Among Christians, there is always this discussion about which is the greatest sin. Many will argue that all sins are equal because they carry equal consequence. The Bible says that the 'Soul that sinneth, it shall die'. But one group of Christians still insist that some sins are worse than others. To buttress their stand, they quote where Jesus said that all sins could be forgiven, except that, committed against the Holy Spirit or what some call blasphemy. So in their opinion, the greatest sin is that against the Holy Spirit, because it cannot be forgiven. Too bad then for all the false Prophets who lie in the name of the Holy Spirit. Some commentators have suggested that one father Mbaka who operates from Enugu belongs to this group. Me, I do not know...oo, only God knows those who are His and those who worship Him in Truth and in Spirit! This same group asserts that even when one commits sins that can be forgiven; they still face repercussions that follow every sinful act. To buttress their point, they tell the Story of what happened to King David after he committed Adultery with Bathsheba, then engineered the murder of her husband, Uriah. His very serious sins were forgiven, but the Child born from the Adulterous relationship died despite all the prayers and pleadings of David to God. Additionally, the kingdom got divided through the rebellion of His son Absalom and David's wives were sexually assaulted in the public glare. These were all the consequences of David's sins as predicted by Prophet Nathan. So those who toy with Sin and go to confession every Saturday must be careful. God will forgive them their sins if there is genuine repentance and they may go to Heaven, but while on the Earth, there may be other unpalatable consequences. To be forewarned is to forearmed.

Now I had asked, who can tell me the greatest crime against a Country? Is it armed robbery or kidnapping or murder? Some of my respondents said No to any of the above. They argue that most of those crimes listed above are largely against individuals or groups of them, and as it stands today, all those caught in the above crimes are either in Police Cells, in the courtrooms, in the Prisons or in hell. Instead they listed the forceful and illegal

(unconstitutional) removal of elected Governments from office, otherwise called Coup Plotting, taking up arms against the Nation or waging a war against the Country and its Citizens as done by Militants and Terrorists. They argue, that not only are the above, crimes, they are heinous as they aim at disrupting the orderly development of Society and could lead to anarchy and Chaos, in addition to the wasting of Human lives. They speak of impunity, where a few want to force their will on the Nation.

In Nigeria's recent history, we saw the Niger Delta Militants who created so much havoc, kidnapped and killed many People( Nigerians and foreigners), disrupted the smooth operations of the oil industry and attacked oil installations and other National infrastructure. Infact, they did not care if Nigeria ceased to exist! Perhaps, they believed they were fighting a just cause but their method was criminal and an affront against the Nation. Ordinarily, such activities should be visited with the heaviest consequences as prescribed by the Law. Pleading hunger can never be a justification for armed robbery! They should be in Police cells, Court rooms or in Prisons. But President Umaru Yardua granted them amnesty. In which case their sins were forgiven by the State whom they sinned against. But is that the end of the story? Are there no other consequences for taking the law into their hands? Now, what would happen if Asari Dokubo or Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo or Ateke Tom or boy loaf, one of the forgiven Militant leaders aspires to govern Nigeria as President in a democratic setting? How many of us will be willing to have a forgiven militant be the democratic President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? How many of us can trust his democratic credentials?

Today, Nigeria is confronted with Terrorists insurgency. For over six years now, the Boko haram has held this Nation hostage, killing and maiming our armed forces and mostly innocent Civilians. They are bombing everywhere they can reach; Churches, Mosques, UN Building, Market places, Motor Parks and using every means possible to destroy the Nation. They have tried to kill President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen Muhammadu Buhari, the Emir of Kano amongst many high Profile targets and have disrupted governance in many States especially In Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi and Gombe. They indoctrinate ten year old girls, strap them with explosives and send them to die in the market places along with innocent Nigerians. They kidnap young school girls and send them to forced marriages or to early grave. If they had their way, they would destroy the entire Country in their desire to Islamize Nigeria or whatever is their objective. Now some Nigerians have been suggesting amnesty for the insurgents. Suppose they accept and the government agrees and then Shekau opts to become the President of a democratic Nigeria. How many of us will be comfortable to have Shekau become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? How many of us can trust his democratic credentials?

The Story of Nigeria is replete with coups and counter coups. Many commentators argue that Nigeria's underdevelopment today and the myriads of problems the Country has been grabbling with have their foundation in the military incursion into Nigeria's political leadership through coups and counter coups . Nigeria was one of the most promising African Countries at Independence in 1960 with a vast growing Economy based on Agriculture and Industry until the Military struck on January 15, 1966 and disorganized a fairly stable Federation. The counter coup of July 1966, led to the Pogrom, the premeditated killing of Ndigbo, soldiers and Civilians across the Nation but particularly in the North of Nigeria. A hitherto peaceful Country became divided on ethnic lines culminating in the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1979). From 1979 the country began to gather its pieces again. With the restoration of Democratic Governance, efforts were being made to heal the wounds of the war and forge a new Nation. This effort was truncated again by another Coup in December 1983 and Nigeria went through a series of convulsions that left us prostrate and from which we have been trying to recover from, ever since.

So what is the consequence of overthrowing our freely elected government by force? The list of key Coup plotters in Nigeria includes Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, General TY Danjuma, General Murtala Mohammed, Colonel Dimka, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, Major Gideon Okar, and General Sanni Abacha. Most of these lead coup plotters are long dead. General Babangida tried a couple of times to become the President of a democratic Federal Republic of Nigeria but failed. General Buhari has tried three times to become the President of a democratic Federal Republic of Nigeria and failed three times. He is making a fourth attempt. Are these failures part of the consequences of being a coup plotter? Could it be a subtle message to others who may be tempted to try a crime against the State, that there is always a consequence, even if the State has forgiven you? May be or maybe not.

Or could it be that we do not trust their democratic credentials? Being Men of impunity who tried to impose their will on the Nation by force and ruled by decrees, we fear that they may not subordinate themselves to the debates, the negotiations, the compromises, the due processes and the 'Slowness' of democratic governance. General Olusegun Obasanjo showed us some signs. On February 14th, we hope to hear the final verdict.

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR


  1. Well said sir. Let's see what the Lord will do come February 14


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