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Tobe Writes: ANAMBRA ELECTION – THE DILENMA OF A NIGERIAN GOD AND A NIGERIAN VOTER

I have been in the dusty town of Nnewi for the past few weeks. I can unequivocally state without mincing words that the atmosphere is rife with campaign; the walls of our houses have been flagrantly defaced with super-imposed posters of artificially smiling candidates, large billboards of these political demi-gods are dotting the town with promises which Nebuchadnezzar in all his glory and splendor might find herculean to fulfill. Three out of every ten sane persons passing you by is either wearing the polo, Ankara or fez cap of one of their preferred candidates. Brand new buses and cars emblazoned with the customized colours of different political parties, with mounted speakers singing beautiful epic tunes of these political Caesars, are common features on the road. All the upcoming, old-coming and the never-coming gospel and secular musicians in Anambra and beyond have sung their lungs out in praise of all the major candidates.

If you think this is a worrisome development, then I put it to you that you must be a returnee to Nigeria or perhaps someone who must have witnessed election in a saner or more civilized clime. I for one have not witnessed a gubernatorial election anywhere else outside Nigeria, therefore, it isn’t for me to determine the rightness or wrongness of what I observed.

However, I have this feeling that the goat is not properly tethered. Be that as it may, my feeling has been made worse by the different divine instructions coming from several religious quarters on who we should vote or should I say, who GOD in His clairvoyant wisdom has instructed us to vote for.

It is an open secret that Nigerians are religious people and their religious disposition is always brought in, even in the simplest matters of life that requires ordinary common sense. Thus, the words of religious leaders are more revered and sacred than the Holy Writ in this side of the world. I cannot say for sure the origin of this development, but I have this strong belief that it stemmed from our traditional African religion: where the priests of the gods are seen as the mouthpiece to oracles whose utterances should be believed hook, line and sinker, or you stand to face damnation. The words of a Pastor, Imam, Bishop, Apostle, Evangelist or even an ordinary self-styled professional prayer warrior in Nigeria are akin to the words of Moses of Old to the Israelites or Saint Paul to the Gentiles. Yes, it is that sacred. If you understand the depth of this, you will understand the dilemma, I and, I believe, some Anambra indigenes have found ourselves in.

For those of you who do not know my mother, she is a self acclaimed evangelist with not too many a follower. The first thing she told me upon my return to Nnewi is that, she has received a divine instruction that the short bearded Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, the All Progressive Congress flag-bearer in the forthcoming November 16 election is the one to vote for. While I was contemplating why God would issue such an instruction, I received another directive from a cousin of mine that the Anglican Bishop has mandated that the unfazed overnight money-spender, Mr. Ifeanyi  Patrick Ubah is the one to vote for. While still trying to fathom why heaven should be issuing conflicting directives, the Catholic leadership in Anambra State unveiled the anointed choice revealed to it from above – Peter Obi’s self imposed surrogate, Willy Obiano. And then, there was the aged women of Abagana, who proclaimed last week that the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye, is the man separated by God to lead Anambra State.

My confusion is simmering and at its brink of implosion. I am bewildered as to why God should give us mortals power of choice and then turn around to truncate our liberty in expressing such power. I am confused because as a bible student, I have read somewhere that God is not an author of confusion. I am confused because as a practicing Christian whose duty is to do the will of his Father, I am at a conjunction of conflicting divine directives, not knowing who amongst these divine candidates is the real Moses sent to take us to our supposed promise land. But I am more confused that those who would have cleared my confusion have succeeded in turning it into a dilemma. Now, I am the precipice of disobeying the voice of God each way I turn.

To this end, even if I decide to disobey these divine oracles, how will I decipher the right person amidst these smiling faces I see on posters? How will I know the person that will lessen our burden as a people by seeing the importance of giving our children quality education and the whole state durable roads? How will I see beyond their outward magic to the genuineness of their heart? How will I know the man that Solomon talked about: “When the righteous is in power, the people will rejoice”? Now, I am like John the Baptist asking: Lord, is our Messiah among these lots or should we wait for 2018?

On a personal note to You, Dear God, please do not answer the aforementioned questions through Your oracles. Speak to the heart of Ndi Anambra direct, come Saturday.

Written by Tobe Osigwe

tobbyosigwe@yahoo.com, @ikolondigbozr

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9 Comments

  1. ogoo

     /  November 15, 2013

    I love every bit of this piece. Its really appaling, even in your own home, you can’t have peace. God have Mercy

    Reply
  2. Vera Asagba

     /  November 15, 2013

    I’ve always knew you will be a very good writer I remember back in the days in class when you use to clutch your lap-top to yourself like a second skin, Anyway keep it up and one day you will start writting your own books don’t worry God will direct you at his own time…back to the dilenma of anambra state most of their problem is greed and covetousness I pray the good Lord should give them the Moses who will take them to their supposed promise land. Amen

    Reply
  3. My brother “confuse ga adima na hube”. Since the clergies, all of whom you had a strong trust in, has proven to you, that they are as confused as you are, then you might as well take a leap of faith by giving your vote to whoever has the most enchanting smile.

    Reply
  4. KecyIfez

     /  November 15, 2013

    Your last statement spells it all.. Let God speak to the minds of the Anambra people not through those acclaimed prophet soothsayers, Evangelist..etc who have been blinded folded by greed and mere materialistic things of the world.

    Reply
  5. Evan

     /  November 15, 2013

    Well said Tobe. Well said. This is about the sanest thing I’ve read about this election, devoid of bias and sentiment.

    Reply
  6. chukwu chukwuebuka

     /  November 15, 2013

    Nice piece supremo.keep it up!

    Reply
  7. marthy

     /  November 15, 2013

    On what platform exactly, where and when, did the Catholic Church endorse Willie? I’m interested in that bit of info.

    Reply
  8. Hmmmm…*sigh
    How men of God embarrass their calling and their ministry…making a mockery of God

    Reply

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