That may sound rather ominous, but it is a crucible Nigerians have to pass through to come out at the other end well refined and much better, far from our previous collective (mis)deeds that have brought the country, and the Yoruba, in particular, to this perilous and perfidious state of affairs.

The 2019 elections will be a complete departure from the norm, a new chapter in the practice of democracy, a return to the power of the majority to put in place a truly representative government of the majority that will be for the best interest of the majority.

The fallout of this imminent development that no one seems able to make sense of will be a revival of a global Black agenda to restore the dignity and respect of the Black person on earth earned through his sweat, tears and blood in a world that has never been designed by others to favour him in history.

That tide is about to start to change through an innocuous electoral exercise in Ogun State in 2019. The elections will demonstrate the supremacy of the Creator of all things over the power of those pretending and playing god. Those who can, let them discern.  Need I say more?

Ogun State will become the platform and the centre of a global cultural, economic, spiritual and intellectual rebirth that will sprout as a consequence of the lessons that will be learnt from the political results of the 2019 elections.  That’s my ‘prophetic’ word.

Nigeria will never be the same again. The South West of Nigeria, of the Yoruba, will never be the same again. And Africa will be impacted for good, forever!  That is what I see emanating from the present seeming madness going on in Ogun State – a new Dawn, a new Day, and a new Destiny.

You must read this.

My 4 years-old Son, Tito, said his very first Independent prayer this week.  He took me completely by surprise. For months, I have been trying to make him join me at morning prayer and bible reading, my small private daily ritual.

He hardly ever wants to hang around me when I pick up my bible and start reading what sounds to him like gibberish. There is always something more interesting for him to do. On a few occasions, he will only go as far as joining me at the very end of my short prayer session and repeat after me, ‘Amen’. 

Then comes this last Monday morning. I invite my son to join me in prayer as I go to pick up my bible.  I am expecting that he will keep playing with any one of his toys as usual. Then I hear his voice.  It catches me completely unawares. I mean the words.

 ‘Hello God’. I have never heard any human address the Creator of all things quite like that.  I take a second look to be sure I am not dreaming.  There he is on the other side of my bed, his head bowed and resting on his clasped hands, his eyes shut.

‘Hello God’, he repeats.

I quickly join him by the bedside, repeating his words after him to reassure him, and adding my own, ‘Hello God, our Father in heaven’. Tito goes on; ‘Please take care of my mummy, take care of my daddy, take care of Tito, and Ella, and Noni, and Elvis’. 

I am repeating everything he says, after him. Ella is his niece, Noni his former nanny, and Elvis his dog now in a foster home since we discovered he became inseparable from the dog after acquiring it from the UK.

Then he is done. His prayer is over. I conclude his prayer session for him – ‘In Jesus name, we pray’.

Tito’s ‘Amen’ is resounding. But he has one more surprise awaiting me.He starts to sing my regular tune, ‘Amen, Amen, Aaaamen, Aaaamen’. Over and over again.  It is a simple, single-word lyric of a song that I occasionally sing in the mornings. It is popularized by an old crooner friend, ‘Blackman’ Akeeb Kareem, in the early 1970s. I never had the faintest idea that Tito had been listening to me sing that song, and had memorized it.

I join him, my spirit now seriously lifted, as we heartily sing the lines out loud, over and over again as we walk down the stairs to the living room for our second daily ritual – the making of my coffee. In the past few months Tito has been making my morning coffee for me whenever I am at home in Lagos.

He has improved so much at making it that I playfully now tell him every time he does so that he is the best coffee maker in the world. He likes to hear that a lot. So, this morning he goes to mix and make my coffee on my desk in the study.

This time he is not waiting for me to tell him how good he is. He tells me himself:  ‘Dad, Tito is the best coffee maker in the world’. ‘Yes, I know son, you are’. He is happy as he walks away to his own play room, leaving me alone, deep in my thoughts about his beautiful first independent prayer.

‘Hello God’. I like how he addresses God in his own unique way. Our Father will be very pleased with the innocent familiarity captured by those endearing words.  I tell myself I shall surely write about this experience in my diary to lighten the seriousness of the political climate that is boiling at the moment with no one understanding what to make of the entire drama.

I am about to write this report but decide to browse through some social media platforms first. The first one I choose is from a friend in Abuja, a retired high-ranking military officer. It attracts my attention.

I open the platform. There are three messages. The first one is a video attachment.  I press on the cursor to play it.The inscribed words spring out at me like a flung ton of bricks! “Hello God” I am slightly shaking as I stare at the words as they stare back at me.

I look closer.  The attachment is a musical video and the words are actually the title of a song by Dolly Parton one of my favourite singers of all time.  I have never read or heard about a song with such an unusual title.

I hit the play button.  I am transported to celestial places by Dolly’s heart-piercing voice. The simplicity and depth of the lyrics rouse fundamental issues of spirituality to which there are no answers, only beliefs.  No one could have sung the song better than Dolly Parton.

I am thinking now about my son, Tito, his first prayer and this song. What they all add up to in my political odyssey. Is it a coincidence or a divine construction? I am asking all that read this to check out the song on google, share with me their experience and tell me what they make of it.

Do not forget the title, Hello Godby Dolly Parton. By the way, just as I am writing this, I call up Ayodeji, my friend, and tell him the story. He screams across the phone line: ‘But that’s the title of the book I told you about that I have been writing for years, now approaching completion’.

Ha! At this point I give up! Don’t miss the follow up on Christmas day.

Segun Odegbami is a columnist with Penpushing Media

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