Me:Yes o! Let them be roasted!
Omo Ijo: Wolii, ewo ni t’epe? (Prophet, why the curses?)
Me: Yes o! I am not cursing! I say their children will be fatherless! Let their wives be widows! Let their children be…
Omo Ijo: Woli! I’m leaving, what is it with you and these hefty curses? Who are your enemies?
Me: You see, my friend. I am tired of writing about Nigeria’s problems. In fact I am tired of praying for solutions. So, I have decided this year, that my friend has inspired me, I will change my prayers. I will start praying about the problems facing Nigeria.
Omo Ijo: Ehn, but Woli! These are not prayers! These are curses.
Me: Ah! Ore, there are prayer for and prayers against. I am praying against these problems.
Omo Ijo: But even if you are praying against problems, these your prayers sound like they are curses directed against individuals not problems. Woli, but…
Me: Haba, ore! Who said individuals cannot be the problems? Or you think the problem of Nigeria is bad roads? Or lack of hospitals? Or physical and social insecurity? Or unemployment?
Omo Ijo: Yes ke! Woli, these are the problems facing Nigeria. Everyone knows that, I am sure that even you know this. Moreover, …
Me: Moreover kini? Ore (friend) keep quiet! Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. You have only highlighted the symptoms. The real problems are the people I was praying for before you interrupted me.
Omo Ijo: You mean cursing?
Me: Ore, joo wa maa lo! (Kindly leave). Or you keep quiet and let me make my supplications to God. I have friends who do not believe in God like I do, but they at least respect my right to pray!
(So I started my prayers)
Me: God I thank You because you always answer my prayers. I thank You because You have promised that whilst I am speaking You have answered. So God, these people who are threatening to turn 140 million people into economic and political refugees, please set a wicked man over them: and let Satan stand at their right hand. When they shall be judged, let them be condemned: and when they hire marabouts, false pastors and imams to pray to you, let their prayer become sin. Let their days be few; and let another take their office. Let their children be fatherless, and turn their wives to widows.
God, these people who have stolen from the country to buy villas in Spain, who go to hospitals in Germany and the United States, but refuse to build any clinics where the poor can be treated in their own country, haa God! Let their children be vagabonds continually, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. Let the bailiff take all they own; and let the strangers plunder their labours.
These people who refuse to show mercy to those that are being governed, who feed them lies in place of food! Who have foisted a dead man on the living to govern them! Haa, God, let no one extend mercy unto them: neither let there be any to favour their fatherless children. Let their posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their names be blotted out. Let the iniquity of their fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of their mothers be blotted out. God, let their sins be before You continually, that You may cut off the memory of them from the earth. Amen!
Omo Ijo: Woli, your enemies are in trouble! The enemies of Nigeria are in serious trouble!
Me: Yes ke! When God answers these prayers, you will see a difference.
Omo Ijo: Abeg (please) Woli, can I have a copy of this your prayer? Is it in Prayer Rain©?
Me: Prayer Rain© ke? Omo ijo! You don’t read your Bible ni yen! It is in Psalms 109.
Omo Ijo: Woli! Eyin tun le o! (You are awesome, prophet!) You mean you have read the Bible to that place? Okay, I will start praying that prayer! Can I pray it “for” my boss?
Me: O ya! Go away! Leave. Pray “for” anyone, but please pray “for” the problems that call themselves leaders, who are mis-ruling Nigeria.
This piece was inspired by a deep-seated angst towards those who have turned 140-odd million people into citizens of a failed state and a realisation of the need to challenge them. I opine that each one of us has something with which to challenge them – our wits, our intellects, our beliefs, our resilience and our rights to refuse to be mis-ruled.
I am Christian (NOT a spiritualist or “Woli”, I should be quick to add!); and I have come to appreciate the power of the prayer of the oppressed against the oppressor. Please note, I have not said prayer about the oppression! Psalms 109 is a good example of such imprecatory prayers found in the Bible. This is my first write-up in 2010, and I think a spiritual platform is a good basis to start… that is before I start pouring vitriol or proffering my own ideas on how to solve the seemingly intractable problem that is called Nigeria.
Lastly, to paraphrase a passage in the Bible, when you are tired of his yoke, you will throw if off your neck. When we (Nigerians) are tired, we would do something, and it would be more than prayers.