Stations and Churches

Stations and Churches

Stations and Churches

Written by Di MadWriter

We all sat with our eyes glued to his lips as my friend recounted his encounter from the previous night.

He was on his way to a party by 10 pm when a police van pulled over next to him and three heavily armed officers jumped down, circling him like hyenas closing in on their prey. It was soon discovered that they weren’t even the police but the anti-kidnapping squad. He just stood there, scared and clueless.

They said he broke curfew. We didn’t even know there was a curfew at the time. He tried to show them his ID, but they clearly weren’t interested. One of them searched his wallet first and found just ₦2,000 in it. It went in his back pocket at once. They also took his phone and forced him to unlock it. Next was to go through his messages for his bank alerts. What they found there made them smile a cunning smile; they had succeeded in catching a big fish.

“Oboy, we’ll carry you to the station, and your family would have to bail you out with the sum of ₦150,000.” My friend pleaded with them to let him go. He tried to explain that he was just a student and that he didn’t know about the curfew. It was like explaining to a crocodile that has its jaws around your legs that human meat is not as sweet as chicken— a fruitless endeavor.

The only thing that can save you from going to the station with us right now is if you can transfer ₦50,000 to us immediately. That is paying a third of your bail money and escaping a night in the station. It’s the only way we can help you right now.

My friend had reached his daily limit for mobile transfers so they offered to drive him to the ATM machine, stand behind him with their guns, watch him withdraw the money, and give to them before they let him go.

I said to myself: “You won’t catch me breaking curfew if I don’t move around looking for parties by past 10 pm.” But I did go to church a lot.

Months later, we had this three-day program in the church. The first day, the minister spoke on the need to make sacrifices and opened the floor to whoever had it in their hearts to sacrifice to God. (Monetary sacrifices mostly).

The second day, the other minister gave us testimonies of freedom from financial and spiritual bondage (most of them sounded made up, no kidding). After the testimonies, we started praying. He said it was revealed to him that God wanted to bless 100 people, but they would have to bring the sum of ₦20,000 to the alter first. He kept counting and trying to convince us that he could clearly see the number 100 in the spirit realm.

Before we knew it, over 200 people went forward. Apparently, his ‘god’ had been mistaken. The minister then proceeded to say that God had improved the plan for twenty of them, if only they would make it up to a million. I mean if 200 people showed up instead of 100, they could as well just go premium.

Anyway, those who didn’t have it at the time were given the account details to make the transfer within 24 hours. Twenty-five people stepped forward to give a million each. Again, a miscalculation but let me just continue my story.

It was not my first time witnessing this so it was no surprise. I am well aware of how this works and to my expectation, I watched them go from a million to 500k to 200k and all the way down to ‘whatever you have’. They said anyone who sat back was disregarding God’s word which they were convinced was ringing in our hearts at the time. The session ended.

On our way back, my cousin who was visiting asked me, “why do you people have to always pay for sermons in the church?” It was the same question I had asked myself countless times before.
And the answer is simply because they can.

People do not need reasons to act. They do things just because they can. There’s the power of the state which enables the security agents to extort civilians without cause. Then there’s the power of religion which enables religious leaders to extort the masses whenever they feel like. As someone once said: “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” People can do whatever when they have power.

It doesn’t matter to them if it’s right or wrong. They could do it without any implication or punishment of any sort, so they did and still do. There’s hardly any hope of peace for the widow who only has two small copper coins in the church today.

Oh, and the third day? I didn’t go. It was too much. So many things weren’t making sense. I needed a break. That wasn’t me giving up on religion, it was me giving myself a fighting chance. If I had continued taking in all that, I’d have lost it.

Our people normally say, “na who fight run de live to fight another day.” When translated, it means: It is those who fight and run that live to fight another day.

Di MadWriter

Previous post: Mend Your Broken Piece

Pins:

Stations and churches
Stations and Churches
stations and churches
Stations and Churches

 139 total views,  2 views today

Di MadWriter

Di MadWriter is a Nigerian storyteller and poet who fully exercises his right to laugh whenever and wherever he wants. He thinks madness is a spectrum; it is not absolute. Every new day, he chooses whether to be rigid or informal. He loves to see people laugh, or smile at least.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
20 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Indy
1 year ago

This is beautifully heartbreaking. Power is truly a scary thing. It’s so sad to see people with good hearts being taken advantage of, to see people who spend their entire lives trying to go the right thing STILL get in trouble – and most of the time, not even know what it is that they did wrong. I really like this piece.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Indy
1 year ago

Truly heartbreaking.

I’m glad you enjoyed the piece.

Kristine Nicole Alessandra
1 year ago

Sad to say but this could happen anywhere. In my country, the powerful, the rich and those holding high positions in government are somewhat given preferential exemptions from the law. Give someone a little power, a little authority and you can be sure that it will be abused. This is the reality of today. Heartbreaking.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Kristine Nicole Alessandra
1 year ago

Sad reality.

Thanks, Kristine, for your input.

Joan
1 year ago

This happens almost everywhere nowadays. I am into religion but you will not see me in a church I pray and read what I believe in because there’s a lot false out there.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Joan
1 year ago

Seems like the safe option right now.

Thanks for your contribution.

blank
Admin
1 year ago

Lol my comment is beyond the confines of this comment box when it comes to Nigerian churches, daddy GOs, private jet pastors and poverty stricken congregation…lemme stop there. As for SARS, well…they’re obviously using corona curfew as more excuses for extortion and it’s so infuriating that the govt sits and watches because their kids and relatives are exempt. Smdh!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Viano Dee
1 year ago

The sad reality that we live in.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chei Pangan
1 year ago

I remember is this employee that gave an opportunity to be decide from the company. And it was abused, he do whatever he wants. He is a power tripper. These people will have there karma one day.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Chei Pangan
1 year ago

Power brings out the best or the worst in people.

Thank you, Chei.

Cly
Cly
1 year ago

My girlfriend thinks I’m not a strong Christian cause I don’t always to church and this is part of the reasons. I believe most Nigerians prefer to practice religion over Christianity.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Cly
1 year ago

True.

Thank you for reading, Cly.

Lyosha
1 year ago

I am not Christian so it is hard for me to think of Churches much. In Russia going to church often means being a believer, It can not be any other way under any curcumstances for orthodox Russian people. that is crazy

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Lyosha
1 year ago

Quite crazy.

Thanks, Lyosha.

blair villanueva
1 year ago

I am a Catholic (in papers) but not in practice 🙂 Nowadays, I only visit churches to admire its story and architecture, and nothing more.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  blair villanueva
1 year ago

It is funny the way you put it.😅

Thanks for the comment, Blair.

Marta
1 year ago

I am a Chtholic who belives that faith is not found in buildings and at alters, but with living a life that makes you happy, while leaving others to live their life as they want. Not a very good Chatholic acording to priests and my mother-in-law 😉😉

Di Hickman
1 year ago

I’m spiritual but not religious, this post kinda encompasses the reason why. It’s all about the money.

Cheeia
1 year ago

I am a Christian. Interesting read I have to say! Very thought provoking! Never put much thought into what you shared! Thanks for getting my brain to work 🙂

Mirabellalah
1 year ago

This is the sad reality of the world we now live in. The Station is just the next bustop of the church. Both put in place to create a sense of order in the political and religious space respectively so that a nation can be whole. But greed has eaten us all up, the system created to protect and serve the people is now robbing them blind. God talks about these kind of people in Ezekiel 22:23-30. While their end is sure and tarries for just a little while, God is still searching for those who will stand in the gap for the nation (both in the political and religious scene). The Nigerian soil cries out for leaders like David and Prophets like Elijah. If we fail, we might just start building the coffin for the nation. God help us.

20
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x