- Category: Ahmed Olayinka Sule
- Published on Monday, 27 December 2010 22:09
- Written by Ahmed Olayinka Sule
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Preamble : On Wednesday 24th of November 2010, I went to visit the father of my good friend Dare. During the visit, we discussed the current state of affairs of Nigeria (as we always did during my earlier visits). We spoke about the numerous challenges facing the country. After our discussion, I told him that I would visit him later on in the week. I looked forward to seeing him again to engage in our intellectual debate on Nigeria. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case.
The following day, 25th of November 2010, he fell sick and was rushed to the hospital and died on the 4th of December 2010.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Abraham Obasola Soyoye.
Ahmed Sule, CFA
The Book of Ecclesiastes: The Authorized Nigerian Living Translation
On 1st October 2010, which marked the 50th anniversary of the coronation of King Adeniji of Naija, Adeniji began reflecting on his life and his Kingdom. He therefore decided to write a book detailing his perspective on the meaning, purpose and implication of life in Nigeria.
Here are his reflections:
The words of King Adeniji, son of Chukwuemeka and the grandson of Danladi:
Vanity of vanities, says the King, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Absolutely meaningless!
What do people get for all their dishonesty? What do people get for all their powerful connections? What do people get for all their ill-gotten wealth? What do people get for all their wickedness? Absolutely nothing. No matter how much they steal, they are never satisfied. No matter how many people they oppress, they are never satisfied. No matter how much wealth they acquire, they are never satisfied.
Generations come and go doing the same evil things, but nothing ever seems to change in Nigeria. History just repeats itself. Politicians of the sixties and seventies are still recycling themselves and their children in the 21st century. In the mid-nineties we had bank CEO’s and other executives defrauding depositors to the tune of millions of Naira; now in 2010, bank CEO’s are defrauding depositors to the tune of billions of Naira. Nothing changes. Selah
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
I am Adeniji, the King of Naija and I live in Laguja. I have spent the last couple of years seeking to understand and explore the country Nigeria. I later realized that the poor masses of Nigeria are gradually being tragically trampled to extinction. I observed the rich getting richer, the mighty getting mightier, while the poor were getting poorer and the sick getting sicker. It is all meaningless. In your mercy Lord, hear our prayers.
I said to myself, “Look, I am more popular than any other Nigerian, living or dead. I have more wives than any other Nigerian. I own the largest bank in Africa both in terms of assets and depositor’s funds; I own houses in London, Dubai, Johannesburg and New York. So I set to acquire more for myself, but I soon discovered later in life that chasing all these was meaningless. Selah
I undertook great projects: I bought five refineries and twenty oil blocks, I spread my bank’s network across 26 other countries in Africa and acquired two branches in New York and London. I even siphoned the depositor’s funds of my banks to my personal account. I married 50 additional wives and I had at my beck and call, 1,000 of the most beautiful girls in the various universities around the country. I bought the latest cars and acquired 4 private jets in addition to tones of silver, gold and diamonds. I collected 125 chieftaincy titles. I became richer, more powerful, more connected than any other Nigerian living or dead. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired.
Yet, when I looked at all that I had bought, acquired, stolen and misappropriated, everything was meaningless, everything was not worth the effort; everything was like chasing the wind. Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity.
So I hated life itself, because all the wealth that I had acquired was injurious to my neighbours and me.
Woe unto him that builds his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by injustice; that uses his neighbour's service without wages, and gives him nothing for his work. Selah
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
There is a time for colonization and a time for independence;
There is a time for civil war and a time for peace;
There is a time for military rule and a time for civilian rule;
There is a time for FEDECO and a time for INEC;
There is a time for FESTAC and a time for SAP;
There is a time for oil boom and a time for financial crisis;
There is a time for indiscipline and a time for WAI;
There is a time for election rigging and a time for election tribunal;
There is a time for AFRC and a time for the National Assembly;
There is a time for June 12 and a time for May 29;
There is a time for Boko Haram and a time for MEND;
There is a time for MASSOB and a time for OPC;
There is a time to defraud depositors and a time to face EFCC;
There is a time for Sunny Ade and a time for Fela;
There is a time for the rich and a time for the poor;
There is a time for generators and a time for NEPA;
There is a time for the oil majors and a time for the Ogoni people;
There is a time for the North and a time for the South;
There is a time for petrol scarcity and a time for diesel scarcity;
There is a time to steal and a time to be caught;
There is a time for suffering and a time for smiling.
And I saw something under the sun:
In the place of fairness- unfairness was there
In the place of justice- injustice was there
I saw the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Life is unfair;
I saw the legislators handsomely rewarded at the expense of hardworking taxpayer’s. Life is unfair;
I saw the masses suffer from the deteriorating healthcare system, while the rich and connected sought medical treatment from world-class hospitals outside of the country. Life is unfair;
I saw the children of the masses experience school closures, lecturers strikes and cult violence, while the children of the wealthy and connected experienced the benefits of private education and education in world class institutions outside the country. Life is unfair;
I saw millions of graduates struggle to get jobs, while the wealthy, powerful and connected got their children and family members the best jobs in the land. Life is unfair;
I saw a man who stole =N=10,000 jailed for ten years, while a banker who stole billions of Naira jailed for less than a year. Life is unfair;
I saw the CEO of big businesses being paid 170 times the average wages of the workers. Life is unfair;
I saw the masses who could not afford three square meals a day, whereas a minority segment of the population could afford to buy imported cereals from the supermarket at the cost of =N=900 per packet. Life is unfair;
I saw the drivers, housemaids and security guards of the rich and mighty treated as lesser human beings by their masters. Life is unfair;
I saw the wealth of the nation shared among a select few rather than spread around for the benefit of the masses. Life is unfair;
I saw the honest people working hard and having nothing to show for their hard work and honesty, while the corrupt, the wicked and the dishonest had plenty to boast about. Life is unfair;
I saw the pastors acquire jets, while members of the congregation struggled to enter into ‘molues’ to get to church. Life is unfair.
I then said to myself, “This is all meaningless. God will bring into judgment both the corrupt and the honest; the rich and the poor; the oppressor and the oppressed; the exploiter and the exploited; the master and the servant, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” Selah.
Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed and they had no comforter
I saw the tears of Dimeji whose sick father (in a state of coma) fell from his hospital bed due to the deplorable condition of the Nigerian health sector. Dimeji had no comforter;
I saw the tears of Chioma who could not realize her dream of becoming a medical doctor in 2010 due to an ASUU strike resulting from the diversion of school funds by state governments. Chioma had no comforter;
I saw the tears of Mr. and Mrs. Awuzie. Mr. Awuzie had recently retired and used his gratuity to invest in the shares of a large bank based in Lagos. Likewise, Mrs. Awuzie deposited her life savings into the same bank. Unfortunately for them, the CEO and other executives of the bank used the proceeds from the bank’s IPO in addition to depositor’s funds to fund their extravagant lifestyle. Eventually, the bank went into liquidation and Mr. and Mrs. Awuzie lost their pension and life savings. Mr. and Mrs. Awuzie had no comforter;
I saw the tears of the families of the 17,000 people that have died in 31,000 road accidents between 2007 and 2009. Most of these accidents have occurred due to poor road maintenance and apathy on the part of government. The families of the dead had no comforter;
I saw the tears of Ken from Bayelsa State who is undergoing treatment for lung cancer caused by the continuous flaring of gas by the international oil companies. The doctors have told him that he has only six months to live. Ken had no comforter.
And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. But better than both is the one, who has never been born, who has not seen the evil that is done in the land. Selah
Awake, awake, O Naija, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Laguja, the great city, for unclean and evil people will enter your gates no longer.
Where does the wealth go?
What happens to the people for all their hard work under the sun? What happens to the riches amassed under the sun? What happens to the loot stolen under the sun? We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can't take our riches with us.
Then I asked myself “So I can’t take my wealth and influence with me to the grave when I die?” I then heard a voice telling me that:
“All your mansions will be left behind because when you die you cannot take them with you to the grave”;
“All your wives and lovely girlfriends will be left behind because when you die you cannot take them with you to the grave”;
“All your investments in commodities, shares and bonds diversified all around the world will be left behind because when you die you cannot take them with you to the grave”;
“All your rich friends, club members and influential friends and contacts will be left behind because when you die you cannot take them with you to the grave”;
“All your Dollars, Sterling, Euro and Rand will be left behind because when you die you cannot take them with you to the grave”
Whoever loves wealth never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. Surely, the love of money is the root of all evil.
THIS IS TERRIBLE!!! Selah.
Words of Wisdom
A good name is better than ill-gotten silver, gold and diamond.
It is better to go into the house of the honest than feast in the house of the corrupt.
For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
The heart of the wise is in the house of the content, but the heart of the fool is in the house of the greedy.
Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
The sleep of a corrupt man is full of nightmares, twisting and turning, but the sleep of the honest is peaceful.
Every day for the greedy politician, but one day for the masses and taxpayers.
Many are the afflictions of the oppressed, but in due season the oppressor will compensate the oppressed ten fold.
The friends of the corrupt are like a house built on sand, they disappear at the first sign of misfortune, but the friends of the honest remain forever.
Just as the corrupt thinks he has gotten away with his misdeed, destruction welcomes him around the corner with open arms.
The Conclusion of the Matter
So I reflected on all this and concluded that:
The race is not to him that steals the most
or the victory to the corrupt,
nor does happiness come to the wealthy
or prosperity to the dishonest
or favor to the connected;
but in due season, we shall all reap what we sow.
For Naija's sake I will not keep silent. For Laguja's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself. Also, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Selah.
PS: If you would like to discuss any of the issues contained in this article please feel free to contact me by email using the address detailed above, otherwise, you can go to my blog - http://zangodare.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/ecclesiastes/ - and write your comments.