THE MAGNIFICENT THRONE
This is an excerpt from the Second Edition of THE SONS OF LUGARD, a work of fiction written by SMA Ellakkawi.
There exists a great throne located in a city known as Abured. A throne is the seat of state of a potentate or dignitary, especially the seat occupied by a sovereign on state occasions. This throne was made from pure gold: 24 karat and pebbles of onyx and diamond littered round the throne. It is an indisputable fact that this throne is the most magnificent throne in the entire continent of Africa. It has the power to afford one the ability to exercise authority and influence. The power of this magnificent throne comes from God. This throne commands the respect and allegiance of nearly 200 million people. Because of this it is also the most coveted throne in Africa. Men have committed murder, told lies, deceived and defrauded one another because of this throne. It is not an exaggeration to say that this magnificent throne has the inherent power to transform its occupant into a demigod; sort of. This throne is precisely located on top of a rock popularly known as Aso Rock. Aso Rock evokes the all encompassing pleasures and luxuries of life. Unlike the remaining parts of Nigeria, Aso Rock is not accustomed to darkness for it was always full of light. People from places like China, India, America, France and Dubai regularly come to Aso Rock, cap in hand to seek favors and opportunities. The occupant of this magnificent throne is always invested with power but most importantly he or she controls enormous resources. Just last year the then occupant of the magnificent throne, King Jona budgeted and supervised the spending of three trillion Naira. One could bestow so much favor to friends and family, or unleash wrath on the heads of his enemies.
When God created Aso Rock and placed this magnificent throne on it, He made it known to the founding Fathers of Nigeria: Herbert Macaulay, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and others that the throne cannot endure without equity and justice. He made it clear that might, treachery, bribery and witchcraft will not make the throne to endure. He also made it explicitly clear that He owns the throne, and He alone can put one on it, and He alone determines how long a king can reign on the throne.Several thousand years ago, God created a throne in the land of Israel, and selected Saul to sit on it. The exact story is recorded in both the Qur’an and the Bible. Let me quote that of the Qur’an here:
And their prophet said to them, “Indeed, Allah has sent to you Saul as a king.” They said, “How can he have kingship over us while we are more worthy of kingship than him and he has not been given any measure of wealth?” He said, “Indeed, Allah has chosen him over you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah gives His sovereignty to whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing [in favor]and Knowing.”
And their prophet said to them, “Indeed, a sign of his kingship is that the chest will come to you in which is assurance from your Lord and a remnant of what the family of Moses and the family of Aaron had left, carried by the angels. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.”
And when Saul went forth with the soldiers, he said, “Indeed, Allah will be testing you with a river. So whoever drinks from it is not of me, and whoever does not taste it is indeed of me, excepting one who takes [from it]in the hollow of his hand.” But they drank from it, except a [very]few of them. Then when he had crossed it along with those who believed with him, they said, “There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers.” But those who were certain that they would meet Allah said, “How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of Allah . And Allah is with the patient.“(Qur’an 2:247-249)
When God created Aso Rock and placed this magnificent throne on it, He made it known to the founding Fathers of Nigeria: Herbert Macaulay, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and others that the throne cannot endure without equity and justice.
The people of Israel initially don’t want Saul to rule over them but God Has already decided and decreed that the man must occupy the throne and rule over them. Why? Because He knows best, and He also owns the throne so He can put whoever He deems fit. And God sees what man cannot see.
Nigeria embraced democracy a long time ago, as far back as in the 50’s.And so no one can sit on the throne for more than eight years at a time. It is only if the subjects demanded that an occupant should go for a second term that a king can rule for eight years in Nigeria. Nevertheless, democracy or no democracy, power comes from God. The Bible was right when it aptly said that:
“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God…” (Psalm 62:11)
Nigeria, despite what the numerous doomsayers and naysayers said before, and in 2015 has now become a conundrum. The country is a survivor. Beyond that the mercy of God is over her for Nigeria, like an iroko tree defied all the expectations of those who thought and believed that it would fall with a mighty falling to the ground. She is still standing; standing tall.
The name Nigeria came into existence in 1914 and it was reported by aficionados of history that Lady Flora Shaw supplied the appellation to Lord Lugard. It is good to note that until 1914 the country we now know as Nigeria did not yet exist. Instead, there were emirates and kingdoms and chiefdoms peopled by various nationalities like the Kanuris, the Hausas, the Fulanis, the Yorubas, the Ibibio, the Ijaw, the Ndonis, the Lakas, the Nupes, the Idomas and the rests. There are over three hundred ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. This scenario is not peculiar to Nigeria only. It was said that India comprises of over 600 various ethnic nationalities. Even the great Switzerland of today is a federal republic that is made up of more than two nationalities.
Ever since Nigeria became a country, she has been unable to surmount the ethnic and religious divides. Islam first came into Nigeria through the old, defunct Kanem-Borno Empire. Kanem-Bornu was an ancient Islamic empire that was mainly populated by the ethnic majority, the Kanuri. The empire was located in modern-day Nigeria, covering a vast expanse of areas including Lake Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Libya. Kanem-Bornu was probably founded around the mid-9th century, and its first capital was at Njimi, northeast of Lake Chad. Toward the end of the 11th century, the Saifa king, Ummai became a Muslim later known as Ibn Abd al-Jalīl, and from that time Kanem-Bornu was an Islamic state. Because of its location, it served as a point of contact in trade between North Africa, the Nile Valley, and the sub-Sahara region. Thus, one can rightly say that Islam came into Nigeria through Borno as far back as the 11th Century. It is unfortunate that Kanem Borno Empire which now comprises of Borno,Yobe and parts of Adamawa and Bauchi states had been destroyed and devastated because of an armed insurrection which started in 2009 by a charismatic Kanuri Islamic religious preacher known as Muhammad Yusuf. Islam brought peace to the region, and because there was peace, commerce thrived and multitude prospered. This is no longer the case because peace was gruesomely murdered in Borno. Her allies like serenity, progress and wholeness had taken to their heels. It was around the same time that Shehu Usman ibn Fodio brought Islam to northwestern Nigeria that Christianity entered Nigeria. According to Paul Todd, The first Christian contact in Nigeria occurred in the fifteenth century when the Portuguese introduced Roman Catholicism. However, it was virtually extinguished over the following 200 years until Roman Catholic missionaries returned in the 1800s. Since then, the Catholic Church has grown and now claims approximately 19 million members and adherents, mainly in the southeast.
The first Protestant missionaries to Nigeria were Wesleyan Methodists. They began work in the southwest among the Yoruba in 1842. Other Protestant groups followed: Church Missionary Society (evangelical Anglican), United Free Church of Scotland, and the Southern Baptists. Over the last 100 years, several other missions have entered Nigeria: Qua Iboe Mission (now known as Mission Africa), Sudan United Mission (incorporating such groups as the British and South African interdenominational branches as well as the CRC, Netherlands Reformed Church, the South African Dutch Reformed Church, the United Methodists and the Danish Lutherans), Synodical Conference of Lutheran Churches, Salvation Army, Assemblies of God, and the Mennonite Church of North America. Almost all of these missions have planted large and vibrant churches. For example the (Anglican) Church of Nigeria now numbers over 11 million members and adherents.
And so it was against this backdrop that 2015 doomsayers and naysayers based their opinions and assumptions; that the north-south divides strengthened by Islam and Christianity respectively, and fielding a northern Muslim and a southern Christian candidate will ignite violent passions and crumble the federation.