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When a new year approaches, soothsayers suddenly come alive. Given that our society is largely driven by superstition, rather than knowledge and reason, all kinds of predictions are made, usually by charlatans who know that fearful and gullible people will take them seriously. Over the years, half of these predictions have turned out to be guesswork that a dim-witted person with half sense can anticipate, while of course, the other half will turn out to be false.
‘Prominent politician, musician and actor or actress should pray very well to avoid sudden death’, has become a notorious line in the fraud that has become predictions over the years. Of course, given the dangerous lifestyles and occupational hazards of these professional groups, death is always at the corner and it does not require a soothsayer to tell us that. At any rate, the life expectancy in Nigeria is 47 and it takes the grace of God to surpass it and so nobody should scare us. Sooner or later, we will all die soothsayers’ et al.
One of the aims of these false predictions is to sow the seed of fear and make the victims to rush to the soothsayers for prayers and to stop the predictions from coming to pass. This is where the soothsayers make the kill. Big men have big money and can afford to spend big to avert a catastrophe.
This brings to mind the recent prediction of Primate Olabayo on Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. Primate Olabayo was reported to have predicted that Governor Aregbesola should pray against being kidnapped in 2014. Ordinarily, this should be tossed into the dustbin. Governors are the most protected persons in the country. The best hands in the service are posted to guard them and there has been only one recorded breach in Anambra State when the then governor, Dr Chris Ngige, was abducted and a charade of his resignation played out. It turns out there was really no kidnapping, but that the script was written and directed by the highest office in the land with the security agencies being made unwilling players in what later became ‘transparent subterfuge’, to quote Wole Soyinka.
Of course, Olabayo’s credential as a prophet is not impeccable. He gained notoriety in the days of the military by issuing all kinds of predictions, especially the master plan of the military government as it relates with Nigerians and especially the opposition civil rights movement.
The idea that a governor could be kidnapped could have been laughable, only that it is tragic. Could Olabayo therefore be playing another script? Is there a plan by the opposition to kidnap Governor Aregbesola in his re-election year and the dastardly act made to look like the work of some local hungry bandits? Is this ‘prediction’ now a way of preparing the ground and deflecting attention away from the real perpetrators?
How do we relate this with the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Jonathan has a 1,000 hit list and confirmed by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who claimed that the list is real and his name is on it? I am asking Governor Aregbesola not to be deterred and cowed by false prophets and their prophecies. He should continue the good works he is doing in Osun. We have taken note of this false prediction and we know those to be held responsible, in case of any shenanigan, just in case.
•Dr Olu Joseph, Surulere, Lagos