Almost always, it is best to say things without any protracted preamble. Cut out the lengthy word foreplay and go straight to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible. It is always better, I believe, to eliminate the chaff and trim the fat from any conversation. Just tell it like it is. This is what the Ifa priest doesn't do well when announcing what is revealed during divination.
He begins with a song, follows it up with a stream of incantations and, as a rule, a rarely decipherable story that goes lika dis lika dat before disclosing what Ifa has in mind, usually cryptically still. The modern Christian preacher, who is nothing unless he takes a stab at prophecies, is not the one for a ramble. He tells it like it is. That is, if like me, you prefer to see sophisticated, doctrine-suffused waffle as telling it like it is, usually via an amalgam of wooly, non-specific declarations and pronouncements.
I consider myself better at this game than the modern prophet, whose traditional yearly predictions is at best a mish-mash of authoritative counsel, wishes/desires as well as prayers for individuals and the society. How did I convince myself that I am not the one for the superfluous stuff? Feedback from members of the public, who have always checked and found my predictions inerrant.
At the risk of sounding conceited, I lay claim to the ability to predict events with stunning accuracy. I may not have a pulpit or a million-strong congregation, but all my prophecies have come true. I invite you to have your money back if any of my predictions fail to come to pass.
Last year, for example, I predicted that Lionel Messi would not sign for 3SC. As much as I don't want to sound boastful (because it is neither by my power nor by might), I have a licit claim to be addressed as prophet. That prophecy was person, time and event-specific.
For 2015, here I go. First, President Goodluck Jonathan will not be the presidential candidate of the... All Progressives Congress. It has also been revealed to me that the social media will feature unrestrained swapping of abuses by supporters of the two major presidential candidates. Rumours, counter-rumours; accusations and counter-accusations of plot to rig this year's elections will be the staple of our politics. You don't know this yet, but I have been told to tell you that there will be no FIFA World Cup this year. This was revealed to me in a vision last night. In the same vision, it was disclosed to me that there will be heavy rainfall in some parts of the country just as there will be unemployment, especially among graduates in 2015.
Similarly, I have been categorically told that Abubakar Shekau (dead or otherwise) will remain offended by Christmas carols and other hymns.
Will the bearded bandit change in 2016? It has not yet been revealed to me.
I can see you sneering. Do I deserve your sneer, given that the more gilded prophecy vendors very rarely risk their reputations by being specific? I am not pushing for a change of an approach that has forged reputations that glow like radioactive fish, brought fame and not unlikely, fortune.
So, if you don't sneer at predictions with the accuracy of the horoscope, I do not consider it fair to hold my inspired predictions with a pinch of salt.
Take a look at a what three of the more illustrious prophets have served as prophecies for 2015. Having being warned that I must abide by community standards, I will refrain from mentioning names. I will only provide descriptions, which I hope would lead you to those that made the prophecies.
I begin with a man who is persuaded that victims of a building collapse on the premises of his church have earned the right to be called matyrs. "If you are expecting a new year, you must be pure in heart. If not, the troubled year of 2014 will continue in 2015. No matter what this year brings, if you are more of God, your trials are the soil in which your faith will flourish," declared the goateed prophet at an event in memory of the victims of the building collapse.
Nobody of faith could possibly fault this because it is true today, was true yesterday, has been true since creation and always will remain true.
Just how this is exclusive to 2015 and qualifies as a prophecy is what I am trying to work out.
Next up is the molecular geneticist, whose church, with its die die prayer style, is the leading medium of belligerent Christianity. "I will speak in parables. This year is going to be a mysterious, cautious and dribbling (sic) year, so you will have to find the solutions instead of diagnosing the problems carried out by the year," he said.
I imagine that part of finding solutions is getting problems properly diagnosed. I also do think that placing the accent on finding solutions to problems has never been out of fashion long enough to be the subject of a prophecy. An advice? Yes. A prophecy? I am afraid not.
The molecular geneticist also prescribed the kind of prayers required this year.
"Note that," he warned, "this year would require machine gun prayers...This year's prophecies are like when you take antibiotics even when you don't have any symptom."
I would think that yearly, whether or not the dangers are clear and present or otherwise, people of faith have always machine-gunned afflictions or intimations of such with prayers. They pray daily for protection, prosperity, health etc. This is an injunction of their faith. It is routine. It can only qualify as a prophecy if we conclude that there is no distinction between a prophecy and prayers because prayers, by their nature, seek protection, deliverance, promotion etc. "This year, evil shall bow before good in Jesus name. Favour must meet favour in my life this year in Jesus name," added the biologist. Prayer is what this is. No more, no less.
I am aware there is something called "prophetic prayer". But what is that? Does it not suggest that those who teach this present themselves as having special powers to actualise God's will? When someone engages in prophetic prayer, he is not asking that God's will be done according to His timetable, but commanding God's will to be done.
Can we order God around?
Of course, no yearly prophecy compilation is complete without an undisputed grandee of the game. He is the one that allegedly drove over 200km on an empty car tank.
His prophecies look automated. Check his previous prophecies to get a sense of what I am saying. "Daddy says there will be miraculous completion of projects. Daddy says there will be fulfillment of dreams. Daddy says there will be miraculous restoration,” he predicted-as he does yearly.
He also predicted that scientific and medical breakthroughs will be many, particularly in the areas of insomnia, dreams and brain disorders. We shall see. But have there been years where there are no scientific and medical breakthroughs? “Daddy says all over the world insurgencies will be considerately weakened. He asked us to pray against massive calamities and He also asked us to pray against massive earthquakes, strong hurricane and typhoons," he added.
I am all for the weakening of insurgencies the world over and I will tip my hat to him if his prediction on this comes to pass. I urge everyone of us to, at the end of the year, check how many of these "revealed" things come to pass. But the one that has me scratching my head is the inclusion of advice that we should pray against the occurrence of natural disasters among prophecies. What else are we supposed to do? Pray to have them come upon us? C'mon guys, you can do better.