Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaMonday, April 25, 2016




can still recall vividly as a boy how I set a trap for the bush rat coming to steal and consume the yams in our barn many years ago. That was when I left Jos for home to live with my paternal grandmother. She was worried at the constant menace of the bush-rat coming from without every night. I assured my granny not to worry, that I would deal mercilessly with the edible rodent. An insect that does not hear rests in the belly of the bird. Thus I borrowed a zigzag trap from my friend. On that fateful night, I set the trap at a strategic position. I knelt down and prayed that my prey may be caught. Then I went to bed. In my sleep I dreamt how I caught the bush rat and ate it roasted.

Early in the morning the following day, I forgot to go and see if my trap caught the dissident bush rat. The reason was that I left very early to a hilly stream to fetch water before going to school and to take my bath at the stream. Because of the scarcity of water in those days, it was a taboo to take bath at home as a child or wash clothes. But when we fetch the water, the elders can bath at home. The water was also used for drinking, to cook and wash utensils. When I returned from the stream that day, it was already day. Immediately I put down my bucket of water, I hurried to the barn with high hope. "At least meat for two days is assured," I told myself. I took a big knife and a huge stick with me in case of any sudden attack. What did I see? My trap might have caught the bush rat because I did not see the trap where I set it on the ground. I saw an improvised path created by the dissident rodent as it drag along, struggling to free itself from the trap. I sighed and shouted, "Had I known I would have gotten up early in the morning to oversee the trap!" Next a search began. I followed the struggle path of the bush rat. At last I found the trap near a mango tree at the edge of our compound. I was already salivating to consume the bush rat. Unfortunately, I discovered that the bush rat had escaped from the trap after much struggle. However, it sacrificed one of its hind legs which got stuck at one end of the trap. Then I remembered an Igbo adage which says that instead of my cow to run away completely like that, I will cut off its tail as a consolation. I told myself that half bread is better than none. I brought out the trapped hind leg of the bush rat and roasted it. I ate it cheerfully, but regretted had it been the whole bush rat. After the consummation of the leg, I continued to search for the amputated bush rat. Till today I have not found it. A handsome reward awaits anyone who knows its where about.

If you wish to catch or steal a fowl, you can set trap for it by throwing ears of corn before it. As you throw them cunningly moving backwards into a room, the fowl innocently comes closer. When the corns are dropped inside the room, the fowl pursues, picking them one by one. Immediately it comes inside the room, the trapper shuts the door forcefully and grabs its prey. The fowl usually cries and struggles to free itself, but it is already too late. This is known as tactical stealing.

A toad does not run during the daylight for nothing sake. The Igbo say that an elder does not stay at home while a pregnant goat gives birth tethered on a rope. The rate of duping in our society today is unprecedented. So, shine your eyes. They operate in different forms. Today it is difficult to differentiate a mechanic from a mad man; a chorister from a graduate. The other day I saw a young man in dirty clothes carrying a big hammer and a sharp chisel. He was coming opposite me. I screamed and took to my heels. As I was running away, he started laughing and calling, "Father, do not be afraid. Stop running away. I am harmless. I am a mechanic and one of your parishioners going for outside work." At this I came back to my senses as I was breathing like a lizard that fell down from an iroko tree. Why should I not run since life has no duplicate? It is foolish to act like a mad man who said, "I cannot say anything to the man following me behind with a knife until I look for my head." Does a corpse speak?

My people, my people, beware of Vacancy! Vacancy!! Vacancy!!! The agents of the devil are setting traps here and there with non-existent jobs. Some of them do so to catch a prey for occult use. Some also advertise a fake vacancy to attract victims for human sacrifice. Some of the evil agents do so to trap women for raping. They write: "Call this number for immediate employment 080NOHOPE419." Somewhere I saw pasted on a wall: "A beautiful lady is wanted for a rewarding job, five thousand naira a day. Please come in person to the venue as you would be directed using this number: 070RAPE6666." I still shed tears over the gruesome murder of a graduate who studied Hotel Management. After completing her Youth Service at Abuja, she applied for an advertised Vacancy somewhere. Later she was invited to a certain Hotel to come for the offering of the employment which was said to take place with immediate effect. Happily, she rushed to the Hotel with all assurance of getting a job in this hard time. The frog says that getting a husband is scarce. That is why she carries her husband at her back always. It is also said that if a blind man carelessly throws away the apple he managed to pick with his toes, is he sure that he would pick another one? Opportunity, they say, comes but once. When the lady graduate in question arrived at the hotel, she went straight into the office room number where she was directed to meet the Manager. Three fierce men were in the room when she came in. She was offered a hot seat. She sat down confidently. One of the men glanced through her file in pretence. Before you know it, the two other men blindfolded her from behind. The lady screamed and cried for help. No help came. They butchered her like a cow in the abattoir. They cut off her two appetizing breasts and her private part and dumped the rest of her body. After the devilish assignment, they escaped from the hotel. Later, the real Hotel Management discovered the lifeless body of the lady graduate in the pool of her own blood. What a heartless act! My dear job applicants, beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing! Shine your eyes well before you fall prey to the agents of darkness. There are really genuine advert job vacancies here and there. But be careful of hurrying to places whose addresses are suspicious. A stitch in time saves nine.

The other day another lady was invited to a certain place for employment interview. As soon as she entered the said office, the door was locked securely. Two huge men appeared suddenly and grabbed the lady with force. They tore her clothes and began to rape her one after the other. They raped her for three days. After the marathon rape, they threw her out on the third night. She was completely worn out and was walking like a ghost with blood oozing out from her private part because they raped her mercilessly. Along the way she lost balance and fainted. Fortunately, some good Nigerians came to her rescue and rushed her to the nearest hospital. She was carried instantly to the emergency room for medical attention. When she recuperated, she was crying as she narrated her ordeal at the hands of the evil men who invited her for employment interview. My people shine your eyes! You can also be a victim.

Ladies are not only being lured for a fake employment. Men also fall prey. A certain young jobless man was invited for employment interview in an undisclosed venue. At his arrival, the evil men who invited him sat him down. As they were talking to him, he magically lost consciousness. He regained himself after he went home and brought the sum of one million naira his father kept at home. After beating him to stupor, they dumped him beside a bush path and bolted away with the money.

Another jobless man was lured through the phone into a secret room in pretence of offering him employment. Immediately he arrived, the door was securely locked. The three fierce looking men grabbed him and strangled him to death. They cut off his head and genitals for occult use. They threw the rest of his body into a thick forest nearby. It was after a week of the bloody incidence that his decomposing body was found by a search team.

Some fraudulent persons can also advertise for those who wish to travel abroad for studies or business trip. My question is: Why do they not send first their brothers and sisters? There may be genuine ones, but the fake ones are abundant. One must pray and be alert always to avoid falling into the devil's trap. I have received many phone calls requesting me to send anyone dear to me for a lucrative employment. At the first instance I thought it was genuine. I submitted the name of a close friend. In his interaction with them, he was asked to pay some amount of money into a given Bank Account number for the processing of his papers. My friend in question had no such money. For this reason I phoned the job giver and asked him to use his own money for processing the papers. I asked him to deduct the said amount later from my friend's first salary. He turned the request down because according to him, he has many people to carter for. At this, I needed not a prophet to tell me that the devil was at work. Open your eyes to see the trap set before you!