Nigeria– Athaliah On The Throne: A Jehoiada Company To The Rescue? By Leke Ajisafe

Dearest nationals of our great country, do you not feel it at this auspicious moment in the history of our nationhood; as if it is high time we staged the Athaliah’s defeat with a view to removing her stranglehold on our political processes and restore the kingdom unto the hands of the preserved seed royal in order to push away this sessions of groaning in our collective political existence? Remember it is said: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” For how long will we continue to mourn as we keep losing our loved ones to an insecure environment and continue to toil under a seeming closed heavens with our economic power dwindling on daily basis as we cannot go out to invest our potentials as at when due for fear of losing our precious lives and all (that we have –properties) to the so called ‘aliens from an outer space’ attacker theories…”

 

For six years the country lived in palpable fear, everybody kept on wondering and discussing in hushed tones, what would become of the Nation’s political history? ‘With all the seed royals gone and a seeming wrong ruling dynasty about to be established in regards to the country’s ascendancy to the throne, is there any hope still for the kingdom?’ This seemed to be the question on everybody’s lips as Athaliah held sway as the queen mother of the kingdom. No! There must be justice, fair play and equity, the country’s leadership must need be tilted towards the right direction in the favour of the right community of men, in order to get the required political results and for peace to reign supreme in the years to come, but how do we go about it? This, is the big question, everyone seems to be asking one another.

A new ruling house is about to be foisted us, with the selected member’s candidature and eligibility plan slyly arranged to override the old order, are we not going to be doomed forever as a city state, if this is allowed to happen? And the rest of the country’s inhabitants probably consigned to a session of perpetual slavery under this favoured aristocrats. How did we even get to this point in the first instance, some began to wonder in the midst of the melee, as people gather in groups to inspire one another to fight the mother of all democracy warfare of their lives this time around saying: “Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, …, that ye be not servants…: quit yourselves like men, and fight.” In other words “On your feet, …! Courage! We’re about to become slaves, … Show what you’re made of! Fight for your lives!” seem to be the people’s mantra as a way of steadying their inner strength that is slowly ebbing away already by the reason of their impoverishment because of their leader’s governance style, lest it resign itself to fate and deliver generations unborn into political and economic slavery in perpetuity. Is it not said that “When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding” Perhaps this is why there is the scarcity of men, men of passion to rise up to the occasion for the city’s liberation from this misrule that has now become the hallmark of this season of our political existence in history!


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Athaliah by birth was a northern kingdom princess, having been born into the famous Ahab and Jezebel’s dynasty, though married to Jehoram, another crown prince (unto Jehoshaphat) from the southern kingdom. Her coming into the kingdom’s political equation came as a result of an unequal yoking of an already flourishing southern kingdom with the northern kingdom at a certain period in their economic growth and political expansion adventures, as it was recorded in history: “Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab” Another translation says “Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor, and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab.” While a more modern rendering declared that “When King Jehoshaphat of Judah became rich and famous, he arranged a marriage between a member of his family and the family of King Ahab of Israel.” Does the opening of this historical record with its adverbial phrases of time like ‘now’ and ‘when’ suggest any thing to us as students of history? Perhaps this may strike a chord in your heart in revealing that it was when the southern kingdom attained a supposedly ‘arrival status’ that the seeming amalgamation move occurred. Could this be the raison d’etre, as our Learned Colleagues will say for mooting the alliance in the first instance by whoever, and also, a point of attraction for the Israel kingdom’s willingness to come into the relationship; meanwhile the economic power ‘heights attained’ by the southern kingdom ‘and kept was not by sudden flight, but, they, while their companions (kingdoms) slept, were toiling upward in the night’, paraphrasing the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Listen, as history attests to the reciprocal action and the hardworking spirit of her populace: “…and all the people brought him gifts, so that he became wealthy and highly honoured…” as a living proof of Confucius’ good corporate governance rating for a thriving state via his saying that ‘…in a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of; in a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.’

Although, at the beginning of his reign, Jehoshaphat in his capacity as the southern kingdom’s monarch knew his boundary and as well decided to maintain his own political space, for the historical records said of him: “And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel” In a plainer English, “… Jehoshaphat was the next king; he started out by working on his defense system against Israel” An action that helped to consolidate his economic policies to endear him to his fellow countrymen and women in general and attracted to him and all, a heaven’s backing and blessing. As it is said of him; “Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.” However, in the process of time, there was an amalgamation, the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah was brought together in an unholy alliance. Whether this was brought about through a middle man’s effort or was as a result of personal desire, I may not be able to say, but one fact that I know was mentioned at a certain period in the history of the two kingdoms was that the records said of the southern kingdom that though Jehoshaphat, her king “… enjoyed great riches and high esteem, (and) he made an alliance with Ahab of Israel…” In other words a coming together treaty was made between the two kingdoms! Does this describe to you a familiar situation in our contemporary times too? Perhaps a similitude of a period in our chequered political history that gave birth to a city-state called Nigeria; when a country’s southern province at the climax of her commercial splendour was suddenly brought together in a ‘marriage of strange bedfellows’ with her counterpart, the northern province, sadly, with her colonial masters as the marriage officiating ministers then! As a result of which, there came a mix in the royal bloodline between the northern and the southern ruling class, a move, which suddenly gave birth to ‘Athaliah’, the queen mother cum kingmaker from the northern kingdom making her way into the corridors of power at the southern kingdom and thus, becoming a relating political join for the two kingdoms as a quiet but powerful national political influencer in the general kingdom affairs via ‘behind the scene’ indirect decision making system. This ‘Athaliah’ like a mafia thus, grew into prominence as a powerful kingmaker, comparable to what is presently obtainable in the contemporary times of our nationhood through the indirect, divide and rule mechanism, as handed down to us by the colonial masters, some bloody coups like the biblical General Jehu’s revolution and uprising that claimed some lives in the royal line dotting the historical landscape notwithstanding.

However, that this Athaliah got incorporated from the northern kingdom setting into the main royal line through a seeming phantom marriage alliance may not immediately be my heartache, but that a new chapter just suddenly opened up in the history of the kingdom with a proclamation that: “… when Athaliah … saw…, she arose…” is what gives me goose bumps this electoral activity season. This new chapter in the history, as proclaimed using another translation was introduced as saying: “Now when Athaliah… saw…, she arose…” as if the word, ‘now’, being an adverb of time is suddenly pointing our attention to the ‘now’, nay this election preparation season as a new chapter in our national life as well. Oh yes, the story said now, when the migrant Athaliah saw, she arose! What could it be that she saw for which she needed to arise? This was the query being raised in my inquisitive mind as I quietly meditate on what was said about her that “…she saw that her son was dead…” Although, a migrant and a supposed stakeholder maybe, in the ruling dynasty through marriage, whether it be in a holy or unholy alliance, it seems to me that she suddenly saw that her son, which was supposed to be her indirect hold onto power, yes, her perceived legal claim to the throne and source of political relevance was dead… Another translation says that “…Athaliah learnt of her son’s murder…” In other words she learnt, maybe I should say that it just suddenly occurred to her that; her hope of continued access to the throne is about to or has been dimmed. Hence she arose! Oh! She sensed that her political network is about to be short-circuited and her claim to political relevance in her own thinking is being denied her, to the extent that political power is fast slipping through her hand if care is not taken through the imminent end of her present representative’s tenure; hence may signal the demise of her ruling dynasty…

Now, this princess from the northern kingdom, the Good Book says arose. Does this suggest to you why there has been a sudden rising up of princes and princesses from the northern kingdom working assiduously to secure the throne in this buildup to our balloting season? Could it be that all the sudden manipulations of events in the polity, coupled with all the emotional outbursts from this princess, ‘Athaliah’ of our time in recent time may not only be because her son’s reign is about to come to an end but that she is beginning to see a possibility that there may be a sudden end to her political relevance in the kingdom! And how is she trying to secure the throne? This new chapter in history’s opening paragraph continued by informing us that “…she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family” The only way for this princess to continue to hold onto the throne was to destroy… Perhaps, terminate or extinguish the royal family. Another rendering says “…she gave orders for all the members of the royal family to be killed” In other words there was an order to either covertly or overtly get the royal line executed with a view to bringing to an end all the other ruling dynasties, such that the throne may now become her exclusive preserve! I wish God will open our eyes NOW, at this juncture in our political union history to be able to read in between the line as the politics surrounding the entire power shift, nay rotation debate unfolds! Perhaps to be able to discern the firm but quiet order to extinguish the other members of the royal family as it is being subtly executed to pave the way for the continuous reign of the ‘Athaliahs’ of our days! All the technical dilly-dallying on the zoning right principles, manipulation of the electoral act clauses, both at the executive and legislative arms levels with its in and out of the court experiences under the auspices of the appointed but sympathetic members of the bench, coupled with the intentional and selective endorsement of some of its section cum subsections to give more bite to their political strategies, could it be aimed at killing the morale of the other members of the royal family as well? Perhaps part of the given orders may include the divide and rule tactics of pitching members of other ruling dynasty against themselves by ‘destroying’ their reputation through scandalous stories to kill them in the hearts of the electorates, while they subtly move in to pick up the spoils of the emotional warfare, who knows?
Men and brethren, a question do I stand to ask on this eve of our voting year as various of the seed royals began to parade themselves for political relevance using different political dynasty platforms: could it be that this sudden awakening as many are springing up at the behest of Athaliah’s nudging from the other side of the relationship as she ‘arises’ for relevance is stemmed out of their keen inference of seeing that their political sonship right is about to die? Hence the subtle attempt being made, aimed at destroying the royal family line through divide and rule mechanism! I have never understood the significance of Athaliah arising in relation to Nigeria as a nation until I realized from royal lineage that she was a princess from the northern kingdom, nay a royal import through an unholy alliance in semblance of our semi uneventful ‘married life’ consummated over a hundred years ago as a political entity! Hence I can perceive some subtle moves within the present scheme of things aimed at culminating into the nomination of only her own endorsed heir apparent to throne to be presented for general endorsement next year before coronation to outsmart other seed royals in the race for the possession of the scepter to consolidate her hold on the throne! It seems to me that she may stop at nothing to “…destroy(ed) all the royal heirs…” if that is the only way she can gain her desired access to “…rule (d) the country” as declared by the Message translation.

But according to the saying: ‘in every dark cloud, there is a silver lining’, there comes a tiny ray of hope, for while the intrigue to destroy the genuine royal family line was on, there came a twist to the story as Athaliah’s seeming triumphs was suddenly punctuated with a ‘but’ introducing a new avenue in history announced thus: “But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.” A modern translation rendered it thus: “But Jehosheba, daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah’s son Joash and kidnapped him from among the king’s sons slated for slaughter. She hid him and his nurse in a private room away from Athaliah. He didn’t get killed.” In other words, just as the Athaliah mafias was about to begin to bring the implementation of the given orders to a close via a victory chant, for not less than seventy members of the royal line had been brought down already, no thanks to the princess of the northern kingdom political cunningness; heaven introduced an ‘ace’ in the other royal line targeted for extinction by the Athaliah’s team through a gentle nudge on another co-heir’s heart to preserve another heir. This given order by the heaven, she too was able to execute by stealing away another infant heir in his innocence alongside his nurse to create a conducive environment to growing up and “…hidden in the house of the Lord…” for instructions in righteousness, after all, are we not a product of nature, our environment and nurture, life shaping societal instruction session? Remember Moses! It seems to me that God has a way of drawing his parallels in history in the midst of the enemy’s plot to wipe away his own with a view to thwarting his eternal counsel from them, BUT he always require the services of women, nay ‘womb-men’ like Miriam, Jehosheba, Mary (mother of Jesus) et al who are wont to positioning themselves at “… a vantage point a little way off and watched to see…” any open opportunity to avail themselves of service, with a view to fulfilling God’s counsel amongst men. These, are God’s ‘agenda bearers’ in seasons like this, who, though are in the ‘number’ (amidst the mob and expected as star actors/actresses in the epoch making events) but purposefully refused to be carried away by the evolving trends as being propagated under the influence of the popular opinions of their time. Rather “…stood a short distance away…” from the scene of Athaliah mafias (executive) orders implementation, pregnant with God’s idea in their womb as they cooperate with him (God) to ““… overturn, overturn, overturn, it: …until he come whose right it is; … give it him…” for the entire enemy’s scheme to collapse! Beloved, is it possible for God to get a Jehosheba generation, a company of women and men who are bent on preserving the seed royal no matter all the allures of the Athaliah mafia, as a reward to them for implementing the order to destroy the members of the royal family in you today? Yes, of a truth, I am aware that the compensation is too great to be missed in these economic trying times as it comes in form of dollar (USD) rains and the reward as a promise of a juicy political office appointment possibly, within the regime’s lifespan; yet I wish I could put this question to you in God’s name today: ‘why would you not respond in your capacity as a party delegate to this call from God this hour with your franchise right investment as a means of preserving the seed royals from getting extinct’?

Beloved, permit me to ask you like the Master inquired from our forefathers in the Garden of Eden then: where do you stand in all these matters? Maybe I should be more direct in my inquiry, where are you likely to pitch your tent this season? Will you rather join the Jehosheba company today, with a view to preserving the seed royals than get carried away with the usual empty promises of these political jobbers who are wont to always stealing away our future for a morsel of bread in form of a few naira notes cum dollars and then, through it deny us of having access to a seed royal who “…understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do…” growing up, before ascending the throne with the readiness of heart to truthfully assist us in every way possible to reign over us!
Perhaps you may even want to step up a little by going further beyond the preservation of the seed royal to graduate into the new generation of kingmakers under the ‘Jehoiada’ order as we navigate through the seventh year of the present Athaliah mafia representative’s wicked reign. The time is now! For the historical records continues: “…in the seventh year Jehoiada… sent for the officers in charge of the royal bodyguard and of the palace guards, and told them to come…” Another rendering says “But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and of the guards, and had them come to him…” Could this be God’s mercy at work? Although, the Athaliah mafia went (successfully) far in the execution of her scheme(s), destroying all the seed royal but one, to seize the throne for use to her advantage and his representative “…oblivious to his existence, ruled the country” so says the records; God, the Master strategist, in his infinite mercies showed up in the seventh year of her forced reign. And as he showed up through the instrumentality of his elects, the called out ones, under the leadership of Jehoiada, the noble husband of Jehosheba and the Team Lead for the hour, he beckoned on all to come! Yes, he (God) through Jehoiada, called them in groups of leaders of community of hundreds, captains (of industry), custodians of true and purposeful leadership relics as palace guards and persuaded individuals “…and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king’s son.” Are you seeing what I am seeing? All the events of recruiting the new company of kingmakers, the planning for and the revealing of the preserved seed royal to be enthroned, happened in the house of the Lord under the auspices of the Lord’s servant, Jehoiada! Does this suggest to you that there is a role the church need to play, in order not to allow the Athaliah mafias get away with her plans to destroy all the seed royals as she may desire? Perhaps, for Nigeria to have sunken so low at this time in her political history to the point of becoming bound in the shackles of ‘Athaliah’ until now, with her situation not improving hitherto; maybe it is because the church, as the community of believers in her midst has not woken up to her responsibilities. It is one thing for the Jehosheba company to preserve, but without the church being alive to her responsibilities and the rulers of the hundreds set in place and the called captains taking up their duty post under an oath to cooperate with God in executing only his counsel in times like these, I am afraid, this preserved seed royal cannot be revealed. No wonder, the Master declared unto us: “…Ye are the salt of the earth…” A more contemporary translation says: “You are like salt for the whole human race…” though it continues by saying: “…But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.” Could it be that we are now being trampled on today as a community of people, and no longer being recognized nor respected anymore, just because we have lost our saltiness? Yes, permit me to ask in general, where is our saltiness, if it takes the unbelieving world to collect gratification before exercising their franchise rights in the right direction and the church is as well following suit? Have we not lost our saltiness if we quietly agreed on a direction to go as a community of people but later decided (you want to call it personal conviction(s), I agree, but, I wish I could ask to God to reveal the motive, though this may be hidden from the reach of men) to shift ground on D-day in the midst of the unbelieving world on the basis of the highest bidder principles for our services like the unbelieving world also do in their own world? Where then has gone the light of which we are admonished by the Master: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Can God find in you rulers of hundred and captains that will join hands with the Jehoiada order under his (God) direction, in this season to bring “…the prince into view, crowned him, handed him the scroll of God’s covenant, and made him king…” such that “…as they anointed him, everyone applauded and shouted, “Long live the king!” to the consternation of and rude shock to the Athaliah mafia of our contemporary time?

Men and brethren, as we navigate this seventh year of this cruel reign over us, with a view to getting ourselves set for the dawn of the hour of the revelation of the preserved seed royal come next year, I wish I can declare unto you that it is high time we too arose like Athaliah had (earlier) done since, in her camp for us to arrange ourselves as well in company of rulers of hundreds, captains of the guard of God’s truth, with a view to launching out from inside the house of the Lord to show “… them the king’s son…”
Maybe, we are ashamed to launch out, rather, we will prefer to flow in the direction of the crowd because we are afraid to show “…them the young prince…” unknown to us that this may be God’s own strategy of defeating Athaliah right in her own turf. Sir, listen to this, as the next stage in the unfolding new chapter in the kingdom’s history came to a crescendo as the records says “…When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the Lord to the people” “And when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” “

Dearest nationals of our great country, do you not feel it at this auspicious moment in the history of our nationhood; as if it is high time we staged the Athaliah’s defeat with a view to removing her stranglehold on our political processes and restore the kingdom unto the hands of the preserved seed royal in order to push away this sessions of groaning in our collective political existence? Remember it is said: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” For how long will we continue to mourn as we keep losing our loved ones to an insecure environment and continue to toil under a seeming closed heavens with our economic power dwindling on daily basis as we cannot go out to invest our potentials as at when due for fear of losing our precious lives and all (that we have –properties) to the so called ‘aliens from an outer space’ attacker theories… Another translation says: “…When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan” while a more modern rendering aptly puts it more like this: “Show me a righteous ruler and I will show you a happy people. Show me a wicked ruler and I will show you a miserable people.” This action we may have to take such that men can be brought to the point of making “…a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD’S people…” It is only after this, I am of the opinion, that we can make “…all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly” Oh yes, march straight into the house of ‘Baal’ of corruption, that has held the nation captive hitherto and brake it down, his ‘altars’ of greediness and ‘images’ of selfishness in the heart of men brake in pieces thoroughly. Oh, may the Lord, find us worthy like in the days of the nation’s founding fathers to arm us as “…the captains of hundreds’’” with “…the spears and shields that had been king David’s, which were in the house of the Lord” from inside the Lord’s house with a view to boosting our courage to arise on his behalf, first to recognise and then strive to break ourselves loose from the unequal yoke of the marriage of the strange bedfellows in our psyche to work towards reclaiming the kingdom for our God this campaigning season…

SHALL WE PRAY?

-Leke AJISAFE
Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Tel/WhatsApp Line: +234 803 717 9790

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