Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Washington DC Nigeria and other debtor countries have been warned by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of risk associated with debt repayment following growing global debt levels. This is even as the IMF has warned that voters’ disillusionment raises the threat of political developments that could destabilize a range of economic policies in…
From a country and city without a name you come, O Mr. Sickness. You come carrying on your back a knapsack filled with trouble and sickness of all types.
Like a thief in the night, you descend rudely on us, unannounced, unapologetic, opening up your Pandora Box filled with Sorrow, Tears and Blood—apologies to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti whom you inflicted with the deadly AIDS and took away from us long ago. Even Fela, the one whom God blessed with the gift of music and prophecy, the “immortal one” whose music never dies, the one who had death in his pocket—Anikulapo-Kuti—finally had to bow to you, O Mr. Sickness. You who respects no one. Kings, presidents, billionaires, all can’t buy you or bribe you. No one is spared. Everybody is your prey. Everybody falls sick. Everyman dies.
I have combed the woods in search of your origin. I have probed diviners, fortunetellers, soothsayers, doctors, physicians, poets, philosophers, prophets to tell me about the mystery of where you come from and who exactly you are. But I haven’t yet found a satisfactory answer. Did the same God who created the heavens and the earth create you, Mr. Sickness?
I combed my Bible in search for an answer, and my Bible tells me “every good and perfect thing is from above.” Sickness is not a good thing. Death is not a good thing. So, Mr. Sickness, you are not from God. You are an agent of darkness, an agent of the Devil. I’m told you are the product of those days when the first man, Father Adam was living in a paradise of good health, good everything, but committed high treason by disobeying God and eating from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” which carried a danger warning: “for when you eat of it you will die.” For their disobedience, Adam and Eve were driven from Eden and sent down to this place where man is afflicted with all kinds of afflictions.
Sickness is terrible. It is a disrupter. It is a destroyer. It destroys you physically, mentally and spiritually. It takes away your health which is your wealth, your most valuable asset. It takes your money. It impoverishes. It makes your poorer. It ages. It transfigures. It turns you ghostly. It renders you weak and helpless. It makes you an object of pity. You are at the mercy of others.You run from pillar to post in search of a cure. You travel from one country to another looking for a solution. Any solution. Remember the case of Naaman, the Syrian Army Commander who travelled all the way from his country to Israel in search of a cure to his leprosy. He met Prophet Elisha who asked him to “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman got angry saying: “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not the Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?”
You know the story. How his Jewish maiden convinced him to obey the prophet. And he got healed after dipping himself seven times in the Jordan River. Whatever is the sickness afflicting you today, I pray that the God of the River Jordan, the River Niger and all the rivers of the world would restore you Mr. President. I pray the same healing prayer for everyone sick and reading this column. The Egyptian diseases afflicting you will afflict you no more. The sickness inside you that keeps coming and going and messing up your life and devouring all your money is now terminated at its final bus stop in Jesus name.
Beloved, there is nothing like good health. You have been living your life in sound health, then, all of a sudden, Mr. Sickness comes, tossing your world upside down; destroying all your plans. Mr. Sickness comes to maim, destroy and incapacitate you prematurely. If it had come like Mr. Evans to kidnap you and set you free after paying a heavy ransom, it would have even been better. But Mr. Sickness would ask for ransom and after paying all the money to the doctors or to whoever it tells you to pay to, it still keeps you shackled in its iron grip. It shall not be your portion, my dear reader. It shall not be your husband’s portion. It shall not be your wife’s portion. It shall not be your children’s portion. Any sickness that your doctor cannot cure will not visit you in the mighty name of the one who went about healing everybody oppressed by sicknesses inspired by the devil. You will not run from pillar to post seeking one herbalist after another in search of good health.
And may God touch the hearts of our leaders to take seriously, issues concerning health, to build hospitals worthy of their names, to train doctors, to equip the hospitals to international standards so that nobody will need to go to India or anywhere abroad in search of cure. We ask you Mighty One to heal our land not just from diseases but total healing in all its ramifications: physical, mental, emotional, economic, moral and spiritual wellbeing. We ask that our President’s healing would be permanent, that he would not have to fly back to Britain all the time, sparking uproar at home. Mr. Sickness, I command you in the name above all names, to get out of this body. Right now! Get out! And don’t come back again to this town!
Eclipse (My Prayer Poem Series)
From the mysteries of the latest
Darkening the American wonder
We see your hand, O Mighty One
Father of light, Master of the Uni
We beseech you to heal us, heal
Eclipse from us
Every sickness. Every hopeless
Every poverty. Every anxiety
Every idleness. Every emptiness
Every humdrum. Every war drum
Every fear. Every tear
Every gloom. Every doom
Every horror. Every terror
Against all forces of darkness
We pray O God of Light
Eclipse them all in totality
And let there be light.