Johnson Babalola
April 30, 2023

The Sacrifice

“Baba Amoye, I need your help”

“Your Excellency, how did you make it here so discreetly?”

“I have my ways Baba. I need your help please.”

“Your Excellency, my help ke?. I am uneducated and unsophisticated to assist you sir. You are rich, well travelled and well educated”

“Baba, I have not been sleeping well. I know I have abandoned you after your counsel that I ignored many years ago. Don’t be angry with me”

“Angry? I have no anger in me towards you or anyone. Why not see your doctor to prescribe some sleeping pills for you?”

“They did Baba, but nothing has changed”

“I am not a doctor, a traditional healer, pastor or Imam. How can I be of help to our Excellency, a man that knows it all!.The one with the powers of life and death?”

“No Baba. Power of life and death ke? I am not God. Forget what you see or read about me. I am going through so much”

“Sir, it is just that you behave like God sometimes! How can our Excellency with houses in Dubai, London, New York, Toronto, Durban, Abuja, Lagos and many more require the assistance of a poor old man like me?”

“Baba, money is not everything. You have more peace than me. I hardly sleep like I said. I deal with some health challenges too.”

“What happened to the impact of your air conditioner, the luxury hotels, the beautiful damsels, the expensive wine and hard liquour, the designer clothes and many more on your sleep?. They should help you to sleep well your Excellency”

“But they don’t. I saw your neighbour asleep on the mat at the entrance to your home with a bowl of half finished garriby his side. He looked so contented and peaceful”

“Well, thank goodness he has peace. He has basic needs and he is contented with the little he has. He does not have to fly all over the world for meetings, stay up late to receive important dignitaries and attend social events non stop. He does not stress himself and as such, has not picked up ailments he has to deal with all his life”

“Baba, I was told that I needed to do a sacrifice  to be free from the bondage of my soul. As it is now, I appear ok outside but I am in turmoil inside”

“Maybe you need to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist to assist in addressing your psychological issues. By the way, you mentioned sacrifice. I cannot help you in that area. Talk to the specialists”

“Ha! Baba, I did. I started with Baba Kiibaati. He said I needed a sacrifice. He asked me for a big goat, groundnut oil, pepper, tomatoes, onions, palm oil, yam, spinach, melon seeds and cooking gas. He also asked for N3 Million Naira distributed equally into three red envelopes. He said there were three witches in my government that were after my peace. I provided the items. He took me to a T junction at night and offered the sacrifice to the gods. I even got rid of many of the friends that work with me because I am suspicious of them all. So far, no improvement Baba”

“Maybe the sacrifice was waiting for a visa to reach the gods. Be patient!”

“That was a year ago Baba. I then approached a fiery prophetess introduced by my friend. She said my issues were simple and asked that I approve her church building permit, make donations through her to one thousand widows and take a bath at twelve midnight beside a flowing river while I held twelve burning candles of all colours in my hands. Baba, see my hands. I got burnt. Yet, I still cannot sleep”

“She probably asked you to go through an incomplete sacrifice. Maybe you should return to her, build her houses, buy her SUVs and ask that she prays for you again”

“Baba, are you making fun of me?. I even tried an Imam recommended by one of my girlfriends. The Imam stayed in my house for three months offering prayers. He enjoyed free food and a trip to Dubai. He also asked that I sponsor two of his children to study in the United States, which I did. No change Baba”

“Next time, make him the chairman of a government parastatal and you will see the positive difference in your life”

“Baba, please let’s get serious. I have not slept for three nights now. Maybe I was not doing the sacrifices right”

“Maybe you are not. Tell me about your dreams”

“I see young school age children on the streets of Nigeria hawking goods, some get abused physically, verbally and sexually. Some get hit by vehicles and they die. In my dreams, they scream at me asking why!”

“That’s it?”

‘No Baba. In my dreams, I see pregnant women walk into our hospitals and their corpses are brought out. They blame me in the dreams. I don’t get it”

“Any more?”

“Yes Baba. I see people screaming at me during a visit to a police station that I had deprived them of access to justice. But then, I am not a police officer, lawyer or judge”

“How dare them. Any more dreams?”

“I see bad roads, dead bodies on the roads, and everyone mourning and blaming me”

“They lack home training. They should not blame you”

“I am not done Baba. I see students in public schools blame me for the lack of infrastructure in their schools. They asked if I was truly preparing them to succeed with students in other parts of the world or even the children of the rich that attend private schools. They said my friends and I destroyed public education leading to the gradual destruction of Nigeria”

“You should have told them that their parents should struggle to send them to private schools too”

“Hmmmnnn, even some told me in my dreams that their parents’ salaries and pensions are not regularly paid while my friends, family and I live in luxury. They said my pension when I retire is enough to build a new city”

“Next time, inform them the problems did not start today”

“The other day in my dream, I commissioned a new project in a town. It cost my government millions of dollars to build and commission it. We bought air times on major TV stations and in several newspapers to announce the commissioning. Some people in rags were angry with me. They said the money I had spent on the advertisement and the ceremonies should have been spent on providing infrastructures for them. One poor man even said the cost of a bottle of wine served at the event was enough for him to start a fish frying business. Imagine!”

“They are wrong. How would people appreciate all you do if you don’t advertise your achievements?. Moreover, they must understand that man shall not live by bread alone. You work hard. You deserve to drink some expensive wine”.

“Baba, I see abandoned properties and projects everywhere. They want me to complete the projects my predecessor started and did not complete. A man that I don’t get along well with”

“They don’t understand that you should never help your enemy”

“They accused me of everything negative in my dreams despite my positive deeds. There are more negative dreams. I am pained. I need your help Baba. I am doing my best despite the challenges. What is the right sacrifice?”

“Go back home, call your cabinet members, members of your family and your friends. Inform them the solution to your bad dreams is simple: you will ensure an egalitarian society exists from now on. Tell them to live within their means”

“That’s it?”

“Make a broadcast to the citizens and genuinely offer to be selfless. Bring on board positive minded people that are patriotic, knowledgeable and focused to address the decay in every aspect of governance. For every bottle of expensive wine you open, ask yourself whether you truly need it and ask further if there are alternatives and, whether the cost of the wine can make a difference to someone’s life in your state.”

“Ha. Sacrifice!”

“Be sincere. Apologize for your misdeeds. Sacrifice your wastages, the partying, the drinking and many more. Create an enabling environment. Provide infrastructures and watch your people prosper. That will be your ultimate sacrifice and once you offer those to the people, you will sleep well. The convenience of a tree, is the convenience of the bird that perches on it”.

“Thank you, Baba. May you live long in perfect health!”

Johnson Babalola, a Canada and Nigeria based lawyer, leadership consultant, storyteller and corporate emcee, is a public affairs analyst. Follow him for discussions on real life issues that affect us all.

You can obtain a copy of his newly released book, REJECTED on Amazon, FriesenPress, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Nook Store etc.