Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaSunday, June 1, 2014




he class teacher excused himself from his students to see the principal of the school for an urgent message. As soon as he left the classroom, the students turned the class into a market. A market is known for noise making. Or have you seen any market that is noiseless? If there is, then such market can be found in the land of the spirits. But as far as human beings are concerned, if there is no noise in the market, it is either the customers are not coming or that the traders have closed shops. So, the students in question utilised the teacher's absence to make noise. They jumped from one seat to the other.

One of the students went to the extent of standing before the blackboard mimicking the teacher who was a stammer. A story was told of a stammering primary school teacher who one day was teaching the pupils of primary one the names of different animals. When she was trying to pronounce Hippopotamus, she stammered, "Hi-hi-hi-hi...!!!" Instantly, the pupils shouted, "Hurray!!!" They happily jumped out of the classroom with their school bags, thinking that the teacher had dismissed them, when it was only 9.30a.m. Wonders shall never end. Do you know that a wife that has already made up her mind to divorce her husband runs away at the least provocation?

Let's go back to land. As the classroom was booming with terrible noise, the teacher came back suddenly and frowned at his students, shouting, "Keep quiet!" Everyone stood still like a corpse. The teacher then demanded from the class prefect the names of noise makers. The list was submitted and the culprits were given six hot strokes of cane each. Studies resumed as absolute tranquillity returned in the class.

This event reminds me of my secondary school days at Aguata High School, Aguata in Anambra State. In class one, we were regarded by the senior students as toads with long tails. We rarely made any atom of noise to avoid capital punishment from the senior ones. In our class two, our tails were said to be cut and we started to make noise gradually. But in class three, we boasted our ego as intermediaries: a link between the junior and senior classes. It was only then we stood on our two feet. We then began to make noise in the class. By then I was a very quiet boy but not timid. It was my classmates that taught me how to make noise in the class. Eventually, I graduated in noise-making, such that the class nicknamed me S.T. (Senior Talkative). Do you what? By accident our class prefect was impeached and I was unanimously elected the new class prefect of class 3A. Consequently, my classmates added a new degree to my qualification by one letter. They referred to me henceforth as S.T.P (Senior Talkative Prefect). What a contradiction! If the president of a country is an armed robber, what will the citizens turn into? If a traditional ruler of a town is a kidnapper, the town's people will all be kidnapped. If a mother is a prostitute, her daughters are finished. If a father with children is a thief, then his children will sell him and his house without his knowledge. How can a class prefect indulge in noise making? That cannot be. As a result, I hurried to the blacksmith to shape my tongue.

What is noise? Any unnecessary or useless sound is noise. For instance, a priest coming into an examination hall to read the Bible loudly while the students are taking their exams is a noise maker. A football referee running into a church blowing a whistle as prayers are in progress is a noise maker. A prayer warrior stepping into a music studio to interrupt the musicians with casting and binding prayers is a noise maker. A man of God talking and laughing with the other in the church during prayer session is a noise maker. A pregnant woman who talks too much will give birth to a loquacious child. Similarly, a child who was born in a car will be a driver, a mechanic or a conductor. A child crying at night while other inmates are sleeping is a noise maker. A corpse shouting while the grave is being covered is equally a noise maker.

Where am I heading to? Last week I took part in a clerical retreat, because the wise Socrates says that an unexamined life is not worth living. Our retreat moderator emphasised on the value of silence. Jesus when he was on earth normally went into a lonely and silent place to pray. Our present world, especially our country Nigeria is too noisy that we longer hear the voice of God. As a result, Satan seems to have hijacked our society to his own credit. It was because Satan is a noise maker that he was expelled from heaven and cast into hell from where he causes havoc in the world. Noisy environment pollutes the human society. When everywhere is noisy, anything can follow. Nowadays we lack silent environment for sober reflection. What follows is evil. That is why today in Nigeria we are tormented by man-made evils. Armed robbers graduated as kidnappers; kidnapping gave birth to terrorism. Today Boko Haram is the mother of all evils in our country. Innocent Nigerians and students going about their normal business are bombed to death in hundreds here and there, especially in the northern part of the country. The Middle Belt is not exempted. Even Abuja the Capital Territory is not safe. Preparation for the 2015 Presidential Election has been locked up in the cup-board, because there is fire on the mountain. Therefore we are running and running. The fate of over 200 students of the Chibok Girls Secondary school in Borno State abducted since April 14, 2014 is yet uncertain. Imagine the gravity of the recent bomb blasts at Terminus and old site of JUT in Jos Plateau State, in which over hundred innocent Nigerians lost their lives. My eyes are full of sorrowful tears. Were the Boko Haram terrorists and their Benefactors fed with jackal milk at infancy? What kind of man's inhumanity to man are we experiencing in this jet age? Who knows what comes next? God, arise and save your children!

In fact, I recommend that the Nigeria flag should for now be painted Green, Red and Green. There is a great pool of blood in the Land. All Nigerians should be quiet for now. Silence is demanded from every quarter in this country. We must all fall on our knees and beseech God to deliver Nigerians from the mother of all evils - terrorism. Let us observe six months' prayerful silence.