A letter to the Church, is a short story suggesting that Nigeria could be better if the Church introduces Practical Christianity to the theoretical being practiced now. How can we be so religious and be so corrupt!
My Father was a DPO in Nigeria Police, tall, dark complexioned, doting and amiable; who was there for us since that breezy dusty December evening I woke seeing my young mother as she was referred, being lowered to a scary pit called grave, she died after delivery!
…well that happened long ago, some sixteen years now, people believed men never finds their feet after a wives’ dearth. More so, when children are involved, this wasn’t so with Dad! He was strong, never brutalized or showed iota of sorrowfulness. He was strong for us and protective as a sentinel.
My father always calls every hour whenever I’m on a journey but today, he is yet to call which made me quite restless even as this charming guy keeps pestering for my number; that he is in love with me, someone you have just seen the first time! Then tomorrow, he would through running nose and puffed eyes, swore; “It wasn’t me I swear…!” Mitchew.
In Agbor, waiting next means that would convey me to my last destination-Abraka, my phone meowed!
“At last” I sighed; picked… strange male voice came to my ears as I said;
“No no… t-this is not your D-daddy” the manly voice said quickly which made my heart missed beeps.
“y-yes yes h-llo hello” I stammered.
“Yes, y-yes t-this i-is k-kika…speaking…”
“This is Uncle Ahmed”
“Uncle Ahmed!?” I quip, eyes dilated. “Where is my Daddy!”
“Kika where are you?”
“Don’t ask me that Uncle Ahmed!”
“Kika calm down…”
“Calm down! For what?”
“Kika where are you?”
I took a deep breath. “Uncle Ahmed, is anything the matter?”
“No no” he said again, quickly, gave a short tum tum laugh. “Of curse no, haba!”
“Uncle Ahmed? I shouted, anger quickening my breath as eyes was pinned to me.
“Yes Kika…where are you…”
“Uncle Ahmed” I exhaled. “Something is wrong, I can feel it”
“Kika where are you? His voice was pregnant with danger.
“Agbor… Delta State, on my way to school” I said, dodging a dowdy woman Banana seller who almost poked a finger into my eye in the name of “Sister buy sweet Banana” Do you have to blind me with it first? I muttered under my breath.
“My father is dead, right? Uncle Ahmed” I nodded as if he could see me. I saw horror in the eyes of those close enough to hear it which they demonstrated, focusing questioning eyes on me like I just developed horns.
“How did it happen” I shouted, cutting words into his mouth as tears hurries down my cheeks because Uncle Ahmed couldn’t answer me…he was silent for a while then his voice again;
“Kika, you need to start coming back please…we need you here”
I am the very emotional soft-hearted type but that day I didn’t know what came over me, I didn’t shout, roll on the ground so people would gather “Telling you sorry that it wasn’t the end of the world” I was strong, like my Daddy.
Our people said “You don’t leave your house on fire chasing rat” Ken called more than ten times since morning that he can’t wait to have me in his arms again since I left school four days ago, I know he will feel really bad that I didn’t show up as promised but he won’t know what is bigger than the cricket now blocks its hole!
As I dabble at my sweaty and tearful face with the back of my left hand on the same College junction, I saw that guy again coming to me;
“They call me Femi” he had told me in the bus;
“Babe where to?”
“My father is dead, I am needed in Abuja” He froze, said nothing as I waved down an Okada to Uromi junction.
The sun was scorching hot and peppery on my shoulders as if it were bare, it was 2:20pm; our bus again took off from Agbor.
“So…my father is dead” I moaned softly. The last punishment I received from my Dad remained indelible in my heart but quite funny anyway; it was on a Valentine’s Day, 2011, Dad came back on time with his best daily “This Day” and was on it when Zara came in. Zara is our right door neighbor, four days younger but read talkry as my brother use to tease. She came whispering to my ears, Dad in the dining heard it!
“…el Kika” she whispered, almost popping her right massive breast into my mouth. My sister said I should not tell your Dad that I caught you at Teacher Chuk’s Office on Monday, kissing him but I…” I saw Dad raising his face slowly from the paper, uncrossing his legs, registering a frowning stare on me; my mouth was agape with sharpened eyes!
Immediately I stood but Dad called me! Zara had already disappeared like a Tsetse fly! That day…I knelt down with both hands raised till I started hallucinating! My brother hated Zara like shit since then; that what actually was she there for at that same time if not to eat from the same fruit?
Several thoughts chased each other in my heart but the most dominant told me things again won’t be the same for my brother and I as the strong pillar holding us have now fallen!
Again, I watched with mist of tears as Dad who played the dual role as my mother were laid to rest, it was so similar to that of Mummy which I now vaguely remembers only that now there is no Daddy pressing my face against his thighs, patting my head, sniffing into his hanky, assuring me it’s well.
The next morning, shameful news of my father’s demise was in all the papers, if it were me I would have done more than what he did to them. The stories were so similar even as told by Uncle Ahmed.
Eye witness account alleged; “The man was waved down by Dad and his men around 11:am then demanded for his papers which he produced hastily also showed them his spare tyre when demanded, there was no fault but as Nigerian Police, Dad asked him to produce anything he could for the boys.
“Oga shake body now” Dad said but the man refused which puts my Daddy off.
“So you are claiming a saint or what? One of them asked.
“Officers please let me go, I am not claiming anything, I have been delayed enough…
“You are telling Officers on their duty post that they have delayed you enough…eh? Dad asked taking his keys.
“Officers please pardon my reckless statement; my attention is needed at the hospital…my wife is in labour, if I don’t hurry with the money they said for two pints of blood, her life might be in danger” the man rapt, shifting his weight feet to feet.
“Story…always story, Nigerians like story a lot” Dad said and there was no kind of pleading he never pleaded but dogmatic they remained, that except he shakes body, his keys won’t be given him.
To cut the long story short, his keys were given him after much delay only to come back few minutes later that he was early enough to see his wife being covered with white cloth by a nurse that she couldn’t make it;
“She journeyed to the mills of her weaving with the baby unborn!”
The next four scary sounds forced life out of Dad and three other Police men while the fifth passed through the shooter’s left ear through the right! The sixth Police woman who witnessed the scene from its embryo was scampering from where she had gone answering nature’s call and was rushing, thinking the several gun shots to be shoot out with robbers but was only too early to see the aggrieved man pointing to his own ear then falling!
I have to tell you this story so you would decode the essence of this letter for you to be able to decipher my ideal practical Christianity/Islam and the theoretical practiced in Nigeria.
My father was a deacon in our “Abraham’s Bosom Church” here in Jabi, from Adams, a righteously corrupt man to his finger tips! Why did this miasmic canker worm that has eaten so deep into the fabrics of our dear Nation finds Nigeria a relaxing home…why Nigeria!
I could remember the first time in ABU for my failed admission processing; we stopped by the road side almost three times just from Abuja as Muslims hastily say prayers and the paradox here is that; the admission failed because I gave no brown envelop. Till today, I have not credited CRS because I refused contributing money for exam malpractice, organized by right-thinking teachers who are either Christians or Muslims. In Nigeria who had or about to write SSCE will or must have paid for exam malpractice even Pastor’s/Imam’s children… even you too in your own time must have too done it. I stand to be proved wrong!
I am now an adult orphan who could not scale through three hundred levels because corruption took my Daddy away…now all the lecturers wants your back on their bed, over my dead body, I told umpteen to their face, hissed, walked out on them but at present, I have to leave the kitchen because I can’t bear the smoke…Zara think I am not wise enough…
“You no dey do man, what is the difference?” she sighed, making a disgusting face, mouth pouted. I don’t blame my Daddy for being corrupt nor the Christian/Muslim lecturers that want to force their spongy peg dawn the slimy snail God pinned in-between your laps neither do I blame Nigeria but the Holly Houses.
You need to see my Daddy standing before a congregation, Sunday school manual handy, teaching and more adoration you would pour on him presenting tithe and offering yet he takes bribe with impunity.
More so, during my matriculation, Daddy came with Uncle Ahmed and two other Police friends I have not seen so often. When they were about going, I told Daddy I needed more money. He grimaced;
“I don’t have enough, I left my ATM card…never mind” he shrugged; Come with us” he told me. On our way, he made some calls after which he told the driver to pull by the road side about two poles to Obiaruku.
They waved down a trailer with “Bello Gado petroleum” boldly written on it. After about 30 minutes, Dad walked back to the car handed 17,210 naira to me;
“Kika be prudent with spending o”
“I will Daddy” I thanked him. As his driver was taken me back to the campus he told me what he says all the time;
“Sex is what waiting for…if you get pregnant, that will be the end…
“Daddy I won’t get pregnant, I be Mary?” his friends laughed.
The tanker may have been without fault, he knew that that is how Police could be settled in other to avoid unnecessary delay.
Nigerians are good people, who know there is a mighty supreme God/Allah up high in the sky somewhere and they love to please Him but they have not been told really how!
If just two per cent of the hundred devoted to while tithe, offering should be paid, to while corruption in all its ramification be shunned, emphasized in the Holy Houses by the day, make corruption an agenda…people who pay tithe sees the result and that encourages them to do more so also positive result would be if we too shun corruption.
Secondly, I saw guys at Kubwa NYSC camp, during Uncle Ahmed’s niece Orientation. It was on Sunday. After we shared what we brought her with her friends, Salimat, asked I accompany her to the Photographer’s stand, it was while collecting that the guys…they were all Photographers, that; How can we be so religious and so corrupt?
“If a Pastor in Church announces he wanted a car, you will see people begging to buy it, yet in the Church, you have so many malnourished-looking people…to them, going to Church makes you a Christian”
“Or buying the Pastor gifts”
“Somebody like me would pay two million Naira tithe…”
“The Pastor won’t even ask how you made the money!”
“They call it super natural miracle” laughed another.
“Then you will be given Holy Communion, special prayer thundered in your name”. This also came to my ears as we were leaving;
“Just how many churches do we have in Abuja alone? Let a church like Christ Embassy take one cripple…those crawling after cars in Federal Housing junction…”
“Someone like that can be thought graphics” added another like they rehearsed it.
“CAC take one, Dunamis, Deeper life, Redeemed, Living Faith… takes one and so on. I tell you, before you know it, those our brothers will become true Nigerians but they won’t do it, the Churches/Mosques…” can’t these things be done?
To me, the Church is your Body; Aru gi bu Uno Nso Chineke! While the Church (The Building with a religious name on it) is a place believers gather to share joy, sadness…a school where you are taught to make heaven.
A Church gate man is a church gate man. He will be there, the Clergies sees him, at times youth but no one would suggest “this boy/man…let’s pay school fees/open a small kiosk for him” The churches have private schools, the pastor’s children attends bigger ones. No one would question them because they have faith! You see Church posters pasted indiscriminately, messing up our city.
My story is what you have just read but umpteen we heard not because no one told us but if we all keep quiet and pretends it doesn’t exist, one day too, it will come to you like a thief and that day…
I hawked plantain chips on the Kubwa/Dutse express way, now no more vehicular traffic… pure water on the streets of Kubwa… not contemplating school.
Today, churches preach prosperity, bless you, and pray for you that;
“Your enemies shall crumble before your feet” who is the enemy? Is it the laborer who you refused him/her wages, the girl you compelled sleeping with you, the guy you seduced getting you pregnant then killed? Shall those enemies crumble before your feet too, because the pastor called you a Christian?
Let truth be told, we have all swallowed Whiteman’s religion because it encourages evil…please don’t ask me how (Are you not a believer) it says no amount of your sin, by His Grace you will make heaven, that means everybody will make it…is this Logical? IT calls for all to go sinning! Black ass, dark anger…white rose…Jesus is a White man, Satan is a BLACK MAN!
If the church buy my ideal Christianity Nigeria will turn enchanting Nation to explore. God bless Nigeria…AMEN!