According to Abrahamic traditions, the messiah—who is believed to be Jesus Christ—is the promised one ordained by God to lead the ancient people of Israel. In this retelling, the ancient Israelites were veiled with some certainties of liberation. This is in tandem with how the Nigerian people are masked with vows of freedom. Alas, one which is awaited with much optimism. By contrast, these attributions of the Nigerian people with the ancient people of Israel appear burdensome in that they awaited the much-anticipated return of the promised one capable of turning the projection of things around as if a captain rowing a boat to beat the violent tides of the ocean.
However, unlike the situation with the ancient people of Israel, not one messiah is prophesied or anticipated in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, not two, three, not even four. Simply put, messiahs never stop emerging in Nigeria. Each election period, Nigeria witnesses the emergence of many of these self-proclaimed messiahs claiming divination. Turn by turn, year in, year out, they come in flocks professing to be the end to the bane of the country, promising to be the solution to the long-time suffering experienced across every corner of the nation.
In keeping with these promises, they vow to proffer viable solutions to these adversities which have endured for so long than anyone can remember. Just like the promised messiah who raised the dead to live, turned water to wine, calmed the storm, walked on water, healed the sick, and fed about five thousand people with supernatural food, as well as rising from the dead after the crucifixion which is rather testaments to the divine nature of this messiah, Nigeria’s breed of messiahs never fail to impress when duty calls or demands of them. The contending messiahs of Nigeria promise even more attractive benefits. How amazing will it be to pluck money from the trees or walk on a floor concreted with molten gold instead of one coalesced with fine aggregates of sand?
Tell me, how amazing will it be? If your concern is a job, the recruitment of millions of youths neglected for so many years has now been affirmed. These jobs would be available but not to the general public, remember, we are talking about Nigeria. If your worry is food, there’s even one who has vowed to help bring about an abundance of ‘agbado’ (maize), cassava, garri (cassava flakes), eba, dodo, beans, and yam, among others. What more do you need beyond filling your stomach? After all, a hungry man is an angry man.
Once you have enjoyed these crumbs, you can wallow in another political tenure of insecurity, police brutality, unstable electricity, unemployment, poverty, social media ban, embezzlement, unfavorable governmental policies, a shabby educational system, economic recession, inflation, and what have you. Oftentimes, in an election year or the few months that precede it,
Nigerians tend to subscribe to following the lesser devil since it is a known fact that none is truly worthy of leadership amid the gerontocracy strongly exhibited.
You see, it should not come off as a surprise that this messiah brand of politics has taken Nigeria under a chokehold since her independence. This year, again, like any year preceding an election year, the people of Nigeria have once more been introduced to brand new messiahs promising divination, promising heaven on earth. Israelite-Esque Nigerians have taken to the streets en masse, likewise, to their social media handles on a scale as a multitude as the stars on a night in autumn. They have just one motive, to herald the successful ascension of each of their messiah to the helms of power, preaching their gospels to the ignorant, the unbelievers, and the skeptics.
For this sect of Nigerians, every tool, and medium is a way of the gospel. Social media has become the shrine from which they preach the manifesto of their Messiah. Soon, you will see these missionaries littered across the country, in your neighborhoods, at your workplaces and educational institutions, all united by one single motive—propagating the evangelism of yet another messiah. Messiahs who have taken years of study into the economic decline benefited from it and miraculously, are now back with feasible solutions. How logical?
In alternation to these miraculous feats, these modern-day messiahs of Nigeria do not tarry in prophesying their own miracles waiting to happen and their own promises, regardless of fulfillment or nonfulfilment.
Despite holding public offices in the government houses before, do they admit to being oblivious to these morasses during the period of their reign in these offices? It is not much of a surprise, though, considering the case of the country’s sitting Central Bank Governor who allegedly diverted stamp duty fund worth 89 trillion naira into private accounts. Or the singer who supposedly conspired with government officials to misappropriate the N-power fund set aside by the federal government to address youth unemployment. Or the ignoble ways of ex-senior special assistance to Dapo Abiodun, Ogun state governor who was arrested in New York for the heist of U.S. taxpayer money. These are the lesser devils, folks with more stashed naira than seconds left in their lifetime.
In another retelling, another plane of existence, the year is 2177 and somehow, someway, Nigeria has cracked the Easter egg of survival. Humanity has figured out a way to live longer than ever before in history. But Nigeria is still stuck with the messiah brand of politicking. The trumpet blows, and the power grid collapses.