The bus eventually filled up and we moved. The queues are back at the filling stations, so the traffic in Lagos is going to be at its peak, I had hoped I won’t get to work late that morning but life had other plans.
I connected my earpiece and turned on the phone radio to listen to my favourite sports programme, just then I heard a loud husky voice beside me shout, Praise the Lord! There was a few chorus of Halleluyah. Not satisfied, he shouted, louder this time, “if you are happy to be alive today, shout a big Halleluyah!” The response was louder this time and then he went on to pray, then preach.
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t listen to the programme again, his voice was so loud, just like those Men of God we see on Television. I was angry, who told this man that we wanted to hear his sermon? However, I half listened to him though, and I must say he was good at it. Asides his voice, he captured everyone’s attention with his stories, revelations, testimonies. He knew what they wanted to hear and he sure gave it to them.
And then, he ended the sermon the way they all do, ‘if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, it is not too late, you can do so now.’ Of course nobody answered, apparently everyone in the bus already did, except me. However, he went on to read the script and advertise his ministry and also shared fliers.
This must have been close to 45minutes, because by the time he was done, the programme had ended. I was not happy with that. ‘Did Jesus say you people should come and be disturbing other people’s peace and sanity in the bus?’, I wondered. But then the man who wanted me to accept his Jesus did something strange.
We entered a heavy traffic and the driver called out if anyone would drop at the next bus stop, the man of God said he is. He explained that he wanted to beat the traffic, if he would drop and walk down or drop a bus stop further and walk back to his. The man, to the surprise of all, said No! ‘Why would you tell me that, didn’t I pay you your money? This is how you people spoil this country, no regard for people, no morals, cheating people all around.’
I was shocked. Which kind man be this. He would rather we entered the traffic because of him, even me that is not a man of God will do that without being asked. The traffic was as a result of the queue at the filling station ahead and a detour would have made us escape it but the Man of God would not understand. The walk to his bus stop wouldn’t take him 2 minutes and he can save the rest of us, wey our journey still far the agony of the traffic but e no gree.
I was surprised, this is a man who was earlier telling us about loving our neighbours, and that once you accept Jesus, it will be easier to do that because Jesus is love and all whatnots. Na wa o. All appeal to him by the other passengers fell on deaf ears. He made it look like the driver was going to cheat him, instead of him making a ‘small’ sacrifice for the rest of us.
Probably out of respect for him, the driver surprised us by staying in the traffic and it took us 40 minutes on that short stretch. The man of God eventually alighted at his bus stop, I guess he was happy and there I was, late for work. So I wondered, if this man is just a proper representation of his faith, that he earlier preached about, then he has lost me, that’s even if I was considering it before.
I feel most of us have not even learnt to be proper human beings, we are brandishing our faiths up and down. Even agnostic people or those that practice traditional religion would not do some things we hear and see the people of faith do. We all seem to carry the faith and leave out morality or the human face to our existence. We all apply the ‘do as I say don’t do as I do’ rule most times.
Bottom line is, there are good and bad people everywhere. But, just like those boys selling pink lips balm at Ikeja under bridge, this man is just a BAD ADVERT for what he is selling.