What is your all-time favourite movie? Mine is The Gladiator, that totally awesome movie about Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who used to rule the Roman empire. Emperor Aurelius was an tireless war monger. For three decades, he fought one battle after another,conquering his enemies, defeating all his neighbors, annexing their territories, assimilating them into his ever-expanding Roman empire. Under
emperor Aurelius, the Roman empire expanded beyond what anyone previously thought possible.
But was the powerful emperor a happy man?
After 20 years of nearly uninterrupted war and territorial expansion, the Roman empire was huge, but the Emperor had also grown weary and old. It suddenly dawned on him that death was REALLY inevitable!
What to do?
Well, he invites his top-most soldier, General Maximus, for a man-to-man conversation. If you ever watch this movie [again], please pay attention to that scene! It really is poignant. The Emperor begins the conversation thusly:
“I am dying, Maximus, I am dying! When a man sees his end, he wants to know that there was some purpose to his life! How will the world remember me? How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as The Philosopher ? The warrior ?? The Tyrant ???
Or will I be remembered as the Emperor who gave Rome back … her true self?”
My people, as we mourn the death of our dear(?) president, we too must pause for a moment of national reflection. We must ask ourselves: Was there a national purpose to president Yar Adua’s life? In years to come, how will the world speak of his name?
Will he be remembered as the first President to declare his assets?
Will he be remembered as the man who gave the shorted and finest inauguration speech?
Will he be remembered as the man who started out by delivering the greatest hope, and followed up by delivering the greatest disappointment?
Will Yar Adua be remembered as the president who ran the most mafia-friendly government?
Will he be remembered as the president with the worst Attorney General?
Will he be remembered as the man who crudely dragged Ribadu out of the graduating parade at NIPPS?
Will he be remembered as the man who never handed over to his Vice President?
Will he be remembered as the man who never told the truth to 150 million Nigerian citizens?
Will he be remembered as the man who sneaked into the country in the middle of the night?
Or will he be remembered as the man who coveted the only working ambulance in his country?
Fellow Nigerians, we can try all we want, but at the end of the day, no amount of money, intelligence, academic accomplishment, political power, piety, genius, pain, suffering, or inspiration can save us from the inevitable clutches of death and nothingness.
Life is a joke. Death is omnipotent. In the large scheme of things, human life is, at best, a momentary interruption in a long night of darkness . The purpose of life -the NUMBER ONE purpose of life – is death. One by one, our friends, families, our enemies will all vanish. And one day, it will be your turn.
Mr Looting politician, what is the purpose of your life? After all is said and done, how will the world speak of you?