Don’t Say There Is God, Do Something! By David Oluwasegun Ogundipe
The person that came up with the notorious mantra ‘there is God’ for those oppressed by fellow men deserves to answer a case before the Court of men, and then, the Court of God for dignifying impunity. Whatever his reason was, he has succeeded in leaving unsuspecting victims of oppression helpless, even where several options abound to forestall or remedy the injustice. For those in the habit of saying ‘there is God’ when oppressed, I think that it is a tacit, but ignorant way of saying that God’s existence is debatable. Who goes about saying ‘it is raining’ when everybody could feel it? I mean why? Why must you remind yourself that He exists to cushion the effect of pains you can avoid? He gave you the brain to consult. Why? Why must you volunteer to be battered, oppressed, cheated and raped, yet all you can say is that ‘there is God!’
I don’t know if this is a pain cushioning syndrome that is Nigeria based or African, I only know that it is one that has let evil prevail on many occasions. See, leave God alone sometimes, use your brain! Don’t embarrass God- even Him, wants you to react to some things and not cry His name for all your woes. Yes, there is God, but once in a while, do what you would have done if there is no God!
Earlier this year, in one of my opinion articles, I did identify that the problems facing average Nigerians can be reduced by say 70% if we, the commoners can learn to be fair to ourselves. Ignore the government and those beautiful expectations, play your part and be fair in dealings. You may not end up having a property at the Crescent avenue, but you will most likely not be disappointed in life. But no, among us are the professional thieves and oppressors- they abound- among teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, students, traders, journalists, bricklayers, tailors, keepers of faith and religions, carpenters, and even you. We are the silent terrorists who like to point at the the pronounced terrorists. Now, let me justify my rant…
A couple of days back, at the end of my CDS Meeting, I volunteered to follow a sick friend to a diagnostic centre. He was weak, and he needed a hand. We flagged down a bike and told him our destination. From his face, I saw deceit well written- in French, Igbo, Hausa, Chinese, Yoruba, Efik, Russian, Italian, English and all other languages of the world. I hate to be preemptive, so I will give this bike man the benefit of doubt. ‘Your money na #250’, he said after Fred and I apparently didn’t hide the fact that we did not know the place. I interjected that #250 is much: practically, there is no where in that state capital that should warrant paying #250 for transportation at a go. He was so convincing that we felt we were going interstate. He told us how the place was far and then asked ‘Shey you be Yoruba?’ Fred replied No, and because the devil was ready to have a dinner with him, he took Fred’s answer as applicable to us both.
We sat and in less than 1 minute into the journey, he stopped and beckoned on another bike man. In his words ‘awon eleyi o mo Diagnostic centre, nibo ni kin gbe won gba, emi n wa owo’ (these ones do not know the diagnostic centre, which route should I follow, I need money) At that point, I knew the gimmick. I was once a victim in Ilorin- a victim of the average man’s brutality to another average man, and I fell flat. This time, I was a victim again, but I was happy that it would be a different show. The other man looked into his eyes, I saw the smile they both struggled to fight and I knew we were just about to be played. Practically, I burst out laughing- I knew there was God, but I didn’t want to involve him in this very simple issue. I gat this! That one told him to take a route and yes, we went again, after about 7 minutes of moving, we were back at where we flagged down the bike, and again, I burst out laughing. From that spot to the diagnostic centre, it was less than 2 minutes! He knew, he wanted money, our ignorance was a deficiency, and he has banked on it.
We got down, Fred, my Kogi friend was disappointed. In that his weak state, he lamented that the man was unfair and that what did he intend to achieve from such act? I was watching- I wasn’t planning to leave him to God-God himself has given him to me that day and I needed Fred to be done before I deal with him as the spirit was directing. He was looking all guilty, a man of over 40 who was coherent in speech minutes back started blabbing and blinking like someone in the Kalahari desert during a windstorm. Fred paid him his #200 and I walked close and stood right in front of his motorcycle. ‘You are a terrorist Sir, you’re also a self-employed thief and you’re dangerous for the society. You should be held somewhere. It is safer to leave wild animals in the children’s playing ground than to leave you riding motorcycle around’. You know, it was a nice scene because once people see you in NYSC khaki, everything becomes interesting. People started gathering in twos and threes. I admonished him, but for every word of admonishment, there were laden some words meant for shameless and pathetic individuals of his type. He knew what he did and he knew he had done it for the wrong person. Those around asked me what he did and after narrating to them, he was tongue lashed by both the old and the young. Then from the ‘crowd’ came a tiny voice, ‘leave him, there is God’. But this day, those gathered around us would have none of that, ‘Goooduu wo? Shey Goodu ni ka ma fi ara mo iwa buruku ni. Goodu gan sope ka ma jale) (which God, Did God ask us to embrace and attitudes from people? Even God asked us not to steal), one old man interjected. I then left him to the insulting gazes of those around.
When you see a thief, call him a thief, never allow him go because ‘there is God’. If you’re oppressed, fight for your right, you don’t have to be violent to deal with certain situations, but just don’t say ‘there is God’. If you trust the cop, call them for your oppressor. You have a husband who batters you, ditch him now! There is God, but He created you as a woman not a punching bag. If you believe in the Court, sue somebody today. If you believe in the media like Femi Owolabi, publish your plight and the particulars of the oppressors for people to read. Leave God, He has files before him- Syria’s file, the Chibok’s file, Egypt’s file, Libya’s file, Democratic republic of Congo, Somalia’s file, Sudan’s file, South Sudan’s file, Mali’s file, ISIS file, Book Haram’s file etc. Yes, He is not complaining, but I am on His behalf. The person oppressing you knows that there is God, why must you say it again? God gave you your brain so that you don’t place every file before him. And I know that there is God, but what if there is no God? Do something drastic, but reasonable.
David Oluwasegun Ogundipe