Why ‘Aiye’—Evil Forces—Are Not Plausible Explanation For Government’s Failure

It is funny to link failure of government to evil forces. Witches and wizards are everywhere; not only in Nigeria. China remains a traditional society; and you know what I mean. Yet they are a leading economy in the world. Islam acknowledges the existence of evil forces for us to take precaution against them; not to use them as excuse for our failure. If care is not taken, everyone who commits a crime will attribute it to evil forces. Then, the rule of law, punishments, law enforcement agencies and the courts would be useless.

Evil forces, from Islamic perspective, are devils among jinn and mankind who love evil and evil doers. They inflict harms on their targets through diabolical means. They could also cause harms through evil eyes. They do this just by staring at something which they intend to destroy or someone that they intend to harm. This sounds contrary to science, for, perhaps, it could not be proven empirically. But the truth is it is not against science, it is rather above science. You need to know how evil forces work to understand this assertion.

While almost everyone is naturally vulnerable to evil forces, the righteous are, most often, immune against their evil machinations. And the only immunity against evil forces, aside having a correct faith in God, is to be in constant remembrance of Allah (Creator)—this is also beyond science.

The Qur’an urges us to seek Allah’s protection from the evil of the blowers in knots (i.e. witches and wizards), and also from the envier when he envies (113:4-5). Similarly, the Prophet SAW confirms that evil eye is real. He said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it will be the evil eye” (Muslim). Thus, it is true that“If ‘Aiye’ gets on your matter, you need God and God alone.”

Whereas, this is a very wide and interesting topic, the focus of this column is on the ability of evil forces (construed in the spiritual sense) to harm a government and cause its failure. I consider discussing this issuewell-timed because those within government’s circle have begun to give diabolical explanations for government’s failure. In 21st Century? This is sad!

My article titled “Aiye—Witches, Wizards, Evil Forces—and the Failure of Governments in Nigeria” generated a lot of reactions. Many confessed that this thought had kept them wondering if our leaders in government are actually normal. They doubt they are not under the influence of some evil forces. For, they reasoned; why is everything in Nigeria seems not to be working? This, despite of all our endowments—both human and natural—is mysterious and defies scientific explanation.

It should benoted that these politicians neither lose focus during their electioneering activities to win elections nor do they get attacked by evil forces; they are only attacked when they are to fulfil their electoral promises. And because of our attachment to different religious beliefs which affirm the existence of evil forces as pointed above, many are gullible to see reason in this explanation.This is rather tactical and diversionary to distract the governed from the maleficence of government. I will explain why.

Why is it that these evil forces focus only on Nigeria and, perhaps, other third world countries? There should be evidence from religious scriptures or reference from voodooismthat says evil forces only harm governments in some countries to the exemptions of others. It may also interest one to ask why those giving this ugly explanation continue to look nicer, finer and richer while the masses continue to wallow in extreme poverty. When you hold a political position in Nigeria, it is a taboo to be poor—you become rich for life. Yet, evil forces are at work!

If evil forces are truly at work, why didn’t they destroy those governing us while the masses feel the trickle-down effects? But that is not the case. The masses are literally pulverized while our governors, ministers, presidents, lawmakers, etc. are extremely rich and extremely comfortable.

If truly ‘Aiye’ are affecting our leaders in discharging their responsibilities, they should have become so wretched, so unfortunate, so distraught, and so worthless, along with their family members. In that case, there will be no incentives to seeking elective positions. In other words, no one will be incentivised to seek political positions for fear of being attacked by evil forces.

Now if we assume an elected leader is bewitched—‘Aiye’ are on his matter— and thus could not discharge his duty, then he should be impeached and removed from office. In fact, that is the essence of checks and balances. The Qur’an clearly says: “And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others,there would have been demolished monasteries, churches,synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is muchmentioned [i.e., praised] (Q22:40).

What is meant by this verse is that widespread insecurity prevails when there are no checks and balances. This ultimately leads to lost of lives and property as witnessed and being witnessed in Nigeria. To say there is executive rascality in Nigeria is to belabour the obvious. This is not only at the federal level. Governors at the state level also wield so much power that financial autonomy for the Judiciary—which is a constitutionally settled matter—is generating a lot of fuss. Very sad.

As if federalism takes into consideration the possibility of ‘evil forces’ hamstringingelected governors and presidents from discharging their duties, it puts in placechecks and balances. This is the rationale behind the three arms of government—if one is ‘bewitched’, the other should take action. But ifmembers of the national assembly are considered rubber stamped lawmakers, as alleged, there is no possibility of booting or stamping out the evil forces from the executive arm. This is unfortunate.

All said, the real problem of Nigeria is uber-monetization of politics which, of course, leads to corruption and ‘do or die’ tussle for political power.While examples are legion, just few will suffice. The late Ahmed Gulak was said to have alleged that he was offered a $2 million bribe and a private jetduring the controversial APC party primaries in Imo State.

The circumstance of his death (may Allah have mercy on him) is not the focus here. The focus is the extent to which money is spent to win elections in Nigeria. If two million US Dollar which is equivalent to N1 billion (if we equate N500 to a Dollar) is given as bribe, along with a private jet, to win just a gubernatorial primary election, you can only imagine the amount that will be earmarked for the main election.With this huge ‘investment’,you don’t expect such politician to deliver on electoral promises.

You can relate this to the Bourdillon Bullion Vans on the eve of the 2019 Presidential Election to understand why money will continue to be borrowed to execute projects and finance budgets in Nigeria. The bottom line is, many of these politicians coast to victory during elections after signing several agreements with power brokers and money bags. These lead to failure of government; not ‘Aiye’. Of note is the late strong man of Oyo State, LamidiAdedibu, which was pissed off for being denied his monthly 23% ‘entitlement’ from the state security vote by Governor, RashidiLadoja.

Plus, many fortify themselves with charm to win elections and siphon state resources unchallenged.This is why we are retrogressing as a state. It is not ‘Aiye’—evil forces. Except if we agree that the political class ruling us are the evil forces themselves. May Allah salvage this country.



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