opinionBy Taiye Olaniyi
Nigeria, our beloved country is today facing myriad of problems both at the spiritual and mundane levels of its existence, to such an extent that prophetic statements and predictions on the imminent breakage and shattering apart seems to be more real than mere "ranting of an ant," borrowing the adjective of late Chuba Okadigbo when berating the statement of late Nnamdi Azikwe, the pan-Africanist of old.
At the beginning of each year and as the year unfolds, numerous prophets, seers and fortune tellers both led in the spirit or/ and those just waking from their dreams, in their houses, road side and warehouse churches, at public gatherings, crusades and through innumerable platforms, dole out what they claim in their minds' eyes and ears that God has revealed to them as fortunes or otherwise for individuals and the Nigeria nation at large.Prophesies and predictions have been with man through the ages and no matter how crude or sophisticated they are, should not be minimised in thoughts and conducts neither should they be taken hook line and sinker.
The holy scriptures of many of the popular religions in their written form are replete with innumerable prophesies about impending phenomena in the affairs of rulers and the ruled for their guidance, reproach and what goodies await individuals and the society. It may not be necessary at this stage to elucidate on these taking cognisance the fact that numerous Nigerians are familiar with stories, prophets and prophesies in both the Holy Bible and Holy Koran in particular.Similarly, there are many predictions made which arose from astrological, astronomical and climatologically simulated and scientifically aligned predictions which have come to pass including many that have failed.Predictions and prophesies can also come to pass or fail depending on attitudes and approach man dispose towards them. They are intended to checkmate and forewarn those that need to take actions in certain ways or the other.In the Yoruba traditional concept and in years back, prediction or fortune telling was a vogue especially for a new born baby whose star was believed possible to decipher as either favourable or otherwise. Similarly, the choice of a traditional ruler ,especially an oba, was subject to Ifa divination in order to predict the kind of person and what kind of tenure such an aspirant would effect in the community.
Whether or not such divination could rightly determine the best for the society is left for conjectures, speculations and future realities. Choices of obas and other traditional rulers in Yoruba land of today follow the vagaries of economic power of aspirants and the consent of kingmakers in such communities.
We can also not deny the rudiments of such phenomena in other traditions in Nigeria not minding the religious proclamations of those involved. It is a great assumption that politicians in particular in Nigeria hardly wins or got selected or probably elected without some consultations with prophets, ulamas , marabous and others supposedly blessed with the wizardry of seeing the future or manipulating natural laws to the advantage of aspirants.
The Okija syndrome in Anambra, the commissioner in nude posture and the primitive oath in Ogun state and pockets of such, both glaring to and those veiled from public eyes are all a reminder that water don pass gari for many initiates of such primitive instincts.
Whatever be the case, one cannot and should not deny the potency of prophesies and predictions especially if they emanate from reliable sources. The reliability of sources is the major problem for individuals and nations to determine. Establishing the reliability of sources depends on the individuals and nations for which prophesies and predictions are made.
Since no Nigerian prophets have their names written in the two holy scriptures we are familiar with, no matter how real their prophesies and how exact the timing of actualisation, they cannot and do not have universal acceptability neither is every Nigerian duty bound to concur with their prophesies more so when many are contradictory on same issues.
Sunday Times newspaper some years back was replete with predictions by the likes of God'sPower Oyewole and Gabriel. O Okozua both metaphysicians. A number of their predictions came to pass like Oyewole's "Shamgar is in the Bible" an unsolicited prediction of Alhaji Shehu Shagari's victory at the presidential poll of 1979 election. Many other of their predictions were later predicated on what number of global witches were coming from where to converge on the covens in Benin City in particular. Prophets Olabayo and a host of others were also predicting on topical issues bordering on individuals and politico-economic fortunes and misfortunes of our beloved country, Nigeria.
The advent of Pentecostalism in modern day Christianity in Nigeria has ushered in a number of predictions by very respectable individuals whose predictions have come to pass and others following the pattern of "scattered thunderstorm" in weather forecasts by meteorologists and Nigerian climatologists.
In nature, God continues to speak and guide the affairs of man through planetary influences and as Bob Marley and Wailing Wailers once sang, there is a natural music flowing through the air, if you listen carefully you will hear...
Michel Nostradamus, a Jewish-French Cabalist remains a world renowned 17th Century seer whose predictions about individuals and world events and the accompanying mathematical exactitudes by which at least 85% came to pass and are still unfolding in humanity's history, fetched him the appellation of "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" Watching his film time and again sometimes agitate my mind as events unfold in global affairs.
The prediction of the Gulf war which came to pass in 1991, the duplication of it in2001, and the dazing and rattling of America in September 11 episode in which the World Tower was bombarded made potent the potency of predictions and again the reality of natural music flowing through the air asking us to listen carefully in order for us to hear.
America, which today nations of the world call God's Own Country, against Nigeria my own beloved country, was once quoted to have predicted that if care was not taken, Nigeria in few years to come would not remain a united nation. I, at this stage, join the Nigerian Pentecostal Christians to say "The Devil is a liar" and my Muslim brothers and sisters to affirm and to make a plea to glorious, merciful and benevolent Allah, " Ausu belahi mina Shaitan Rajim" meaning " I seek refuge from Allah against the accursed Satan".
This plea becomes necessary because America is a nation which is scientifically inclined in matters of data and information gathering, the use of such to their national advantage and multiplication of their national and mundane interests. On the other side of the divide is Nigeria's disregard for scientific research in data gathering and their application for solving national and environmental problems.
Nigerian rulers and the ruled only aspire, perspire and acquire to the detriment of being inspired to serve Nigeria with strength and might. Personality orientation, ethnic and tribal jingoism, religio-political marriage of destruction, citizenship and indigenisation conflagration, youth unrests, restiveness and terroristic activities, family dissection, property misappropriation, resources mismanagement and innumerable vices that put Nigeria nation at the verge of collapse, precipice of heart quakes and total hopelessness and helplessness of our beloved country.
Surely Nigerians do not need America's star gazing before we diagnose the reality of enormity of our nation's debilitating health conditions as encapsulated in Arewaism, Oduduwaism, Ndigboism,Ijawism and discordant "isms" that daily divide than unite us as a nation with golden age to its sovereignty.
In predictions or/ and prophesies, the individuals and nations involved still have roles to play to ward off bad omens and dooms taking cognisance that every man still remains the architect of his destiny, for we are all destined in the webs of actions and reactions culminating in the operation of law of Karma, the law of retributive justice.
No nation can and should determine for Nigeria what type of entity or nonentity our nation should be. For no nation can and is ready to salvage us in time of anarchy which the prediction by America seems to portend because our rulers and the ruled refuse to appreciate the dictum United we stand, divided we fall.
It is very unfortunate that Nigerians of today take more pride in thinking, talking and acting on what divides them rather than what unites and should unite us as bonafide citizens of geographic Nigeria. We daily create unending divisionary tendencies and empty superiority/ inferiority complexes, yet, no matter how highly or lowly placed we are as Nigerians, poverty and sadness, helplessness and hopelessness seem to be more ubiquitous with us than tenets and attributes of a nation worth living and dying for.
I concur with the submission of the Rosicrucian sage which again convinces me that Nigeria remains God's own country, on the condition we, in our thoughts and conduct, admit that:
The noblest employment of the mind of man, is the study of the works of his Creator. To him whom science of nature delighted, every object bringeth proof of God; everything that proveth it, giveth cause of adoration. His mind is lifted up to heaven every moment: his life is one continued act of devotion. Casteth he his eye towards the clouds, findeth he not the heavens full of His wonders? Looketh he down to the earth doth nohe worm proclaim; Less than Omnipotent could not have formed me!(Unto Thee I Grant)
On this note I humbly submit that prediction or no prediction by America, Israel, Saudi Arabia or any nation of the world , it is only we Nigerians including generations after us that can make or mar the glories of God and His universe here in Nigeria. Of course, whatever misdemeanours are battling us as a nation, like William Shakespeare once intoned "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings." Peace Profound.
Olaniyi wrote from Lagos.