THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO NIGERIA
- In the beginning, the British created the Northern and Southern protectorates. Now, the nation was formless and empty and darkness covered our collective identity.
- And the British said: “Let there be Nigeria.” And there was Nigeria. And the British saw that Nigeria was good (for them) and they separated the ruling class from the serfs.
- And the British said: “Just as we have a vault between us and you, let there be a vault to separate the rulers from the citizens.”
- So the British created Nigeria in their own image, in the image of their colonial rulership they created it; oppressor and oppressed they created them.
- And there was independence from the British and there were coups and counter-coups and there were military dictators.
- And the decades passed and the military rulers transformed into civilian ones and stripped their garbs and uniforms and took new ones. And they declared: “Old things have passed away and all things have become new.”
- For our military dictators loved the country so much that they gave up their only begotten uniforms and the right to make decrees, that whosoever believed in them and voted them shall be stuck with them until their old age.
- And it came about that a usurper who was not a military dictator found his way to the throne, through natural deaths and impeachments, and he came upon Nigerians like a thief in the night. And he came not to build but to steal and destroy. And he left Nigerians blind and poor.
- And Nigerians looked to a former dictator and said to him: “Lord, we do not know where we are going.” And he answered them and said: “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to good governance except through me.” And he gained followers and drove out the usurper who had left Nigerians blind and poor.
- And his followers said: “Lord show us the way and that will be enough for us. Show us Change.” And he answered them and said: “Do you believe that I am good governance and good governance is me? You may ask for anything in my name and I will do it.”
- And his followers worshipped him and sang his praises day and night. And when his ministers proved incompetent, his followers praised him and denounced the ministers.
- And when the people began to groan under much suffering they looked unto their benevolent dictator. And he said to them: “If you love me, keep my commands. Hate those who hate me and love those who love me. My enemies cannot accept me because they neither see me nor know me. But you know me, for I live with you and will be in you.”
- And some skeptics said, “But, Lord, why do your ministers do silly things like wear silly red berets and have nothing under the berets?” And the benevolent dictator replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”
- For the shameless will inherit the land and they will dwell in it in an abundance of peace.
- For the shameless, instead of shame, there shall be a double portion; for the wicked and corrupt instead of dishonour, they shall rejoice in their lot; they shall have everlasting joy and in their old age be called elder statesmen.
- And the last shall be the first.
- If I fight for human rights of random individuals or of enemies of the Lord but do not have loyalty to the benevolent dictator, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of turning the economy around and can fathom all the mysteries of the parallel market and if I am angry that pilgrims get dollars and not business men and women but do not have loyalty to the dictator and love for him, I am nothing.
- Love is patient (with inefficiency), love is kind (even in the face of massacres). It does not envy the benevolent dictator, it does not boast that it can do better. It is not proud.
- Love keeps no record of wrongs, whether those wrongs happened in 1984 and are being repeated or those wrongs lead to 347 people being secretly buried. Love does not delight in evil except where that evil happens to people we do not like, from strange ethnic groups or religions or sexualities.
- But love rejoices with the truth: and the truth is what the benevolent dictator says it is.
- Love always protects the interest of the dictator and blames only his ministers for things that go wrong.
- Love never fails.
- But where there is common sense, it will cease. Whether there are industries, they will cease. Where there is electricity, it will reduce. And where there is a great football team, it will diminish. Where there are cheap dollars, it will be reserved for pilgrims and billionaires. For we know in part and we pontificate through newspaper articles and blogs in part, but when completeness through our benevolent dictator (and his minions) arrives, what is in part disappears.
- The benevolent dictator is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing. He makes me lies down in darkness, but only because it leads me to quietness. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along his own paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley with no electricity, I will fear no evil, for he is with me. His rod and his staff with which he makes hundreds of Shiites disappear, they comfort me.
- Blessed are [those who steal from] the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of political rebirths.
- Blessed are those who [make others like Shiites] mourn, for they will be comforted [by the silence of dead and putrified bodies]
- Blessed are [those who despise] the meek for they will inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those with good political alliances, for even when are caught, they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are those who [hate the] pure in heart, for they will see the inner walls of the Villa.
- Blessed are those who trend political hashtags, for theirs is the kingdom of bank alerts.
- Blessed are those with a long career of theft and destruction, for they will be called elder statesmen.
- The benevolent dictator gathered all his disciples and taught them a new prayer. He said:
- You must pray then this way:
- Our father, who art Aliko, hallowed be thy wealth
- Thy monopolies come
- Thy will be done in this government as it was in the previous
- Give us this day, your refinery (as we give you our cheap dollars)
- And forgive us our doubts as we have forgiven those who doubt us
- And lead us not into temptation to break your monopolies (and empower other entrepreneurs), but deliver us from the evil ones who challenge our government.
- For thine is the sugar, the flour and the cement (and rice and spaghetti), forever and ever, amen.