I am a Nigerian and I have a rather different view of religion and it’s effect on my society. Let me bring to the fore in you, the things you already know in your subconscious mind. Nigeria is a nation characterized by people of different tribes, history, language, culture amongst others disparity, and who have overtime been managing to stay united since the 1914 Lord Lugard’s amalgamation.
However, the unity is continually being threatened as the nation continue to sit on a gun powder. While pretending to be remain united, we are continually preparing for a breakaway. To this regard, people under the umbrella of zones are getting their children prepared economically, educationally and most importantly psychologically. We are a nation in unity yet draining ourselves of life by the hour. Often, we come together to harness thoughts and point out issues threatening our peace, continuous integration and future of the coming generation.
Countless problems have been identified so to say and steps have been taken since I was born. I would like you to judge the effectiveness of these measures that’s been established. If you ask me, nothing is working in Nigeria today. The archives of yesterday depicts errors, the chronicles of today is characterised by vested interests and whether or not we’ll live through tomorrow, I am not sure. The future of humanity is being destroyed and yet everything is still fine. Quite ironic. Despite all these, it interests me to tell you that the worst deeds against humanity is being legalised by our religion right under your nose. Hmmmm now I feel broken.
Whatever you do, in as much as people of your social circle benefits and you’ve satisfied your religious teachings, you are not entitled to punishment. Rather, a chair will be prepared for you right beside your God. Nigerians have been nurtured to fear God so much that I will harm my fellow men to please my God. Why do I have to bother myself whether my victims are also God’s subject, to hell with them!
Oftentimes, we use relational sentiments to make decisions that affects all and sundry. This especially has left me bewildered and at the same time amazed at how partitioned heaven will be considering human racial differences. How can a man love another as much as he hates him. Church Pastors and Islamic clerics preach by the holy book and address one another by the conservative adjective “Unbelievers”.
I am a Yoruba man and in my language we say “àwon kèfèrí” meaning the unbelievers. This also means the “unjust, damned and next to Shatan or Satan” It’s so funny. Religiously, we are not allowed to associate with the so called Unbelievers as much as we ethically accept their social existence around us. Religion has not only made human relations and practice of humanity chaotic but will also give no earthly assurance of a humane living till tomorrow.
To this regard, if perhaps we will continue to destroy mankind and disregard humanity because of the fear of religion and of course the assurance of life after death then perhaps we should all die today. After all, we will all get to relocate Aljanah, both the oppressors and the oppressed, to get our rightful rewards.
It is however disapproving that the threats to humanity posed by religion in Nigeria today have crept into every spectrum of our traditional cum modern societies. I reiterate, how can a man love another as much as he hates him. This is uncalled for. Individuals at different affairs of leadership today leads with vested interest many of which are born of out racial identity, social affiliations and which all has its root deep in religious doctrines and it’s antecedents.
In some cases, instead of your talents and sizable professionalism expertise to be considered for appointments, your religious and racial affiliation is ultimately used. The world does not want to know the real you, everyone is interested in personal, racial and religious gains. No wonder nothing has been working in Nigeria despite the fronting efforts of many. The real problem we need to tackle for humanity to thrive in a nation like Nigeria is daring us from a source neither you and I can boldly confront to conquer. Wow!
How can religion, a cankerworm that is used nationally and on daily basis to discern wrong doings and checkmate man’s dealings be the Genesis of our problem itself? Suffice it to say that the sacredness of Religion has engulfed and corrupted our minds in due sanity in such a way that we are deformed even beyond individual’s personal recognition. Nigeria one of the most patently religious nation with skyscraping population has done nothing right.
The unreligious nations have much and will even offer strength and advise to us and we will gladly accept but of course will have no results even after setting those ideas in motion. Recently, in my conversation with Rakelle, a friend, she suggested we switch country with the likes of Donald Trump, Barrack Obama, Hilary Clinton and the entire Americans. The thought of the ominous idea still makes me laugh even now because I consider it very terrible.
However, I said to her that instant, that should such an historical feat be achieved and indeed we get to switch places, America in less than five years will regain her rightful title as the nation on top of a hill, a glory she had lost since 1947 because our lands has more resources than all America combined and Nigeria in turn, having moved to the already developed land and system of America will in less than two years completely corrupt the already working system and return to her original shape in a couple of years. Everything that has been working over there will just stop working. Damn!
I could recall, President Kim Jong-un of North Korea recently pleaded probably to the United Nations that he be allowed to colonise Nigeria for one year and see what he will do with my country in 12 months. If you ask me, I consider that a big challenge. As much as he was reprimanded for such statement around the world and of course neglected by my home government, seeing what he has achieved in the few years of his rein as North Korea President especially after making North Korea a nation who now pose greater threat to America’s imperialism, I would gladly give in to his colonialism not minding the economic setback my decision will cause for Nigeria as a sovereign state.
Why am I saying this, these guys have records of unprecedented victories because of a working system and mindset that is devoid of religious and racial sentiments. Everything that makes a nation develop ultimately is everything we don’t possess as a nation. The smallest of them all is working collectively for humanity and this also Nigeria does not even possess. We have no just resolve, motive and operational ideas whose personal, racial and of course religious gains is far from the collective contribution to sustenance of humanity. What the F*ck!
In Nigeria, Religion has become our sole harborage, for in religion we claim to find earthly provisions and divinity accompanied with promises of peace and safety and we obey her laws sacredly while we nix and abridge the tenets humanity. The preaching of religion of course supersedes that of being humane. Just imagine! Despite the billionaire prayer warriors and witches we have in my country.
Religion is the problem everyone has been shying away from because it is considered very sensitive. It’s eating us up like a cankerworm yet we look away from it intentionally as we’ve been trained not to offend God nor gods. Religion teaches us to let the fear of God inside our hearts but have not promoted humanity. Judging by the nasty and unsportsmanlike relations of Nigerians despite the height of religion, indeed humanity is not been practiced. There needs to be peace in our land. Our clerics should rather give us guns to kills ourselves if they won’t support and promote teachings on Humanity.
Enough has been said and done as with the problems bedevilling Nigeria, this time, I admonish that we take up the practice of Humanity and compassion nationally. Think of humanity as you think of yourself and racial circle, let us promote humane living in all we do. These are the words I expect my clerics to say here hence. As for me humanity will become my religion. Conclusively, I reiterate, religion will only make us love ourselves as much as we will hate ourselves by continually inciting us against ourselves. Religion will not birth a better Nigeria but humanity will. Graçias.
©Jejeniwa Olamilekan Samson (D’Oracle)
♧Mass Communication Graduate, Federal Polytechnic Offa