When I first heard of the insensitive act of Elrufai against Jesus and Christians, I just waved it away with the hand saying I did not believe he would cast aspersions on the Jesus Christ, whom Christians hold sacred. “Mallam has apologised”, I was also told. “Political correctness”, I muttered.
I did not in any way believe that Mallam Elrufai would deliberately or even accidentally fall into such a religious pit as to draw to himself, the anger of Christians in a nation where he has emerged, over time, as a vocal opposition. Particularly in an environment of greed, corruption, tribalism and religious intolerance.
I was still adamant that he did not say anything untoward regarding my Lord and saviour. I would not even consider the thought that Elrufai, a man I refer to as a Nigerian, would lose his decency to the point of insensitivity. I have followed the actions and utterances of this man and I was not in doubt that he was the stuff nationalists were made. Here was a man who stood firmly on the side of truth, reason and common sense and insisted on lines of action that put the interests of Nigerians above those of the Late President Yar Adua’s cabal. He stood with Nigerians to do the right thing. Mallam Elrufai, a muslim and a Northerner, stood with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, (who was not a muslim, no, he was also not from the North) against the established institution of power in Nigeria.
I was still doubtful that Mallam would remotely cause offence to anyone on the basis of religion. This is because I am aware that Mallam Nasir Elrufai is also a christian! What! Yes, is that not what we call people who go to church? Well, Mallam goes to church when and where he finds a godly man on the pulpit. Only people who go to church are called Christians in Nigeria. For Elrufai, its about God, its not about whether the building is called church or mosque, its all about godliness, not religion. For him too, its about Nigeria not Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, etc.
You see, religion has divided us because we think and believe that God is in buildings. Yes God is in buildings but not in buildings made by human hands. He lives in the hearts of ALL humans, good or evil, believe it or not. Our men who present themselves as God’s spokespersons have not made it easier for Nigerians to understand that everyone is special before God, that we all have equal and unhindered access to God. Why would they?
If they did, we all will find out that we do not need anyone to access God. If they did, we would be free, we would experience the liberty that comes from being one with God and then, it would happen! Their personal kingdoms they have built in God’s name would crumble because you will no longer give life to the beast through your financial commitments to men’s kingdoms. It means that they would have to find day jobs to sustain themselves like Apostles Peter, Paul etc. did. Best of all, you will be free to serve your God who demands NOTHING from you and joy unspeakable would be yours.
We have had governments in this nation – the good, the bad and the ugly. At no time have we had one that shamelessly peddle religion as a weapon of governance. We have never seen one that has openly pitched its peace-loving citizens against each other on religious basis. It is an open secret that the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria CAN are some of the most corrupt and rotten leaders in Nigeria. That’s to the credit of the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
This government, with the aid of its religious arm, has brought untold hardship on Nigerians. Nigerians have fallen from their position as the happiest people on earth to the saddest and unhappiest. We are no longer permitted to laugh. Joy has departed from our nation. There is pain everywhere as a great number of Nigerian people, old and young die of ailments that are easily curable while our political goons and their spouses indulge in cosmetic surgeries in luxurious foreign hospitals. There is pain everywhere as our roads become death traps for struggling Nigerians who are battling poverty with no support from the government. There is pain all over our nation as our leaders isolate Nigerians, preferring instead to shuttle about in private jets and rewarding their cohorts on pulpit with the same. There is pain everywhere as corruption is exposed and covered on a daily basis forcing David Cameron, the British Prime Minister to use the Nigerian government as an example of a government that is raping its people openly and shamelessly. There is pain in our land as men and women become overnight millionaires just for warming the beds of the hoodlums and touts who sit on our common wealth.
The Nigerian government has ensured that there is no more laughter in our nation. How dare you go against their wishes, how dare you laugh, Mallam Nasir Elrufai!
Laughter has become a scarce commodity in our nation until Mallam Elrufai laughed! A few uninformed religious bigots and agents of the hugely corrupt Nigerian authorities opined that it was very insensitive of the Mallam to laugh. What? Laugh? Yes that was all he did. Those who joined the bandwagon did not even know what happened or how it happened. Twitter illiterates who also double as religious neonates were on Facebook, declaring Fatwa on a man who just laughed!
We are being tele-guided by the likes of Dr Doyin Okupe and his ‘shadow ministers’, Abati and Omokri to become a nation of political correctness. We have lost our sense of humour. Being sensitive to the feelings of others is a very good attribute, one our government scores a huge ‘F’. However, we cannot sacrifice the truth on the altar of political correctness. We now have to say certain things in certain ways in other not to offend a few people. As a born-again Christian, I was not offended by the truth of the tweet by @zebbook, the young and courageous Nigerian youth who happens to be a follower of Jesus Christ too. What young Bukola did was follow the footsteps of Jesus by showing how evil the Nigerian government can be, a role Ayo Oritsejafor and his likes should be playing.
Dr Goodluck Jonathan had, in one of his lacklustre recorded “live” media chats said that Nigeria’s population has in part, 70% as its youth. What has he done to get our young people participate in governance seeing that the are in the majority in our nation?
In the days when Jesus walked the earth, he held to account those who ripped off his people, including religious leaders. Bukola did same and his tweet shows how highly he esteems Jesus. We cannot crucify an up-standing Nigerian youth for the mere fact that a few Nigerians do not have a good understanding of the English language. We must all know that Jesus and Allah are not invalids. They are not disabled. If they feel insulted by Bukola’s tweet or Elrufai’s laughter, they have the ability to turn these two into pillars of salt as a deterrent to those who tweet and laugh. We cannot continue to fight on God’s account. He does not need us to. If you have a God you have to fight for, something is wrong with the way you understand God.
Nigeria is in trouble and all the Dr. Jonathan administration is doing is to roll out an amateurish childlike propaganda machinery that equals that of a four year old. “Lets have a debate”, says Nigeria’s peddler of hope, Oby Ezekwesili. “Jealousy”, cries the childish Nigerian authorities. A Nigerian, a woman, challenges the Nigerian government to a wrestling match on issues affecting our nation and the government runs to mummy! C.H.I.C.K.E.N!
Instigating the malnourished puppies to attack a man who laughed is the height of idleness among the practitioners of gerontocratic oligarchy in our nation. These misinformed few must channel their energy into fighting to bring about the sort of democracy that looks after everyone, especially the weak and the poor, the vulnerable ones of our society. They must add their voices to the growing number of Nigerians, clamouring for democracy.
It is very clear that the irresponsible, corrupt and useless government in Nigeria is feeling the heat. It is true they have put on their kids gloves,
but the winners of this battle for the soul of our nation is predetermined. Everyone knows that it is a matter time before corruption and those who make a profession out of it are judged in our nation. On those days, their private jets would be grounded. The bottled up anger of a nation will be unleashed on those that have wiped laughter off our faces. On that day, we all, will laugh and it will no longer be a crime to laugh.
Follow me @Laurestar on Twitter.