Some forms of hard drugs are often indistinguishable from inert face powder. But once they are fed into the bloodstream, they supplant the mind. They alter people’s perception of their place in the world. They make the butterfly a bird in its own eyes. So, it’s understandable that one of the aliases the wanted drug baron, ‘’ Senator-elect’’ Buruji Kashamu, self-identified in the heroine underworld was…God.
The nick instantly rings blasphemous. But it starts to make sense when you pity the self-deifier as a victim of delusion. The use of the substance gives one a rapture lift . It provides pleasure by removing you lightyears from yourself and making you estranged to your senses.
Kashamu happened to be more than an ordinary sniffer. He was into dealership. He was some kind of sovereign: other crack addicts depended on him to maintain their high climbing habit. This meant he was ‘’the Most High’’.
Now God is faced with a real prospect of a drug trial. The US wants God extradited. And that’s profanity because the character of God is incompatible with handcuff and prosecution. God cannot be trivialized with the threat of an arrest. God is invisible. God is not accountable to only Himself. God cannot be queried by man. Man is the one who has date with God on Judgment Day.
Obviously, the United States of America does not have the Fear of God. The Americans are desperate to put God on trial. And they don’t want to prosecute God because they need to add the feat to their list of exploits. They want to try God for an unforgivably flimsy reason. God had used a substance derived from His creation and being magnanimous in essence, blessed his seekers with a generous supply of the goods.
God had looked upon the US with favor, of all the places in the universe. America was God’s own country. And God’s business was flourishing until America found out – or until the folks went secular. God preempted their justice-based hostility and emigrated.
God chose the most religious country on earth. God came to a nation that would not reject him. God came to Nigeria. And we hosted God well. God lived in peace. We disregarded the many pleas of the United States to help her demystify God. We declined her imperialist dictation. God had peace of mind; so much so he joined Naija politics. God ran for Senate.
And we were thankful that God was on the ballot. We didn’t rehearse the blunder of the Jews: we didn’t vote for Barabbas when God was an option. We elected God. We wanted God to sit in the Senate.
And God was poised to take his rightful place in the Red Chambers, few days to His swearing-in, when the US made Nigeria backslide.
Today, God is being subjected to indignity in the country He had counted safe for a refuge. The US got Nigeria to accept that it was okay to make God answer to some manmade law. And so we see Nigeria actively working to process God for shipment to the States for potential imprisonment.
The joke is on God! And God isn’t laughing. God is angry. God is even threatening to self-destruct, to save Himself from ridicule. We didn’t know that God could consider committing suicide. Or that God could use His ability to rid us of Himself to blackmail us. Suicide must be God’s trump card. God knew we would be shell shocked to see Him obliterate himself. We would have no Being to pray to. And the whole world would be out of course.
The big surprise, though, is that this God wasn’t omniscient. God was taken by surprise. God didn’t see this coming. God didn’t figure that a day would come when He would be compelled to hibernate in His Lekki mansion, afraid for the siege of NDLEA earthlings. It’s an irony that the God we had thought knew the future of everybody didn’t have a clue about His own fate.
Perhaps God foresaw this. That’s why God resourced the PDP and invested heavily in the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan. It was strategically important to God that PDP retained power and that Jonathan won a second term. A PDP victory in the general elections would have guaranteed God immunity. A Jonathan Presidency would never have been disposed to acquiescing to the extradition of God. Jonathan was indebted to God. God imported thousands of branded bags of rice and distributed them on Jonathan’s behalf. God was the biggest financier of South West PDP. God was the Chairman of Mobilization and Contact Committee of South West PDP. God was indispensable.
But the pendulum didn’t swing God’s way. God’s party was defeated. And the bad news was that God’s party was trumped by the party of God’s enemies. APC was Obasanjo’s party, Tinubu’s party, Buhari’s party. So God had a problem: His haters were the new principalities of the clime. His foes could order that he be packaged and forwarded to the States.
God began to panic. So He tried to befriend the new powerbrokers. God dipped his pen in honey and wrote a gushing tribute to Tinubu. God praised Tinubu for his crucial role in building a ragtag opposition into a formidable coalition. God praised Tinubu for helping dislodge the largest party in Africa from power. God turned doxology upside down and lavished it on a human.
Well, Tinubu saw through God’s gimmick. Tinubu spurned God’s flattery. And he advised God to quit seeking escape in forced sycophancy. Tinubu counseled God to prepare for His inevitable trial.
The problem is the trial came sooner than even Tinubu would have placed a bet on. It arrived earlier than Buhari’s resumption as President of the Nigeria. NDLEA unexplainably became in a hurry to dispatch God to America. They couldn’t wait till May 29.
And so God began doing something ungodly. God started to blame his trouble on His party rival, Bode George. Bode Gorge’s wife, Roli, is head of NDLEA. God made a linear link between his frosty relationship with Boy George and His travails. The NDLEA that had repeatedly rejected America’s request to have Him extradited could not changed its stance for nothing. George’s bedtime chat with his wife must be the cause of his present distress.
Talking seriously, we have always had a ruling class infested with rogues. In April 2005, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police and Chairman Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, raised the alarm that he found himself in the awkward position of having to share conviviality with the vicious murderers, crooks and fraudsters he had dealt with during his police career. Those criminals had managed to extricate themselves from justice. They used their filthy acquisition to buy shares into politics. They ran for Senate to overwrite their detestable record; to become ‘’Distinguished’’ Senators.
Kashamu sought the same cover in the Senate. He had the baseless confidence that membership of the Senate would keep his extradition case in abeyance, as long as his tenure lasts. He was convinced that if he could smuggle himself into the Senate chambers, his trouble would automatically become a shared concern among his colleagues. They would shield him, if only to avert the bad optics of having one of their own standing in a witness box in a fiercely irreverent justice system, far away from their magical influence.
The man had dumped as much cash as was necessary to buy the votes. The message he peddled during the campaign was that he was a fulfilled man who has undertaken to sacrifice his comfort to help the commoners in his constituency notch a better life. That was a lie. Kashamu was not a senatorial material, by any stretch of the imagination. His Senate quest was not for public good. It was for his private respite. His campaign was an investment in his own immunity.
Kashamu has all but achieved his desire. He won the Senate seat. He is due to be sworn in few days time. He will be one of the ‘’Distinguished’’ Senators voting on our bills and calibrating the bars of our collective decency. How far he has come is a sign that our politics is an asylum in need of purging.
Kashamu bought his way into power because the configuration of Nigerian politics makes money the joker. He didn’t need to do more than produce enough money to buy the expression of interest/ nomination forms, bribe the party screening committee and the party delegates, and distribute food baits to the voters. His prodigal expenditure and cynical philanthropy knocked off his competition. Money TRANSFORMED a fugitive drug pusher into a ‘’Senator-elect!
Kashamu serves as a metaphor. If we conducted a sweeping background check in the polity, we would harvest individuals with comparably appalling albatross waiting to assume sensitive political positions across Nigeria. They often write the larger part of the Nigerian story. And that is why our nation is a beautiful tragedy.
Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu
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