Today’s photograph was taken as I first drove through the sleepy Ndokwa town of Obiaruku. It will mean nothing to you – unless you were born in soulless Lagos or Abuja and are looking to adopt an honest hometown. But the ‘Midwestern’ towns of Obiaruku, Utagba Uno and Ubiaja will always remind me of my mother’s teacher-training education back in the ’50s.

She was taking a teaching practice class.

She had just punished a pupil and her reverend sister supervisor wanted to know why. Mams explained that the lad had been caught stealing, and was now lying about it.

‘The sin of stealing is on the child,’ said the nun, ‘but the lying is on you.’

‘Why?’ asked my flabbergasted mother, ‘How?’

‘Because a thief is a liar,’ explained the nun, patiently. ‘You asked him the question, knowing that he would lie. The second sin is on you.’

Obiaruku bar
The Obiaruku Doctrine

I have always found the Obiaruku Doctrine odd, as well as Mams’ acceptance of it. It throws the net of responsibility for sin so wide as to capture the innocent Nigerian soaking ‘ election’ garri in his house, when all he did was to vote, say, a gubernatorial thief into the presidency. How can he be expected to bear responsibility for a looted presidential treasury? Why should the Office of The cowardly Citizen who merely tolerates buffoons in public office share responsibility for buffoonery in public service?

Fortunately, our post-independence education teaches us to elect certified idiots, so we can blame them 100% for all the idiocy and killings in the land. Thank goodness for the blood of innocents that washes us free from blame.

29 days to go.

#31DaysOfDecember, #ChumaNwokolo, #Day2.

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