Those who read Saturday Breakfast regularly should by now be familiar with my mantra, “I drive on a full tank of faith!”.
I have written before, that when I say that I drive on a full tank of faith, I mean that I have full confidence that if what I am doing is to the glory of Almighty God and the good of His children, I cannot fail. As my tank is filled with faith, so are my tires filled with love and no obstacle or bump can stop me.
I woke up yesterday morning, weak from having wrestled for days with this stubborn variant of Malaria that seems to be attacking everyone. My assignment for the day was to leave Lagos on the first flight to Benin City and to try and get back to Lagos at the end of the day. I had to go to Benin because some people I had previously considered my friends had spurn a web of lies against me and filed the lies in a Court of law in Benin City to trip me, bring me down and to bring down the institution I lead.
Tired as I was, I had to push myself to leave home at about 5.00 a.m. to the airport to board a propeller driven airplane with the interesting name of Green Africa. It was my first time on Green Africa, which you board from the back. For some reason, I got the very last seat on the aircraft, Seat No. 18B, at the tail of the plane.
I am not very comfortable these days with propeller driven planes. I think that aircraft technology has moved past them. My Green Africa plane however flew smoothly to Benin. The engines seemed to be in good shape.
I was at the Federal High Court Benin before they opened their doors yesterday. Some people ask why I go to court so frequently. There are several reasons. The courts represent to me the greatest university you can go to. The lessons you learn in court, you cannot learn elsewhere. In court, you see man’s treachery laid bare. You see society as it really is: the lies, the wickedness, the scheming and the theater. I am intrigued to watch judges resolve intricate issues where each party has a very opposite interpretation of the same facts.
Yesterday, in Benin, I saw how Nigeria is destroying its children. While in court, I witnessed several Nigerian boys, some of them, as young as 22 years old, sent to jail for the possession or cultivation of some Indian Hemp, something that is no longer a crime in many parts of the world. I watched the judge struggle with applying the sentences as enshrined in our laws, knowing that these kids are in many ways victims of a Nigerian society that has abandoned its children. I could not get off my mind the injustice of the terribly hungry and emaciated young men whose lives will be ruined in prison while their countrymen who have stolen the nation dry revel in luxury.
A judge is not a magician. He acts on the facts and the law as presented to him. I have very good lawyers but each of them will tell you that I am engaged and insistent that every fact and every law in every case I am associated with is excellently articulated. I take courts seriously because a pronouncement from a judge can destroy what has taken a lifetime to build and we all know that it is easier to destroy than to build. Who else in society has the power to sentence a man to death and the sentence is carried out?
I am convinced that Nigeria will escape its slide into anarchy if our Judges decide to be bold and take the bull by the horn. They hold the key.
I go to court because those who have repeatedly made themselves my adversaries know that I have done nothing against them and taken nothing that belongs to them. They are just driven by jealousy and intense hate and so cannot think or act rationally. I was once told by someone I respect that there are people who hate me because I am always winning. He advised that I should lose sometimes so that my ‘adversaries’ can be happy! In other words, I should be a failure so that some people can celebrate! People who do not work anywhere as hard as I do want recognition for what they have not done. See me, see trouble!
Everyone who knows me will tell you that I work 25 hours a day, 8 days a week. I never stop working and I don’t complain about work. Life is work. Work is the reason we are here. In everything I do, I seek perfection. I have repeatedly asked the good Lord to use me to do good to as many people as possible. Every day I wake up, it is my duty to put a smile on the face of someone.
Most of the people who ferociously attack me are people I have given my love to. They take my love and take my love and at some point, conclude that I have become their ‘mugu,’ available to give everything they want. Then, they make a demand that I cannot give. Come and see wahala oh! They are shocked that their ‘mugu’ can say no to them sometimes. After all, I am supposed to be there for their use. Suddenly, friendship turns to hatred. From being an exceptionally good person, I become a very bad man, selfish, cunning, and even a criminal! That is how the hatred swells and the desire to destroy ferments.
Please, let them go with their hate. I do not want to be part of it. I do not want to dwell in it. Hate belongs to the devil. I deal with love and I am happy with it. I know that the Almighty will never let me be successful in destroying anyone who has done nothing against me.
I have witnessed some people cook up lies and lies, repeatedly tell their lies until they even begin to believe their lies. They continue to run from pillar to post and ask themselves why their lies have been so ineffective in destroying me and what I do. They get frustrated that they do not achieve the evil they desire. The answer is simple: love conquers hate.
I do hope that all of us will learn that man is not God and God does not dwell in hate. If you kneel down and pray that you succeed with evil, you have not prayed to God but to the devil. You will simply continue to be eaten up by the virus called hate.
Oh, I got back to Lagos yesterday on AirPeace, Nigeria’s present champion in the skies. This time I got Seat No. 1B. In Ikeja, I saw thousands of people trekking as if the nation is at war. Chai! ‘Tinubunomics’ at work!
Please try pumping your tires with love. I promise that you will never be stranded along the way. God is love and will see you through. I continue to drive on a full tank of faith!