Whenever “terror” is mentioned, especially since after September 11, 2001, the mind often goes to the activities of fundamentalists attacking American interests. But look down. Your brother next door could be a victim of terror in the next minute. Or how do you describe armed robbers, pen robbers, 419 fraudsters, abortionists, ritual murderers, Boko Haram, rapists, kidnappers, political thugs and arsonists? Evil is taking over Nigeria and spreading terror, blood and tears in the process.
That was the first paragraph of my column published exactly six years ago (October 24, 2010). Then, I was moved by ritual killers’ murder of a 2-year-old boy in Lagos to write the column entitled “Evil seems to be winning”.
But I hadn’t seen anything yet. Boko Haram had not killed up to 2, 000 then; now it has killed over 23, 000 and displaced almost 3million, scores of whom are now dying of starvation in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps daily. Fifty-something corpses had not been discovered in Ezu River in Anambra State. Fulani herdsmen had not started carrying AK 47 rifles and using them to erase villages in Benue, Enugu and other states. More than 300 Shiite Muslims had not been massacred and buried in shallow graves in Zaria. Godogodo town in Kaduna State still had its 40 men, women and children. The 2011 general election (during which over 1, 000 “baboons and monkeys” were soaked in blood) was still six months away. Above all, poor Nigerians had not started dying in the streets or stealing pots of soup and cups of garri.
I need not mention the Syrian war and several others that are still raging to make our world hellish. Today, however, Nigeria seems to be the capital of hell because of evil people and their evil deeds.
Let me paraphrase the remaining paragraphs of the article I wrote six years ago. They were written before Reuben Abati confessed that evil forces did battle in Nigeria’s Presidential Villa. Please continue.
Our lust for money is only beginning to bare its fangs. There is hardly any evil that has not been associated with Nigerians – leaders and followers alike. I disregard tales about missing manhood, cult-induced accidents and the like. But I once witnessed the arrest of a “trader” found with a young woman’s eyes in Lagos. She was lured into an uncompleted building and drugged before the hoodlums plucked her eyes off. The eyes were to be sold to a ritual killer for N500, 000. In a former neighbourhood, I once heard how a motorcyclist who was paid to take somebody’s children to school diverted them to a shrine. When he was eventually caught and tortured to confess his crime, he took policemen to the shrine; but they reached there too late: the three children had been beheaded. Their mother collapsed and died a few hours later.
The incidence of ritual murders truly rises whenever the dates for elections or great festivities approach. We hear that cult groups have blood banks that must be filled before every “successful” sacrifice. I used to doubt that people could be so heartless as to sacrifice other human beings for money or power. Not anymore. For too long, the leadership of this country has been dominated by cultists. And that is probably why Nigeria has become hell on earth in spite of all the resources it has been blessed with. I no longer doubt that many political offices are shared, ahead of election days, in the temples of secret cults to which many rich and influential Nigerians belong. But for the prayers of the few truly pious persons in the country, maybe Satan would have long established his headquarters here.
Evil knows no tribe, religion or class. Those who perpetrate it in order to acquire money or power could be found in all strata of society, in every religion and in every ethnic group. The membership of occult groups also reflects the federal character. It is when they come out of their dens and covens that they use tribes and tongues to deceive the uninformed. It looks as if they strive to occupy certain strategic positions – in the judiciary, legislature and executive – and to perpetually keep non-members away from such. Fighting and defeating occult people in elections could be very difficult: they hold the cash; they rig elections for their members; many are the judges in courts to which election petitions are sent.
Kidnapping and armed robbery are manifestations of the great wickedness that is taking over our land. But there are other pointers to evil that we often overlook. When you see a doctor who makes money from committing abortion, never entrust him with your vote. Anybody who has deliberately committed abortion twice or thrice should be dreaded. I have not said “once” because the culprit, if he/she is a youngster, might not have understood that he/she was committing murder until after the fact. Murder is evidence of great wickedness. And when someone who is not remorseful after killing someone else gets into public office, you don’t expect him to repent. He would fear no evil. He could embezzle trillions of naira to make even more people die. Another pointer: anyone who doesn’t profess any religion should be avoided like a plague. She does not fear God or any other god.
All the criminals in our midst are known. We have allowed them to thrive over the years. And now, they seem to be winning. We Nigerians have been talking about Bola Ige, Harry Marshal, Andrew Ogom, Barnabas and Amaka Igwe, Funsho Williams, Ayodeji Daramola, Aminosari Dikibo, Dipo Dina, Dele Giwa and a number of other journalists as victims of terror or political violence. There are thousands – perhaps millions – of others that are never mentioned, including the owners of the eyes, breasts, heads and genitals that the beasts buy and sell.
Bad people could still be defeated in our country. Because they have gained ground, only a brutal war can dislodge them. I recommend a “one-day war” between the good people and the evil people of this country. It should not be organised like “Operation Wetie” or “Bakassi” used in the southwest and southeast respectively to slaughter sundry bandits. Every police station has records of many criminals operating in its domain. So do villagers. It’s a matter of good intelligence.
Organisers of the “war” should determine how to deal with the mega thieves in business and government as well as the secret societies outlawed by the Nigerian constitution. Everyone could be called upon to show how he acquired his assets. Since good people are far greater in number, I guess the “war” wouldn’t last beyond a single day. After that, law and order would return. Good governance would begin to take roots in Nigeria. And happiness would return to the faces of Nigerians. Evil thrives only when good people choose to do nothing.
— By ANIEBO NWAMU
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