A Savant’s Muse on Religion And Power

Nigeria has been plagued by a sort of an abandonment – national carelessness which far exceeds that of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway – a form of national paralysis, triggered by the un-seriousness of a quasi government plagued with corruptionists of leadership gangs. Gangs? Yes. Gangs! Here I mean a set of tricky, sorry for that charitable phrase, rather slimy politicians who turned national wealth into personal wealth and put the people in monumental dearth and the nation in international debt. This is Provable by the resultant moral and social decay in the country – a litmus test signifying a distortion in the nation’s moral spinal nerves. This has led the entire nation into a belated pandemonium which renders the children, adults, aged and perhaps the dead into a situation best described as ‘bo’ lo o’ya mi’

For those of African descent or perhaps those scholars versed in African proverbs, you will recall that an old african proverb says, ‘not until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.’ This african phrase becomes provable when brought in juxtaposition with Christianity and Islam – two major religion imported into the continent by the slave masters who exploited the continent, enslaved it and schooled it into different religious beliefs that have metamorphosed, gradually and recently, explosively into the most destructive Weapon of Mass Destruction. The original African religion and beliefs have been termed by the British as ethinism, voodoo, idol worship and in some cases Satanism – for me, I will ascribe to those religion importers as ‘Omo a’to’ko wa ba’le je!

Yes! Like I earlier wrote about lion and hunters, the slave masters have schooled us into believing that our religion, before their encroachment into the African continent and defilement of our lands is Satanism. To that I object! We had our own religion but not well documented and convincingly fine-tuned like Christianity and Islam. So are our virtues and languages, they simply condemned everything that we had tried to replace them with theirs – a sort of lingual superiority, but I still believe that, our language is a better communication tool and not until we write our won stories, the hunters will continue to take the glory.

Sometimes, I sit and wonder if the British ever read the Bible before bringing it here. The same spring that birthed the good news also brought the worst disaster – they brought both religion and slavery and even after, religion has become a more saddening misdeeds of the British than the slave trade. Of course the wounds of slavery on the African continent is still bleeding and getting fresher by the day, the effects of a thoroughly rigged post-independence election, falsified census and marriage of inconvenience are still felt in Nigeria today, preventing every form of political platelet from helping the national wound have a clot.
Yes. When you look at the Bible very well, you wonder if the slave traders who bore heavy Christian names ever read it. They simply violated every law in it and brought it for our own consumption and division.

If they were true Christians, what happened to the Eighth Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Contained in the book of Exodus 20: 15? What happened to the contents of Leviticus 19:13? Enslavement by personal explanation is robbery. Perhaps they ascribed to the content of Leviticus 25:44-46 to enslave the Africans but slavery is criminal. It is likely that the Whites think that the Africans – the non-whites are soulless people since we are seen as earthen – we are not hearten people, we had our own religion before they foisted theirs on us, violating our Right to choose.

According to Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism, Nigeria ranks as one of the most religious nations in the world but this is the same nation where a supposed female pastor was said to be involved in selling a child. One is therefore left to wonder whether religion is opposed to Godliness. The seeming un-Godliness is not just a sad attribute of the citizenry, it was perhaps inherited from the leaders of the country Nigeria – a nation where the constitution has been pushed aside and people govern from feelings and documents of selfishness where a sad unconstitutional illegality – the office of the first lady, is almost becoming more powerful than the office of the defense minister. If not, how could a human being, a supposed homo sapiens, have thought that a whooping sum of 4 billion Naira be allocated to building an architectural masterpiece – a monument of political bastardization as the office of the first lady? It beats my imagination which election she contested and won, except that she probably won the heart of the president – that victory of course does not qualify for an election as many who have ruled us recently have no mind of their own – a deformity that renders such victory void.

The senate has also been submerged in confusion, seemingly, there is a caucus somewhere that controls the senate as I see no iota of sense in approving the sum of 7.5 billion Naira for the construction of a city gate for the federal capital territory. If these unrepentant lootocrats and wasters sees nothing wrong with this, I do. Do they propose that the nigerian nation has assumed the position of heaven such that we need such a gate to prevent the ‘unsaved’ from entering our nation? I opine that even God will not subscribe to building such a gate in heaven unless the place was already made of gold. I opine that change starts from within. Why a nation damaged and bleeding inside will want to build a massive gate of heaven, hell or purgatory to hide her decay and morass when those who live behind that gate are neither protected nor provided for, still surprises me. I am not yet fully satisfied on how a city gate can replace industry in a nation where a high percentage of the citizens are married to poverty and diseases while drinking their tears as beer. Could it be that the city gate is more important than education since the fund allocated to that gate surpasses that allocated to building federal universities? Could it be that that proposed gate will shield the nation from the security threats and bombings that has claimed the lives of innocent citizens? Could it be that the proposed gate is an attempt to compete with the United Arab Emirate’s proposed 25-metre heritage gate proposed to carry Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s name in over 200 languages? But it would have been better to compete with this nation in economy and development rather than gate building.

Neither Tokyo nor New York city, which are considered to be the richest cities in the world have built the biggest city gates nor one of the world’s wealthiest man who as a matter of fact shares name with gate, has ever thought of flamboyantly squandering scares resources on unwholesome enterprises. Of course, many Nigerians awaits the news of the scandal that will follow the City Gate elephant project – The City Gate Scandal. Where billions of Naira – taxpayers money, will be reported diverted and stolen by some irresponsible self serving officials who parade themselves as public servants.

Why would this not be when a shameless lawmaker was bold enough to assert that 14 billion Naira from the Nigerian poor taxpayers money was to be ‘squandered’ on constructing the Vice President’s official residence. It makes one wonder why these people still wish to qualify for heaven when they have enjoyed on earth what they want to go and enjoy in heaven – I see this as selfishness – if there be heaven, they should let the poor go there while they taste nation of hell for a balance and justice.

A colleague brought my notice to the shameful proposal by a minister of Federal Capital Territory that the nation should spend a whooping sum of 5 billion naira on rehabilitating prostitutes in the federal capital territory. Of course, these political warlords are the same people who partronize these prostitute and perhaps, in one of their meetings, he had promised to spend a federal money on making them better people. This is a national shame and an attempt to insult well thinking Nigerians. This is sacrilegious and demeaning. What happened to the Orphanage? Primary Health care centres? Old peoples’ home and other beneficial places to our national development? I suffice that it takes a prostitute to campaign for the prostitutes! I think he should be questioned if prostitutes only abound in the federal capital territory. He should be advised to visit other states of the federation and see graduates who cannot find jobs of turning into identity card/business cards carrying prostitutes. Do we rehabilitate these one? How do we go about prostitute rehabilitation? What happened to all the funds that has been voted for the same purpose? I think it is rather the leaders of this nation that needs a conscience rehabilitation and not the prostitutes!

Nigeria is sadly ruled by at the centre by a set of psychopants! The judiciary is badly weakened and the law enforcers are too cold! How can a Lord thief, a grandmaster criminal and conscienceless lootocrat, the police pension fund scammer and also the cat in whose custody the mouse was kept – the ‘honourable’ in charge of the subsidy probe escape without being publicly castrated if a young man in Abeokuta could be sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour and without an option of fine for stealing chicken worth a thousand Naira? If air – an important ingredient of sustaining the human life was to be under the control of the Nigerian government, it is my candid opinion that most of our poor citizens would have been wiped away as an adulterated litre or whatever little measure will be sold for a million. There is a need for national repentance and the citizens of this country deserve a honest apology from the leadership of the Nigerian nation.

Culled from my Book ‘Misconceptions’

Abiodun Okunola, GCFR

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Political commentator and analyst