Last week Sunday, the Presiding Pastor of House on the Rock, Lagos, Paul Adefarasin casted as an austere contrarian holding faith and fear. The priest descended from the pulpit at an alarmingly fecund level into irreverent court of public opinion with his ‘Plan B’ homily to his parishioners.
Adefarasin sermonized by saying his members should have an alternative plan for Nigeria. He further disclosed that his wife (Pastor Ifeanyi) is currently out of Nigeria helping to create their own plan B – an alternative plan to relocate from Nigeria in the case of an eventuality.
That is not a theology, it is the reality that Nigeria is evaporating from Nigerians, not by natural disasters, but with man-made terror of banditry, kidnapping, anarchy, raping that have made the nation a domicile. Where you are doesn’t matter, church, mosque, market, bedroom or farm, insecurity can serve you a grisly breakfast, lunch or dinner of tears.
Since that statement came out, the principal’s educated cyber leopards have embraced iconoclasm in their brutal, brutish and barbaric gangsterism. They had forgotten we are in a democracy, and it is about right, not who is right because majority can be foolish. That was a testament to the habitues of the nation. Further, they took the lame and escapist scamper into the blossom of God to hide the ineptitude of government “Nigeria is ours. No place like home. We are planning. We are working. We will continue to pray for Nigeria,” they said. This writer asked, What remains in Nigeria? They believe scaffolding of prayer can reengineer a new Nigeria. But the preacher fears faith on Nigeria land.
Plato has a name for them by painting them in his allegory of the Cave in his best known work, ‘Republic.’ There, he compared the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature. In a dialogue between his brother, Glaucon and his mentor, Socrates, revealed the life of ignorance “as a group of people chained to the wall of a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watched shadows projected to them as reality from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. Those shadows were later found to be the world of make believe, as against the accurate presentation of the real world.
Socrates capped it this way: “Philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that shadows on the wall are not reality at all. A philosopher aims to understand and perceive the highest level of reality. However, the other inmates of the cave do not even desire to leave their prison, for they know no better life.”
The nation is afire; no region is safe. The inmates said we can maintain our peace in pieces. A few weeks ago, five children among kidnapped students of Greenfield University in Kaduna State were slaughtered. Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation also turned a tryst for abductors recently.
On Friday, Kaduna state government said the Nigerian Airforce has destroyed the bandits, it was a strike without blood, figure and ashes. Bandits have taken Zamfara by the jugular. Niger State, otherwise known as ‘Power State’ has lost its power to Boko Haram. UNHCR,UN Refugee Agency claimed that about 65,000 Nigerians were lured to flee the country following an April 14 series of attacks by unknown gunmen on Damasak, a town in Borno State. UNHCR also said the spate of attack in Lake Chad Basin has forced 3.3 million Nigerians from their homes, a figure that includes 300,000 Nigerians refugees and excludes about 2.2 million others who have been displaced in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Not too long, the United States marked some states in Nigeria as dangerous, therefore, warned its citizens to avoid them.
An international organization known for its human rights and governance capacity-building, Global Rights Nigeria also said in the first quarter of 2020 that about 1,416 people lost their lives to violence. Southeast and South south are not exempted from orgy of violence, including Southwest.
Amidst this, nationalists and statesmen are at the rhetorical throats of one another. No more restorer of the breach, rather, we have bridge brakers. Everyone spats anger while the principal sits, cross-legg and picking his teeth in search of a few interloping strands of meat.
Experts are warning of war, so the shepherd told his sheep of plan b. In war, both the dead and survivors are casualties. This writer, as a sophomore was a witness, not of the civil war, but of a community clash between Erin-Ile and Offa, Kwara state. There was curfew, but we knew not where the next attack could show. If silverware drops, especially at night, fear would bang me. Just in a few days, public and private infrastructures were gutted and human souls reduced to that of a chicken. The experience linger for years. I was bruised and bled at heart. “The diseases of the mind are more numerous and more dangerous than the diseases of the body,” noted Cicero.
Nigeria is in an impasse. If truly there is no hope for a state unless power lies in the hands of those who know first, what tasks the good state requires, as posited by Plato, plan b is not only enough, plan c,d,e will do. But how many people can afford it?
Adebayo Fajinmi is Web & News Bulletins Editor at TOS Television Network, Abuja.