“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
– The Holy Bible.
By Nduka Uzuakpundu
What may, ultimately, culminate in a religious crisis of a frighteningly, monstrous proportion is gradually brewing on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, especially the Ogun State stretch, which is a vital economic route that links Lagos with other parts of the country.
Until the advent of Pentecostal churches and other wild branches of the Cross, it was almost, always, an easy and pleasurable drive on the expressway. It was possible, in those halcyon days, to drive on the congestion-and-pot-hole-free road from Lagos to Benin City in two hours; Warri or Onitsha, three; Port Harcourt, a little over five; Ibadan, 50 minutes and Ijebu-Ode, 35. Then, there was a slogan: “breakfast in Onitsha, lunch in Lagos”; by some ambitious transporters, who ‘jetted’ between the two commercial cities.
That was between the late ’70s, when the dual carriageway was constructed, and the early 1990s. It was estimated, back in 2009, that about 37,000 vehicles, carrying about 743, 000 persons and goods worth N250 million, plied the expressway – daily. On both sides of the road were dense rain forests. Once, in a while, acephalous corpses dotted the expressway. Some said that they were products of ritual killers. They were pointers, some others said, to the fact that the expressway – the busiest in the West African sub-region – was a famished road. There were, it’s true, lonely human shelters – the forerunners of today’s ambitious human housing and office structures – located at far between. But all that has changed, with irritatingly costly effects. The astronomical soar in the country’s population and the ever-pressing need for new human shelters have opened the Lagos-Sagamu end of the expressway to individual and corporate developers. As industries are springing up, so, too, is there a muscular vehicular traffic. The serene, rural wild, for which the area was once known, is now a good instance of an innocence lost – irretrievably. Take, for instance, the fact that each time there was a major, crowd-pulling, Cross gathering within Kilometre 30 and 59 of the ever-busy expressway, it’s such that – somewhat inexplicably – both sides of it are virtually blocked to the extent that vehicular traffic becomes agonizingly slow.
And, over the years, because of the notoriety that the Cross gatherings have gained, most commuters – who know when they take place and attract a gargantuan crowd of viciously and hopelessly brain-washed Nigerians and foreigners, who stubbornly think that their ultimate redemption, ‘deliverance from witches and demons’, and expected ‘miracles’ rested with a clique of dissemblers and workers of iniquity – a people whom Christ, in His consuming wrathfulness, shall never forgive – either go through the Ijebu-Ode-Ikorodu road, Epe-Ijebu-Ode road or Sagamu-Abeokuta bush lane en route Lagos and vice versa.
The intent is to avoid being trapped, for as long as nine hours – it could be more – on a two-kilometre stretch, for as long as a particular Cross gathering lasts.
This development is tyrannical. It’s the tyranny of a tiny minority. Why should the organizers of such Cross gatherings subject commuters to occasional mental agony and psychological torture – all in God’s name?
It’s in the long, time-consuming traffic jam, caused by the Cross gatherings that many of their victims – individuals whose vehicles’ engines become faulty, and so have to park them somewhere and take another means of transportation, fast, so as to avoid being late to their destinations – in the honest expectation that they would come back to meet their vehicles the way they left them – or those who, because of the same long, time-consuming, traffic jam, end up in the hands of criminals, who rob them violently of their belongings. Add a visible number of the sick, who die – while being taken to hospital by good Samaritans – because they could not get there early enough to receive crucial medical attention.
But, as it may well be argued, the congregation of relatives, friends or good Samaritans, in whose loving and caring arms well over a legion of the sick have died, in agonizingly slow, time-consuming traffic jam, on the particular stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, should stop complaining: didn’t they know that free, efficacious medical care was given to the genuinely physically-down, in the numerous, ultra-modern hospitals inside one of the expansive worship complexes run by dissemblers and workers of iniquity, whose activities have been an accessory to so many deaths and economic losses? Inside the complex, there is a legion of what is called “Prayer Warriors”, who, it is claimed, possess unfailing, spiritual powers that could heal the sick. The visionary organizers of a certain stubbornly, offending Cross gathering said that they built the ultra-modern hospitals and had resident prayer warriors, who had special, healing spiritual powers, not only in fulfillment of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), but, as well, to serve as compensating features for whatever offence their religious activities were certain to cause. It’s their argument, still, that in the past twenty-five years, their religious gatherings had discouraged fatal accidents on account excessive speed by lawless motorists, who had thought that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was another Formula One turf. And why not! They also posited that those who refused to join them in worshipping Christ, in their vast complex, would always be incurably sick or get caught up in the agonizingly slow, traffic jam about which they
complain – with impotent rage, though.
But seriously, Christ is certainly not happy that there appears to be an unholy alliance – a conscious conspiracy, as it were – between the remorseless cheats and coldly calculating workers of iniquity, who organize such Cross gatherings that cause so much agonizingly slow, time-consuming traffic jam and criminals, on the one hand, and, on the other, road-side menders of vehicles rendered faulty after unusually long hours in the muscular, jet-speed-of-a-snail traffic jam, petrol dealers, transporters, who tap into the nasty traffic situation to increase fares, such petty traders as hawkers of water, snacks, gargantuan loaves of freshly-baked bread, soft drinks, citrus fruits, religious stickers, visors, gift items, all manner of poorly-printed, mini-flags of some well-known foreign countries – like the United States of America, where Pentecostalism is another active sector of capitalism – religious publications, textiles, biros, marking pens, cell phone recharge cards, imported, immaculate white handkerchiefs, spotless envelopes, anointing oil, etc. This is an unholy alliance that thrives on the hardship, which the parties to it cause their fellow human beings. While diverse businesses boom – including crimes of extortion and mugging – the organizers of such Cross gatherings, are sure that the seasonal providers of goods and services, who make gargantuan profits, as a result, would gladly deposit a fairly generous fraction of same with them, as either tithe or offering – because “God loves a cheerful giver” and “You cannot rob God”! This presupposes that there is a symbiotic relationship, as it were, involving the organizers of the offending Cross gatherings – the so-called anointed men of God – criminals, artisans and petty traders. Amen, somebody!
Still, it’s almost certain that given the arrogance and remorselessness with which the organizers of the offending Cross gatherings go about their activities– and, quite unfortunately, that of their swarm of viciously and hopelessly brain-washed followers – their prayers – and it matters less how genuinely fervent – will never be answered by Christ. Truth is that those who genuinely worship Christ – the merciful and infinitely kind Christ – are ever cautious never, as a result of their activities, to cause unnecessary discomfort or harm to their fellow human beings, because, Christ did say, somewhere in the synoptic gospel according to St. Matthew – the historian and ex-tax-collector: “do unto others, what you would like them do unto you.” The Golden Rule, that is. Amen, somebody! There’s a gargantuan curse on the offenders by a congregation of victims of their religious activities. The misplaced arrogance of the organizers of the offending Cross gatherings would seem to have been steeled, lately, for, as one of the leading pastors of the offending churches told this writer: “Vice-President ’Yemi Osinbajo is a member of our church.” It was quite irresponsible of the pastor – a bean-pole, “who smiles as if he cannot record any expression” – to have linked Osinbajo – a very clean professor of law, human resource management specialist and considerate follower of Christ – with the gargantuan lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Besides, members of the Crescent are not happy. A legion of them, who have, on many occasions, fallen victims of the notorious, church-programme-induced traffic congestion on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, told this writer, after Juma’at service, at Tom Jones, on Lagos Island, on August 5, 2016, and at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque, Alausa, on August 19, 2016, that they saw the development as sure to cause, in the near future, a religious conflict – one that would be characterized by blood and fire.
It promises to be a miraculously ferocious Holy Ghost fire that would consume Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, who lives 382 metres, somewhere off the expressway – where religious lawlessness is regnant – in Ogun State, for evading tax, even after fasting for forty days and forty nights – in opaque solitary confinement – and receiving Holy Communion, during a combined service, in Prophet Brother Jero’s church. It’s an unquenchable Holy Ghost fire that would – with a miraculous touch – burn Prophet Brother Jero to ashes – for plotting to claim ownership of the mushrooming places of worship that are now a common sight – in the name of expanding his church and “winning a multitude of clean, heaven-bound souls for our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen, somebody! The miraculously unquenchable Holy Ghost fire that is sure to come from heaven would be worse than the one prophesied against NITEL towers, at Marina, Lagos, in the early ’80s, by an unrepentant, lake of fire- bound arsonist, who is known in the Pentecostal vineyard of lawlessness as Senior Evangelist Ray Ekpu. Amen, somebody! The same rambunctious Ray Ekpu, who, under the overwhelming inspiration of the Holy Ghost, prodded ex-president Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who, in turn, instigated Soyinka, who, in turn, went ahead, in keeping with his rascally character, to hold Radio Kudirat to ransom for allegedly broadcasting Pentecostal sermon on prosperity! Open your exceptionally long and deep beak, lousy Rotimi Adebayo, and shout alleluia, so that the angels in Heaven will rejoice, and descend wrathfully on the workers of iniquity on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. And, on a solemn Holy Ghost fire occasion, as this, Uthman Shodipe is free to go to hell and be “crazy or something”. Amen, somebody! And because Soyinka has, stubbornly, refused to execute the contract awarded him, on his birthday, in 2014, for the expansion of a certain notorious section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Holy Ghooooost fire! And, again, because cautelous Prophet Brother Jero has conspired with some corrupt government operatives and fake town-planners to erect – with “tigritudinal attitude” – gargantuan churches, where combined services are, often, held – in areas designated as strictly residential – and, thereby, causing gargantuan nuisance to Soyinka, whenever he’s busy crafting – in soy ink – his usually toxic, Prize-rigging, opaque plays and fictitious Bastille notes – rebarbative works, all; and because they are likely to congest the traffic of words in the reader’s brain, they are never read by such brilliant characters as Adedayo Ojo, ’Gbenga Oni, Nkoyo Toyo, Inatimi Spiff and ’Bayo Onanuga – Holy Ghooooost fire! It’ll be a miraculously ferocious Holy Ghost fire that would surely consume Soyinka, in a similar manner that he stodges pigs “. . . without gastronomic options”, and Prophet Brother Jero for his famed, openly lecherous conduct, which led to his being nabbed – by twelve-strong team of seasoned detectives, led by a retired, high-ranking police officer called Lawal Ogienagbon – when he was comfortably “clasped between the two fleshy thighs of a . . .” Delilah – a woman well-known in the ‘Soho’ districts of Lagos as a callipygian with youthful boobs – during a recent women-only vigil. Alleluia, somebody!
A congregation of students of English Language, Theatre and Communication Arts, federal and state Directors of Arts and Culture, well-known actors and actresses in Nollywood and members of Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers’ Union (RATTAWU), led by Sunday Omobolanle (alias “Papi Luwe”); all members of Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), led by Tony Ubani (alias “Outrage”) and popular humorists, under the captaincy of handsome Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere (osare, omagarhen!); they all chorus, in defeaning unison: “Holy Ghooooost fire” – against Prophet Brother Jero for conspiring with Soyinka to have the National Stadium and Teslim Balogun Stadium, at Surulere, Lagos, the Agege Township, the National Theatre, at Iganmu, Lagos; the test cricket pitch, The Arcade, the old National Assembly complex, all at Race Course and Campus Square, on Lagos Island, the International Trade Fair complex on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the numerous warehouses and premises of once-thriving industries that have been forced to fold up, on account of openly hostile government policies, converted to gargantuan churches. Amen, somebody! For causing so much nuisance in neighbourhoods, where live the aged, the infirm, law-abiding individuals like pensioners, animists, free-thinkers, doubters, nullifidians, agnostics, idol worshippers, disbelievers, pagans, atheists, cynics et al, in form of excessively loud noise – in a flagitious breach of a legion of extant laws on noise abatement, Holy Ghooooost fire!
Such places of worship that are built with the dirtiest of capitalist and worldly ambitions, would, surely, collapse, because, according to a genuinely aggrieved, regular victim of the muscular, jet-speed-of-a-snail traffic jam on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, who’s also a father of three girls, and lives in Lagos – Sheikh Sakrudeen Ibn Mahmudh, 49, – “they lack clean spiritual content.” Many more churches would collapse, he prophesied, if they were not erected – and, genuinely, so – for the glorification of Christ. Well over a legion of church structures would fall flat like the walls of Jericho – certainly not mosques, used by peaceful, law-abiding and tax-paying Muslims – whenever predaceous birds like hawks, kites, lammergeyers, griffons, pheasants, gyrfalcons, petrels, and capercaillies fly over them – with a gargantuan loss of local and foreign souls, if Soyinka and Prophet Brother Jero stubbornly refuse to sow a seed, or insist on robbing God. Amen, somebody! “When the Holy Bible said in the book of Psalms, chapter number 127, verse number 1, that ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it’”, Ibn Mahmudh pointed out, “the over-abundance of crises in most churches, today – including leadership and succession, embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, sit-tight syndrome, failed marriages, on account of infidelity by hypocrites, cheats and fraudsters, vicious gossip, rumour-mongering concerning why some churches’ members no longer visit their pastors for fear of being drugged and raped or sodomised and, amongst others, collapse of supposedly church-owned, multi-storey buildings – are persuasive evidence to that effect.
Many more marriages will be sundered, because Christ did not nod at them or send any so-called anointed man of God to represent Him, when such marriages were contracted.” Amen, somebody!
And yet, Soyinka and his accomplice – Prophet Brother Jero – insist that all is well. Really! Soyinka and his god-son – Prophet Brother Jero – will, surely, not escape severe punishment, for their stubborn refusal to speak in tongues and for making a false prophecy, not so long ago, that, very shortly, the price of crude oil would plummet to three dollars per barrel – instead of praying, fervently – as do prayer warriors – so that the product’s price would soar, astronomically, to a new height of, say, $190 per barrel – and, so, ease the country out of recession. Amen, somebody!
And thus spake Ecclesiastes (Dr.) Reuben Abati of Christian Amalgamation of Nigeria (CAN): “Soyinka is clearly a part of the problem in that, since the past three decades of the rot, rust and forced ripeness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, he has elected to maintain a conspiratorial silence, because, firstly, it suits his stubbornly opaque – if inevitable – gawk at the eschatological and twilight zone; secondly, because what’s happening on the expressway is in keeping with Prophet Brother Jero’s vaticination concerning his pot-hole-riddled, prize-winning work – The Road.”
And thus spake ’Lekan Ogunbanwo, the General Overseer of Pentecostal Faith of the Nativity (PFN), in response: “For Soyinka’s opaque, conspiratorial silence on the rot, rust and forced ripeness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Holy Ghooooost fire! For Soyinka’s stubborn insistence that the rot, rust and forced ripeness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are not only true manifestations of The Road, but, also, some conclusive evidence of the gargantuan corruption in Nigeria of today, Holy Ghooooost fire! The Holy Ghost fire – Okechukwu Ifionu speaks of conflagration – should consume Soyinka now, before the refulgent and glorious sun finally goes down on him – for linking Christian religious programmes with bad roads, muscular, jet-speed-of-a-snail traffic jam and near-bottomless corruption. Amen, somebody!
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“Many church structures that would survive the looming blood-and-fire crisis on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and elsewhere, would be flattened, in later years, by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – if their pastors insist on aiding and abetting kidnapping, extra-judicial killing, bank robbery, stealing of the country’s crude oil and selling it to foreigners, rapery and snacking on human flesh. Alleluia, somebody!”
Furthermore, in the blood-and-fire crisis that is to come, a legion of the corpses of fake and parasitic pastors would litter the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway – at the expensive price of causing yet another version – a New King James Version – of an unusual, time-consuming traffic snarl – for their insisting, with a touch of hubris – against the pronouncement of Christ – that man must live by bread alone. Amen, somebody! The fleet of bullet-proof vehicles owned by such fallen pastors would be impounded by the children of the genuinely poor and converted to taxis for the masses. Their private jets would be set ablaze because they are cursed objects of ill-gotten wealth, in which no one, henceforward, should fly, for fear of a certain crash and gargantuan loss of life. Their lavishly-furnished mansions, bungalows, duplexes and commercial housing estates would be taken over by those whom the Holy Bible refers to as “poor in spirit”, who, in turn, would convert them to government-approved crèches, nursery and primary schools – solely for the children of their class. Amen, somebody! The wardrobes of the fallen parasitic pastors and fake bishops would be looted and their contents sold – as would their fabulously expensive yachts – in a transparent manner – to the happiness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – and their proceeds gladly donated to motherless babies’ homes. All that, said Ibn Mahmudh, would be the beginning of a combined legion of the anointed poor and the meek inheriting the Earth – as written in the synoptic gospel according St.
Matthew, chapter number 5, verse number 5. Amen, somebody!
If the security agents – the Police, Department of State Security (DSS), the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), etc. – are to be punctilious and thorough with intelligence gathering, they are most likely to find out that patience and tolerance, on the part of believers in the Crescent, are about to snap. And, just in case, the looming blood-and-fire, religious conflict may be one too many for Nigeria – amidst today’s deep recession, economic sabotage in the Niger Delta region, the murderous activities of herdsmen, Boko Haram terrorism in the north-east and post-Biafra war agitations.
Nigeria has been lucky to have survived the Biafra war. The on-going lawlessness and flagitious breach of the fundamental rights of a crushing majority of tax-paying Nigerians – including the followers of the Crescent – as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN), may trigger off an Armageddon-like conflict. And even if Nigeria survives it, ’tis far from certain that her make-up – as a resilient, federated nation-state – will ever be the same again! Amen, somebody! As religious suspicion and intolerance – in the post-bellum era – sink their roots, fear and anxiety would reign – almost supreme. It may well become quite compelling, then, to exit the Nigeria of today, because an influential and sweeping hive would have come to see as no longer sustainable what is called “The Nigeria Project”.
The impending blood-and-fire, religious conflict, further, promises to be self-inflicted – and not a case of conspiracy by some foreign powers, who know, full well, that a peaceful Nigeria, so vastly blessed with human and natural resources, would soar – almost inexorably – in terms of sustainable human development – in that the security agencies would have little alibi that, in the past three decades, they were not aware of the lawlessness of those who had always claimed that they were worshipping the merciful Christ at a certain stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Amen, somebody!
And, as wily and fraudulent Prophet Brother Jero, always put it, whenever such buffoons as Sonala Olumhense, Reginald Ibe, Ilemi Okoka, Ebere Wabara, Pita Onaivi, Nosa Osazuwa and Ibn Mahmudh are trapped in the agonizingly slow traffic jam caused by the Cross gatherings on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway: “Let somebody shout alleluia, so that the angels of the Lord, in heaven, will hear and rejoice.” Besides, it was Prophet Brother Jero, who is the General Overseer of one of the offending Cross gathering, it would be recalled, who once commanded his intimidating crowd of viciously brain-washed, uncritical followers, when last Soyinka celebrated his birthday, to the effect that “Unseal your generously long, wide and deep beaks and pray, fanatically, too – like the prayer warriors that you are – so that such idiots as Ammah Ogan (alias “Chop one, Chop two”), Christy Anyanwu, Comrade Opeyemi Bamidele, Chido Nwakanma, Ben Tomoloju, Mike Asuquo, Emmanuel Ibeleme, Tunde Rahman, Nnena Ukoha, Emeka Odikpo, Bobian Tokura, Joke Kujenya, Effiong Nyong, Tunde Umar, and Alhaji Waheed Odusile would always get caught up in the traffic each time we hold our famous Cross gathering.” Amen, somebody.
Still, in a well-thought-out, ambitious epistle – crafted in corrupted soy ink, with a characteristic, stubbornly irritating, opaque literary style – and addressed to Soyinka – the gargantuan, pig-headed nincompoop, who thinks that he’s the only one who knows how best to speak and write opaque Queens English – Prophet Brother Jero, who quotes the Holy Bible to justify evil, and every other so-called anointed man of God, who is living in questionable opulence, Ibn Mahmudh prophesied, inter alia, that if the organizers of the offending Cross gatherings failed to repent, they would, surely, be “cast, on the day of judgement, into an everlasting fire, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Amen, somebody!
The Federal and Ogun State governments – in league with the Solons, who represent that part of Ogun State – should check this potentially explosive development that the followers of the Crescent rightly say, openly, violates their fundamental human rights. The Solons, who collect what is known as “Constituency Project Fund or Allowance”, and in whose area the lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway takes place ever so often, with reckless abandon, should see it as a challenge to which they should direct both financial and human resources – before it escalates into a consuming crisis that would, amongst others, harm their reputation, political appeal and ambition. The followers of the Crescent are genuinely aggrieved, in that when they congregate in any of their modest camps, anywhere on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, little inconvenience do they cause other road users. They said – and this writer nods – that the Crescent would have come – almost relentlessly – under a Niagara of barbs, were it the offending C. “How come nothing is being done”, they demand, “to check the tyrannical excesses of the so-called followers of the Cross on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway? Are the organizers of the offending religious activities sacred cows?”
Some influential personalities of the Crescent, who have close links with the Sultan of Sokoto – Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III – Edet House and Kam Salem House – said that, very shortly, they would write to the Federal Government, the Inspector-General of Police and National Assembly, to call to order the irresponsible characters, whose religious activities – on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway – were causing them and other law-abiding, tax-paying Nigerians untold hardship. While they were sure to take uncompromising legal process against the known organizers of the offending Cross gatherings, they would stage, they told this writer, an initial peaceful protests, for as long as one hundred and eighty days, on that stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, if the lawlessness there was not checked. Their intent is to prove that the Crescent is a religion that preaches and practices peace – not one that encourages hypocrisy, fraud, disrespect for the feelings of other human beings and the kind of lawlessness that is almost a fixture between Kilometre 30 and 59 on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Their planned peaceful protests and robust legal process, they told this writer, besides, would be to register the fact they were the dishonest organizers of the stubbornly offending Cross gatherings that were giving Christianity a bad image in Nigeria. It’s a part of the near-bottomless corruption in this country that, in the past three decades, the unclean organizers of the so-called Christian gatherings – some of which take place on every first or last Friday of the month; and there’s one that takes place a little before Christmas, which attracts the viciously and hopelessly brain-washed from Nigeria and other climes – have never been called to order. Indeed, the followers of the Crescent did say that the unclean organizers of the offending Cross gatherings had grown so powerful that they had the Nigeria Police Force and FRSC under their control. “They are on the pay-roll of the organizers of the offending Cross gatherings”, said Ustaz Ossein Ishaq al-Kareem, who resides at Ibafo, in Ogun State. “The untidy experience to which these so-called Christians are subjecting road users on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway must cease forthwith, if only to avoid their churches from being torched and the leading organizers of such church programmes, which cause so much traffic jam from being murdered,” al-Kareem, 43, who’s a father of two girls and a boy, told this writer, recently, inside a mini-bus on a trip to Sagamu from the Berger
area of the expressway.
“The people, who organize the church programmes, are the same cheats, who hide behind the cloak of religion and see nothing wrong in accepting gargantuan tithe and muscular offering from thieves, who have looted the fisc of this country. They welcome such rogues and economic saboteurs and pray for them, as do prayer warriors, so that they’d continue in their ungodly ways. They are the same so-called anointed men of God, who send other people’s sons and daughters to stand by the roadside, under unforgiving heat of the sun, to distribute tracts, at the risk of being hit – and, possibly, killed – by a motor-bike, tricycle or vehicle, while their own children – in a prelude to debauchery and constitution of gargantuan nuisance to the rest of society – are at their cozy mansions watching unedifying films. Jesus Christ is certainly not happy with such characters, who seem to have lost their conscience to transient, worldly gains. Filthy lucre, if you care. Amen, somebody!
“And yet, they claim that they adore Jesus Christ. In vain, their prayers! In vain, the prayers of pastors or so-called anointed men of God, who have taken an active part in driving the country’s economy into a deep recession,” said al-Kareem, who’s also a 2002 and 2009 graduate of Computer Engineering and Sociology, respectively. “President Muhammadu Buhari should please call the people, who organize the Christian church programmes, to order, because they are oppressing those of us who are law-abiding, tax-paying Muslims, and who use the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, quite often. This country and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway belong to all of us. The other churches that either say ‘Domino vobiscum’,‘Deus, per Omnia secula seculorum’,‘Index Liborum Prohibitorum’, or those who say‘Asalaam alaykum’, the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, or those who wear white garment – including the followers of Saint Aladura, who – one night, during an oppressively hot season of anomy, back in the early ’60s – invaded and occupied twenty-two plots of undeveloped land at the Victoria Beach, belonging to Soyinka – and have been in this country, for ages, are never known for the kind of arrant lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, caused by a tiny group of workers of iniquity, cheats and parasites, who are very fond of parroting: ‘Holy Ghooooost fire’and‘Aaaameeeeenn’, even when they are fouling the laws of this country. In place of organizing programmes that obstruct the free flow of traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway – with its attendant gargantuan inconvenience, health risk to motorists and economic loss to this country – won’t it be a lot to the glorification of Christ, if they spend their time praying – and fervently, too – like the prayer warriors, that they claim they are – for the release of the Chibok girls? They wish their enemies ‘Holy Ghooooost fire’ – whatever the meaning of that – in a sinful disobedience of Christ’s instruction, as in the Beatitudes, that they should ‘pray for those who persecute and revile you, unjustly, solely for my sake’.
“Matters would not have been this bad, had a majority of Nigerian journalists not been agents of western imperialism and capitalistic Pentecostalism! We have it on record that some of them are on the pay-roll of Washington, the Vatican and Brussels. This is a bald case of tyrannical conspiracy of silence by PFN and CAN against those of us who are Muslims and other law-abiding Nigerians. ’Tis a tyrannical conspiracy of silence that is reminiscent of the Church’s sinful encouragement and cover-up of criminal child abuse by its anointed men of God – including pastors, reverend fathers, prophets, evangelists, apostle, deacons and bishops. And we’re not going to keep quiet in the face of this tyranny, which, we know, full well, the idiot called Soyinka is comfortable with, lest he’d jeer at us for our man’s death.
“From now on”, a visibly angry Ibn Mahmudh told this writer, outside the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque, at Alausa, Ikeja, on September 14, 2016, “the likes of wily and fraudulent Prophet Brother Jero, whose religious activities on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are causing law-abiding and tax-paying Muslims and other Nigerians extreme hardship, shall never know peace. Amen, somebody!
“Those of us who’re law-abiding Muslims,” he said “are no fools. The lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway must stop, now! Otherwise, it’ll be extremely hard to guarantee the safety of the Pentecostals in this country – especially their captains and infrastructure on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Add a legion of contractors and their associates, who were paid a colossal sum of money to keep the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in order, but failed – almost with impunity – to do so. This was an issue that was discussed at a pre-Eid el-Malud gathering, somewhere outside Lagos, in 2014. We’re fast running out of patience. Why, if one may ask, have you journalists not focused on this lawlessness? Why have the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and Newspaper Publishers’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), National Human Rights Commission and the oodles of constitutional lawyers in this country not condemned the lawlessness being perpetrated by the cheats, fraudsters and parasites; workers of iniquity, all, who call themselves Pentecostals, on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway?
“Could it be because the same so-called Pentecostals have bribed you journalists and newspaper publishers never to report the gargantuan economic loss to this country, the mental agony and the psychological torture caused a majority of law-abiding Nigerians – including Muslims, whenever a certain Pentecostal church organizes a crowd-pulling programme to the snarling of vehicular and human traffic between Kilometre 30 and 73 of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for as long as twenty-two hours?
“Some of you journalists and newspaper publishers are corrupt; you’re some of the major contributors to the problems of this country. Because you’ve been bribed by the Pentecostals on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, you tend to pretend that their lawlessness is just okay. But, be you informed that we Muslims are saying that it’s not. Does the Holy Bible spouse lawlessness! Were the gragantuan traffic jam on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway a product of Muslim religious activity, some idle and mischievous journalists would have tagged it: ‘a prelude to the Islamization of Nigeria.’ And if what the Pentecostalists are doing on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is an attempt at ‘Christianization of Nigeria’ – ‘a vile and wicked lust of conquest and subjugation’, a la the Crusaders – let me say, here and now, that it will never come to pass! Never! Never! Enough of Pentecostalist lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway! We Muslims are no fools.
Enough! If nothing is done, soon, to check the Pentecostalists’ lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and elsewhere, be you informed that we’d pronouncefatwah on all the known characters behind it, their wives, children and associates.” Amen, somebody!
Besides, such people are happy, today, because the Nigerian economy is groaning under a deep recession. It’s during a period like this – as was the traumatic era of structural adjustment programme (SAP), in the late ’80s and early ’90s – that, in a show of shallow self-righteousness, they start an aggressive noise-making, instilling fear in the gullible and making false, unrealistic promises that, say, “Jesus is the answer”, “Come, Jesus is calling you”, “Come and receive your miracle”, “Don’t forsake the assembly of the children of God”, and amongst others, “Your life will never be the same again” – all in a devilish bid to create a gargantuan hole in the pocket of whoever falls a victim of their taradiddles. These are the false prophets, fake pastors, dishonest miracle-workers, self-seeking evangelists, self-styled anointed men of God, who sleep with their secretaries, aid and abet kidnapping and robbery, rape minors; workers of iniquity, all – about whom the Holy Bible said, in the synoptic gospel according to Matthew, would arise as the end-time drew near. Amen, somebody!
Surely, were Chief Gani Fawehinmi (fondly referred to by his army of admirers as “Senior Advocate of the Masses”) and former National President of the Nigerian Bar Association – Mr. Aka Bashorun – alive, they would have long filed a suit with an eyeing to getting a mandatory injunction to put an end to the Pentecostal lawlessness on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. In addition, were Chief Obafemi Awolowo alive, today, he would have, for informed reasons of morality, profound respect for the teachings of Christ, national economic advancement and solidification of peace in the South-West geo-political zone, called on the irresponsible leaders of Pentecostal churches on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to mend their evil ways; that they should, joking apart, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto thee”, show profound respect for the rights of law-abiding and tax-paying Muslims and a crushing majority of other voiceless Nigerians, who use the autobahn.
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