by Alexander O. Onukwue
So it happened that about a dozen persons who left their homes for a Sunday Mass met their unfortunate ends as collateral damage in a clash of drug barons.
The chief characters in the clash have been described as being part of the notoriously famous Nigerian drug cartel which operates in South Africa. This particular case stretches back 2004, but the trade has existed for as long as Nigeria has had democracy.
And in all these years, one group of Nigerians has been undeniably good at prospering at it. Every Christmas, they storm the village with the very latest fleet of cars, donning the best chains and designer accessories, some after only the first twelve months of being away.
Most times, no questions are asked. Our Son has gone abroad and has come back with blessings. Ekene dili Chukwu.
Because their ‘hardwork’ is “God’s doing”, there will be thanksgiving ceremonies in Church to celebrate the achievements made from the exploits abroad. As they stand at the altar with the microphone and look out to the congregation, the sons from South will have to notice that the Church building could do with a facelift, leading to a pledge of single-handedly rebuilding the Church into ‘a proper edifice’.
And the people of God will shout Alleluia.
Some in the audience will have questions as to where this money will come from because they remember this their son has only recently gone to South, but poverty will not allow them (we excuse them) to ask their authorities about this. The money will come and the Church will be built and dedicated to the Glory of God.
And prayers will be offered up so that wherever our son has brought the money from, he will get more in thousand folds. Chieftaincy title? He will be spoilt for choice of which communities to take from.
There are some years when stories will filter through that all is not well with our sons; those two-three years periods when nobody hears from him, with news that he may be on the run. Relatives who are sent to check on him return with news that he has changed addresses about three times in 20 months, without any firm address of his present location.
But there is faith and hope that he is safe. There is the consolation that nobody watches a big masquerade by standing in one place; nwa anyi na-agba mbo, doing all he can to make life better for those at home. All he can, including possibly handicapping others of their wealth and rolling with disreputable gangs. As long as the money comes in and these boys go and return safely, it is never going to be a problem that has to be talked about.
Maybe the Ozubulu incident can start changing this, because those persons who were killed, the pains of the injured, and the trauma of the unharmed worshippers, is too much of a cost to all of the money made from this industry.
For communities and their leaders who have lived off the spoils of their sons involved in questionable businesses in South Africa, something has got to give. This is a good time to question the intentional acceptance of ant-infested faggots.