This is an opinion piece by Olukorede Yishau.
In times past, nation-states abound with gods. The ancient times are long gone and the tendency is to assume that there are no new gods on earth. Christians will even argue that with God, there is no need for gods again. Muslims are wont to argue that Allah is sufficient for us all. It is beneath me to fault this religious standpoint, but my layman’s eyes are leading me to see what seems to be eluding every other Nigerian.
I do not know if there are new gods in other parts of the world, but there is at least one in Nigeria. This god was born on June 18, 1975. He was the youngest of six children. To satisfy men, he attended Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Agassa in Okene, had his high school at Agassa Community Secondary School, and tertiary education at both the Kaduna State Polytechnic, Zaria, and the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. He really did not need this education but because he chose in his wisdom to be born of the intimacy of a man and woman, he had to bear some burden of mere mortals.
Before you worry your head too much, the god I refer to is none other than Kogi State Governor Alhaji Chief Dr His Excellency Yahaya Bello. He knows the Igbo Olodumare in and out. The manner he became governor was not ordinary, only a god could engineer that. A man was cruising to victory and died before results could be declared, and another was called to come and take the cap, even when he was not the running mate!
Alhaji Chief Dr Yahaya Bello is a gift that keeps giving. Looking at all the spectacular things he has done in the last five years, he deserves our accolades. He deserves to be deified. If he had lived in the same era as Sango, Ogun, Venus, Osun and other gods, he would have also been a god. His effigy would have been in shrines and palm oil, ogogoro, apeteshi, bitter kola, kola nut and so on, would be used to appease him. We have this god in our midst free of charge and we are not taking advantage of his presence.
The best thing he has done is to make the Kogi atmosphere a vaccine against COVID-19, a development I expect the Federal Government to monetise instead of fighting him. The air in Kogi is different from the one in other parts of Nigeria, and it is not by accident. The special anointing on Alhaji Chief Dr His Excellency Yahaya Bello is responsible.
America, the United Kingdom, and many other superpowers have lost thousands of people to Covid-19. Many are still down in isolation centres around the world.
Researchers in South Africa have worked tirelessly to find the answers around vaccine efficacy for a variant of the virus. There are also instances around the world where some variants have defied some vaccines. The answer to this challenge is in Kogi, and it is high time the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari capitalised on this to diversify our economy. We can earn so much from medical tourism by getting the superpowers to pay us billions of dollars and pounds to have access to the vaccine that is the air in Kogi. For those who cannot visit the country, we can bottle this air the way natural gas is liquefied, and export the way the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited exports shipment of liquefied gas through the Bonny channels. We can contract the NLNG to handle the bottling of the air for ease of exportation.
I know some people will be under-estimating the god in Kogi because he is just 45 years of age, but the great prophets and gods of yore were not Methuselah. There is power in youthfulness and the god in Lokoja has shown us that again and again.
By 2023, there will be a vacancy at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, and I am glad that discerning minds have taken over the traditional and social media to plead with the god in our midst to save us from the punishment that leadership has been since time immemorial. As I write, he has not agreed to help us, but that has not affected my conviction that he is who we need, and we must do everything within our capacity to convince him to join the race. If others want to contest, leave them. Given the experience of how he won his first term in Kogi, victory will not be a difficult thing for him to snatch. The vital thing is to get him to agree to help us. The rest will be sorted out.
Believe me, I have looked around and given the multi-faceted challenges biting us like python, and gradually ebbing lives out of us, we do not need a man to govern us. We need a god who can capture Death and carry it on his head like the palm-wine drinkard Amos Tutuola wrote about. Only one god lives in our midst at the moment, and he resides in Lokoja, where he has shown several times that he has a magic wand like the one Moses used to divide the Red Sea and lead his people to safety.
With Alhaji Chief Dr His Excellency Yahaya Bello’s magic wand, poverty, which President Muhammadu Buhari has unsuccessfully wrestled, will become a thing of the past; with his magic wand, corruption will bid bye-bye to our country; with his magic wand, sickness and diseases will flee from our land; with his magic wand, expectant mothers will be delivered of their babies like the Hebrew women; and with his magic wand, our infrastructure will become world-class.
With Alhaji Chief Dr His Excellency Yahaya Bello in charge, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, the World Bank and members of the Paris and London clubs will find it difficult to dictate to us. After all, a man cannot dictate to a god. The gods have it all. If you doubt me, go to Lokoja and other parts of Kogi and when you get there, try and answer these questions: Are there untarred roads? Are there poor people? Are there people down with illnesses? Are expectant mothers dying while trying to bring forth lives? Are government employees getting paid when due? Are the people living as though they are in the Garden of Eden with everything at their beck and call?
My final take: Rome was not built in a day because gods were not involved. Nigeria, which we have been unable to reach the first floor of its fifty-storey structure since Independence, can be fixed by the god in our midst in no time. I beseech you all, it is time we got Alhaji Chief Dr His Excellency Yahaya Bello to come and take us to the Promised Land with his magic wand. Poverty, sicknesses, poor infrastructure, epileptic power supply, wobbling economy, and all the iniquities in Nigeria can become history if only we can get Alhaji Chief Dr Yahaya Bello to be our next President.