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This Other god
It was G. Macdonald that said, to have what we want is riches, but to be able to do without is power. This statement is true because men love to display the glamour of their riches and would do anything to have it so. Many people lack power to do without riches; hence they would go all the way and do anything to get riches.
The desperate pursuit of riches by men has made life look worthless to many millions of people that would not do so. This evil menace is more pronounced in Africa, when compared with their counter parts in other continents of the world. Selfishness among the African leaderships is a major factor that sets the continent backward away from its peers. It is embarrassing to see African Leaders looting the relief packages sent to their nations from the Western world, after a natural disaster for example. What is more embarrassing is that Africa is yet to send a relief package to these Western nations, whenever disaster struck them too.
Nigeria, being the giant of Africa has a lot of challenges in regard to this pursuit of riches. The Transparency International has once rated Nigeria as the 2nd most corrupt nation in the world. Although the former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili has launched a rebranding programme so as to revive the image of Nigeria. While all these are true, the hot pursuit an average Nigerian gives to riches especially money is unprecedented and with no match in any other nations of the world.
While Nigerians believe that their Police Force is the most corrupt of all government departments, ironically, this same Nigerian Police Force has the dozier of every corrupt Nigerian in their hands. From the pulpits to the mosques, from local government chairmen to the National Assembly, from one profession to another, the correct statistics are with the Police Force – and the common factor is money.
Nigerian Nollywood lustfully portraits money in their films, the hip hop artistes idolizes money in their songs followed by half nude girls, the politicians kill and maim each other claiming their love to serve as the reason for the killings, but we all know the reason to be money. The Pastors preach about money creation and encourage his members to go get money at all cost. University girls prostitute themselves for money and the male and female bankers have a target (a specified amount of money) to meet every month or else they lose their jobs. Once – upon – a – time Prayer Mountains have become money – making, devil-may-care mountains. It is a pity that men have lost the power to do without money in this country.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is yet to convince Nigerians about their seriousness to combat financial crime. Although they have all the figures and facts, the EFCC is yet to produce the truth to Nigerians about corrupt politicians that have mismanaged and embezzled the funds of the nation. No thanks to the Judges that see no basis for imprisoning these corrupt politicians. So the game continues among our leaders. Since these politicians were not elected by the populace, but were selected by the big wigs and enforced upon the populace through election malpractices, hence they have no heart for the masses, which they claimed to represent.
The money – making monster in Nigeria has four ugly heads: embezzling government funds, drug trafficking, frauds (419), and human rituals. These diabolical acts have become widespread and popular among the nation, because of the love of money among our people. It does not matter how you get your money in Nigeria, the society will respect and pour encomiums on you not because of your character, but for the money sake. Many traditional rulers in the country and many tertiary institutions do not make things better; by giving chieftaincy and honorary titles to these culprits with no character, thereby endorsing and embracing their evil practices. Therefore crimes increase in the country. The righteous upright Nigerians are with no title, but the criminals bags titles here and there. What a tragedy!
With time, we see the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom, disappearing from the face of the country. No wonder, about five pilgrims were arrested for drug trafficking, among those traveling to Mecca. While a commercial bus driver was arrested for hiding drug within the pages of the Holy Bible, a cripple was nabbed for selling marijuana to the public! You see, my people are crazy when it comes to money.
Money laundering and character laundering has become big masks that cover the questionable sources of most big men in this country. When you see an ice cream joint built with millions of naira, having a couple of people as customers, then you begin to wonder how the owner makes his or her profit. Do not be amazed, there may be a possible dark business underneath the ice – cream. The counterpart mask is like the first; take for example, a man that embezzled money from the government coffers but used some of his loots to sponsor scholarships will definitely bags an award as a nice man in the society – this is character laundering! Do not be fooled.
Within a short period of time, our political terrace is littered with many Chief, Dr. Otunba, Alhaji, and what have you. Our once respected traditional rulers and institutions have become fellow culprits with these bandits that love to parade themselves as saviors in our communities. For any chieftaincy title or award given, the recipient bandits cough out some millions of naira. In the long run, our rulers and these institutions lose their respect to these hoodlums – you see, there is no honor among thieves!
The very moment government increased the salaries of the political office holders, hell was let lose in the country. Political killings increased within our people that sing ‘One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity’. Hire assassination became the order of the day. Many families were brought into ruins and many hopes dashed. Intelligent people that could do the nation good were sent to their early graves through political killings, all because of money. The most painful thing is that none of these assassins has been brought to book by the government. None at all!
Although Nigerians love to pray, but the love of God is found missing in our hearts. From the executives to the man on the street, the best among us is only religious. Our love for God is only on our lips, deep down in us we have given our hearts over to money. Picture speaks better than one thousand words. While God gave His only begotten Son to show His love to us, Abraham also gave his son Isaac, to showcase his love for God, but Nigerians on the other hand, will give their sons (children) in money rituals
Child trafficking, etc, to show their devotion and affection to money,
Without an iota of doubt, there is another god that contends with God in our hearts. Although we might not like to admit it, this other god is money; the root or if you like the reason for all the evils we see in our country. Hear what the bible says:
‘But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ I Timothy 6:9-10 (KJV)
‘But if it's only money these leaders are after, they'll self-destruct in no time.
Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.’ – I Timothy 6:9 -10 (MSG)
There is a light at the end of the tunnel; there is a bright undeniable hope for Nigerians, this country has a glorious future! Our challenge today is one and only one – to flush out the love of money from our hearts and those of our company. As we set about this singular task, let us go back to its genesis and run through revelation to catch a revolution against this other god that usurps the throne of God in our hearts.
Money is a good servant, but a bad master. Until your mind gain mastery over money, you will be slave to money and do anything for it.
Preparing the Bride,
NB: Pray for our leaders to possess the fear of God, which is the beginning of Wisdom. No doubt, these people are intelligent but they lack the fear of God. So in their deliberations Wisdom is not always present!