It is no news that some Nigerians are
extremists – and in everything too. Whether
or not we choose to admit it, we are laced with
(un)conscious bias. Yes, I’m saying there’s
some form of sexist, racist, and religious/
ethnic bias fortified within many of us ready
to prowl out anytime (provided we allow it
to). – And you know what’s hysterical? We
twist religion to rationalize our bigotry!
It’s why we have insurgents slaughtering
thousands of innocent Nigerians alongside
group of fanatics, claiming God asked them
to do so or why some pastors impregnate
near half of their female congregations with
the assertion that the Holy Spirit asked them
to do so. It is also why self-pronounced
Sheikhs/Imams twist the Quran and Hadith
to justify the subjugation of female rights
and shun feminists – claiming God does
not support such or why a President for
four years, disregards his obligations and
responsibilities as a leader, only to emerge
in numerous cathedrals weeks to re-election,
calling on Reverend Fathers to ‘pray’ for him
and the homeland.
It is no shudder that the ‘Giant of Africa’,
notwithstanding its abundant Mosques and Churches alongside millions of worshipers,
is enfolded by pecuniary disintegration,
absolute and relative poverty, corrupt
leaders and insecurity, among others. Why,
despite our conscientiousness, do we have
immeasurable unease afflicting the masses?
Oddly, the United Kingdom, United States,
Germany and Sweden are more advanced
and doing better than us despite the fact that
their leaders and people are not as ‘Godfearing’
as ours. These countries relentlessly
ridicule us and the religion that we so
espouse, not because religion is humiliating
– but because of what we have spun it into.
One of the numerous reasons why we
have been trapped in the same (unchanged)
position for many years is because we
allow those in power to dupe us with
religion. An average ‘religious’ Nigerian
would not demand accountability from a
politician because he/she donated millions
to the church he worships in or sponsored
thousands to perform Hajj. We are so
handcuffed by conviction that we cannot
even fight the system (although it is not as
simple as it looks). Collective action is much
better than praying to God for a solution to
a problem that is within our control. The
blame is not just on our political, religious
and business leaders. As pointed out in the
preceding paragraph, we are similarly a
group of virtuously degenerate pretenders
passing for Muslims and Christians. We
beseech the name of God only when it garbs
our purpose while in actuality we live a
hypocritical lifestyle – deceiving the gullible
that we are a bunch of Godly individuals.
I am in no way implying that religion is
bad – in fact I think it is liberating. It is what
we have twisted it to that makes it corrupt.
There is nothing iniquitous about being
religious, as long as we are not two-faced
about it and do not allow it get in the way of
common sense. As a spiritual country, many
have the ‘God will provide’ mentality.
No, God will not provide. We often pray
to God for better leaders, yet when it is time
to vote, many do not show up at the polling
centre and others trade their votes for a few
bags of rice. We obey and chase after Pastors
that instruct their congregation to eat grass
and drink petrol because somehow God
instructed it. We sit idly at home ranting
all day that there are no jobs while making
no effort whatsoever to get productive
employment because “if it is meant to be,
God will make it happen”. We chase after
the boy who stole a piece of meat from the
neighbour’s pot and burn him alive while
allowing the bigger criminals in power who
have ‘stolen’ the wealth of the entire nation
to thrive. We give front row seats to criminals
in our various religious institutions. So, are
we being religious or hypocritical? What
makes us different from Boko Haram, ISIS
and Al Shabab who all use the name of God
to justify their evil acts?
The most horrendous Nigerian admits
to being a devotee of a precise religion.
Virtually all programs are preceded at
prayers to deceitfully commit things into
the hands of God even when the aftermath
of such happenings have already been
determined by men whose activities are
nowhere near godly. ‘Playing’ with religion
and/or the name of God with such an
approach is nauseating.
What Nigerians need is a country that
actually works, one in which all institutions
are in place and not on the brink of collapse.
To accomplish this, we have to be channeled
by common sense not pointless religious
romanticism.
Until we are truly sincere with God and
religion and stop using and tolerating it as
a tool to cover up we will keep going in
circles. – And if you ever discover yourself
extenuating any morally wrong or ‘evil’ act
by twisting religion and/or ‘lying against’
God, then you’re not different from terrorist
leader. You don’t have to be a murderer and
a raging lunatic to be a religious extremist.

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