Thursday, 25 February 2010

Drama Queens: Yar’Adua, His Clueless Cohorts And The Politics Of Intrigue In Nigeria

Hardly 24 hours after his return following a three month mysterious disappearance on an undisclosed medical trip in Saudi Arabia, had the drama revolving around the vacuum created by the sudden absconding from duty of the President of Nigeria, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua commenced in earnest, this time with lots of fanfares and dramas. It began on the early hours of Wednesday last when he was flown in from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on an air ambulance. News of his arrival emerged after two planes suddenly landed at the presidential wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and were met by a convoy of police vehicles and an ambulance. Soldiers lined the route from the airport to welcome him home. Yes, they did; bunch of drama queens!

A friend, Kwentor McWillymz Emeruwa who witnessed the drama while waiting to pick up her sister from the airport in the outskirts of Abuja had this to say, “It is painful my brother. I was at the airport waiting for my sister that morning. My brother you are talking of what you heard or read but I am telling you what I saw. He came back with a Boeing 777 ambulance and the iron First Lady came with a private jet. See troops of Arabic security men and the security men of this country. I was asking myself with tears, if my people could spend this kind of money for a man that is close to his grave in the name of power, what will the ones healthy enough do with the country’s resources”.

This drama may be funny to you but frankly it is not to me. I am boiling with anger! Why would Nigerians of all people be subjected to this type of mockery and psychological punishment and trauma? The fact that one man could do such a thing to over 145 million people sends a very clear message and the message is that Nigerians are not yet ready to reap the dividends of democracy. I made it very clear in my last article that the future of Nigeria lies in the hands of Nigerians. It is up to us to take our future into our hands and radically change the way things are done in Nigeria. Nigerians have been insulted enough and frankly no sane country, not even in Africa could tolerate such a drama as attested to by the recent events in the neighbouring Ivory Coast and Niger Republic. The fact that the second part of this drama commenced barely a month after the Vice President, Jonathan Goodluck was sworn in as the Acting President goes a long way to explain the motive behind the ongoing drama orchestrated by this sudden and impromptu arrival back to the country of President Yar’Adua despite the glaring fact that he is still not in good health.

The ongoing drama is a welcomed one, if not for anything, but to assuage our suspicion that Yar’Adua and his cohorts intentionally wanted to damage the image of Nigeria and return the country back to the stone ages. His action lacks any modicum of wisdom and could be best described as stupid, unpatriotic, irresponsible, selfish and wanton lust for power. He is sick and everybody knows that he is very sick. The better option would have been to remain in Saudi Arabia to complete his treatment or even to resign which is the best option for a person that uses his brain to think and not his stomach. Due to love, quest and lust for power, the sick man was dragged like a rag all the way from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria just to scuttle the opportunity of Jonathan Goodluck to have his happy hours as the Acting President of Nigeria. Nigerians should have gotten this message very clear. We are too big to be an object of mockery by few idiots and lunatics in Abuja. Yar’Adua and his cohorts have an agenda. They do not want power coming to the Christian south and so they are bent on doing everything possible under the face of the earth to foist him on Nigerians even if he is at the point of death. This is sick, unbelievable and completely unacceptable. It makes me sick because Nigerians deserve better than this.

The era of ‘sit down dey look’ is gone. This is time for action and Nigerians must act to ensure that this madness does not get out of hand. Yar’Adua is sick and therefore not fit to act as the President of Nigeria and based on this singular fact, he should resign and I mean resignation with honour. What he simply needs to do is just to take a cab or even walk over to the National Assembly and inform the houses that he is choosing the better option which is resignation due to his bad health in order to take good care of himself. He must do this because we are tired of this endless drama. He should for the love of the country and benefit of Nigerians do this as urgent as possible. Posterity will be on his side for ever if he does. Honourable resignation due to sickness is not a bad thing. Even Fidel Castro of Cuba honourably resigned when he was too sick to continue as the President of Cuba. In Israel, the former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was in coma for months was declared permanently incapacitated, a decision that officially ended his tenure as Israel's leader. Sharon was declared temporarily incapacitated after he lapsed into a coma following a stroke and Ehud Olmert stepped in for him immediately as acting prime minister, but under Israeli law he served in that capacity for up to 100 days before an official replacement for Sharon was named. Why then must Nigerian case be different? Was anybody born to rule this country alone? Is there no other person that could take the mantle of leadership in the absence of Yar’Adua?

Yar’Adua as a matter of honour should resign. Failure to toe this honourable line should be followed up immediately with the option of impeachment. For the sake of suffering Nigerians, the Senate and the House of the Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is under a moral obligation to impeach him and there are many grounds for which that could be done. He came to power through a fraudulent and dubious means. Before he was elected, he failed to tell Nigerians that he is sick and therefore not likely to discharge his duties as the President of Nigeria. He hid that information from the electorates due to his lust for power. The mere act of hiding this information from the electorates was an impediment to the office he was elected to hold and that should be a reason he should be forced to resign because ab initio he should not have been elected.

Besides, the concealment of that vital information is costing Nigerian taxpayers millions of naira on daily basis; an amount that would have gone a long way to build a first class teaching hospital in all the six geopolitical regions of Nigeria. How much was he charged on daily basis in Saudi Arabia for all these treatments? How many of his family members were there with him? How much were they paying in the hotels where they were lodging? How much did it cost for him to be in a private presidential suit in the hospital where he was receiving the treatment? How much was he charged to be flown home in that air ambulance? How about his wife or even wives? Where did they stay when they visited him in the hospital in Saudi Arabia? And who is paying all these bills? Your guess is good as mine!

There is nothing wrong in Nigerians paying for the hospitalisation of their elected leaders especially the President but there is something fishy in this particular instance. This is a man who came to power through a very dubious means by rigging the election and concealing his medical condition. The game here is that when he becomes the president, Nigerians would then have to foot his medical bill since he is the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It worked and today Nigerians are being punished to bear the financial consequences of his lack of judgement, deception, lust for power and myopic northern hegemonic political jingoism. And we are bleeding to abject poverty and bearing the consequences of an action of one selfish individual. This is completely unacceptable and every sane Nigerian of various shades of opinion would readily agree with me. We all knew he was sick before he was foisted on us by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He has been suffering from pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining around the heart as well as a chronic kidney and skin conditions for at least 10 years now. In the past three years he was twice flown to Germany for emergency treatment and had visited hospitals in Saudi Arabia severally and in the process bleeding money out of the poor Nigeria. To add insult to an injury he vehemently refused to tell Nigerians what is going on with him. In previous interviews with the press he had always refused to say what he suffers from and has repeatedly said that his life is "in the hands of God". I have the deepest sympathy for his condition but we cannot because of sympathy forget to do the right thing. The right thing would be for him to resign or face impeachment.

Elsewhere, I noted with deep regret that these dramas have got a very bad consequence for all of us including the nation. People and nations especially the west would never take us serious since it is obvious that we are incapable of solving even a simple domestic problem in our own backyard. And since we cannot solve our problems, how on earth do we expect people and nations to do business with us? It is basically because of this type of drama that Nigeria was placed by the United States of America in a list containing name of countries whose citizens must be thoroughly searched and humiliated before they could board any flight going to the United States. That decision followed the failed attempt by an alleged Nigerian bomber to blow up an Amsterdam to Detroit bound flight last December. And to give them a moral boost the United Kingdom Border and Immigration Agency came up with a decision that slashed almost by half the number of Nigerians that could come and study in the Kingdom . To complicate the already compounded problem, those coming on short stay would no more be allowed to come in with their dependents and if they do they would not be able to work even as those doing sub-degree courses would henceforth only be allowed to work for the minimum of 10 hours a week, a 50% slash from the previous 20 allowed.

I thought that we should have learnt millions of lessons here; alas that was not the case. We just spiralled down to Act 2, Scene 1, of the whole drama. Who knows what will be the next step of the United States? Maybe a blanket ban on Nigerians coming to the United States and of course followed by the UK her main ally. But please God let it not come to that level! But before we begin to disturb God as usual, it is pertinent for Nigerians to know and appreciate the fact that God is not a toy or a robot. He is God and that is what He is and to the best of my knowledge He helps only those who help themselves. Nigerians therefore must act. We must make hay while the sun is still shining otherwise it would be completely difficult in the dark. I have no doubt that we have a leaf or two to borrow from the neighbouring Niger Republic as well as the Ivory Coast. I do not support or call for military intervention but dramas like these are just what the military are looking for as an excuse to grab power. Let it not come to that level but then Nigerians must act to curb the excesses of their unscrupulous leaders who are clearly out of touch with the people they are elected to serve.

Once again Nigerians have got a choice and the choice is to take the bull by the horn and move the nation forward or be forever in the same ladder with countries like Somalia. There is an obvious and imperative need for regime change and it has to be now. The PDP has messed up Nigeria. It is a can of worm filled with maggot-infested pot-bellied corrupt clueless idiots. Something drastic has to be done to break the stronghold of that epitome of corruption in Nigeria. A nation determines the kind of leadership it wants. If that privilege is meddled with, it is left with only one option; the kind of leaders it deserves. I am certain that Nigeria does not deserve these drama queens. We can have something more beautiful, trustworthy and decent than all these drama queens!

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Future Of Nigeria Lies In The Hands Of Nigerians: Revolution Could Be The Only Way Out Now!

The way you dress is the way you are going to be addressed. Do not expect to be addressed as a gentleman when you dress like a hooligan. Since it took about 145 million Nigerians about three months to solve the problem created by the sudden disappearance of their president, other nations would certainly not take us serious and the United States of America and the West would continue treating us like a pariah and failed state. The way you make your bed is the way you must lay on it. You don’t expect to harvest a tuber of yam when you have planted a banana or do you?

This may be a bitter pill to swallow but the simplest truth is the fact that the west especially the United States sees Nigeria at the moment as a failed state, otherwise why would the United States in particular place Nigeria alongside other quasi-failed and failed states in a list of countries whose citizens must be thoroughly searched before they could land in the United States. Other western countries have copied that too including Holland where a Nigerian man who was having a 'running stomach' and therefore frequenting the toilet was followed right inside the toilet to find out what he was doing. A shame and I frankly weep for my country Nigeria!

The fact that Nigeria made it in that list with countries like Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and even Iraq, Iran and Sudan says a lot about how the United States and the west perceives Nigeria at the moment. All these negative perceptions simply because one man refused to relinquish his post despite the fact that his sickness has rendered him incapable of discharging out his functions as the president or even to transmit power to his vice to formally take over as the Acting President. Well the latter option was eventually forced on him when the stakeholders especially the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council after series of political impasse, brouhaha, jingoism and of course litigations and sensing the fact that Nigerians were no more in the mood to continue tolerating their myopic stupidity decided to go ahead and formally install the Vice President, Jonathan Goodluck as the Acting President. That solved the problem partially; however by this time the harm to the image of Nigeria has been irreparably done. We threw caution to the wind and danced naked in the market place and now everybody who saw us dancing naked in the market place thinks we are mad. That is how the west sees Nigeria today; a naked mad man dancing naked in the centre of the market who must be shunned by all means to avoid embarrassing them.

From what happened before the formal installation of Goodluck as the Acting President, Nigerians should ask themselves a question. We should be able to ask ourselves if what we have today in Nigeria is democracy as practiced in sane countries or a democrazy. I am convinced that the latter is what we have today in Nigeria. The fact that it took Nigeria about three months to fill a vacuum created by its absconded president should be a reason for a revolution. Nigerians have been taken for a ride for a long time and it is obviously time for them to take these unscrupulous elements posing as politicians for a ride too. They need a lesson and the lesson is that Nigeria is not a private property just like Congo-Kinshasa was under King Leopold of Belgium during the colonial era. Nigeria belongs to everybody and that is a fact everybody must be aware of. Nobody, not even an ethnic group or any religion has a monopoly over Nigeria. It belongs to all of us and that is why we must take our future in our hands and fix it ourselves since it has become obvious that the bane of Nigeria are the Peoples Democratic Party otherwise called the PDP and some unscrupulous selfish idiots high in new wine and skunk posing as politicians.

It is a shame that those who live presently in Nigeria or who have never been able to go out of Nigeria could not understand the meaning of Nigeria at the moment. In fact, Nigeria at the moment simply means a nation without a viable government; just like Somalia. It is a shame and to complicate the already compounded problem, the UK Border and Immigration Agency just announced that it is slicing the number of Nigerians to be admitted yearly to study in the UK. The meaning is that even with your magnanimous intelligence and money, you cannot come in when the quota is exceeded. In addition to that, those coming in here on short courses would henceforth be banned from bringing their dependants. The implication is that married people may not be able to bring in their family with them if they are coming to do a short course. This is very cynical though, since it is tantamount to being a cog in the wheel of progress of the family life, a sin which is a clear contravention of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Article 8 inter alia stated that “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.

This immigration tightening for countries such as Nigeria which was just announced has been in the pipeline for several months now. The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown mooted the idea in the wake of the Detroit plane bombing attempt by a 23-year old alleged Nigerian called Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.

Following this stringent measure tens of thousands fewer visas are expected to be granted, although the British Home Office refused to give any estimate at the moment. Already Nigerian students hoping to study in the United Kingdom are being marginalised by the Points Based System introduced about a year ago which requires students to secure 40 points to come to the UK. Applicants are given 30 for holding a course offer from a college or university, and 10 for proving they can pay the fees and support themselves while in the country. Many genuine Nigerian students cannot and can never meet these criteria unless their parents are part of the looters of the commonwealth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The new rules will not require legislation, and are due to come into force within a short period of time. In addition, would-be students from outside the European Union will have to speak English to a level just below GCSE standard. The new level would require mastering English language as a foreign language rather than at beginners’ level as at present. Also, to protect jobs for British youngsters, students taking any course at below degree level would only be permitted to work for 10 hours a week instead of the current 20 even as those on courses lasting less than six months will not be allowed to bring dependants at all, while the dependants of students on below degree-level courses will not be allowed to work.

These reforms orchestrated by the actions of the alleged Nigerian bomber came up right in the midst of the controversy surrounding how to fill the power vacuum created by the non-resident president of Nigeria. And despite the implication of this new development on prospective Nigerian students, the senseless, selfish and clueless Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly were busy resisting every effort to have President Shehu Musa Yar'Adua either impeached, forced to resign or transfer power to his vice. Something akin to what Nero did; fiddling while Rome was burning. Oh! By the way are we sure he is still alive? Even a decent patriotic attempt made by the Information Minister, Professor Dora Akunyili to force her colleagues to act in the interest of Nigerians resulted in her being lambasted and upbraided by the National Assembly and other members of the Federal Executive Council including the clueless, brainless and skunk-filled former Nigerian Minister of Justice and Attorney General, one lunatic called Michael Aondoakaa.

Well, need I say more? It is left for Nigerians to either take their destiny into their hands since it is very obvious that those they ‘elected’ do not have the national interest in their minds. They are there to cater for themselves and their family alone and since it is this way, Nigerians should and must do something. Since Nigeria is a place where dialogue does not work, I would strongly suggest that Nigerians embark on civil disobedience to demand for a good governance which is their right; a right inherent in them as humans and given to them by God. Nigerians have this one last chance to make themselves heard loud and clear or be doomed. Opportunity comes only but once and especially for those who are up for it. Let us grab it now or never. Our children and the future generations may not forgive us if we miss the golden opportunity!

The nation must rise against the government since it is obvious that the government does not care about the nation and the people. The government is not and has never shown interest in uplifting the people and uniting the nation; an indirect carte blanche to take their destiny into their own hands and save themselves and their children from the present politics of suffering and smiling.

In a very simple parlance Nigerians are greater than the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council combined. They must therefore come out en mass to make their intentions known. I am actually calling for revolution of the masses against the government, the proletariat against the bourgeois; a civil disobedience to protest the present state of the nation. We have been ridiculed enough and now is our chance to ridicule those responsible for the mess we found ourselves in. Nigerians deserve better than the status quo ante. They deserve quality education, good and affordable healthcare, efficient transport system, 24-hour power supply, decent and affordable housing, transparent governance and freedom to pursue happiness with no limit. It is never a privilege to have all these; it is the right of every Nigerian and the money to provide them is there. Nigerians must therefore demand for what belongs to them. A man cannot be a stranger in his father’s house!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Pastor Haggard And Mrs Robinson: Two Most Disgusting Bigots And Hypocrites Of The Century

I do not want to appear very judgemental here but bearing in mind that the measure you use to measure for others would ultimately be used to measure for you, I would entertain no excuse if I eventually appear to be judgemental. When the bible says that thou shall not judge so that thou shall not be judged, it was not meant to be a joke; it was being damn serious and when it placed a curse on the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees, it was not meant to be a child play; in fact it was meant to be warning to all hypocrites and a lesson for all of us on how repulsive and repugnant, hypocrites are to the founder of Christianity.

Having said that let us now listen to the tales of the two most disgusting hypocrites of this century. It is the tale of one Mrs Iris Robinson, the wife of the First Minister of the Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard the disgraced founder and former presiding pastor of the 12,000 member strong New Life Church in Colorado Springs in the United States. He was also the founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches and later the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 till November 2006.

Mrs. Iris Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard have got many things in common. Both are very good conservative Christians; I mean those that sleep with the Holy Bible as their pillow. Their Christianity is so deep that they are ever ready to condemn even with their life whatever is not in accordance with the dictates of the Holy Bible. But the greatest tragedy is that both of them are hypocrites of the first class order. They are the likes of those whom Jesus Christ the founder of Christianity warned his followers of. They are wolves in sheep clothing; whitewashed walls who have the name of God all the time in their lips but within their heart is a complete opposite of what they are preaching; hatred, hypocrisy, lies and whatever have you.

But while they were busy hypocritically condemning and damning others, the hate-filled Mrs Iris Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard also have dark sides and scandalous secrets they were hiding from the public. They did everything possible to hide their hypocritical side from the public but the fact that we are in the internet age did not help them to hide that dark side for too long. Their stories are simply unbearable, a shame on good Christians and testimony to the fact that all judgements should be left for God alone since He made it very clear that vengeance belongs to Him alone. He does not share the prerogative with no one for all of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory and therefore could not boldly come forward to be the first to cast our stone or to look for a speck of wood in the eye of our neighbour when we have got a log of wood in ours.

Let me begin with Mrs Iris Robinson. Early last year Mrs Iris Robinson made a very insulting homophobic remark and refused to apologise citing the Holy Bible as the reason for her statement. Quoting from the book of Leviticus, she described homosexuality as an abomination on a par with paedophilia which makes her nauseous and called upon homosexuals to seek help from psychiatrists and Christianity. She was unrepentant in her remark and despite all entreaties to retract the statement and apologise she vehemently refused. While she was busy resisting every attempt to apologise for such a cynical remark a similar drama was taking place in the United States of America. Pastor Ted Haggard, a pastor of a mega church of about 12,000 faithful was busy in his church condemning homosexuals and homosexuality as an evil that would end them in the deepest part of the hell fire. He too was unrepentant about his position and also vehemently refused to apologise. I do not want to go into his own story right now. I would come back to him later in this article.

Back to the holy and immaculate Mrs Iris Robinson. Despite being vocal in her condemnation of the homosexuals and her suggestion that homosexuals are paedophiles who need both psychiatric and Christian help, Mrs Robinson was in actual fact indulging in same ‘sin’ he was condemning in others. She was having an affair with a teenager young enough to be her grandson. She began the affair with the teenager when she was 59 years while the teenager was just 19 years. The teenager later identified as Kirk McCambley who is now 21 is a family friend of the Robinsons. The affair is not only the issue at stake; Mrs Robinson also fraudulently extorted about 50,000 pounds from donors to set up a business for the youngster. By the way how did the affair began?

I think we should first of all look at how they met and that would throw more light on how the affair began. Mrs Robinson an MP for Strangford, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly as well as that of Alderman of Castlereagh Borough Council and wife of Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson was a frequent customer of William McCambley's butcher's shop in Ballyhackamore in east Belfast and that was where he met his young son Kirk and apparently started her contemptible plans of seducing the poor boy. She succeeded and the relationship took another dimension when Billy McCambley died in early 2008. As a family friend, Iris made a promise to look after his only son, Kirk. It was a well executed ploy that sealed her evil intention towards the teenager. By summer 2008 they were having an affair; a great shock considering that Peter and Iris Robinson are vocal evangelical Christians from a deeply religious and conservative unionist culture.

Shortly after they started sleeping together Mrs Robinson showed her young lover a new cafe development for which Castlereagh Council was advertising for tenants. Being only 19 with little or no business experience and limited capital, McCambley needed help. Her sugar mummy provided the help by coning out £50,000 from two developers with affiliations to her party and passed on the sum to McCambley. There was one more thing; McCambley was to give her a £5,000 kickback in cash so that she could pay off her own debts. He did. When a debate on the lease came to be decided at the Castlereagh Council meeting, McCambley was judged the only candidate suitable for the lease. Mrs Robinson was present but did not declare any conflict of interest.

By the end of 2008 the relationship was over. "Just cut links with Kirk. God's word was very clear on it. He was reasonably OK on it. I am not," she texted a friend. But despite her belated invocation of God, the real reason seems to have been money; Mrs Robinson wanted the investment back. "It seems cruel but I am not going to soften until he has paid back the 45k and he has got until Christmas," read another text.

By this time the damage has been done. The news of the affair was leaked to the press by a whistleblower. In a damage control Mrs Robinson after unsuccessful bid to take her life released a statement saying that the affair was the worst thing she has ever done. "I grieve that I have damaged my profession in Christ, but I am comforted that He was able to forgive even me," she said. The husband Peter Robinson said he had considered leaving his wife but she "would certainly have been less likely to recover if I had left".

As the Robinson-McCambley scandal in Northern Ireland is concluding, a similar one that started earlier in the United States was also nearing its conclusion. Ted Haggard the pastor we met at the outset who fell from grace to grass in a 2006 sex and drug scandal is already making efforts to redeem himself using a documentary in which he reveals new details about sexual abuse he claimed he suffered as a child that led to the scandal that brought him from grace to grass. An interesting excuse common with bigots like him!

To put his picture in perspective, we need to go down the memory lane. In November 2006, Pastor Ted Haggard disgracefully resigned from all of his leadership positions after he admitted soliciting for homosexual sex from a prostitute named Mike Jones. He also admitted to buying and taking the illegal methamphetamine drug. Haggard initially denied ever knowing Mike Jones but as the media became interested and launched an investigation he acknowledged that some allegations such as his purchasing of methamphetamine were true. He later added "sexual immorality" to his list of confessions.

Prior to 2006, Pastor Ted Haggard was one of the main homophobic pastors in the United States and a big opponent of the same sex marriage. As is common with hypocrites like him, Haggard used the pulpit and the Holy Bible to justify his action and even added that homosexuals have a special place prepared for them in hell fire. While Haggard was busy doing that, one thing his church and Americans did not know was that he was leading a double life. He was using the services of a male escort who was also supplying him with illegal drugs called methamphetamines. Haggard was busted when the male escort came forward to expose him in the media after hearing him lambasting homosexuality and homosexuals in one of his sermons. The male escort in question is named Mike Jones and he noted in his revelation that he has been servicing Pastor Ted Haggard who gave his name as ‘Art from Kansas City’ for years. For your information and benefit of clarification, male escorts otherwise called male prostitutes are often homosexuals paid supply sexual pleasure just as you pay female prostitutes.

Before the scandal broke out, Haggard was a powerhouse and a star in the evangelical world, rising quickly from the humble founding of Colorado's New Life Church in his basement in the 1980s. By 2006, the church was 12,000 members strong and Haggard, as president of the evangelical association, was exchanging weekly phone calls with President Bush.

In the new documentary made by Alexandra Pelosi the daughter of the United State House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Haggard says he is angry with the New Life Church for expelling him even as he begs for forgiveness blaming his struggle with his sexuality on being molested by his father as a 7-year-old.Though he had repeatedly damned homosexuality in the pulpit, Haggard says he has struggled and continues to struggle from time to time with same-sex attraction. When the story of his dark side came to the open Haggard said he was struggling with a "dark, repulsive side" and was "a deceiver and a liar." Later he admitted that he was afraid to tell the truth because of his role as the president of the 30-million-strong evangelical association and pastor to 12,000 faithful.

The temptation to condemn and stereotype others is very enticing and mouth-watering, but when it comes to practicing what we preach and keeping the faith till the end, it becomes obvious that we are all humans capable of falling. The lesson here is never to judge others. Everyman carries his own secret like a hand bag. The feeling that we are better or holier than the Pope is just a fantasy. Nobody can claim superiority or holiness over others based on sexuality. Each person is made in his own way to give God glory in accordance with the way he was uniquely made. God has a purpose for each person and yes for the homosexuals too for there are wonderfully and fearfully made by God after His likeness and image.

As for Iris Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard, it is very difficult to sympathise with bigots, liars and hypocrites whose utterances have gone a long way to put the life of many homosexuals in jeopardy especially in countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Jamaica. However as a human and Christian I sincerely extend my sympathy towards them and their plight and ask that they be given the opportunity to reform which by their utterances they denied to the homosexual. And may the good Lord forgive them!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Another Valentine: How About Showing That Love This Time To The Haitians By Making A Donation?

Today is Valentine's Day and oh by the way do the people in Haiti know it is Valentine’s Day? Your guess is good as mine. Am sure most of them are buried in their sorrow and pains to even remember that today is the special day of love. Who are they supposed to love when most of them lost their loved ones? This is a sad story. Most of them do not have somebody to tell them how lovely they are but you and me could do just that for them by making a donation, no matter how small it is.

We all know or claim to know about love, therefore am not here to lecture on the meaning or evolution of the feast of either Saint Valentine or the eventual adoption of February 14 as Lover's Day. Am not really interested in feasts celebrating love or stuffs like that because I belong to the school of thought that believes that everyday should be a day of commemorating love. Love is inherent in human nature and therefore must be celebrated at every time of the day. This moment of agony for the Haitians is a golden opportunity to show that we really care and love. Since love is blind, we do not need to have relations in Haiti to show that love. Love is infectious and the more you show love to other people especially to the people in a faraway place you do not even know, the more it is shown to you. By the way it is biblical; the measure you use for others would be used for you. Even Jesus Christ, the greatest philosopher of all time made it very clear, ‘Love thy neighbour as you love thyself’ for that is the greatest commandment of all.

Stories have been told of famous love affairs throughout the history of mankind including that well documented by William Shakespeare in his drama called Romeo and Juliet and of course the most recent love drama in a famous film called the Titanic featuring Leonardo Dicaprio. Even the bible noted that the reason for the death of Jesus Christ, the only son of God and the founder of Christianity was because of the love God has for us. He loves us unconditionally and because we have been so greatly loved, we must show that love back to others without discrimination for God first loved us without distinction. Freely thou received and freely thou shall give! Think of making a donation to Haiti to express that love or even buying products or songs in aid of the victims. In fact if you are really in love, close your eyes and dig deep into your pocket and make a donation to the people of Haiti. By the way, that reminds me you can donate by writing cheques or using your credit or debit cards, in case your pockets are cashless. Do it! Love does not give excuses.

Everywhere you go people are shouting of love. Think of millions spent every year just to print cards bearing the word ‘love’. There is love here and there is love there. In fact everywhere you go there seems to be love. This baffles me because in spite of this, human heart is still filled with hatred and bigotry. I think the reason is because man does not really love. He pretends to love but he does not know the meaning of that four lettered word called ‘love’. Man simply has refused to love. He blatantly refused to love despite the everyday pressure to love and numerous poems and writings extolling the virtues of love. The holy books are all centred on the theme of love, yet the more we read them, the more we hate. It seems that we do not understand what we are reading. The irony of the whole saga is that those charged with the gospel of love have completely thwarted the meaning of love and even turned out to be the most hating. They have taken it upon themselves to spread the gospel of hatred in the name of gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of preaching the gospel of inclusion so that none should be left out in the one fold, they have chosen to preach the gospel of hatred rooted in bigotry and hypocrisy thereby excluding some people. They have devoted much of their time promoting intolerance in the name of the gospel and the love of God. Even those we placed our hope on expecting them to understand more are not making any effort to understand.

How many times have we claimed to love only to chicken away when it come to proving that? That is not love. It is being selfish and cowardice. Love is not selfish nor is it a coward. Love is always there for good or for bad. It takes a stand and stands on it. It is there when things are moving well and in time of difficulties. It does not run away during the credit crunch and come back during the feast days. It is always there. Love does not discriminate and does not favour a part. Love loves holistically and absolutely. It does not look for a fault. It sees the fault and still loves. It is a universal phenomenon and one language we all understand despite our various tongues and tribes and differences. It is a very famous word and probably the most widely used word in the world and sadly the least understood. Love is a very simple word, very ubiquitous and yet very hard to comprehend. Often we tell people we love them but come to think of it how many of us do really love to the extent of laying down their life for the one they claim to love. Are we there all the time for the friend we claim to love or is the love only manifested when we are in need of something or need to satisfy our concupiscence.

Unfortunately our generation has completely distorted the meaning of the word love. They simply do not understand or chose not to understand what it stands for. When it comes to love, we leave the substance to pursue the shadow. To our generation it simply means having marathons of sex with the person we claim to love. When wounding a person you claimed to love begins to be love is what am yet to understand. For our age, the meaning of the word love has become sex and that is why it is an often repeated word during sex and rarely after that. I do not disagree with the fact that sex is still part of the loving process but what I do not understand is taking advantage of somebody we claim to love sexually in the name of love. A school of thought does not agree with me; to them, it is making love and not sex. I do not agree. There must be a clear distinction between love and sex.

There is no doubt that today in different parts of the world pants and condoms would be flying here and there and yonder. There is definitely going to be scenes of moans of pains and pleasure in the name of love and valentine but is that really what love and valentine is all about. Young women would be crying confusedly of the stuff either being too sweet or very painful or both at the same time while young men would be screaming, uttering gibberish and promising heaven and earth during the climax of the ejaculatory pleasure. Sadly, these promises they would soon forget not to talk of fulfilling and that is Valentine for you. Immediately after the whole business of sex, the whole promises of buying the young lady France when he travels to Peugeot would fizzle away in complete denial or forgetfulness. The saddest part would be that in three months time, these young men who were once madly in love today would be in complete denial of making the poor young lady pregnant. Some would go a step forward to deny knowing the young poor girl ever. Once more love is never in denial, it accepts his responsibility as a matured man.

Sadly, this is what we have made of love today. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet must be turning in their graves. Love is there when we are going in and out and as soon as the end of that going in and out is achieved it stops till next time we are in need of that pleasure again. That to me is part of the loving process but a minute part of it. Love is supposed to be there at all time. Love is very blind. It is not only geared towards our opposite sex. It could be for a person of the same sex. It could be towards an animal. It could be towards the Mother Nature. It must not always be towards a living being. It could be towards a book, your laptop, you car, a radio, a person you have never seen, a person you have seen and even an object you could only imagine. And more aptly at this point in time, should be towards the Haitians as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.

A day like this is also suitable for us to show that love to people that we would not have ordinarily shown our love to. These are people who do not share the same opinion, view, belief, creed, colour or sexual orientation with us. We are ordinarily tempted to hate them because of their extreme views or their way of life which does not conform to our own standard and expectations or even because of the colour of their skin or their circumstances in life. This day is a day to tell our neighbour who is a member of the BNP that we do not share his views but we still love him. It is a day to say to our friends we rejected because they are gay, lesbians or bisexual that we still love them. It is a day suitable even for us to buy a bottle of wine for our neighbour and tell them that despite all these years of altercations over nothing that we still love them. How about the people of Haiti going through a very difficult time at the moment, we could out of love make a donation, no matter how small to express our love and sympathy towards them and their plight. Yes we can do that. It will not even take anything. You can donate anything even one pound. By the time all of us give one pound each we would end up making a world of difference. Think of how much you would spend unnecessarily today and think of the impact that amount would make in the life of Haitians.

Showing this love should not be limited to people in Haiti alone. We could buy a flower for the fireman for the nice job he is doing to keep our house and property safe from fire. Even for the weather man for predicting the weather for us as well as for brave men and women in the police, the army, the customs and even the immigration for the good works they are doing to safeguard us. How about the NHS, we could send a card to our nearest hospital saying thanks to them for being there all the time for us.

Today is the day we need to tell somebody that we love them, cherish them and that they are the apple of our eyes. On that note I tell you in particular that I really love you from the deepest part of my heart and please be aware that I will always love you come rain or sunshine. You worth it! Kisses over and over again!!!