By Babatunde Jose
…Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the Men in high and low places that seek Bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIP’s at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.” – Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, 1966
Unfortunately, the scenario has not changed from what it was in 1966; it might be even worse. As a people, we all stand guilty. Although unrepresentative and irresponsive government, abuse of power and denying people’s fundamental rights are clear signs of injustice which have no place in Islam, these are, unfortunately, common in our country today; added to these are lop-sided allocation of values and kleptocracy of the elite. Prophet Muhammad has cautioned: “No sin is more swiftly punished than injustice.”
Imam Ibn Taymiya, the great Islamic teacher, while explaining prophetic sayings on the issues of justice and injustice, wrote the following: “God upholds the just state even if it is unbelieving, but does not uphold the unjust state even if it is Muslim.” In the Quran, Allah has described how He punished many of the nations of old for indulging in injustice and mischief on earth. How can we gain exaltation by adopting the same conduct? We have to be standard-bearer of truth and justice, as they are commanded in the Quran:
“O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do.” (Quran 4:135).
History bears this witness that nations that caused injustice to their fellow human beings did not survive for long. Our present trials and tribulations should be taken as a warning from God for us to wake up and return to the path of righteousness. The Quran reminds us:
“Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (God) may let them taste (the consequences of) some part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (to the right path).” (Quran: 30:41)
Today, our sins and iniquities stink to high heavens. An Ex-Governor is currently being quizzed by the authorities to explain where he got the funds to purchase a $72 Million private aircraft after he left office. Our ex-Governor like many of his ilk does not own a factory nor is he an entrepreneur; neither is he a Sugar or Cement Baron. He is not even an oil merchant. He is atypical of the leadership of our society; both spiritual and temporal. You might ask, what were the iniquities for which God sent down the flood to destroy the people of Noah, nor the offense committed by the inhabitants of Sodom before the ‘nuclear’ annihilation? Yeah, our leaders are ‘of their father, the Devil’. John 8:44 (KJV)” Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
A 52-year-old man was accused of defiling a nine-year-old girl after seducing her with N10 biscuits on her way home from school. Why not approach a scarlet woman? The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen 30 accounts and seized 37 assets allegedly belonging to the former Chairman of an insurance trust fund. The agency had obtained a court order to seize 37 of the 38 houses liked to the person. In one of the houses detectives were said to have uncovered a state of the art bathroom suspected to have cost about $2m to $4million. The EFCC is probing about N62.3billion fraud in the matter with $48,485,127 credited to the subject in question: Haba!
Our Senators receive N13.5M monthly running cost and N750,000 take home pay, plus N200M for Constituency Project, in a country where the minimum wage is N18,000 and for which they are being owed by both Federal and State governments. If there is anything called inequality, this is it.
Therefore, when you see reptiles and other wild animals opening safes and swallowing millions; when you see an ex-governor unable to account for the purchase of a $70M private jet; when governmental agencies keep millions of Dollars and other currencies in rented flats instead of bank vaults; when a sitting governor celebrates the wedding of his son for two weeks and spends millions, yet cannot pay the salaries of workers, when a radio and TV owner collects N2.1Bilion from a past government for doing nothing, then that society is on the road to perdition.
Why won’t God destroy a nation where elected leaders spend N250M of people’s money to hold a reception for a convicted ex-Governor; all fully clad in specially printed fabric at state expense? In a country where government officials embezzle funds meant for the welfare and rehabilitation of returnee migrants; then that nations lacks compassion and is destined for destruction. In a country where inadequate placing in universities rob 6 Million children of university education; then destruction and ruin are on the fast track!
ALLAH says He Has Destroyed generations before you. We are being warned: If we do not come back to our senses and refrain from committing sins ALLAH (SWT) will surely destroy us as He destroyed previous generations.
Certainly We destroyed [several] generations before you when they perpetrated wrongs: their apostles brought them manifest proofs, but they would not have faith. Thus do We requite the guilty lot. (Quran 10:13)
Killing of innocent people is an act of injustice wherever it is done; Boko Haram, Herdsmen or Delta Avengers. Using suitable language to cover up carnage does not make it humane or legitimate; it becomes only a deception and another act of cruelty against humanity.
We are today passing through an uneasy and uncertain time. We are witnessing deception, death and destruction. People of conscience need to be a voice for justice, and say, enough is enough. It’s time to bring madness and insanity to an end. Otherwise, history will not forgive us. There is no denying that remaining silent in the face of injustice is tantamount to taking part in it and that is a grave offence by any standard.
Our current predicament is man-made: It is not a question of destiny but of ‘fate’, unlike Destinies, Fates could be changed and punishments could be averted if righteousness replaced sin, if piety replaced profanity, if justice prevailed over injustice. In the Book of Jeremiah we read: I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Jeremiah 23:14
Is our society today different from Sodom and Gomorrah? It’s a question begging for answer.
Barka Juma’at and Happy weekend