FEATURE ARTICLE

Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaWednesday, November 23, 2016
amobipchuks@yahoo.com


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GREEN SNAKE IN GREEN GRASS

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here are snakes, there are snakes. However, snake is snake. God created man and woman and housed them in paradise, where they lived in happiness and were lacking nothing. They were created and endowed with immortality. God asked them to eat from all the trees in the Garden of Eden, but they were warned not to eat from the forbidden tree. If they do so, then they would face the penalty of death. The green snake from nowhere crept into the Garden and stood on the forbidden tree waiting for Adam and Eve to seduce them. Since it would find it difficult to seduce Adam, it waited until Adam went on an errand on the other side of the Garden. Opportunity came when Eve alone was taking a feminine evening walk. The green snake whistled to Eve from the forbidden tree. Eve looked but could not differentiate between the green snake and the green leaves of the tree. She exclaimed, "Wonderful! What a beautiful green sight!" The green snake stretched out its neck and invited Eve to come nearer. She did so. The green snake asked Eve why God forbade them from eating the fruit of this most precious tree. Eve asserted that they would be under the pain of death by eating it. The green snake laughed at her and assured her that God was not sincere in forbidding them to eat the fruit because he did not want them to be as knowledgeable as he is. It assured Eve that once she and her husband eat the fruit, their eyes would be opened and they would compete with God in being great. Eve thus got seduced and ate the fruit. She did not stop at that. She found her heartthrob Adam and gave one to him to taste. After eating the fruits, they found themselves foolish and naked. Husbands and wives, if you abandon yourselves (unless death do you part), the green snake will sneak into your family and cause great havoc.

As Adam and Eve were searching for the green snake to report their negative experience, it has already crept away through the green tree. Before this time, the snake was speaking like human beings. It was after it seduced Adam and Eve into committing Original Sin that God struck it perpetually dumb. Being ashamed of themselves, the man and the woman covered their private parts with green leaves. Green is good but dangerous.

The green snake has crept into our country Nigeria in different aspects of her life as a Nation. It seduced the APC led-government to promise us paradise on earth during her electioneering campaign. But presently we are experiencing hell on earth. The American Dollar has fatally knocked out the Naira from the wrestling ring. Our oil wells have dried up. Militancy and terror acts are on the increase. Thus we are suffering from economic recession. The green snake has thorn the green colours of our National Flag. Hence our country is suffering from serious leakage.

The green snake has succeeded in leading us into deadly hunger. A hungry man is an angry man. Nigerians are thus hungry and angry. The cost of foodstuff has soared high in the market. Rice is now beyond the reach of the common Nigerian. Last week a certain woman was cooking a pot of rice for a family of seven. As the rice was about to be done, she went inside her room to bring plates for sharing of the jollof rice according to ratio. An unknown thief struck like lightening and made away with the boiling pot of rice. Eventually the woman came out singing songs of joy. She was holding native pads in her two hands with which to put down the delicious pot of rice. Immediately she entered into her kitchen, she was forced to stop the joyous songs abruptly because of what she saw. The pot of rice has disappeared in a twinkling of an eye. She slumped and cried out. Her husband, children and neighbours gathered. The team searched for the pot of rice everywhere but all to no avail. Please kindly report to the nearest police station if you know the where-about of the cooked pot of rice. A handsome award awaits you. Wonders shall never end.

The green snake cunningly went into the bush and seduced Fulani Herdsmen into killing innocent farmers and villagers going about their business. They consider their cattle more valuable than human beings. For a long time the Federal Government kept mute while the bloody herdsmen spill blood here and there. Thank God the Military has of late resolved to go against the terrorists in herdsmen clothing. The suya in the market tastes like human flesh these days, because the cows have been smeared with human blood. Lord, have mercy!

The proposed Grazing Bill is currently being debated in the National Assembly, whereby all the States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory will set apart large acres of land for the Fulani Herdsmen to settle down with their families and cattle. By so doing, they will populate in all the 36 States and Abuja. Do we not see the green snake lying dangerously in the green grass here? Our elders, religious leaders and the Nigerian citizenry must rise up on time to drive away this green snake before it causes national havoc. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) says no to Grazing Bill. The Anglican Communion of Nigeria led by her Primate, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh lambasted the Federal Government over her contemplation of having the obnoxious bill passed into Law. Primate Okoh enumerated the efforts of Nigerian business men and women in building or purchasing shops for their businesses all over the country without government assistance. Why should the Fulani herdsmen be treated like gods by freely giving them grazing lands all over the country? It seems like many herdsmen or cow owners are in the Buhari-APC led administration. The Dailysun Newspaper of 10th November 2016 reported that the Senate may throw out the controversial Grazing Reserve Bill. I am happy about it. An elder does not stay at home for a pregnant she-goat to give birth tethered on a rope. Listen to this report by Fred Itua: "But while debate was going on, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, came up with a Point of Order, alerting that, by entertaining such bills, the Upper Chambers was going out of its constitutional jurisdiction. He said the issues in the bill were not within the list of things the National Assembly could legislate on, saying that it is the duty of the states to legislate on grazing reserves, ranches and control of movement of cattle in their various geographical enclaves" (Dailysun, Nov. 10, 2016, page 6). Well done Senator Ike Ekweremadu! Other Senators should buy this noble idea, so that peace may reign in this country by driving away the green snake from the green grass on time. I am solidly behind Ekweramadu as I talk from the pulpit. I urge the South-East, South-South State Governors and their Houses of Assembly never to allow this obnoxious Grazing Reserve Bill to see the light of the day. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

During his inauguration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Buhari swore that he belongs to everybody and to nobody. But the green snake has seduced him into appointing only core Muslims and core Northerners into national strategic offices. The handwriting on the wall is very clear. We may be heading to Islamization of Nigeria as a whole. The Southerners especially the Igbos have been sidelined. The president is angry that majority of the Igbo electorates did not vote for him. The proposed second Niger bridge project has gone to oblivion. The Federal roads in the East are nothing to write home about. But I thank those who made one side of the Enugu - Onitsha expressway manageable for now. Donald Trump has won American Presidential Election. He competed with Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Not all Americans voted for him. As he assumes office on 20 January 2017, will he sideline those Americans who voted for Clinton?

The green snake is also trying to seduce the National Assembly into introducing the Sharia Law into all the States of the Federation including Abuja Capital Territory. From all indications, the Bill for this proposal has passed a second reading in the National Assembly. Are all our Legislators Muslims? What are the Christians in the National Assembly doing? What are the Southerners saying? Where are the Igbo lawmakers? This green snake in green grass must be killed or chased out of the National Assembly. Nigeria is a multi-religious country. In his article titled "Sharia, the ominous cloud" Tony Iwuoha categorically says, "Nobody is against sharia but it must be restricted to the North where Islam thrives. Bidding to stretch it across the country could only mean one thing, trouble. If sponsors of this bill have no ulterior motive, why are they intent on extending the Islamic law to non-Islamic parts of the country, especially the South-East and South-South?" (Dailysun Monday, November 7, 2016, page 20). Our Constitution stipulates Freedom of Religion and Worship. How can Sharia Law be applied in a non-Muslim state? If this happens, then it means the Islamization of Nigeria as a whole. Has President Buhari a hidden Agenda? His lob-sided appointments on tribal and religious grounds seem to confirm my fears of the islamization agendum. There is a green snake in the green grass. We must be careful and alert as we walk along the national path.

The green snake is manoeuvring to find entrance into the Petroleum Industry in order to seduce the Federal Government into increasing the pump price of fuel from N145 per liter to a higher amount. If this happens, then the hardship in the country will multiply drastically. Life will become more unbearable in the country. Hunger will make many Nigerians to dry up like stock fish. Some people will collapse and die due to high blood pressure. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has already warned the Federal Government never to increase the pump price of fuel any further. If the warning is not heeded by the Powers-that-be, then heaven will be let loose. Oh God, deliver us!

As we celebrate we celebrate the Kingship of Jesus Christ in Heaven and on Earth, we devotedly pray that the power of God may overthrow the dictatorial hearts of bad leaders all over the world. May peace reign in war raging countries of the world. We call on Jesus Christ the King of kings to subdue the terrorists sucking innocent blood here and there, locally and internationally. In a special way, we ask the King of all kings to intervene in the religious, political and economic lives of Nigerians. Jesus Christ is greater than the recession currently mesmerizing our country. May God move the hearts of President Buhari and the National Legislators to think good of our Country. Nigeria is greater than any individual. Man proposes but God disposes. We pray that the green snake that has crept into the strategic spheres of Nigeria may vanish. We also pray that the Almighty King Jesus Christ will never allow the Islamization of Nigeria. Let the kite perch and let the dove perch. In God we trust! Amen!!!

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