Friday Sermon: Of Reckoning and Accountability 2

By Babatunde Jose

“The drama of this life is not complete; There must be a second scene to it . . . Therefore, there must be another world, where justice will be carried out”- Immanuel Kant

Most agree with Immanuel Kant above that there must be a reckoning. Only by this would justice be meted out. In the good books, there are numerous references to this day, variously referred to as Yawm al-Qiyāmah, the Day of Reckoning and Day of Resurrection.

“Theoretically, Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s former military ruler, was a billionaire – and not in naira, but in dollars. Upon his death in 1998, the Nigerian government uncovered over $3 billion linked to him, held in personal and proxy bank accounts in tax havens as diverse as Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey and Liechtenstein.” Forbes. Where is he today?

“Another theoretical billionaire was Mobutu Sese Seko, the former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over his 30-year reign as ruler of the resource-rich Central African country, Sese Seko amassed a personal fortune estimated by various sources (including Transparency International) at somewhere between $1 billion and $5 billion. Mobutu Sese Seko earned an international notoriety as a poster boy for the excesses of typical African despots. He divided his time between plush palatial residences in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland. He also developed a special taste for pink Champagne and flew in fresh cakes from Paris for his consumption.”Forbes. But where are those entire villas today? The Mobutu estate in his country is today home to reptiles and other creeping creatures.

“One of the wealthiest, albeit lesser-talked about African leaders to emerge from Africa is Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida. The general is unofficially one of the richest men in Nigeria and in Africa.” Forbes.  But what will become of his 50-bedroom Mountaintop castle with the fullness of time?

“In Kenya, there is former president Daniel Arap Moi, who is unofficially one of the richest men in the country. During his 28-year rule, which lasted from 1978 to 2002, Moi famously channeled nearly a billion dollars from his country’s coffers to family-owned bank accounts and private estates across the world using a web of shell companies, secret trusts and front men, according to  Kroll Associates, a corporate investigation and risk consultancy company.  According to the report, Moi’s assets, some of which are held in his children’s name, include substantial cash reserves to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, a 10,000-hectare farm in Australia and controlling stakes in oil companies, banks and shipping companies, among other concerns.” Forbes. But, where is Moi today? He is begging God for death! What an irony!

“After Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak resigned following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, various news sources pried into the fortune of the man who ruled the country for 30 years. Forbes editors believe his riches were exaggerated and largely unproven. Concrete figures are hard to come by, but being very familiar with the avaricious tendencies of the vast majority of African rulers as it were, it is almost certain that Mubarak diverted an enormous amount of his country’s funds into his personal piggy bank. And don’t be surprised if it’s the region of 9 to 10 figures.”Forbes.

Wither all these ‘vile’ men? They are in the ‘Hall of Infamy’, populating the dustbin of history: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

If only man could take a cue from past leaders and the same goes for the ‘Lions of’ wherever they call themselves: Men whose only known source of wealth is having been governors or military administrators and who today are ranked the wealthiest people in society, with Bombardiers and Falcon Jets to play with. However, those who consume ‘gbi’ will surely die ‘gbi’.

Surely, there will be a reckoning; it is as certain as daylight.

“. . . Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ”. (Quran 2:113)

The Day of Reckoning is coming: A day at the end of time following Armageddon when we will all have to account. On that day, according to Luke 13:28: “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. . .”

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend



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