In 1519 the Spanish Explorer and Colonialist, Hernando Cortez arrived the New World with about six hundred men. He was determined to set up a colony in America by conquering the local Red Indians but needed the maximum cooperation of his men in his quest. While his men slept, he burnt all their ships thereby making them burn their bridges and leaving no room for any alternative plan to go back to Spain. The men fearing death in a strange, cold land fought with all their might and defeated their adversary.
World’s wealthiest investor Warren Buffett was once asked his investment strategy and he replied in simple language: ‘Put all your eggs in one basket and watch it carefully.”
This week Sunday, a viral video went round of how the charismatic and handsome Founder of the House on the Rock, Pastor Paul Adefarasin told his congregation that his wife Ifeanyi had gone ahead of him to an undisclosed foreign country to prepare his way for his eventual departure given the terrible security situation in the country which could lead to a Second Civil War. He urged his congregation to have a plan b – a life in exile as he couldn’t guarantee their safety any longer.
In his words: ”I bring you greetings from Pastor Ifeanyi (his wife) who is busy taking care of the frontier of our world and preparing our escape route. If you don’t have a plan B… I know you have faith. I have faith too but I have a plan B. With technology I can speak to you from anywhere in the world. Get yourself a plan B. Whether that’s an Okada to Cameroon or flying boat or speed boat as we call them to Seme Border or a hole in the ground, get your plan B because these people are crazy. They are nutters. The whole bunch of them. And watch the signs because it can happen like this. God forbid!”
I was surprised that this was coming from a Clergy man as I have always viewed the religious class with utmost suspicion as they are complicit with the political elite in the rot of the country. Rather than speak the truth to power, they massage the over bloated ego of our Emperors and sell their followers the elixir of some elusive ‘Heaven’ which can only be attained by regular forgiveness, praying for our leaders, tithes, offerings and battleground seeds in order to obtain unprecedented favour from God and enjoy economic prosperity while still domiciled on earth.
The Clergy in The Philippines spoke against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcus which led to his eventual overthrow in 1986. Ours are more preoccupied with saying prophecies and hustling for security contracts.
In as much as I agree with Adefarasin as it is necessary to have a plan b in lieu of the deteriorating quality of life experienced by the majority of the citizens, it is imperative to question the raison d’etre behind the plan b and posit whether it is not wiser to have only a plan a for more effective living.
The plan b is responsible for the fact that Nigerian citizens have failed to hold the government to account. There is no light so we buy generators, no good public schools so we send our children or wards to private schools or schools abroad, no good hospitals so we either go to the private hospitals or travel abroad, no security so we hire the use of policemen or form vigilantes in our neighbourhoods, lack of governmental presence in our lives and our Clergy men urge us not to fight back to demand for our fundamental human rights but to pray for them so as not to jeopardize our chances of going to Heaven since there is a Biblical injunction that makes it compulsory for our leaders to be prayed for.
The plan b has entrenched a culture of lukewarmness and a lackadaisical attitude of the citizens towards their ability to ensure good governance and a fair deal from their supposed leaders.
How practicable is Adefarasin’s advice? Nigeria has over 200 million people and it is the most populous black nation on earth. Is it possible for the country to get totally depopulated at any given time? In a country where millions live on less than a dollar a day with a 33% unemployment rate among the youths, how many can afford the millions required to relocate abroad? How many can even afford to relocate illegally via the perilous road trips across the Sahara and by the Mediterranean to Europe? Why can’t his advice be geared towards rousing the dormant fighting spirit of the largely complacent citizens towards demanding for the dividends of democracy? Is he rallying round a scheme towards helping the masses raise funds for their relocation? Is he not leaving them in the lurch like Sheep without a Shepherd through his prescription? Why can’t he advocate a peaceful version of the Arab Spring which shook dictatorships in Northern Africa to its very foundation and proved that citizens’ power was supreme? Where was his voice during the End Sars protest which was the most effective peaceful protest this country has ever witnessed which was spearheaded by the youths? Enough of this placebo as the country needs pragmatic solutions that can swiftly get her out of the woods and not advice that leaves much to be desired!
Migration is as old as man and mortals gravitate towards places that they feel their bread is most buttered and one is not disparaging efforts towards legal migration. Permit me to go Biblical, the Israelites were God’s chosen race yet they migrated to foreign lands a lot. Lot migrated to Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob migrated, Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt, Esau who even sold his birthright prospered in a foreign land. Joseph the foster father of Jesus Christ had to migrate to Egypt when the latter was an infant to escape Herod’s sword which slaughtered the infants in cold blood.
In as much as migration is innate in man, it shouldn’t be promoted as the only alternative. It should just be one more option as Nigerians should be empowered to have as many choices as possible to live the good life.
Adefarasin should use his immense clout and influence to galvanize the citizens to press for a better deal rather than shove an option that’s not applicable to the beleaguered Plebians. It is high time the Clergy became partners in progress of the citizens rather than work perpetually in cahoots with the elite to perpetually suppress them or dish out advice whose practicability is worse than chasing a pie in the sky.