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Of Easter, Leah Shakiru, and looters’ list By Bola Bolawole


Leah Sharibu

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Easter is the season when Christians all over the world remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, his passions especially. While Christmas is the occasion to celebrate the birth of Christ (even though it is argued in some quarters that Jesus could not have been born in December but possibly in October), December 25th is celebrated worldwide as Christmas, that is, the birthday of Christ. It is debatable which is more important, the birth of the Saviour of mankind or His passion. It is safe to say both are equally important because without His birth how could we have had His passion and without His passion how could His mission have been fulfilled? The three-day events of Easter started on a Friday with the trial, condemnation, and crucifixion of Christ, his resurrection the third day (Sunday) as he had earlier prophesied, and his disciples going to meet him at Galilee on Monday. That Friday is euphemistically called Good Friday but, as some have argued, what is “good” in a Friday when an innocent Man suffered a cruelty never before and after it witnessed in history? More appropriately, that Friday should have been called Bad or Black Friday. The other side of the argument, though, is that it was on this Friday that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of mankind and paid the price that no one else could have paid to make salvation available to mankind. The two very important events of Easter that separated Jesus from all other prophets, gurus, monks, Ayatollahs, etc is that only Jesus rose from the dead and only Him ascended unto heaven in the full glare of all with a promise to come back to take the elects with Him to paradise.

Easter, which Christians observe yearly, is to appreciate the sufferings that Jesus took upon Himself for us and the purpose for which he did so – our redemption from sin so we can be reconciled unto God and be admitted into His presence in heaven when our earthly sojourn is ended. In doing this, we also bring to remembrance His teachings and commandments so we can bring them to bear on our daily living, for it is only by so doing that we are truly His disciples and can gain qualification for eternal life and reign with Him in His Kingdom whose dominion is from everlasting to everlasting. Hallelujah! The merriments that attend Easter today must have been a later-day addition because it is doubtful if the mournful, crest-fallen, bereaved, frightened, forlorn, disappointed, orphaned disciples and followers of Jesus of that time could have found the stomach for food and drinks. Sad, however, that merriment has overtaken the actual purpose and meaning of Easter – just like many have lost touch with the significance of Holy Communion, which the Saviour commanded us to do “as often as ye do it, in remembrance of me”. In my own experience, Holy Communion, even when observed once in a month, is one of the least attended programmes of the church, despite Jesus’s expressed and unambiguous commandment. The reason for this is not far to fetch: These days, there are more nominal Christians or mere church-goers than true worshippers and faithful disciples of Christ. These days, Church is more of social gathering than a place for deep spiritual activity.

Christians must search themselves and have a re-think if their first love is not to wax colder than this. Commitment to Christ and to Christianity is nothing to write home about any more. Take, for instance, the case of the Christian girl with the lion’s heart, Leah Shakiru. Imagine that it was a Christian militant group like the MEND that invaded a school and carted away students. Imagine that they then released all the students who happened to be Christians, including the Muslims they had forced to change their faith in exchange for their freedom. Imagine that there was one Muslim student who refused to trade her faith for her freedom and the militants then refused to release her, what do you think Muslims all over the country would have done? Of course, I am sure you know they would have turned the entire country upside down, making the country ungovernable, especially if the president in power is a Christian. But here we are with a Muslim president who has neither hidden his disdain for other faiths nor disguised his open bias for his religion. And here we are with a Christian girl, Leah Shakiru, still being held hostage by Boko Haram and Buhari sits pretty in Abuja – unruffled! Yes, he is unruffled because of the docility and insensitivity of Christians. We are the worst enemies of ourselves. We cannot stand up to defend our own interests. Muslims will never abandon their own the way we Christians have abandoned Leah. In this all of us are guilty – the Christian leaders as well as the followers. Where are the Bring Back Our Chibok Girls crusaders? Someone said these people are cold and calculating and do nothing for nothing. They do the arithmetic of their activism meticulously and will not lift a finger if there is nothing in it for them. If it will fetch them political mileage, then, they will plunge into it. Where are all those marching in Abuja the other day? Have they heard of Leah Shakiru? Someone said if there are no foreign donors or agencies laying carpets of dollars under their feet, they will not march. Nathan, Leah’s father, has cried out that the family has been abandoned. This will be to the eternal shame of Christians. By now the sea ought to be boiling and the rocks melting because of Leah. There should no peace and rest until Leah is released and her captors brought to book. Herod murdered James because the Church did nothing but Peter was delivered from the same Herod because the Church sprang to its feet. Is that narrative in your own Bible?


Things are getting interesting! President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has regaled us with the list of alleged looters. The first list was made up of five PDP members; the second list of 23 also contained the names of PDP leaders and ex-military officers. I expect more lists and names. So far, what we have is cheap propaganda. I will only start taking this “name and shame” project seriously when names of PDP leaders who decamped to APC and who are making waves or holding top positions in the present administration also make the list: the Dubai property owners, the grass-cutters, those implicated in Maina-gate and MTN bribe scandals; ex-governors now Ministers already found guilty of corruption by judicial commissions of inquiry, etc. Buhari himself must explain who funded his 2015 presidential campaigns, starting with the presidential primary. For, as they say, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.


You have always been factual and you show elements of reality in your write-ups; such attributes as you have been known for since your days at the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) as was reflected in “Reading TY Danjuma’s lips”. Kudos, Sir, my ex-Students’ Union leader! -08033966413



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