It’s been summed up now. It had been awaiting explanation. There are demons in Aso rock. Igbos refer to an act as not being ‘empty handed’ when it’s so strange that it can only bethe handiwork of demons. The moral burden is significantly shifted. Hope of redemption is not lost but for the solution, the gods must be sought. If a pastor takes lechery to his choir girls, he is finished. But if his incontinence is not ‘empty handed’ then his moral burden is no heavier than a madman’s for acts of insanity. The presumption of lack of insight fetches pity rather than an otherwise earned condemnation. What has befallen Nigeria, many have suspected, is so gross it cannot be ‘empty handed’. But now, we have a confirmation, I suppose. The breadth and depth of the corruption strangulating Nigeria lies beyond human cruelty. Whatever that allowed Abacha stash billions in Europe and live in Abuja, in 1998, without a standard hospital, must be demonic. Man is after all a self interested agent. If demons have no tenancy in Aso Rock, who choreographed Dame Patience’s celebrated ‘Saturday Night Life’ type mockery of the Chibok incident? Mischievous demons? Not the dipsomaniacal strain that lets men drink away their children’s school fees. Not the vampiric variety that propels people to behead suspected blasphemers. But the specie that will insist that the bird that sang by the window in the morning was actually an enemy drone. All the women who lent themselves and contorted faces to that performance need deliverance. A president, with full security and intelligence apparatus, spent two weeks sucking his teeth and entertaining a college of conspiracy theorists while the terrorists crawled away with over two hundred school girls. Chai. It was not ‘empty handed’. The devil, is a handy excuse. Ever present when we must deflect all blames for gross irresponsibility. When aman abandons work for pornography we blame it on the devil. When he takes to brothels, the devil must answer for his lust and STDs. Why the devil never denies culpability by throwing a fit, baffles me. Well, isn’t it written that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy? Rueben Abati should know about the demonology of Aso Rock. He thinks Aso Rock’s formidable legion is resistant to “casting and binding” and the bloods of goats and rams. But before dismissing our clerics as empty vessels, before declaring the Vila haunted and unlivable, did he consider that gross acts of inhumanity by a class can have repercussions? His recommendation of a new mansion betrays a denial of the potency of evil as a magnet for demons. Rotten flesh will not lack maggots. Election rigging, looting of public treasury, violence and greed, is the broth. He should know about demonology. He suggests that morbidity and mortality rates in Aso Rock occupants and family population are so astronomical only demons can be responsible. Abati is allowed to be unscientific. Abati thinks Aso Rock demons are arbitrary doers of indiscriminate evil, dishing sudden deaths, terminal illness and impotence, whimsically. I can’t ask Abati to abandon superstitions and spirits. But the mythology Abati has sought refuge in, has room for just deserts and retributions. Before the colonial masters came, Igbo agreed that Ala (‘the land’), a goddess, could literally fills the eyes of evildoers with sand. Then, police and prisons didn’t exist. The gods on whom ultimate justice rested were firm disciplinarians. Those who committed atrocities under the cover of darkness were exposed when their elephantiasis of the scrotum became cautionary spectacles of enduring deterrence. Abati thinks that the demons in Aso rock have particular preference for sexual dysfuntion. He doesn’t think that the evil men do hurt their groins. Those who embezzled communal funds in the pre-colonial days wouldn’t be surprised if the gods tampered with their erections. It just could be the gods. Exacting vengeance, the old school way. But if demons are truly resident in Aso Rock , they must be very benign demons. Except of course they want Nigeria to bleed slowly and painfully to death. Aren’t they conversant with the mechanics of thunder and lightning like Amadioha, another Igbo no-nonsense deity? Or do they consider these atrocities scorching lives out of millions mild? If these demons were sufficiently brutal why do the occupants never want to leave? Obasanjo didn’t want third term, so he now says. But he watched many want it for him without rebuking them. Yar’Adua was out of breath- chronically ill, but he chose to cling to power and cling to the Vila. Jonathan, to whom the workings of the dark spirits of Aso rock must have been interpreted, never wanted to leave. Yes, he desperately wanted to stay on, in the coven. He said his departure was a huge personal sacrifice – he saved the nation. If Abati is credible, then Jonathan saved himself and his family, because the demons, we now understand, had evidently latched onto them. It’s good that Mama is now free. The prodigal son succumbed to greed and debauchery. He could easily have said- it was the devil. That wouldn’t have given him room for sufficient remorse and true repentance. Abati thinks well crafted policies and well intentioned statements often left the presidency and mysteriously fell into bad public reception. It’s difficult to know if demons tampered with these policies or corrupted the people’s reading of them. Since billions meant to fight the insurgency ended up in private pockets, while terrorists seized swathes of territories, it can be assumed the demons used our leaders to help the terrorists. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if demons had a hand or two in Abati’s inglorious outbursts? That labeling of Nigerian youths, fed up with wastefulness and corruption, as ‘children of anger’ was not ‘empty handed’. It isn’t all that stupid to believe that demons live in Aso Rock. It is however really stupid to believe that and yet go looting the treasury and assuming impunity. He who dispossesses the poor invites the scourge of fire spitting demons. If these demons had lived up to their responsibilities and rascality they would not have let billions go to Europe, where they have no jurisdiction. Except of course they have come to bring to pass eventual apocalypse. The book of Job tells us that demons go to and fro looking for materials to devour. These ones that have permanent residency in Aso rock, that spare fraudsters in the corridors of power, are lame demons. The sort of lameness that corruption brings and makes cats frolic with fat rats. Why haven’t these demons stretched out their hands to the supreme court , within the vicinity, and left deterrent exemplary insanity on a few? The National assembly surely can be set straight by controlled diffusion of punitive erectile dysfunction. Perhaps the demons are bent on foisting Armageddon. But rather than this claustrophobic paranoia – running from shadows and having nightmares , our leaders should clean up their hearts and hands. And the demons, will all go away. Can I have Amen, somebody?