Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Whispering Drums

by Musa Ibrahim

Aftermath of a creation?

Hardened atheists and blasphemers have never known the wrath of God. Rather, God the almighty treats them with tenderness imploring them to 'repent from thy evil ways and seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness...' And in one revelation after another, the Good Lord will appear to such people telling them that He sent his son Jesus Christ into this world not because of the righteous people in it, but for the sake of the sinners. In such instances, God's charms will immediately disarm these hard-core disbelievers and a first class seat in God's own mansions would have been granted them.

Yours sincerely was born into a nice, quiet and peaceful religious home where we had too much of righteous living, Bible-reading and daily prayers. In all those years, I still remember that we never asked God for anything other than to "give us our daily bread". And even then, we had to go out and work for it, dutifully. Thirty years of this routine life has taken its toll on all of us we have nothing to show for it other than the drain in our sensualities, emotions, realities, and the cold incan descence of our spirits. And our minds cry in rebellion, so for once, I want to confront God head-on. Call it blasphemy if you like.

Dear God, was it really you that created this Earth and all we human beings living in it? At times, I am wont to believe that you created some parts and left Lucifer (or is it the Devil?) to do the others. While your own part of the world was good and well done, the other was full of distortions, malign ments and incompletes. One part of the world I am so convinced was not your own creation is a place called Africa. Let me try and explain my point.

The people are as black as the devil (I know you, dear God, to be white, ain't you?) and wicked as well. Once they see one of their species by dint of his hardwork move a step ahead of them either by having more of these earthly and perishable commodities, they brand him a thief and start chasing him from one part of the world to another. As soon as they lay their hands on him, they slaughter him and drink his blood. I am sure you must be aware of the number of people running away daily from the wickedness of that other part of the world to the other world you created.

I have read that good book of yours called the Holy Bible and I am now convinced the Book was not meant for that world created by the Devil. You see, one of the laws in the Book says that: "Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself ... and thou shalt love thy enemy as well." Well, the people in Africa do not believe you nor in any of these laws so what they have done is invent their own laws. Two of such laws easily come to mind - the law of God-fatherism (favoritism and nepotism) and the law of power. Both laws work simultaneously. Let me illustrate with an example.

Once upon a time, in one of the countries that is the handiwork of the devil, there was a government of the people by the people for the people. There was a harmonious co-existence among the diverse people in this part of the world, and everybody had a feeling of belonging, of oneness. Then suddenly, waking up early one morning, this government was no longer there. In its place was a bunch of inconsequential, arrogant nincompoops with maggoty brains threatening everybody with guns. They now had power. The second law had to be applied. They announced that it was wrong for everybody to have been given jobs by the last government and so started sacking everybody.

Meanwhile they were bringing in their sons, daughters, cousins, nephews, uncles, wives, girl friends et cetera to fill the vacant positions they have deliberately created by sacking others. They said everybody was undisciplined and promised to instil discip- line into everybody. While everybody at the borders, roads and airports were being subjected to intense checks, a major in the posh side of the Barracks acting in his position as the secret service agent of the head of them all, was issuing orders that a certain person arriving from somewhere with fifty three packed suitcases should not by any mistake be searched by anybody. So dear God could you have created this situation?

I want to tell you that the mistake you made initially by leaving the rest of your excellent creation to the devil to complete is creating a lot of unpleasantness to those concerned. Looks as if you are a partial God. Remember, it is said that if no one is favoured all the time, no one is frustrated all the time. Can you end their frustration by coming to their aid? Not that you have to change their colour, only their intellect.

Kettle calling the pot black

"THIS government will not condone corruption .." So rang Major General Buhari's sonorous voice as he proclaimed a coup against Nigeria's constituted government and authority. Corruption by the civilians, therefore, was one of the key reasons given by the Buhari brigade for toppling the Shagari civilian administration. Well, after all the euphoria, the dust is now finally settled and Nigerians are taking stock of their new "incorruptible leaders". Tongues are wagging and countless questions are being asked. For instance, who is the NIGERIAN ARMY GENERAL THAT IS SAID TO OWN SHARES WORTH $35 MILLION IN A MAJOR AMERICAN AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURING FIRM? How have some of these army Generals been operating and maintaining their vast acres of farms? How much are these farms worth? The people are asking and they have the right to know.

Only one and present Queen

PRESIDENT Ronald Reagan of the United States and Mrs Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom are both tough in their own ways. For one, they are no respecter of persons, only the institutions they both serve and represent. To them, to concede to a third party is a sign of weakness and they don't want to be portrayed as weak leaders. That is why their attitude towards other world leaders has often been confrontational if not, out rightly condescending. That is however operate under different social and political systems. In America, the President is over-all, the Alpha and Omega. He does not curtsy to anybody in public or private. He challenges the congress and manipulates the electorate. Their system allows it. In Britain, however, things do not work that way. There is a word added to the political vocabulary - obeisance. The Prime Minister may be the Boss, but the Queen is supreme and before her all knees must bow. And the British in their normal haughtiness expect all other souls on earth to curtsy to the Queen once in her presence.

Well, somebody came and decided to be an exception. Nancy Reagan was in the company of her husband in the United Kingdom recently. While President Reagan was treated with all the pomp and pageantry the British could afford to give, a cold war was brewing somewhere between worshippers of the British Royal family and Mrs Reagan. Reason? Mrs Reagan had indicated in a press conference that she was not going to curtsy to the Queen. She is America's First Lady. The British attitude seems to be, on our soil, there is only one person that holds that position - The Queen.

talking drums 1984-06-25 why Ghana is not stable - Nigerian journalist's trial Rotimi