Sunday, December 27, 2015

What The Witches Said - Reuben Abati

"How was Christmas?”
“It’s come and gone. Life goes on. We thank God for the gift of life.”
“Life will always go on.”
“But without life, we can’t have hope.”
“Without hope, life has no meaning.”
“I am still in a Christmas mood though. I get a chance to rest a lot during holidays”
“Where were you?”
“I was in my home town, the city of hope. I refused to be deterred by fuel scarcity, the scarcity of cash and the scarcity of goodwill.”

“That your town where nobody sells a brand new car, no single car mart where you can get tear rubber, all the major streets are littered with Tokunbo vehicles on sale. Yeah, the town of hope.”
“Talking about hope, you know. During Christmas, I saw a story about Christmas in Senegal, showing how in a country with about 94% of the population being Muslims, Christmas is celebrated.”
“By Muslims?”
“Yes. Muslims wearing Father Christmas clothes, decorating their homes for Christmas and joining the small percentage of Christians to celebrate.”
“Are you sure the attraction is not commerce? Christmas is big business, and Senegal is a major tourist destination.”
“I think it is more about religious tolerance in that country and people learning to accommodate and enjoy diversity. For me, that is the message. People can belong to different religious faiths and yet live happily together.”
“Hmm. We need that message in Nigeria.”
“Ironically, something like that also actually happened in Nigeria, this Christmas”
 “In Kaduna.”
“When? How?”
“I learnt some Muslim women went to Kaduna prison to give food to prisoners to celebrate Christmas. “
“Christmas or Eid el Maulud? You know there were two events: the birthday of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and that of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I am sure. The Muslim women visited the prison on Christmas Day. And at the Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Ministry, also in Kaduna, more than 150 Muslims attended Christmas Day church service.”
“If what you are saying is true, then that is great, beautiful, fantastic.  Religion has done too much damage in our society.  Can you imagine some people going to destroy somebody’s mother’s grave just because they do not like his brand of worship? People should stop killing the living and the dead because of religious differences. We should accommodate our differences and join hands to move Nigeria forward.”
“I know. But how far should this accommodation thing go? Should it also include witches?”
“Hey, blood of Jesus!”
“Look at you. Where were you when the other day, the spokesman for the Witches and Wizards Association of Nigeria (WIZAN) issued a press statement saying they the white witches of Nigeria support President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign”
“White witches. Winch dey get colour?’
“Na so I hear oh. White winch, Black winch, Red winch”
“All of them winching, winching people from the pit of darkness. Chei, blood of Jesus!”
 “The spokesman for White Witches said they are good people with members in every state of the Federation and that as patriots, if they are invited, they are ready to assist the government to bring corrupt persons to book.”
“Witches have a spokesman and a nationwide network, and they now issue press statements?  Father, your words are forever true. End time is here! And Nigeria never fails to surprise somebody; everyday, every minute, something new always crops up in this country.” 
“I don’t get you. But you just spoke about diversity, accommodation, inclusiveness, and now you are contradicting yourself.”
“Not witchcraft please. Light and darkness cannot mix. I support freedom yes, inclusiveness and all that, but not the kind of support that will take me to Hell-fire.”
“Hell is in your mind. Heaven is a mythological construct. But look at the proposal. The witches want to help the government.”
“How? Will the Federal Government set up a Special Court for White Witches fighting Corruption?”
“I guess they will be very effective. See how you’ve been shivering since you heard that witches have become nationalists and change agents. Only the guilty are afraid.”
“Will they also help to resolve fuel scarcity issues, power supply problems, and reckless driving on our roads?”
“This is a democracy. Let all the flowers bloom.”
“Witches don they get spokesman. I thought the law forbids anyone from belonging to a secret society, a cult and so on.”
“Well, as it is the white witches association is no longer a secret society.  They are now in the open. Don’t be surprised if very soon they advertise vacancies for membership.”
“God forbid.”
“Siddon there, dey talk. You’d be surprised how many media houses will collect the adverts, and publish, get paid for services rendered, and claim that this is a democracy.”
“See. Smell the coffee. The thing is that even this thing called government is a kind of witchcraft.  White, black and red witchcraft combined; that is what is called government!”
“And that’s why we need spiritual redemption.”
“Keep sermonizing. Were you not in this country when during the last general elections, the National Association of Prostitutes also issued a statement on how the elections should be organized?”
“Prostitutes also have a spokesperson? No shame?”
“It was their President that spoke. They even promised free sex. But I wouldn’t know if they made good on that offer.”
“Wait oh.”
“I am trying to remember something.”
“What is that?”
“These your witches and wizards, didn’t they also make certain predictions during the last elections?”
“I don’t remember”
“They did. They openly endorsed President Jonathan. They said they didn’t see any vacancy in Aso Rock in their crystal ball, and they pledged their support.”
“May be the spirits changed and the witches also changed.”
“It is called change. Once they wave that their broom”
“Witches use broom?”
“Yes. Once they wave that their broom over their magical pot… but let me just advise you, don’t go about questioning the wisdom of witches. It can be dangerous.”
“I am a child of Light.”
“Whatever you are, just know that when a witch strikes you…you can’t do anything to witches. Nobody can catch the air.”
“You are beginning to sound as if you are one of them. And if you are not, well, you may end up becoming a witch yourself.”
“Me? No.”
“It is like you like them.”
“I am just saying in a democracy, you are bound to see all kinds of things. That is why it is a democracy.”
“I know. That is why Donald Trump is getting good ratings in the US Presidential race.”
“Let’s leave witches alone, I beg.”
“But what have they said about this coming year, 2016?”
“Any predictions?”
“You don’t need witches to predict any new year.  I can do it myself.”
“I said it. There is something you are not telling me. I wasn’t talking about witches. I was referring to the pastors who always look into the future.”
“Dey there. You don’t need to be a witch or a pastor to make predictions. When I reviewed some of my own projections for 2015, I was almost 80% accurate. You just need to learn how it is done.”
“Okay, let me assist you. See in the year of our Lord, 2016, care must be taken in the aviation industry to avoid air mishap. In the course of the year, two prominent Nigerians must pray seriously against bereavement in their families. Two Governors are likely to face the threat of removal from office. And a former state Governor should be careful not to lose his son-in-law. I see fire outbreak in two major markets, North and South, with many casualties. Two First Class Traditional Rulers are likely to join their ancestors before the month of June.  Some directors in the public service will lose their positions.  I see earthquake occurring somewhere in the Pacific. There will be a boom in the Agriculture Sector. 2016 is going to be a year of bountiful harvest. More lives will still be lost to Boko Haram violence.  The Naira will remain unpredictable….”
“What kind of crystal ball do you use, if I may ask?”
“What crystal ball does your Pastor use?”
“My Pastor doesn’t use a crystal ball. He is filled with the Holy Spirit.”
“Many of these Pastors predict so many things and they don’t even get it right. And yet this year again, they will sell books of predictions to their congregation.”
“My own Pastor is a man of God. He is always at least 85% accurate, every year.”
“Well, I have made my own predictions too. You can either believe me or you believe your Pastor; you choose.  But you’d see that I am always very accurate.”
“You are just using common sense, my friend.”
“And what does your Pastor use?”
“There are people who have the gift of prophecy, they can see into the future. Don’t blaspheme.”  “Don’t worry. When your pastor publishes his book of predictions, get me two copies, please. I am in a generous mood. I don’t have a problem helping him to make quick profit.”
“Only God can forgive you.”
“So, technically speaking, what are you saying?”
“I am saying, that technically, Nigeria will survive 2016, prophecy or no prophecy. God never forsakes his own people.”
“Okay. I understand, you mean technically, the current fuel scarcity will end.”
“And technically, power supply will improve, and we will not have any more Dumsor.”
“What is Dumsor?”
“That is how technically, the people of Ghana, describe persistent power outages.”
“But how do our people describe it?”
“They say technically, all our problems will be defeated.”
“You mean, technically, all Nigerians will become prosperous in 2016?”
“Actually, come to think of it, everything is technical.”
“Oh, certainly, once you understand the technique of the technicality.”
“Like the announcement that the pump price of fuel will be reduced to N85 per litre in January 2016?”
“Yes! You got it! Technically!”
“But I have been buying fuel at N130 per litre.”
“That is the technicality”
“I am confused.”
“That is because you don’t have a gift for technical things.”
“Like witchcraft, yes.”
“Don’t worry, you’d learn. Just have an open mind.”
“But look at this other matter. Even international airlines including British Airways, are now threatening to reduce their flights to Nigeria by early 2016.”
“They say they can’t get aviation fuel in Nigeria and that the scarcity of foreign exchange has slowed down the Nigerian economy.”
“They should go and sit down. Otherwise we will give them the MTN treatment. Who is asking foreign airlines to start analyzing Nigeria’s 2016 Budget? If they like let them reduce all their flights. We will defeat those foreign airlines, technically.  In fact, Nigerians will start traveling to Europe, Dubai, wherever, by road. Nonsense!”

“Yes, London by road, why not?”

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