By Fr. Pat Amobi Chukwuma
There are violent natural and political waves sweeping across the Nation. The heavens are angry. The earth is revolting. The people are bitter. On Tuesday afternoon, 24th day of July, 2018, there was a windy heavy rainfall in many states of the Federation. It lasted for hours. Indeed, it was a tsunami. The wave of the rain caused havoc in different places. During the tsunami I perceived unseen forces hitting at my doors and windows, such that they were opening and closing with unimaginable velocity. The glasses of one of the windows shattered into pieces. I struggled with the unseen forces as I was trying to lock the door and windows. During the process, the windy rain poured into my room, such that I needed a canoe to move out. I was soaked beyond recognition.
Out of confusion, I quickly brought the broom under my bed to sweep away the water. It was an effort in futility. I was sweeping against the current. In the process the big broom broke into pieces and they started floating on the water in my room. I became more confused. Looking through the broken window, I saw people with umbrella running up and down under the rain. I grabbed my mobile phone to make a distress call but there was no service at all. To complicate issues, there was total power failure during the period. I couldn't operate my television set in order to hear the current news. My little radio had no batteries in it. Hence I remained incommunicado for hours.
Eventually the windy rainfall stopped at late evening of that day. Luckily, the Electrical Distribution Company restored power. Then I put on my television set to watch and hear the 8.00p.m National News. There was breaking news that the residence of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President were laid siege by the Nigeria Police and Men of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). I asked myself if there was a coup or war in the country. My anxiety was cleared when the newscaster reported about the mass defection of Lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and to other parties. A reliable source asserted that the siege was laid against Saraki, the Senate President, and Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President to prevent them from sitting on that remarkable Tuesday. Miraculously Saraki found his way to the Senate. But Ekweremadu could not make it. Eventually the Plenary was held, whereby the Senate President broke the news of mass defection of 14 Senators from APC to PDP. In the House of Representatives, Speaker Dogara also mentioned the names of 33 Defectors from APC to PDP. Four defected from PDP to African Democratic Congress (ADC). In fact there was a political tsunami in the Senate and House of Representatives. The PDP Senators became the Majority. The Senate and the House of Representatives immediately adjourned till late September for Plenary.
On the second day being Wednesday 25th July 2018, it rained again very heavily from morning till night. Everywhere was flooded. The herdsmen and their cows nearly got drowned. The rainfall was accompanied with lightening, heavy wind and thunder. Few persons were carried away by the flood. Walls fell here and there. Many roads were over flooded that it was difficult to distinguish between the road and the gutter. The heavens were angry over the senseless blood-letting all over Nigeria. Departed Nigerians over there were weeping profusely and their tears were falling down the earth like rain. I heard the voices of all those innocent Nigerians killed in cold blood in Enugu, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Zamfara and other places crying before God for the genocide committed by the bloody Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors. An eyewitness reported that there was an extra-ordinary thunder at Aso Rock, which was a warning and premonition to the President and the Presidency that something strange is about to happen in the polity. One of the cabals was struck down by a strange lightening and he became blind. Other cabals are now frightened.
The strange rainfall continued on Thursday, 26th July, being the third day. Flood was flowing everywhere. I saw series of brooms floating and being carried away by the strong flood. Within the 3days heavy rainfall, the people were able to walk about, shielded themselves with umbrella. I couldn't count the number of the umbrella I saw. Many politicians are throwing away their brooms in favour of umbrellas. A commentator said that the politicians are discarding their brooms and rushing for umbrella because it is rainy season. Many people are rushing to the markets to buy their own umbrellas.
Politically viewed, the umbrella reigned for 16 years at Aso Rock. Before the 2015 General Elections, the umbrella became weak by mass exodus of politicians from the ruling PDP to APC. There was a drastic revolution. The umbrella was discarded in favour of the broom, which became an instrument to sweep away bad leadership which crippled Nigerians then. The brooms where wielded everywhere with the shout of Change! Change! Change!!!
Nigerians massively voted the APC into power in 2015 with President Muhammadu Buhari at the helm of affairs. Unfortunately, after almost four yours at the saddle of power, the promised CHANGE became a mirage. The political, economic, religious, moral and psychological condition of the country became worse than before. The broom could not sweep away the problems facing Nigerians. Instead of alleviating, life became more difficult in the country. The people became angry and hungry. The security of lives and properties was not guaranteed. Thousands of Nigerians have been killed not only by Boko Haram but by the Fulani herdsmen terrorists. There is now palpable fear all over the country as Nigerians are now sleeping with their two eyes wide open. The herdsmen terrorists seem to take over the affairs of this country. They kill, maim, rape and occupy the lands without challenge. The inhabitants who survived the senseless killings became fugitives elsewhere.
Truly, elders cannot sit at home while abomination is being committed. A representative of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria stormed Aso Rock Abuja not long ago to admonish President Buhari to stop the senseless killings in the country. They also told him of the need to restructure the Country and the Security Apparatus. They put it to him that Nigerians are hungry and angry. Therefore, he must do something urgent to arrest the ugly situations. President Buhari in response promised them that he would do something. Till now, he has not done anything tangible. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and some other groups and individuals have also called on the President to do something about the bloody flame raging in the country. The pieces of advice seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The popular prophet from Enugu State, Father Ejike Mbaka, who prophesied Buhari into power in 2015, has equally sent a red card to the President. He advised Buhari as a matter of urgency to proceed to Rome to apologize and plead for forgiveness before the Pope for the wanton killings in Nigeria. According to Father Mbaka, “Supernatural disaster is coming. Angels are already warming up. Nigerians should not worry; one day, there will be vacancy in Abuja. The jet will park and nobody will use it unless they repent” (Dailysun Tuesday, July 24, 2018, page 6).
All hands are now on deck. A Coalition of about 39 political parties has been formed in order to oust President Buhari-led APC unfocused government. Most Nigerians are fed up with the present maladministration. We are gradually drifting to anarchy in the country if nothing is urgently done. The frog does not run during the daylight for nothing. The mass defection of the APC stalwarts to PDP and to other parties is a sign that things have fallen apart in the ruling party. Even the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, has perched his tent with PDP. The governor of Kwara State and the Senate President have also dumped the APC. The chairman of APC, Comrade Oshiomole asserted that he would not lose sleep over the defections. He accused the aides of Governor Ortom to be behind the killings in Benue. Reacting to this, Ortom advised Oshiomole to stop talking too much and face his job. Oshiomole equally said that those politicians defecting have no political value. Very soon he will surely lose sleep and consciousness. More political Tsunami is coming.
Our country Nigeria is in coma. Impeachment saga is now being employed to deal with defectors and opposition politicians. There is fire on the mountain. We must not fold our hands and watch the inferno. Something must be done. Indeed, God helps those who help themselves. Ardent prayer and fasting are called for. God is never asleep. We must kneel down and pray for God's intervention. God did it for us in the past. He will do it again. During the late Abacha's reign of terror, the Church played a vital role to arrest the situation. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) composed an 'akpucative' prayer that caused the Heaven to open. God came down to Nigeria in person and saved his suffering people. After God's intervention, the Bishops appealed once more to all Catholics nationwide in these words: “Two years ago, at a time of great national crisis, we composed a Prayer of Nigeria in Distress and recommended that it be recited all over the country. Since then, we have been storming heaven with this and other prayers. Although the crisis hanging over the nation has not lifted, we are still surviving as a nation, thanks to the sustaining hand of God. We must not relent in our prayers that our merciful Father will continue to save us as we call on him in our distress” (CBCN Communique, Plenary Session at Pastoral Centre Makurdi, 4th – 9th September, 1995, article 1). There is no other time than now to bombard Heaven again with the Prayer of Nigeria in Distress, so that the raging tsunami may not consume all of us.
In God we trust!