By Pat Amobi Chukwuma
In the year 1970, a newly married couple gave birth to twin baby boys. One of them was an albino while the other was as dark as charcoal. The latter's gums, tongue and eyes were all totally dark in colour. Even the white portion of his eyes was thickly dark. The parents received them with mixed feelings of joy and confusion. On the naming day, they named the albino Lightson while the dark one was named Darkson. When the dark twin developed teeth, they were totally dark in colour and texture. Whenever there was power failure, rays of light emanated from Lightson's eyes and illuminated the room where the family members were at one time or the other. In the night, the black one and darkness were indistinguishable. Wherever Darkson appeared, negative things happened. The parents became more confused. They wondered what the strange twins would grow up into.
When the strange twins grew to maturity, their characters became clear. Lightson was of good behaviour while Darkson was a thorn in the flesh. The parents loved the former and hated the latter. Lightson was God-fearing while Darkson was Satan-fearing. In the course of time, Darkson joined a notorious secret cult known as Devil Incarnate. He wanted to eliminate his albino twin brother due to his hatred of anything that has to do with light. Man proposes but God disposes. Anyone who pursues a fowl that belongs to another will surely somersault. Try and see.
After their higher education, Lightson was automatically employed as technical officer of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) in the good old days. He was very successful in life. Due to bad company, Darkson joined the men of the underworld as a notorious armed robber. He became a black sheep in the family. The parents rejoiced for the former and wept for the latter. In due course, they disowned Darkson for bringing bad name to the family. Today, Lightson lives Oversea with his wife and children. From there his light shines over his aged parents at home. Darkson is single and now lives in the underworld. From there he fires devilish missiles at his aged parents. However, the power of light overcomes the power of darkness each time.
Some time ago, I narrated how I was lost in thick darkness in the late hours of the night in priests' rectory at Isikwuato Okigwe of Imo State. I was on pastoral visit. After super and a friendly conversation with my host (the parish priest), he gave me a burning lantern for my room. I went in gladly and lay down. Because the rectory was close to the public road, I became afraid at some movements. Hence I put off the lantern entirely. Everywhere became totally dark. I slept off. After some doses of sleep, I was awakened by the call of nature. It became compulsive for me to answer that natural call lest I wet my bed. In the thick darkness, I wallowed towards the toilet which was outside my room. At a point I was totally lost in the darkness. I couldn't trace the toilet and couldn't go back to my room. I decided to stand still. Mosquitoes butchered me like a cow in the abattoir. Sorrow pushed me to cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” My conscience told me that God did not forsake me. I forsook myself by putting of my lantern light. After some hours of agony in the darkness, the cock crew. In a twinkling of an eye, some rays of light came through the opening a window. I saw where I was. Behold the toilet was close to me and the door of my room was not far away. Light overcame darkness and I gave glory to God.
In early 1980, in a certain town noted for idolatry, there was a masquerade known as Darkness. He appeared in the fearful hours of the night. Any pregnant woman that accidentally came in contact with him gave birth to a monster. However, the devilish masquerade dreaded any form of light: be it moonlight, torchlight, sunlight, candlelight, etc. If the rays of any of the lights beamed on him, he fell into convulsion and burned into ashes.
Have you heard what happened recently at Uchu town in the proposed Amaiyi Local Government of Anambra State? A certain dreaded masquerade posed danger to the children of God going to church on a particular Sunday. Later on that day, there was a ceremony in a nearby house where ungodly men were drinking and gossiping. The masquerade entered there and joined in the free liquor drinks. Before then, hardly did I know that spirits also drink. After an excessive liquor intake, the dreaded masquerade got drunk. He started staggering along the church road. At the centre of the church wall he fell down, slept off and was snoring. He also polluted the air. After the Sunday service, those people he was driving away saw the ill-sight. One of them shouted, “Holy Ghost, fire!” Instantly, the sleeping dreadful masquerade caught fire. Lack of space would not allow me to narrate what followed. It will be a full story for another day. However, the conclusion was that the children of Light overcame the masquerade of darkness.
In the biblical creation narrative we read: “In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'Day' and the darkness 'Night'. There was evening and there was morning: the first day” (Genesis 1:1 – 5). All said and done, the point here was that God made light to overcome darkness. Please let us rise and offer God a standing ovation! A sitting ovation is not acceptable.
The loving God at the climax of his creative works said, “Let us make man in our own image and likeness” (Gen. 1:26). Male and female he created them. God is spirit and light. Created in the image and likeness of God, we human beings have the spirit that ought to radiate light and not darkness. If we live according to the dictates of our Creator God, then we radiate light. On the other hand, if we live in iniquity, then we wallow in darkness.
Today in our country Nigeria, the power of darkness is at war with the power of light. Darkness has descended in our land in various ways. The Independent National Electoral Commission is still shrouded in darkness. Hence our elections have not been free and fair. Election rigging, ballot snatching and violence have marred the process. Darkness has turned our Democracy into Demo-crazy. In a democratic country, no one is above the Law.
Unfortunately, the powers-that-be in our country is now above the Law. The Rule of Law has been swept under carpet. Court orders are no longer obeyed. The judiciary has been compromised. The darkness of injustice has been enthroned in our Land. The light of justice is in jeopardy. As a result we are going back to military era which is controlled by Decree rather than Law. Military-cracy is trying to sweep our hard earned Democracy. Philanthropic Nigerians are crying out over this unfortunate descent of political darkness in our Land.
The worst darkness in our country Nigeria today is insecurity of lives and property. The Boko Haram terrorists have held the North-East captive for over a decade now. Many innocent people have lost their lives and property. Millions are languishing in IDP camps. As if enough is not enough, the Fulani herdsmen terrorists are causing a lot of menace all over the country. They kill, maim, rape and destroy houses and property. They are armed with Ak-47 and other weapons. Yet the Federal Government looks the other way and has failed to designate them as terrorists. Many of the herdsmen have turned into kidnappers. They have set their tents in thick forests here and there. They kidnap and demand for millions of ransom. Often they kill their victims. Other groups of kidnappers are also on rampage. Indeed there is fire on the mountain. Run! Run!! Run!!!
Power supply in our land is nothing to write home about. After 59 years of Independence we are still wallowing in darkness. Billions of money has been spent in the power sector, yet there is no light. Many companies have folded due to lack of electricity supply. Some have relocated to other countries where there is constant power supply. Ghana is a model in this aspect. Since my birth, I have never experienced one month of constant power supply in my country Nigeria, the Giant of Africa. At one time I told you how I erroneously inserted pepper into my eyes because I couldn't locate my mouth due to power failure. On another occasion I erroneously urinated inside my fridge in total darkness thinking it was my toilet. Let there be light! Lord, have mercy!