Almost a year ago in New Jersey, I was confronted with the irresistible responsibility of telling the story of how Nigerians stripped Nigeria naked and how we veered in the direction of heaven to strip God naked. What took me to New York was the story of Tolerance Academy, I didn’t have an inkling that I would be invited to New Jersey to tell the other story of Nigeria. But because I hate to tell the other story of my country whenever I am out of the shores, I prayed hard that the cup should pass over me.
There I was, after travelling by train from New York to New Jersey, surrounded by mixed curious minds, illustrious sons and daughters of Africa, with their ears on standing ovation. So today, I decided to point finger at my own people and tell them the truth they hate to hear. We have stripped God naked, but this God cannot be raped!
Any ideology, if it is not to die or lapse into historic irrelevance, must undergo periodic blood transfusion and a dynamic reinvigoration of its cardinal tenets. We have travelled far with history but we have never looked inward and foreclosed external possibilities, we have not been willing to achieve linkage with like-minded groups and associations thrown up by the social convulsions in our society. But we are continually being confronted with ancestral feuds preventing us from recognizing the rays of radical possibilities emanating from many sections of our traumatized nation. We have since stripped God naked, but this God cannot be raped!
So today, I am back at the threshold of logic. And because this is a sanctuary of reasoning, I will jive in the ocean of metaphors. If you don’t have the wings of interpretations, it means this ocean is not for you. If you are not imbued with the will to dance to the drumbeat of these ocean waves, you will save yourself a big headache by not reading this vignette. Because we are a people aggressively confronted with the wicked side of life, we have stripped God naked, but this God cannot be raped!
We have never prepared to push ourselves beyond the threshold of imaginable pains in every sphere of human endeavor since 1999. We have never dared and defied all odds. We have never turned our collective adversity and misfortune into weapons against the outrageous slings and arrows of fate. We have never created any defining moment with its historic possibilities and superhuman exertions. We shook our hands beyond the elbow and rushed to proclaim that God brought it on us. Truth shield God, we have lied against this God and have since stripped Him naked, but this God cannot be raped!
Yes we have won in the past with certain historical factors. But we have never prepared to bring the magic of the past to bear on the morass of the moment. The victors appear to have been transformed into the vanguished. There is a new game in town. There are new historical forces to contend with. Instead of confronting these forces by just doing the right thing, we cry to God, disturbing Him for things He has given us the power to do. Nigeria is in itself dining alone. It is an embarrassment of country riches, an endowment scandal that one single country could be so stupendously blessed. Yet we crawl before God, not allowing Him to focus on other important business. He has given us food to eat, yet we want Him to put it in our mouths. What is the essence of our hands? Still we lie and say he brought the woes on us. We have stripped God naked, but this God cannot be raped!
We rigged elections to usher in Mr President. Yet, we came out to announce that God gave us Mr President, we must allow him and respect him. God doesn’t rig elections, he only gives the power to select with informed mind. For those accusing God of giving us one Otuoke son as the president, which he has even proclaimed, verily verily I say unto you, you have stripped God naked, but this God cannot be raped!
Our emotions have been eroded. We are a people living a dry life. We have burnt our connections due to greediness. We have suffered an immense intellectual loss due to glorification of mediocrity. We kill and sing the music of ‘Allahu Akbar’, lying that God has sent us to kill the ‘infidels’, turning God to blood sucker in the process. We have slapped God in the face. We have gone for the jugular. We have stripped God naked, but this God cannot be raped!
We have been going round in cycle, repeating the same exercise and unlearning the same lesson. We have actually been deteriorating politically, intellectually and economically. As a result, we have suffered a profound loss of mental and spiritual magnitude and the capacity for productive politics. In the process, we acquired a democracy with an unhealthy appetite for power without corresponding political responsibilities. Now we are fast jumping into discomforting irrelevance. We have plundered God’s blessing, we have stripped Him naked, but this God cannot be raped!
We were once blessed by God when He gave us a man of boundless mystical optimism and measureless faith in the ballot box. Paradox finally struck the great man that his very gifts and managerial ability have rendered him technically unelectable in post-colonial Nigeria. He became an electoral Pariah in the face of his people. What else do we want from God? We are now stuck in the box, we never moved. We blamed God for bringing the woes on us, we have stripped Him naked, but He cannot be raped!
We call his name to lend credence to lies. We praise His name whenever we kill. And we still pray to Him to save Nigeria. This is a sheer waste, for nothing is wrong with Nigeria, but a lot is wrong with Nigerians. Nigeria is hail and healthy but the people are sick. The only prayer that can save the people is for them to start doing the right thing, for God has given us the power to do the right thing. Otherwise, we will continue to go in cycle, we will never moved, God will never answer our prayer, for if He answers us, we would have have succeeded in raping Him. But He can never be raped.
It is me, @Obajeun