The most misunderstood phenomenon in life which has become probably the only word that humbles every living soul is Death. Every body wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.
Even when it is very obvious that everyone must one day bow to the cold hands of death, it is one aspect of life which we all dread. The mystery surrounding death is beyond human comprehension even when we have heard of testimonies of how some people died and came back to life to recount their experiences in the world beyond.
However, one thing is obvious, that death is a leveler, with no respect for anyone irrespective of status, religion or ethnicity. In death everyone becomes equal and attach importance to it when it occurs.
The demise of a loved one brings with it so much trouble and anxiety for the family. But some clergy have admonished that death does not mean the end but a gate to another better life. For those who lived well during their life time according to the commandments of the creator will gain everything in death.
It is clearly stated in the holy scriptures that the years of men are three scores and ten, after that all the remaining days on earth are extra time, therefore when we still have that strength, it is instructive to do the right things to please the creator of all things, because those things that we do, are what we shall be remembered for.
Our indelible footprints on earth will no doubt stand us out in this world that has been characterized by struggles of how to make ends meet. The toil, day in and day out has been described as all vanity by the greatest king that ever lived, David.
With all the troubles and challenges that confront man on a daily basis, death is still not a pleasurable channel of stepping aside from the harsh economic realities of life, the recession that has held the nations economy hostage, fuel hike and other personal problems that we are all battling with.
We sometimes forget what the scripture also says about life by being sentimental with our religious inclination and refuse to believe that there are more to it than this present life. The scriptures warn that “if in this life we have our hope we are of men most miserable”.
When we strive very hard to acquire so much power and wealth and forget all other things that are required for spiritual growth it is like chasing the wind. So many people wake up every morning pursuing vanity.
It is only death that puts a check on the insatiable appetite of man on earth and opens a gateway to another better life. To wish some one dead, therefore is to wish the person well.
When rumor of President Muhammadu Buhari’s death spread through the social media, it was like a whirlwind on the streets across the country. For the fabricated story to gain so much prominence to warrant swift response of the Presidency is only an indication that all is not well.
It was however a great relief to know that our president is hale and hearty and there is no iota of truth in the subversive messages that was circulated on his health.
The Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed urged Nigerians to disregard the messages being circulated via text messages and the social media, saying the fabricated messages were being orchestrated by those who felt threatened by the emerging order.
Mohammed noted that the naysayer had also resorted to the use of ethnicity and religion as tools to divide Nigerians, over-heat the polity, and cause panic among the citizenry.
“While opposition and criticism are all part of democracy, the crafting and circulation of subversive materials and scare-mongering are not. The emerging trend of resorting to destabilization and scare-mongering is not unexpected, considering this government’s clamp-down on the corrupt elements in the society.’’
The Minister said the scare mongering was because government had blocked all financial leaks, enthroned probity and transparency and derailed the gravy train of the looters of public treasury.
Mohammed said government would neither stifle press freedom nor abridge the citizens’ right to express themselves freely through constructive criticism or protests. But he however, warned that “the security agencies will neither allow any resort to violence nor a willful subversion of the state for whatever reason’’.
In as much as those behind the rumor went too far to insinuate Mr. President was dead, when in actual fact he took leave to see his doctors in London last week it should be pointed out that it is not fair to wish anybody dead. We all know that he is facing health challenges, but it is not enough to spread the rumor that he is dead when it has not been officially made public by the Presidency.
If Gold must be Gold, it must pass through a furnace and to be a successful leader we should be prepared for undue criticisms to spur us to strive for excellence in whatever we are doing.
The bottom line remains that each challenge either moves one forward or backward. The rumor should make the presidency live up to the expectation of the generality of the populace and make life worth living for. We should know that people work harder when appreciated and not wished dead.
Eubaldus Enahoro is Assistant Editor with the Nigerian Observer