You Reap Sorrows When You Sow Arrows

By Bala Ibrahim

The caption above is a famous Filipino proverb that supports the saying, What goes around, comes around. The two adages are rules of conduct that are used to lay emphasis on the fact that, the consequences of one’s actions will have to be dealt with eventually. If a person treats other people badly, he or she will eventually be treated badly by someone else. A scenario similar to what is envisaged in Karma.

For Nigeria, this week seems to have brought the nostalgia of this concept of karma, and the nemesis of the theory of retribution. Three important things happened almost in succession within the week, that strengthened the maxim that, our actions, whether good or bad, would always carry a consequence.

The first was the announcement by the Nigerian government on Monday, that it is in receipt of $311 million “looted” by late General Sani Abacha. I put the word looted in inverted commas, because it is a contentious subject that can only be decided by posterity. Whether Abacha looted the money, or the money was assigned for some purposes, the fact that Abacha is not alive to give his own side of the story, makes the issue a subject that can only be determined by God, on the day of judgement. More so, the money arrived at a time of pandemic, when the whole world is under trial.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said approximately $311,797,866.11 of the Abacha loot was repatriated from the US and Jersey. The government later gave details of how the money would be spent.

Although he is not the first to die on the throne, Abacha happens to be the most vilified leader Nigeria ever had. Ironically, because of sycophancy, even those who were praising and applauding him when he was alive, took to the take-down taxi.

In his song, who the cap fits, Bob marley said, We’re past the worse. Hypocrites and parasites
Will come up and take a bite
And if your night should turn to day
A lot of people would run away.

Except for friends and family, who speak so honestly about the late General, Abacha’s obituaries hardly carry any tributes. Why we take delight in the criticism of the dead, I don’t know. But those who sow arrows, would surely reap sorrows, one day.

The second was the memorabilia of former president Umaru Musa Yar’adua, who died in office on the 5th of this month, 2010. As usual, Nigerians took time to shower encomiums on the late leader, whose presidential tenure they tainted with invectives. I have chosen to ignore the negative, and present two out of the many positive comments:

“On this day nine years ago I lost a friend, colleague, brother, and boss, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He was a selfless leader who placed national interest above personal and ethnic gains.
President Yar’Adua was a man of integrity with a humble spirit who always took upon himself the burden of national reconciliation, peace-building, and democratic consolidation. He used the opportunity he had in public service to build bridges of love, foster unity and give hope to Nigerians. Today, I remember and celebrate him for the works that he had done. Peace he lived for and homes of peace he built. Democracy he loved and democracy he nurtured. We will always remember you for your service. A servant leader truly you remain”. – former president GEJ.

“Despite our political differences, President Yar’Adua was unarguably a patriot because of his passion for the masses and his reversal of policies he believed were hurting ordinary Nigerians. Every leader should be given the credit that he deserves. Whether you agree with President Yar’Adua politically or not, I must say that history will always record his honest and sincere service to the country”-PMB.

Yar’adua’s humility and high sense of responsibility, have combined to earn him deep admiration, despite his short stay in office. From the same song of Bob Marley, who the cap fits, came, Some will hate you, pretend they love you now. Then behind they try to eliminate you. But who Jah bless, no one curse.Thank God.

Thank God indeed, because those who sow arrows, would surely reap sorrows.

The third happened yesterday Thursday the 7th, and it came with a more sympathetic headline: COVID-19 hits Kano ex-commissioner Magaji, who gloated over Abba Kyari’s death. The media was awash with the story, one of which goes thus, “Dismissed Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Kano State, Engineer Mu’azu Magaji has tested positive for COVID-19. It happened less than three weeks after he lost his job for gloating on Facebook over the death of Malam Abba Kyari, President Buhari’s chief of staff. Kyari died on 17 April in Lagos, of coronavirus complications. He was buried in Abuja on 18 April. Now things have turned round and Magaji is now hoping he does not end up in Gudu Cemetery Abuja like Abba Kyari”.

Philosophers talk about Poetic justice as a system in which virtue is rewarded and viciousness or aggressive behavior is punished. So depending on upbringing and exposure, human beings take to certain mode of behavior that reflects in their manners.

Yes, Life is like a boomerang. You reap what you sow. “Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.” So said Grant M.

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