Your Excellency!

By Fr Pat. Amobi Chukwuma

A certain state governor went to commission fried groundnut center built by his administration. He had an estranged wife whom he illegally threw out of his house just two nights before the commissioning. After the National Anthem was song, everyone sat down for the welcome address. The reader mounted the rostrum and observed all protocols.

Addressing the governor, he read with emphasis: “Your Excellency! We are happy that you are here today to commission the fried groundnut center built by your administration.” Suddenly, the estranged wife of the governor came from nowhere and snatched the address paper and the microphone from the reader as she shouted into the microphone “Stop reading that nonsensical nonsense! Who do you call Excellency?

He should rather be addressed as ‘Your Wickedness.’ Look at my face. Two nights ago he beat me to stupor and violently sent me out of our house. He is corrupt, wicked and a womanizer!” The governor couldn’t bear the public insult any longer. His eyes turned red. Then, he ordered his security men with hoarse and trembling voice: “Enough is enough!

Take away the microphone from that idiotic woman and throw her out of this arena. I cannot take that public insult from her again. She is no longer my wife and first lady. In fact, she is for sale in case any man is interested.” The policemen shot into the air severally and rushed towards her.

They handled her roughly out of the arena. On hearing the gunshots, everybody scampered for safety. Thus, the occasion abruptly ended without the commissioning.

From there, the governor flew to London for medical and psychological check-up. He would also undergo grammatical test to see if there is anything excellent in him or not. Surprisingly in London, his bruised wife also came for medication.

When he saw her in front of the doctor’s consulting room, he angrily shouted, “Troublesome woman, what have you come here to do? Please allow me to rest and enjoy my Excellency at home and abroad. Get out of my sight before I send you back to your Creator for judgment.” The woman retorted, “What is excellent in you? Go home and die in shame, you corrupt and useless fried groundnut governor!” Fight broke out between the troubled couple at the hospital in London.

But thank God some white policemen came on time, otherwise it would have been fatal. On hearing the ugly news at home, the House of Assembly immediately impeached the governor for the shame of fighting in a foreign land and for his corrupt leadership. Since then, the where about of the impeached corrupt governor and his bruised wife remain unknown.

They cheaply sold Excellency at London Market and disappeared. The fried groundnut center was the only industry he built in his state within the six years of his corrupt administration. Soaked garri and fried groundnut are his best delicacy.

Grammatically speaking, to excel means to do something well. According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, excellent is defined as “extremely good or very high quality.” It also defined Excellency as “a way of talking to, or about people who hold high positions in the state or the church.”

Wikipedia defines Excellency as “an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization or members of an aristocracy.” Furthermore, it goes on to say that those addressed as Excellency retain the right to that courtesy throughout their lifetime. However, in some cases, the title is attached to a particular office and valid for the duration of that office.

I very much buy the idea that the word ‘Excellency’ is attached to an office and not to the officer as such. Excellency has to do with perfection. No human being on earth is perfect. Even the Pope who is addressed as “Your Holiness” is not yet a saint but his office is saintly.

The government and church offices are held in high esteem. Therefore the office holders are expected to be excellent in their words and actions because the services they render are for the glory of God and for the good of the people. No wonder the Holy Scripture says, “When the virtuous rule, the people are happy, but they groan when the wicked are in power” (Proverbs 29:2).

The new governor of Anambra State, come 17 March 2022; Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has rejected the title “Your Excellency.” He prefers to be addressed simply as “Mr. Governor.” According to him that title ‘Your Excellency’ has been rubbished in this part of the world. Some leaders are financially and morally corrupt, yet they are called Excellency. Some fail to fulfill their electoral promises.

Some do not carry out what are required of them as leaders, yet, they are excellent. Instead of resigning honourably, they choose to remain in office shamefully. Externally, they seem to be excellent. Internally they are devil incarnates and disgrace to the highly esteemed offices.

Do you know that even the title Mr. (Mister) is under abuse? Some men nowadays artificially turn themselves into women for the sake of fashion or to escape an arrest. A popular Nigerian man who metamorphosed himself into a woman is now addressed as Mr. and Mrs., because he is half man and half woman. He can marry or be married to as husband or wife. God will not take it lightly on the Day of Judgment.

Those addressed as “Your Lordship” can lead their sheep to pasture or lead them astray. In other words, they either lead by good example or they lord it over their subjects. There are spiritual Lords and temporal Lords. A particular judge is popularly known for delivering unjust judgment in court and for punishing innocent clients while he sets the accused free.

Consequently, the people mock him by addressing him as “My Rod” or “Your Rodship.” His heart is as hardened as a rod. He is very wicked. At home he uses his wife’s face to learn boxing. The innocent wife is now wearing artificial face after series of surgery.

In a certain town, the traditional ruler is known for being egoistic. He sells the community lands by hook and crook from time to time. His wounded subjects now address him as “Your Royal Lowness” or “His Royal Lowness.” In another place there is a self-acclaimed traditional ruler who crowned himself and addresses himself as “Your Royal Majesty.” He is majestic in grabbing peoples’ land and property. Indeed power intoxicates more than wine.

Please do not close your ears. There is a particular Man of God who suddenly became a thorn in the flesh in his church and family. He commits various atrocities in the name of God. Hence, he is now addressed by his congregants and all people as “Man of Satan.”

He has impregnated about one hundred and twenty women in his fake church. He diabolically steals from his innocent congregants. Every day he smiles to the bank while the people he milks daily smile to the toilet. When the condition became unbearable, everybody except his gang members deserted the evil church. The church in question consequently turned into a den of robbers and womanizers.

In conclusion, our vocations here on earth may lead to our salvation or to our damnation. In other words, we shall be answerable before the judgment seat of God. This calls for sober reflection for you and me.  If I am a president, do I preside well? If I am a governor, do I govern well? If I am a lawmaker, do I make good laws? If I am a priest, how do I handle my flock? If I am a medical doctor, how do I treat my patients?

If I am a lawyer, do I practice justice? If I am an engineer, how do I engineer the people around me? If I am a business man or woman, how do I treat my customers? If I am a driver, do I drive safely or dangerously? If I am a nurse, do I nurse anger while handling patients? If I am a builder, do I build correctly or cheaply?

If I am a cook, do I cook well? If I am a teacher, do I teach well? If I am a farmer, do I farm well? If I am a herder, do I destroy people’s farm? If I am a security man or woman, do I secure well? If I am a jester, do I laugh enough? If I am a coffin maker, have I made my own coffin? The last title awaiting all of us is R.I.P. This means either ‘Rest in peace’ or ‘Rest in pieces.’ Let us make our choice now. A stitch in time saves nine.