FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
amobipchuks@yahoo.com

OPERATION DECEIT

ome time ago, I was behind the wheels from Abuja to Awka. I took off as soon as it was daybreak on the fateful day without breaking my fast. By 9 a.m. I was already at Lokoja. Hunger started mesmerizing my stomach and my eyes were showing red. Therefore, I stopped at a popular restaurant in Lokoja. I was on my Roman black suite. Inside the restaurant, I ordered for a plate of combined rice and beans crowned with a fried chicken thigh. Also I asked for a bottle of cold malt to transport the delicious stuff down my digestive system. A bottle of water was also on my table for cleansing of my mouth and for watering my body systems.

As I was enjoying my food and drinks in the restaurant, a young, yellow and beautiful lady came to my table and sat on the seat directly opposite me. She beamed an infectious smile at me and said, "Excuse me Sir. Good morning. Please could you help me?" I innocently replied, "Yes, what can I do for you?" She asserted, "Sir, my husband is suffering from running stomach. He went to toilet at the other side. I am dying of hunger and cannot wait for him. Kindly lend me one thousand naira to pay for my food. When he comes back here I shall repay you." I answered, "Okay, no problem." I inserted my left hand into my positive pocket and brought out the requested amount of money and gave it to her. She accepted it with gratitude and assurance to repay me as soon as her husband comes in. Then she walked briskly to the food stand for an order. My concentration went back to my delicious menu. After taking three spoonfuls, I looked towards the food stand and the lady was no more there. I stood up and looked round the tables in the restaurant and did not see her. I hurried to the door and made a long view but all to no avail. I concluded that the lady had deceived me and vanished like a ghost. Well, I soliloquized a bit as I was moving towards my vehicle. The deceitful lady might have been making bumper harvest each day, but one day monkey will go to market and will not return. A cheater shall be cheated.

Few years ago, when I was shepherding the flock of God at Abagana, a middle-aged man, who dressed casually, came to me immediately after morning Holy Mass. He was sighing and shedding some tears. I was highly touched. Then I asked him, "Sir, what is wrong?" He asked me in very poor English if I understand Hausa language because he did not go to school to learn English language. Even 'pigin' English he couldn't speak. I answered in the affirmative. We started conversing in Hausa. According to him he was from Bauchi state. He was on his way from Bauchi to Onitsha in a night bus. Along the way, armed robbers stopped their bus and robbed everyone while lying them down in a bush located somewhere he did not know. After the robbery operation, the robbers shot severally on the air and commanded everyone to run away through the thick bush. Since life has no duplicate he ran without looking back in darkness and without knowing where he was heading to. As he was running away, the day broke and that was how he found himself here before me. Tearfully he said that all the money contained in the bag he was carrying was stolen at gunpoint by the armed robbers. He was travelling to Onitsha to join his kinsmen in their tomato business. Now that he was empty handed he wanted to travel back to Bauchi. He asked me for transport fare. Out of sympathy I gave him five thousand naira then. He was full of thanks as he prostrated himself before me. I asked him to get up and go. I directed him on how he would find his way from Abagana to Onitsha where he would get transport to Bauchi. As he was leaving, he was singing, "Na gode Allah Sarki." Unfortunately the next day, he was caught in a nearby town telling the same story in English. He confessed that he has been engaged in the deceitful story for over two weeks and had smiled severally to the bank. He could speak English, Hausa and Yoruba.

Deceit is also found in marriage. There was a very beautiful and attractive girl who was highly endowed with extraordinary buttocks and charming breasts. Many men were asking her hand in marriage which she declined. After some time she fell in love with one rich man. The lucky man did not waste time to pay for her bride price at the envy of the other men who had tried their luck but failed. The attractive bride pleaded with her engaged husband that she promised God that she would not sleep with any man before her wedding. The man happily accepted not to violet her divine promise. He anxiously waited for the honeymoon as their wedding day was fast approaching. The wedding went successfully. The happy husband was taken aback when his newly wedded wife was unwilling to go to the hotel where they would spend some days for honeymoon. Her excuse was that she was in her monthly painful period which often lasts for two weeks. The husband impatiently waited for the two weeks to pass. On the third week, he asked her that they should go for the postponed honeymoon. She unwillingly consented. On the first night in the hotel, the couple took a sumptuous supper. Then they went to bed to fulfill their marital debt. Surprisingly, the husband discovered that his wife disguised herself with attractive artificial buttocks and padded breasts. The man shouted, "What a deception! So, you have been parading yourself as a masquerade?" The highly disappointed husband abandoned her and disappeared from the honeymoon hotel to an unknown destination.

Similarly, a certain young and wretched man was desperate to marry the daughter of a billionaire. Pride made him hung his bag very high. He hired a modern fine bungalow and a luxurious jeep in order to coerce the highly placed lady to accept his proposal. On the day he came to ask for her hand in marriage, he hired a driver while sitting comfortably at the owner's seat. The lady wanted to see his house before making any consent. He proudly took her to the hired bungalow. She was pleased with what she saw. Then the dowry was paid. The wedding followed in few weeks time. After the wedding, he took her home to his real house which was a local mud hut. The lady shouted, "What am I seeing? Is this a dungeon or a house? So, you deceived me before." Direct from there she ran back to her father's house. The marriage ended on the way home. It is a deceit to enter into marriage with falsehood in whatever form. Falsification of age, hidden impotence and any form of blackmail are all deceits.

There are also political deceits. Some politicians during campaigns promise the electorate heaven and earth just to win elections. Some of them rarely fulfill their electoral promises. One of such deceitful politicians during the electoral campaign was shouting, "Vote for me. If I win, I will fire you! I will water you! I will build roads. Hunger will go. Money will come. Unemployment will go to blazes." The people were responding with 'Amen!' at the top of their voices. Later, the politician won and was in office as a Senator for eight years. His constituents became poorer and hopeless. He was only able to construct the narrow road that leads from his village market square into his private compound. In addition, he empowered some jobless youths with cutlasses. As soon as he stepped down from office as a Senator he fell into a mysterious and protracted sickness. He was in coma for one full year before he died. On his burial day, vultures from all over the world surrounded his grave. They wanted to snatch his wretched corpse. When the situation became precarious, some armed soldiers were invited to fight the vultures. The angry vultures flew away. Finally the burial took place in a distressful atmosphere.

Our country Nigeria since Independence has been languishing in deceitful leadership. Most of our leaders in the past and present on ascendance to office promised the masses heaven on earth, but they later do the opposite. Selfishness is the watchword. The late General Sani Abacha looted this country and died in a mysterious circumstance. The amount of money he starched away in foreign banks ran into billions. If it were possible, he would have offered bribe to God at the judgment seat. Our present President Buhari during his inaugural speech in 2015 swore: "I am for everybody and for nobody." He received immeasurable applause for the heroic statement. However his actions since then seem to be otherwise. His federal appointments are lopsided. Look at the composition of the current Service Chiefs. It does not portray the Federal Character. I wish he would correct the imbalance in the forthcoming appointment of new Service Chiefs and other national officers. He should also safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians which is his constitutional and primary assignment. The insecurity situation in this country today is worsening. He promised to defeat Boko Haram in six months. Unfortunately the terrorists are waxing stronger and stronger after many years. Kidnappers and Fulani herdsmen are terrorizing Nigerians here and there.

When shall the Messiah come?

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