Is life a pennyworth to the politician?
One can never be said to be sanctimonious by seeing life from the perspective of Ecclesiastes chapter 2 verse 11 that says, “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun, and conclude by asking “Is Life A Pennyworth To Politicians?”
The foregoing question unbelievably has for the umpteenth time being asked by the people and answered by some politicians that are disposed to playing “do-or-die” brand of politics. Even if no politician has openly said that life is worth a penny, it is documented in the books of international political history that Muammar Gaddafi, before he met his demise, once issued a command that his loyalists should kill the Rats (the protesters) without fear or favour. I watched him on the television screaming that the Rats should be killed. It was unarguably an insinuation by the late dictator that life is worth a penny. Back home in Nigeria, one can unequivocally say that Nigerian politicians have agreed with Gaddafi that life is pennyworth.
There is no denying the fact that Genesis chapter 9 verse 6 aptly illustrates the fact that God has an unquantifiable value for human lives. The foregong cited scripture has it that “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man. Understood from the foregoing perspective, there is no denying the fact that the divine obligation to place value on human life is indispensable and cut across religious affiliations. But alas! There are indications that politicians are not fulfilling this divine obligation in their do-or-die quest for power.
Without any iota of exaggeration, it is germane to say that there is unprecedented foreboding fear in the land coupled with the war-drum which Mujaheed Asari Dokubo has been drumming with his co-travellers in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. The fear, no doubt, has been accentuated through screaming and gruesome news headlines on the pages of newspapers and on the web pages of online media outfits since 2014. Some of the news headlines have been cast in the similitude of: “Three killed As PDP Youths Clash”, “2 Killed, Scores Injured In Sokoto APC, PDP Clash.” “Three Killed, Two Injured, 1 Killed In Lagos APC, PDP Clash” and “Three Killed As Lagos APC, PDP Youths Clash.” I must confess that each time I read any sanguinary news story; online or offline, that I am wont to ponder on how an average politician feels when any of his supporters is killed by supporters of his opponent. I am wont to ask myself, “How do they cope in managing the psychological trauma that arises from most of the wanton killings that are carried out by opposing political parties.
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If there is any evil in our country that has continued to be a recurring factor on the country’s political landscape , it is undeniably the unprecedented and callous manner in which innocent lives are being cut short by political thugs under the watchful eyes of their do-or-die paymasters. There is no denying the fact that inconsequential value has been placed on human life in our country.
Millions of people find it difficult slaughtering chickens, goats and other domestic animals. But ironically, there are equally many politicians and their hired thugs who seemingly take pleasure in exterminating the lives of others without even blinking their eyelids. The issue of killing others and placing less value on human life is not just about political thugs that obsequiously campaign for politicians. It also concerns those that work in offices and other business outfits that want their colleagues dead. The life of any man in the estimation of these wicked people is just a pennyworth.
Despite the fact that most politicians and their hired thugs see the lives of others as pennyworth or “wazo-wazo”, apology to market women in Lagos, it is never out of place to say that no sane human being will agree to trade the lives of others on a platter of vote. The value which God and humanity has placed on human life is so inestimable that it would continue to defy electoral estimation, irrespective of the office the politicians are seeking.
Right from the womb, the life of man has been under the threat of extermination. Apart from some do-or-die politicians and their thugs whose stock in trade is the killing of innocent human beings, most youths in today’s permissive society are wont to be committing abortion as if it is a norm. In Psalm 22 verse 10, David said “From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”
Though, this piece is not a sermon, suffice it to say that David also in Psalm 139 verse 14 said, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Life is so precious and valuable that a hackneyed aphorism aptly says “Life has no duplicate”.
In fact, one of the sacred commandments which God gave to Christendom through Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus chapter 20 verse 13 is: “You Should Not Murder.” Many Christians are aware that when Cain violated this command by killing his brother, Abel, God was angry with him.
It is pertinent to ask; Why do politicians and their thugs terminate the lives of others? The answer to this question is provided in 1 John chapter 4 verse 21: “And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” The truth is that most politicians that claim they love God do not love God. If they do, they would also love their fellow brothers and sisters in rival parties. Many politicians hypocritically claim they love God whereas they do not love him. Some of them now play religious cards to win more supporters. The Lord in Isaiah 29 verse 13 says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules by men. “
From moral perspective, does it mean politicians who enjoy killing others, either by physical or spiritual means do not have conscience? They are supposed to have it since conscience is physiologically inherent in any living human being.
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The inspiration to write this piece emanated from the fact that human life cannot continue to be taken during period of elections through wicked acts all in the name of politics. Also, the inspiration to write this piece is to sensitise politicians ahead of the much-awaited general election that we cannot continue to live in this Hobesian state of nature that is short, brutish and nasty. The society we are presently living in is not too different from the proverbial dog-eat-dog society. As it is at the moment in Surulere axis where I live, one cannot be so bold to walk the streets adorning a T-shirt that is inscribed with either APC or PDP logo. Despite the fact that the election has not commenced, people now walk with their hearts in their mouth and watch their backs while walking.
As it is today, it would be very difficult seeing a party supporter clad in APC T-shirt eating and drinking in the same restaurant with another supporter clad in PDP T-shirt. In my view, this is not the kind of atmosphere we want for the development of democratic governance as the heat which the polity is already generating is enough to literarily evaporate whatever we have achieved since May 1999 when the evolvement of the on-going political process started. Back in the days, I witnessed two brothers that were affiliated to the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPP) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) lived in brotherly love under the same roof.
However, I must not digress from the thrust of this piece that it is exigent we live together throughout the elections and beyond as doing otherwise would be harmful to our existence. On the other hand, politicians should prove this writer wrong that they do not subscribe to killings and devaluation of human lives by resolving to maintain peace throughout the elections.
For us to get it right once again, I believe the security situation should not be left for security agents alone. We, as individuals, should begin to have the fear of God and place high premium on human life. We should not be reducing the value of human life through evil deeds under the guise of playing politics to the extent that it is today literarily valued as a pennyworth. In my view, there should be a paradigm shift on how we love one another in the society. We should begin to see the other Nigerian, irrespective of the political party affiliated to, as a brother or a sister.
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