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Friday Sermon: The Days of the Locust…

By Babatunde Jose

“There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a

Government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men”. 

Ludwig Von Mises. 

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said, “Woe to the rulers! And woe to the chiefs! And woe to the trustees! Some people will wish on the Day of Resurrection that their hair was hanging from the sky and swinging between heaven and earth rather than to have done what they did.”

It was late Ayinde Barrister who lamented in one of his songs, when he asked ‘Omo Nigeria, nibo ‘lanlo’. ‘Nigerians, where are we going?’ It is indeed a period of woes and lamentation. Our leaders have betrayed us. We are today drifting in an uncharted and uncertain sea. What hope do we have of reaching the Promised Land? When this journey started, 19 years ago we had high hopes but today our revolution of rising expectations have turned into a revolution of rising frustration, bordering on despondency. Under this situation, violence is not far around the corner. Our patrimony has been squandered and embezzled. The proceeds from these serial heists are today sitting comfortably in overseas banks and real estates in Dubai, to be enjoyed by their children and children’s children and those yet unborn. They neither set up industries with the proceeds nor create employment. Allah in the Quran, Surat Az-Zukhruf, and Ayat 32 said:

Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of thy Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world: And We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others. But the Mercy of thy Lord is better than the (wealth) which they amass. (Quran 43:32)

What happened to the votes we cast three years ago, eight years ago and in times past? What dividend accrued to us? Where are the jobs? Stolen; our pensions and gratuity? Stolen; our roads, electricity, houses and the food on our tables? All stolen.  Our fathers are today jobless, while our mothers have no goods in their stores. 13% of our children are out of school and those that pass out have joined the swelling army of the unemployed. People are now picking food from the waste bin. Late Umaru Dikko’s prediction have come to past. Today there is much poverty in the land: Poverty in the midst of plenty. Poverty now parades our streets in nakedness. We ask, ‘where are we going’?

It is instructive to ask ourselves, what our leaders did with all the fantastic allocations for roads, hospitals and social welfare. They were misappropriated. Allah said in the Quran:

“And O my people! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: Commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief. (Quran 11:85)

For many years now, people living and working in Apapa have been under siege, caused by unprecedented traffic on the only two approaches to the port. Yet it need not have been like this if our leaders have had the foresight to plan ahead while developing the port of Tin-Can some 40 years ago. This port was developed without any provision for expansion. What land could have served as avenues for expansion were carved out and divided among our leaders; Ibafon, Beachland and the Kirikkiri waterfronts up to the Ferry port in Mile 2. All could have been available today for port expansion. Ask them who own these places and you would be amazed.

According to Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his epic book, My Vision: Challenges in the Race for Excellence, he wrote: “The crucial point in Dubai’s modern history was the dredging of the Creek and the construction of a modern port. … Following the deepening and widening of the Creek, my father expected Dubai would soon attract much more trade……..he decided that much larger port facilities in deeper water were needed. In 1969 he ordered construction of Port Rashid. He kept on increasing the size of the port and eventually two years to completing it he surprised everybody by ordering the construction of a larger new port; the port of Jabel Ali, which today is the biggest port in the Middle East.”

With all our oil money we cannot boast of anything comparable.

Of particular interest is the state of infrastructure. A good example is the decay and decline of the once vibrant former Western Region. A commentator said: “Let’s begin to ask some vital questions about Western Nigeria, once a pacesetter region. Where are the gains of head start and robust investment in education in Western region? What happened to the letter and spirit of the legendary Obafemi Awolowo on education quality as a weapon of country competitiveness? What happened to Africa’s premier stadium in Ibadan? What happened to the once great state universities governors Adekunle Ajasin, Lateef Jakande and Olabisi Onabanjo set up in 1983 before the fall of the second republic? Where is the replacement for the Great University of Ife the soldiers of fortune seized since 1975? What happened to the original Oyo State University of Technology (1990) now Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology (LAUTEC) set up by Governor Sasaenia Adedeji Oresanya in 1990? Where are the replacements of the Western Nigeria Television Service (WNTS) Chief Awolowo set up and was seized by the military which is now NTA? Whatever happened to University College Hospital Ibadan, (UCH) the late Dr. Samuel Manuwa, assisted in establishing when S.L Akintola was Nigeria’s Health Minister? What happened to the roads to Apapa Ports in Lagos?”

The answers to these questions are blowing in the wind. Similar questions could be asked about the state of affairs in other regions of the country.

Narrated Ma’qil; I heard the Prophet (saws) saying“Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise.” Sahih Muslim –

God calls His people to trust Him, to live carefully, to be watchful, and to pray in troubled times. In Luke 2: 5-36, the Bible said Jesus had something to say to his disciples about the uncertain and troubling times that would come to them, it can apply to us now.

Suddenly, the end time is here.

Is your peace shaken?   We must use the only weapon we have – our votes.

May Allah lead us to vote right and change our fortune.

Show us the straight way, The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, Those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray. (Quran 1:6-7)

Barka Jumuah and a happy weekend!

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