By Pat Amobi Chukwuma
Just recently, a wealthy couple was blessed with a bouncing baby girl (BBG). During the glamorous naming ceremony, she was named Money. She would be a great asset to the lucky man who will marry her when she grows up. The husband will just sleep while money flows in and out. What of if she decides to become a Reverend Sister? On that naming day, the guests ate, drank and danced upon newly minted naira notes. The dress the baby was wearing was sewn with dollar notes. The parents, who were dressed in gold Euro clothes, brought out many bags of money which they spread on the baby. As they were spreading the mints, the guests harvested as much as possible. At the end, each of them went home with a full big sack of money.
In order to avoid any mishap on the way home, one of the women guests tied her own bag of money like a baby on her bag. She used her headscarf and a toilet roll to create an artificial head for the false baby. On the way home, a policeman stopped and asked her, “Woman, where are you going?” She started crying and then replied, “Please officer, my baby is very sick. I am rushing her to the hospital.” The policeman pitifully said, “Oh sorry madam. Can I help you take her to hospital with our patrol van?” She answered, “Officer, don't worry. My doctor sternly warned me during her birth not to convey her to hospital on any vehicle whenever she falls sick.” The officer ordered her to go quickly. She walked past as fast as possible.
After few meters away, she looked back and saw no one. Then she started laughing and cuddling the artificial baby she was carrying on her back. She jumped up and down saying, “Oh my money baby, relax! I shall cure you the sickness by myself when I reach home today.” When she saw a group of people coming from the opposite direction, she started behaving abnormally like a newly run mad woman. She picked up a big stick to scare away those people when they come nearer. On seeing the “mad woman” those people out of fear crossed over to the other side of the road. She pretended to go after them with the big stick as a weapon. All of them ran away without looking back. She laughed and said, “What a successful madness! I must do everything possible to make sure no one tampers with this sack of money.” Immediately she reached home, she heaved a sigh of relief. She dug a pit behind her kitchen and buried the sack of money. After two weeks she opened the pit gradually to take some money for her pressing needs. What she saw made her to think she was dreaming. Moths have eaten the bag and its contents into useless pieces. The woman slumped and lost her senses. Real madness began on that fateful day. The next day she was seen wearing only pant and dancing in the market place. What a really money madness!
A forth night ago, a couple was arrested by the police for selling their only little son at the cost of three hundred thousand naira. When they were paraded at the police station, they confessed that poverty and hunger drove them to sell him. They said that instead of the father, mother and son to die because of hunger, it is better for them to remain childless. The Divisional Police Officer asked them, “Are you mad?” They replied, Sir we are not mad. We sold our only child because we needed money badly to eat and pay our house rent. He is our property. We only sold him and didn't kill him.” The officer shouted, “I can see madness in your eyes! What is the difference between selling a baby and killing it?” He commanded a police constable to give each of the couple twenty-four lashes of cane and then throw them behind the bar until they recover from their madness.
In our society today, there exists illegal baby factories where some men impregnant jobless and desperate women. The women are paid off after birth while their babies are sold off. In those baby factories, the managers employ potent men and pay them monthly for sowing seeds in the commercial women. If any man tells you that he is working in a factory, please kindly ask him, “What type of factory? Where is it located?” Likewise, if any young lady tells you that she lives and works in a factory somewhere and comes home once in a blue moon, kindly think twice. She may be working in such baby factory. The other day somewhere, I overhead a graduate going about ringing bell and shouting, “Any married man who is impotent should offer me immediate employment! My charges are moderate: hundred thousand naira for a single baby; two hundred thousand for twins; three hundred thousand naira for triplets and four hundred thousand for quadruplets! Failure to conceive is at owner's risk!” This is equally money madness.
Today in Nigeria, money madness has led to the loss of the sanctity of human life. Kidnappers are all over the places kidnapping innocent people for ransom that runs into millions of naira or dollar. The mobile phone is now the instrument of negotiation. Human beings are now priced like goats. Failure to bring the ransom leads to the killing of the kidnap victim. Often the kidnappers receive the ransom and equally kill the victim as well. The situation is so bad now that even priests of God, religious men and women and seminarians are not spared. Most of the Fulani herdsmen have joined in this mad business which devalues human life. Some of our jobless youths and the 'almajiris' are also involved in this money madness. Worst of all, the Boko Haram terrorists kill innocent people going about their business especially in the northern part of the country. They also abduct, kidnap for ransom and kill as well. Recently the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in a certain Local Government in Adamawa state was abducted. The terrorists requested for a ransom of 800 million naira. They refused the offer of 50 million naira. Also they asked the victim Mr. Lawan to denounce his Christian faith which he refused to do. Later he was brutally murdered. Likewise a student of the University of Maiduguri was beheaded while he was coming back from school. As if enough was not enough, a young promising Catholic Seminarian, Michael Nnadi, of Sokoto diocese was kidnapped from the Seminary in Kaduna with three other seminarians by Fulani herdsmen. The three were released while he was gruesomely murdered with a few other kidnapped victims. May God grant them eternal rest in heaven! We pray that the bloody kidnappers may be brought to justice.
In the Eastern part of Nigeria, kidnappers and Fulani herdsmen are involved in this heinous money madness. They take millions of ransom, kill, rape and destroy property. In the western part of the country, banditry thrives. Kidnappers and Fulani herdsmen are on rampage here and there. Even monarchs and clergymen are not spared. No wonder the Governors of the six Yoruba states jointly launched Operation Amotekun (Leopard) to tackle the bloody menace. Surprisingly the Attorney General of the Federation declared the security outfit illegal. Is it then legal for kidnappers, bandits and bloody Fulani herdsmen to kidnap for ransom and kill at random? Everybody and every group has the right of self defense when unjustly attacked. Shall we act like the madman who said that he would not say anything to the man following him behind with a machete until he does not find his head? That is medicine after death.
It is regrettable that this money madness has entered the sanctuary of God. Some men of God in cassock now prophesy for ransom. The more the amount of money offered, the more favourable the prophecy. Refusal to give in millions or not to give at all attracts unfavourable prophesies. Such men of God involve themselves in dirty politics for the sake of money. Simony still exists nowadays in the sanctuary of God. Partisan prophecy is also seen there. A good prophecy inspired by God is for the condemnation of evil in the society. It equally leads to the sanctification of the people. It is not an overstatement that some so-called prophets are today inspired financially or politically.
The greatest problem in Nigeria today is worsening insecurity of lives. We have never had it as bad as now. Human life is a primary value. The primary role of any government is the security of human lives and property. Satan and his agents are on the loose in this country. We must all rise and fight this malady physically and spiritually. Christians and Muslims should join hands because all are involved. The present Security chiefs have done their best and having nothing more to offer. That is why the Federal Lawmakers and many Nigerians are calling for their sack. They have overstayed their usefulness. The law of diminishing return has set in. President Buhari should pay heed to this clarion call and appoint new Security Chiefs that have new strategies to reduce drastically the insecurity and money madness that have crippled this country and her citizens. In addition, Divine intervention is seriously needed now. O God, come to our aid!