African Juju: To be or not to be


Last week, a university don, and political scientist, Professor Chinedu Nwolise suggested that Nigeria should revert to traditional methods of combating corruption and insecurity since western ways have failed. He said, “We need to apply efficacious oath, not with just the Bibles or Qurans used during swearing-in ceremonies but a Bible or Quran blessed by a real man of God or a machete taken straight from the shrine of Ogun.

This statement evoked an intense debate on our FACEBOOK  platform among Nigerian youth in different parts of the world. This is how Adejuwon J-One Anjoorin responded to the debates centered on the efficacy or otherwise of  Africa’s traditional oath-taking strategies. 
Hear Adejuwon: 

This reminds me of a story that happened in Benin City recently when the goods of billionaire Bob Izua were stolen. My uncle told me this story: the looted premises were located either within or beside a major market in Benin, Edo State, and somehow, word had gone round that certain boys from the market area were responsible for the looting. The man Bob Izua employed the police to investigate the case but they could not reach a headway. He even invited the Bishop of the Catholic diocese in the area to come plead with the people to return the goods, but this too was to no avail. Then he reportedly brought a voodoo priest into the market place who publicly did his incantations and stuff and unleashed “ayelala” to pursue the thieves if they did not return what they stole within seven days. The very next morning, every stolen item was found at the gate of Bob Izua’s compound!

The story proves that our people have lost the fear of God simply because the mill of God grinds slowly. However, it grinds surely. Our people fear the wrath of idols more than the wrath of God. God is ever patient, always waiting for the sinner to come to repentance, and that seems to many of our people, as though, an act of evil will not be recompensed. Yes it will!

Where are those who looted Nigeria in the 70s? Where are their children today? In the same vein, many of today’s looters are setting up poverty and long seasons of lack and arid deprivation for their generations to come. That is the mill of God grinding, slowly, but surely.

I will not subscribe to the application of idolatrous oath-taking as a measure to curb corruption. Men who do not fear God will ultimately defy idols as well out of their greed. For all the Okija oath between Ngige and his godfather, we know how it all ended in a fiasco as the agreement could not be sustained. Political godfatherism, with all its oath-taking has continually been defied by men. Ladoja/Adedibu is another example. The reason is simple: voodoo is strange and its powers have a way of appeasing each other. For instance, somebody that has taken a voodoo oath can escape judgment from that oath if he turns back on it, provided he knows the right countering voodoo to do. It might have to take a sacrifice of human lives; it might even take the life of the person’s most beloved child. But they can always go back on their oaths.

Let our people arise and hold our leaders accountable instead of abdicating our responsibilities for idols. Let us do it ourselves. Let our people hold our leaders accountable. Let our people stop leading dance troops and protest marches in support of corruption and indictments. Let our people stop celebrating wealth that has no traceable root. No idol can do that for us. But if we truly embrace the fear of God we can do it by ourselves. Afterall, we ourselves are gods.

Great and enduring nations were built by a disciplined people, with disciplined thoughts and disciplined actions. We all must abhor corruption even if it is perpetrated by our tribesmen. We must allow the law to take its full course, we must push our congressmen to pass laws that are stiffer on corruption and ensure right judgments are passed. We must make life miserable for looters and those who help them sustain their loot, be them lawyers or judges.

The fight against corruption in Nigeria can only be fought and won by our collective steel-resolve, and not by a descent into darkness and idolatry.

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Lydia Oluchi Ugwu
Lydia Oluchi Ugwu
February 18, 2013 9:39 pm

Well written. Couldn’t agree more. Personally I think the solution to corruption is a adopting drastic combat measures. If a man knows that dipping his hand in the national purse could send him to the firing squad, he’d think twice.

February 7, 2022 8:40 pm

Maybe a swearing of real oaths in the African way or Moses way: a pronouncement if curses and blessings by the would-be office holder, would go a long way in putting out people in line.