it will catch fire instantly.” Yet in another place I saw this written on a piece of land: “Warning: This land is not for sale. Sell and die. Buy and die.” Such frightening inscriptions work magically. I observe that whoever comes along and sees such deadly inscriptions takes to his or her heels. No one wants to die or to catch fire.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If you put a sticker FOR SALE on your car and you are still driving alone or with your family, you have to be very careful. Legally it entails that both the car and its occupants are for sale. To be safe, you have to make a clear distinction such as: “This car is for sale. But the occupants are not for sale.” You can also put it this way: “For sale, excluding the occupants.” A word is enough for the wise. Last time we saw how an impotent man automatically and legally became the husband of the woman and the father of her three children inside an old Volvo car labeled for sale. This has entered the Law book and can be a reference in similar law suits.
Life is a primary value. Our society is really evil these days. Please do not take chances. If you have an unoccupied house or empty land, make sure you inscribe NOT FOR SALE on it. You can add any fearful statement after it. Somewhere else I saw an elderly man pouring olive oil and Holy Water on his empty plot of land. As he was doing so, he was casting and binding, shouting on top of his voice: “I cover this plot of land with the Blood of Jesus! Sell and die! Buy and die! Die! Die!! Die!!!” A fierce mad man came across at the time and heard what the land owner was saying over the land. He ran away and was shouting, “God forbid! This madness is sweet. I don’t want to die yet!”
Truth is not for sale. The Bible says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). But liars say otherwise. For them, truth is now for sale. By telling lies, one puts truth on sale. If one tells lies in the church, can it be called a holy lie? What of those who put miracle for sale by doing stage-managed miracles just for the sake of money? Some pay liars to come out one after the other to give false testimonies. One day it boomeranged. One of such paid liars came up the rostrum at a prayer crusade to narrate how she was miraculously cured of her madness by the Man-of-God. At the end she shouted, “Praise the Lord!” Immediately she ran mad there and then. She pulled off her dress including her pant and started pursuing the crusaders with machete. She ran towards the Man-of-God himself to cut off his head. The Man-of-God scaled over a nearby wall and jumped into a raging fire on the other side. Because no one was around there, he was roasted to death. He received his reward because he was the brain behind the sale of Truth in God’s Name.
The Sacrament of Baptism sets us free from the guilt of Original Sin, makes us Christians and children of God as well as incorporating us into the mystical body of Christ. By this we have become one with Christ and not for sale. We put ourselves for sale when we whole heartedly reject the divine and ecclesiastical teachings. We are for sale when we endanger our Christian Faith through idolatry and neo-paganism. Today, many of our youths have abandoned Christianity and have turned to idol worship. By this unchristian attitude, many of our youths are for sale. The devil and his agents are buying them through material inducements. Hence anyone, be it youth or adult, who is guilty of apostasy is for sale. On the other hand, those who are steadfast in their Christian Faith are not for sale.
When our country Nigeria got her Independence on 1st October 1960, our founding fathers did not put this country for sale. Few years after, Nigeria became for sale through corruption, nepotism, misrule, marginalization, selfishness, etc. Leadership is now for sale. Free and fair election is a just means of ushering a good leader. But today power is gotten by the highest bidder. Instead of election we have selection. During elections we witness such ugly incidences as rigging, ballot box snatching, pre-written or falsification of election results, blood-letting, vote buying, bribery of electoral officials and security agents. The moral law states that the means justifies the end. If the end justifies the means, what kind of leaders shall we produce? It is nothing but failed leaders. Nigerian democracy is now for sale. In reality, democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people is not for sale at all. But by undemocratic attitudes, Nigerian democracy has become for sale. Thus instead of democracy we now have demo-crazy. In fact, only divine intervention can rescue us from our present distress.
Justice has become also for sale in this country. Our judiciary has been bought over by the powers-that-be. The independence of the judiciary has become questionable. Hence injustice is reigning here and there. The judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man, has been compromised. What shall the common man do now? Only God knows. Due process has been turned into undue process.
During the dark-age, human beings were put for sale through slavery. It was the dehumanization of humanity. At the appointed time slavery was abolished. Nowadays, something worse than slavery has reared its ugly head. It is now kidnapping for ransom or for ritual. Our country Nigeria seems to be champion of evil rather than good. There is great fear of being kidnapped all over the country. Traveling by land has become dangerous because the kidnappers strike at one point or the other by day or night. Many men of the underworld have become kidnappers. Unemployment and laziness have pushed some of our youths into the crime of kidnapping. The bloody Fulani herdsmen have also set their kidnapping tents in the thick forests all over this country. Some kidnap and kill their victims even after collection of ransom that runs into millions of money. The victims who have no one to rescue them monetarily face bloody cruelty from their merciless abductors. Nigerians are now for sale. Insecurity is the worst problem bedeviling this country Nigeria. It seems the federal government has exhausted the weapons in her arsenal in tackling insecurity. What a next level! God save us!