OSINBAJO Unruffled by Kabba Crash
By Nduka Uzuakpundu
Nigeria’s Vice-President, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, it rightly could be argued, could be linked to the fabled cat with seven lives. Twice, in recent times, has he survived helicopter incident that could have silenced him. The first was in August last year, in Abuja, when a helicopter that was to take him back to Aso Villa, after gracing a state function, malfunctioned as it was air-bound. But the pilot expertly landed the copter. Osinbajo had to travel by road. The second was in Kabba, Kogi State, on his way to the All Progressives Congress’ house-to-house campaign.
It’s almost certain that were an extensive, and focused and intensive vox pop were to be conducted especially amongst unrepentant atheists, disbelievers, pagans, free-thinkers etc., on the two near-fatal in accident, survived by Osinbajo, they would nod that it was Providence, armed with a very strong broom, that swept clean the road – perhaps an uncompromisingly famished road – of evil when Osinbajo travelled. They would also nod – and very rapidly too – that Providence was on the side of Osinbajo – alongside the pilot(s) and his co-travellers – primarily because he is an industrious, conscientious and unswerving combatant against corruption in the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration head by President Muhammadu Buhari.
A wider public opinion sample involving mainly unrepentantly conservative Christians and Muslims, nation-wide, is sure to point to the fact the story would have been sadly different were Osinbajo not as clean a top lawyer that he is in Nigerian politics: that were he as corrupt as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) personified, unrepentant corruption’s price would, doubtlessly, have been paid. That would have been in tune with what the Holy Bible said: “The soul that sinneth shall die” (Ezekiel chapter 28, verse 20) and “The wages of sin is death” (Romans chapter 6, verse 23). Amen, somebody! But, today, Osinbajo is still very much alive. And, so, one’s honest submission here, as a wild Christian – no apology to Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka – is that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Joseph, have – in His fatherly, caring and loving nature – answered Osinbajo prayers, via His only son and our Lord – Jesus Christ. Alleluia, somebody!
The Osinbajo encounters were rare and unique because of their circumstances and timing; rare because, as some Lagos-based aviation historians have told this writer, nobody of Osinbajo’s caliber and status, has had such uninviting nasty experience; unique because the two instances that would have been rudely reminiscent of Soyinka’s prize-winning poetic line: “This close contortion – I”, involved a top son of this country in a transportation contraption that wings itself, like a bird, so to speak.
Nigeria has had a series air disaster. Osinbajo near-fatal experience demands a thorough investigation and, more than anything else, a sustainable renaissance of maintenance culture – of airplanes and helicopters in the aviation industry. And that is because, in the non-opaque words of William Shakespeare (the sole, legitimate W.S!), “When beggars die, there are no comets seen, but the heavens, themselves, blaze forth the death of the princes.”
Indeed, it’s now Soyinka’s fervent prayer – like that of an unrepentant wild Christian – that may Osinbajo, henceforward, “. . . never travel when the road is famished.” He’s Nigeria’s next anti-corruption president. Death – Soyinka’s favourite, mysteriously faceless subject – should, for now, not be Osinbajo’s portion. Amen, somebody!
Accuse Soyinka, as a result, of being an unrepentant tribalist, and you’d be surprised at an intimidating congregation of Nigerians – including unrepentantly wild Christians of the Pentecostal section of the Cross – who are potential Nobel Prize winners and very familiar with one of the ugliest chapters of this country’s 20th Century history, that will tell you that you’re decidedly wrong. The obvious truth, is that were the Vice-President an Igbo, trust Soyinka, his bottomless love for one of the most industrious people ever created by God would have whetted the wild Christian in him. The prayer warrior in Soyinka, who usually refuses to keep quiet in the face of tyrannous death, would have dug into his arsenal to save the Orwellian pig that is Osinbajo! Alleluia, somebody!
While Osinbajo has been quite grateful to the merciful and infinitely kind Christ for his intercession, he has been boundlessly and convincingly gracious to express gratitude to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) – Pastor Enoch Adeboye (“My daddy in the Lord”) – for praying without ceasing for his sake. Osinbajo’s escape, in Kabba from the ugly and vicious fangs of death was miraculous. He is, therefore, expected, whenever he’s less busy, to not only give testimony – probably at a much-publicized combined service – beyond what has been reported in newspapers, radio, television and social media – make a very generous offering and, for as long as he remains in office, pay a gargantuan tithe, when due, to the temple of God, where he worships and for the spreading of Christ’s gospel reconciliation of humankind to God. Amen, somebody!
And yet, it was Osinbajo’s philosophical calmness after the near-fatal crash to go about his mission in what was a provincial headquarters during the colonial times. If Osinbajo were the fetish kind – a man who probably doesn’t go to kirk, still less say his prayers before going to bed; a man who sees no wisdom in investing gargantuan hope, trust and confidence in Christ – the nation would have been mourning; at a time so close to the 2019 general election. If he were a disbeliever and mean, he would have called a press a conference to accuse the devils amongst his political opponents for wanting to waste him. His miraculous survival of the Kabba crash is conclusive evidence that, indeed, the devil is a liar. Amen, somebody!
His courage and audacity, given the circumstance of the Kabba crash, has won him the people’s hearts. None has he accused. Generous he has been, as he acknowledged the congratulatory messages of the good people of this country. In his stubborn belief and desire that, by any means necessary, Nigeria should never, again, be enslaved by the PDP, he has soldiered on, with his grassroots campaign. One is tempted to see in Osinbajo someone, who – in heeding Christ’s peremptory injunction to his disciples – has refused to be ruffled by such an event in Kabba that would have had a hue of assassination to it – were the case as was initially feared.
Kabba, therefore, is a national sacrifice by Osinbajo. To the people of Kabba, Osinbajo personifies good governance. It was courageous of Osinbajo that the instructive and healthy pro-APC messages – the war against corruption by fishing out the men (and women) whose ungodly intent remains how well to condemn a crushing majority of the people of this immeasurably blest country to tattered penury; the Traders Moni empowerment and entrepreneurship initiative; the feeding-at-school programme, etc., sounded pleasant in the ears of the Kabba people. Besides, Osinbajo said that the Buhari administration had, through investing a huge sum of the gargantuan money recovered from the looters of the Nigerian treasury, attracted millions of primary and secondary school children back to the classrooms and had, therefore, created – in a welfarist fashion – employment for their parents.
That relief is a forward-looking strategy by the Buhari administration to make education a fairly accessible state offer – in place of egregiously expensive ignorance – so that their beneficiaries would not end up as a bundle of “a wasted generation”; a deservedly wasted generation of unrepentantly rascally lot, who’d take pride in ‘kidnapping’ pro-hate speech radio stations, in return for a gargantuan ransom! Soyinka should go to hell, where he’ll be consumed “. . . without gastronomic options,” by an unquenchable Holy Ghost fire! Amen, somebody!
At Kabba, Osinbajo was – in keeping with the electioneering mood – unrepentantly proud, when he told his numerous adherents of the APC that one of the compelling reasons for which they should vote for Buhari and himself, come February 16, was the fact that the Buhari administration had, in a show of profound care and good governance, wiped away tears and sorrow from the army of Nigerian pensioners, amongst them numerous Kabba natives, by paying their gratuity. And, as Osinbajo, a distinguished Bible student, would nod very rapidly, the Buhari pensioners’ feat could be likened to God making Sarah – Abraham’s wife – laugh. Amen, somebody!
He rightly argued that that laughter can only be sustained with an APC government in power. He was also quick to remind the people of Kabba that the Buhari pensioners’ achievement called for a visibly generous investment of voters’ trust in the Buhari administration in that most pensioners who are now receiving their dues regularly can afford, with some relative ease, pay the school fees of their children and take good care of themselves as they walk gradually into the twilight zone. They are the pensioners, who side with Buhari, whom they think, by his action, believes in the biblical saying that, “the labourer deserves his wages”. Amen, somebody!
The Buhari pensioners’ gospel taken to Kabba, by Osinbajo, is a ringing indictment of the PDP administrations that, for nearly two decades into the Fourth Republic, callously refused to hearken to the pleas of Nigerian pensioners that they should be paid what was constitutionally their dues, especially when the means – the Manna-like windfall that was $147 per barrel of crude oil – was readily available during the PDP administration headed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Osinbajo reminded the Kabba people that a legion of such pensioners had died, while on the queue – in most instances under an unforgiving sun – while waiting for what was constitutionally theirs.
Those were individuals, who had invested their youthful years in the honest service of this country. It’s for the grievous sin of denying them their legitimate financial reward that the PDP “shall be cast, on the day of judgement, into an everlasting ferocious fire, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Amen, somebody!