Monday, 30 September 2019

Agba Jalingo writes from prison


30 September 2019 

Prison Notes

I am moved to send you a note from the confines of my loneliness. By cosmic grace, the authorities of Afokang prison in Calabar where I am confined provided a television in an open hall for all of us who our deeds and/or misdeeds have confluenced. So I have the rare privilege of seeing how people of goodwill out there are agitating for my release from incarceration which I have endured now for forty days. My most profound appreciation to all of you who have remained steadfast in your agitation. For it is a natural instinct to so do even where dictatorship is hellbent. Nevertheless, I wish to share my abiding thoughts with you all. Namely:

1. That I am in very high spirit and in good health, at least for now; and mentally  prepared for the wilderness that those who want me out of circulation have determined.

2. That for no reason whatsoever will I betray the noble values which I have imbibed for over two decades.

3. That even with the tortuous and heavy burden I am being made to carry, for committing no offence, there is no bitterness in my heart against anyone, including those who have put me in jail. For if I allow myself to fall into bitterness, I am no better than my jailers.

4. That by the grace of God, I have gained serenity over the years and I am carrying this cross with equanimity, because I am sure of my enduring values. I am aware that regardless of what may be taken away from me or what I may have been taken away from, including my freedom, my dear wife and my work, the real value in this life is buried within me, even in jail; and whether I experience transition, ill-health or any other problem of any nature, which the human being is capable of experiencing, I will remain steadfast and hold on to the will of the cosmic. 

5. That my earnest prayer is not that my tribulations may cease, neither do I desire that they may be more smooth or more wide, but that some sweet fruit of good instruction may issue forth from the sharp thorns of my suffering, that I may suffer more patiently and be better able to offer up my suffering and adversity to the service of our people.

Bear in mind that, in every traction and custom in Africa, when the cosmic forces are agreed on the kingship of a man, the chiefs in council take such a man into isolation. He is made to undergo the age long rituals in solitude and separated from the things he loves most. All these are to prepare the king and make him worthy of the throne. The timing is usually according to the tradition of the tribes and the enormity of the throne. But in the end, having gone through the solitude and isolation and enduring the rituals, he comes out in shining armour to wear the crown and sit on the throne. 

Even the Holy Bible says in the book of Ecclesiastics chapter 4:14 that: 'For he comes out of prison to reign, though he was born poor in his kingdom'. 

With this firm assurance in my heart, I only pray God to grant me the grace to be faithful in action and not anxious about success. To do God's will and lose myself when engaged in this duty. That God may give my weak efforts such fruits as HE sees fit and grant me the grace and strength to overcome this adversity. 

One final assurance that I give to my people of Cross River in particular is that "WE WILL OVERCOME THAT DICTATOR IN PEREGRINO HOUSE". 

Dictatorship has never defeated goodwill and a determined people. Even if I end up not standing with you in the summit, remain strong and be rest assured that the arc of life is on our side and we will win.

When this wind has finished blowing yonder, and it shall soon; we will look back and be glad we stuck our necks on the gilloutine and history will only be fair to us, our people shall be free, the will of God would have been done and God's name will be glorified. 

Remain faithful in prayers and accept my greetings and peace profound.

Your sincerely,
Citizen Agba Jalingo.
29 September 2019 



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