And the President Wept!


SEPEMBER 23, 2014 By Martin Saffa Kokofele

In a certain country along the West Coast of Africa, a certain dreaded disease broke out, with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, headache and fever. This disease had no known cure, just as it had no name. It baffled medical doctors and international scientists. It baffled everybody. Some people ascribed it to witchcraft, and some to the spiritual state of the country and its leaders, especially the President.

The President of this certain country in the West Coast of Africa had a Prophetess who had offered prayers for him and his party to get elected in 2007. She used to go to her three times every week for prayers before the elections. After the elections he started going there only once a month, “because of the pressure of work”, he told Prophetess Marion Brandon. The old woman understood. Ruling a nation was like carrying the head of an elephant.

In his second term in office, the President started seeing Mama Brandon (for so he called her) once every three months. Only that this time, it was not because of pressure of work, but for some other reason.

In less than two years after winning the elections for a second term, a deadly disease broke out in the country. It became a source of concern, not only to the government and people of that country, but for the international community. For the disease had no name, just as it did not have a known cure.

Five months after the outbreak of this dreaded disease, the President decided to visit Prophetess Marion Brandon. She normally held services in the mornings and evenings three days of the week (Sunday, Wednesday and Friday). But on other days she held counseling services by appointment.

One Saturday evening the President drove alone along Water Melon Street where Mama Brandon lived. He had already sent his Aide-de-Camp ahead of him to tell the old woman that he was on his way. When the Prophetess saw the President approaching her house, she started weeping. This made the President very confused. Was he going to die? The President thought. Was there some calamity that was going to fall on the country, more serious than the dreaded deadly disease? In his confusion he took off his shoes and sat on the bare floor of Mama Brandon’s sitting room. Then Mama Brandon wiped her tears and turned to the President.

“Is it now that you have come, after your idols and fetish priests have failed you? What about your praise singers and sycophants? Have they not helped you at all? You listened to them against the Word of God and commonsense that you should bear no ill will, or harbor a grudge or bitterness in your heart against those you are working with, especially your deputy, your Vice President. You are angry with him, I know. And you have no place in your heart to forgive him. How then do you expect God to forgive you for all you have done to Him?”

When the President heard this, he started weeping.

“Stop shedding crocodile tears,” Mama Brandon told the President. “This is the time to think. But before you think, Listen, and listen well. For I know that after leaving here you will not come here again.”

Again the President wept when he heard Mama Brandon saying he would not come back to her.

“Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean you are going to die, for that is what you are afraid of. You don’t want to die, but you are creating conditions for others to die. Remember this, however: God is going to hold you responsible for the blood of all those who are dying now because of your insensitivity to their plight. So listen, and listen well.”

At this the President wiped his tears, got up from the floor and sat on the arm chair close to Mama Brandon. He always felt comfortable and secure when sitting close to this Woman of God.

Then Mama Brandon out took her pair of reading glasses from her handbag, wiped them clean with a tissue and put them on. After that she started turning the pages of her King James Bible. When she came to 1 Samuel Chapter 18, Mama Brandon started reading aloud from verse 6 to verse 12:

“6 – And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.

7 – And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.

8 – And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

9 – And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

10 – And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

11 – And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.

12 – And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.”

While Mama Brandon was reading, the President paid close attention. He was very familiar with that Scripture because his father, who was a headmaster in a mission school in the colonial days and just after independence, used to teach his children at home during morning devotions on Saturdays. He had heard him teach on anger and jealousy several times using this same Scripture.

“Why did an evil spirit enter Saul?” Mama Brandon asked. “Because he had opened doors to the devil through anger and jealousy… So God departed from him, and was now with David. When you allow yourself to be manipulated by evil forces through bitterness, anger and forgiveness, you cannot achieve anything useful for yourself or for your people. Remember, leadership is spiritual. Both God and Satan are interested in leaders. The one you pay more attention to as a leader is the one who will control your life, your thoughts, your behaviour. You have sold yourself to the devil and God has departed from you. If you want Him to come back, He is a merciful God. He will always come back. But first you must repent. And then get rid of those idols you have kept in a tightly locked room…”

Again the President started weeping. How did Mama Brandon know he had kept idols in a tightly locked room? This was a closely guarded secret. And really, it was not his decision. His kinsmen had prevailed on him to do it, for that was the surest way to keep him secure in power, and to get back to State House to serve a third term. But that had not helped him at all. The third term bid had evaporated, like the three witches in Macbeth. And he and his kinsmen had blamed the Vice President for the failure of the Third Term Bid. For he had openly expressed interest in succeeding him. And he had gained support from the youths. Now Mama Brandon was telling him something different.

“You failed in your third term project because God was not in it. You failed because you thought you could manipulate the people to accept it, according to what your fetish priests told you. You have forgotten that it was God who put you in that position. But now you have forgotten about God. Those seven fetish priests you have employed and allowed to rule your life will ruin you, if they have not already ruined you.”

“Please pray for me, Mama Brandon,” the President pleaded. “I have sinned. And I am ready to repent.”

“I know you have sinned,” Mama Brandon replied. “But you are not ready to repent because you are no longer in control of yourself. You have sold yourself to the devil and he is ready to deal with you.”

At this the President got up, and asked his ADC to give him the parcel which he had brought as a gift for Mama Brandon.

“I don’t want your money,” Mama Brandon said angrily. “You think money can solve every problem. That is why you like carrying bags of money with you wherever you go. It has become so much a part of you that the people have given you a new name, in case you don’t know. They call you His Excellency the Money Carrier. And so good night: His Excellency the Money Carrier”.

When she said this Mama Brandon got up and went into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. Both the President and his ADC could hear the turning of the key in the lock.

As His Excellency and his ADC stepped out of Mama Brandon’s house into the dark night, the sound of a siren tore through the air. It was unmistakably an ambulance, one of those recently supplied by the Chinese, tearing through the streets at the usual breakneck speed. Another medical doctor had succumbed to the dreaded disease that was ravaging the country.