The charlatan industry

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Chukwuneta Oby  

Thanks to WhatsApp “share-share” of all sorts of video clips, I recently got to know about a rather overfed (he looks Pregnant!) fellow that is making the waves in the arena of Nigeria’s ‘miracle seekers.’

Much as I find a lot about him (especially his religious slangs) a comic relief, his growing materialism is actually a sign of the DISTURBING values in some of our people. It’s no brainer that behind the “bigness” of a charlatan is “more MUMU’’ or a growing ignorance.

He claims to give them power for money-making and chasing away poverty, forever. In one of his numerous video clips that came my way, a young man said that he had come (with a ram in tow, of course) to be made the “okachalu” (richest) in his community.

Another claimed that he was tired of crawling before walking in business and now wants to belong in the league of “container importers,” It didn’t matter to this fellow that his business was ‘’moving.’ And I bet that paying one’s dues before every break never registers with such human beings.

Then, the one that I found most pathetic is the one that claimed he was there (to seek prosperity) due to his business that didn’t boom in the year 2020. He actually made me realise how much I tend to underrate the level of ignorance in this clime. Who in their right minds talks about business booming in fiery 2020 that everyone walked with a held breath?

The case of this particular individual has also succeeded in driving home the need for animal protection advocacy and agencies in Nigeria. The cruelty those animals (rams…which are the objects of their sacrifices) are subjected to is distressing!

From breaking their limbs with bare hands to forcefully drowning them in some dirty stream, all these, he claimed, were what his power would be doing to “the enemies” that didn’t want the progress of his devotees.

His growing affluence re-affirms my views that the real patronisers of the “charlatan industry’’ are actually those you think “should know better.” The comfortable ones in society, that is. The character parades different wonders-on-wheel in his video clips and would often mouth off that ‘’seven million can’t even buy this one.’’

It also exposes the SELFISHNESS inherent in the average person, in this environment. These “millions” don’t go to those whose lives will be changed, by even a fraction of that! They are rather dutifully deployed to sources that are believed to “induce more wealth.”

It’s no surprise that 90 per cent of charities here are funded by foreign donors. Because, we do not know how to give where we get nothing back!

Some years back, a fellow wrote to me seeking to know if I know “strong prayer or juju people” to intervene on his matter. I asked what his problem was having made up my mind to counsel him, instead.

But his next words threw me off balance. He told me that he just got to the United Kingdom and wanted to start “packing money.” What has yours sincerely not seen on social media?

I was too shocked to tell him that the BLESSING was actually finding himself in a society where his “sweat” counted. And would be fairly rewarded!

Frankly, I am regrettably coming to the conclusion that the “charlatan industry” is here to stay. This is because the very indices (ignorance, desperation, greed, small-mindedness, inordinate ambition, lack of sanctity for life, etc.) that drive it are fast-becoming the new values.

As for this character, he had better understand that the size of stomach (Igbo call it ‘’afo beer’’) he carries around is deadly. The young man looks pregnant. His own “enemies” are right there in his body!

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