Sow Injustice, Reap Calamity – By Sam Otti

For 430 years, the Israelites lived under the crushing yoke of slavery in Egypt. The chosen people of God were suppressed by a pagan nation and bound in fetters of repression. Their bare backs bore the scars of hate, lacerated by the merciless whipping of Egyptian taskmasters.

A brute dictator, Pharaoh and his officials chastised the people of Israel with fury. Thousands of babies (boys) born by Hebrew parents were crushed to death by Egyptian soldiers on Pharaoh’s order. As if this inhuman treatment wasn’t enough, Egyptian taskmasters enforced longer working hours on the Hebrews, to stifle their aspiration for freedom. From forced labour, starvation, poverty and severe punishments, the people of Israel were familiar with suffering. Their cries for mercy were lost in a cacophony of oppression. Injustice reigned. Impunity thrived.

But God took side with the Hebrews. The oppressed people of the world always have God by their side. God detests injustice. All those that promote injustice have God to contend with. Prophet Jeremiah says it all, “Woe to him that builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbour serve for nothing and does not give him his wages” (Jeremiah 22: 13).

God’s mighty hand fished out Moses from the river to lead the people out of Egypt. While Pharaoh hunted for Hebrew babies to kill, Moses was raised under his roof.  The life of Moses was quite exemplary. Although he shared the same roof with a tyrant, he was not corrupted by power. Even when he tasted the riches of Pharaoh, he never allowed transient wealth to blind his sense of fair judgment. Years of feasting on the King’s table never weaned his affection from his suffering kinsmen, who were pining in desperate want.  He stepped out of his comfort zone to agitate for his people languishing in slavery.

The demand for freedom is never a smooth ride on a boulevard strewn with beautiful roses. It is a rough ride on a bull’s back. Moses braved death to stand before Pharaoh to deliver God’s message of freedom. “Let my people go” (Exodus 8:1). The demand made by enslaved Israelites stung the ears of the despot.  Tyrants drink the tears of the oppressed and laugh at the misery of those they govern. It was the same with Pharaoh, who, in cahoots with Egyptian officials, threatened Moses with death for his audacity to demand freedom. “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again. The day you see my face, you will die” (Exodus 10:28). Undeterred by the threat of death, Moses never stopped confronting Pharaoh with the same message of liberation. We must never be weary of demanding justice.

At 80 years, Moses had good reason to retire from public scene.   But that was exactly the ripe time God appointed him to stand before Pharaoh. Aaron, his ally, was 83. The sight of two elderly men standing before Pharaoh sends a strong message to us. In the quest for freedom, never count age as a barrier. Those elders that close their eyes to injustice are guilty of complacency in crime against mankind.  It is more honourable to do the right thing than go to the grave with loads of regrets.

God sent plaques on the land of Egypt because Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. The Egyptians reaped the fruits of their wickedness. There were wailings and tears in every family in Egypt. They reaped sorrow for sowing injustice. God’s word of Proverb 22:8 came to fulfilment: “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity…”

I often wondered why God allowed his own people to suffer such gruelling treatments in a torture chamber for hundreds of years.  I searched the Scripture and found an answer, “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.” Child of God, be consoled that every suffering you pass through now is a preparation for higher glory.

Let’s leave Egypt and focus on Nigeria. I have wondered if Nigeria is too holy to produce the likes of Pharaoh. Could it be true that some people in our land are treated as slaves in their fatherland? When sections of the country are tagged second class citizens and relegated to the backstage of national politics, they, too, bear the yoke of slavery. We see the reincarnation of Pharaohs in our country, where cries of distressed citizens are unheeded by political lords luxuriating in corridors of power.  Pharaoh’s spirit haunts our land when people with opposition views are muzzled financially, hunted by state agents and hounded into gaol, without recourse to their fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

But the signs of time are clear. The oppressed people of Nigeria, too numerous to count, are marching out of Egypt. They are walking for freedom. They demand freedom from regional and ethnic politics. They want a corrupt-free nation. They desire a true fiscal federalism devoid of lawlessness, religious fanaticism and terrorism. When sections of the country begin to fly the flag for self determination, it is an indication that they are no longer comfortable with the system. Rolling out armoured tanks to crush these dissident voices will only water the seed of rebellion and rev up the struggle.  No militarised force can quench the fire of this agitation for a just country.

The seed of rebellion thrives in a climate of deprivation. When citizens feel deprived of their basic human rights, they embrace available options that promise better deal. Perhaps, that explains why pockets of grievances across the country are gradually coalescing into a formidable group bent on shaking the political table. They are strong in their agitation for a new Nigeria, built on the foundation of equity and fairness. They are fervent in their demand for a country everyone has an equal stakeholder, a country they would proudly call their own. They want a country where security of lives and property is guaranteed, a nation of peace, truth and justice.

These citizens are strong in their advocacy for an immediate departure from servant/master relationship on the nation’s political table. From North to South, East to West, citizens are on the march for a new multi-nation state, a true fiscal federalism weaned from political cabals and their cohorts.

Nigerians want an end to politics of patronage that allows organised pilfering of state resources. They demand an immediate stoppage of a situation where the nation’s commonwealth is converted to a patrimony of a few. They demand an end to kith and kin politics, where juicy appointments are slots reserved for favoured tribes. Nigerians seek an end to democratic tyranny, terrorism, kidnapping, abuse of legal system, religious bigotry and ethnic cleansing. The quest for liberty from the retrogressive political system in the country rings out like a church bell across the land.

As we prepare to cross the Red Sea, I share the same words that Moses spoke to the Israelites, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today, you will see no more. The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still (Exodus 14: 13-14).

To all patriots of our land, we are invited to become champions of liberty like Moses. Moses adopted the non-violent approach in the face of brute oppression. He never amassed sophisticated​ weapons of war against the Egyptian overlords. The Israelites didn’t resort to civil disobedience or guerrilla warfare against their perceived enemies. So, we must lay aside the tools of war. The rule, “Shed no blood” overrules the clamour for bloody confrontation.

Rather than take up arms, let the judiciary rise to its traditional role as the bastion of hope, to protect our constitution from serial trespassers. The National Assembly has a critical role to play in ensuring a review of the nation’s Constitution that would restart the Nigerian system and make it truly functional.

The clamour for a new Nigeria must be hinged on a peaceful agitation following all civilised rules of engagement. Our long-desired freedom must be won by dialogue, driven by a consistent advocacy for restructuring of the country and implementation of a true fiscal federalism. To all compatriots, arise! The torch of liberty will continue to shine and dispel the darkness of anarchy. Be assured that we will soon cross the red sea, and watch behind us all the enemies of Nigeria, their chariots and horsemen, sink.

– By Sam Otti

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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