As a commentator who views every aspect of religion with a strong dose of suspicion and doubt, I am always mindful of the fact that discussing religion in Nigeria amounts to dabbling into a very sensitive issue. I therefore make known my views about the beliefs of others which boil down to one sentence; every religion should be accorded the respect it deserves. It has never been my intention to ridicule people of faith or the subject of their faith.
However, I am an individual that subscribes staunchly to that school of thought which maintains that no institution is so sacred that questions should not never be directed at it; this question time becomes most pertinent now because religion makes both spurious and ridiculous claims in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We live in an era where Pastors, Prophets and Imams smile to the bank while doing nothing other than promising the poor and hungry that “there is a heaven somewhere”.
Chief amongst the numerous claims being championed by the show-time Pastors and Prophets in Nigeria is the ability to peep into the future and report to the gullible and bewildered followers what will transpire soonest. Well, Nigeria is facing a very major challenge which is threatening to shatter her existence as we know it-a religiously psychopathic sect ridiculously known as Boko Haram is murdering fellow citizens with so much glee.
Having studied the concept of this megalomaniac Boko Haram bigots, it is my considered view that numerous Nigerian “men and women of God” should rise to the occasion and help both our security forces and Nigerians in “stemming the tide of the flow of blood” [apologies to Wole Soyinka]. We have in abundant supply self-proclaimed Pastors and Prophets who owe their success to claiming to have the ear of God; these fellows have made a brilliant career of turning millions of fellow citizens into weaklings who “wait on the lord” while donating generously to the preachers scam.
I sincerely posit that Boko Haram should be made to feel the weight and fire that fills the Lagos-Ibadan highway-this stretch of road is the melting point of all the “Bible believing” churches in Nigeria. Presidents, Governors and many successful and not so successful politicians in our land have been known to visit some of the brands littered on that road for a peep into their political future. Foreign heads of governments equally troop to our “Pastors/Prophets highway” for divination.
One of our most popular and stupendously wealthy Prophets is so much into the practice of “predicting” the death of famous people, favoured countries to win the African Cup of Nations, etc. Now, what is stopping this fellow and others that ply the same trade from revealing the antics and designs of the Boko Haram and those propping them up? Revelations and prophecies should not end with telling hungry and wretched citizens of Nigeria that “this is your year of financial breakthrough”, “your uncles and aunties in the village are behind your economic doom”, “the old woman you gave money is the one that tied your wife’s womb”, and similar nonsense.
Our Pastors and Prophets have really failed to live up to their self-professed calling. They must come out in their thousands to form a coordinated team of “Divinely Inspired Prophets/Pastors Intelligence Network” to compliment the efforts of our worldly security forces in smashing the monster that is Boko Haram. For the love of God, we should do away with this weak and self-defeating style of enjoining scared adherents to pray for the downfall of this murderous sect.
Nigerians are really a gullible lot and our government exploits this ugly situation brilliantly. The economic hardship brought about by the ethically and morally evil actions of our rulers is to me, the main reason why we have millions of religious people who have no faith. All over Nigeria, we see smart men and women exploiting fellow citizens, armed with nothing other than a copy of the Bible or the Quran. We are living in a period of time where fellow citizens have become so superstitious and are willing to believe just anything that spews forth from the mouth of charlatans masking as “men of God”.
I feel so sorry for the pastors and prophets that ply their trade in the North of Nigeria; their major source of sustenance and wealth which comes in the form of “offerings and tithes” is being threatened by the murderous rampage of the Boko Haram. Offerings and tithes will surely cease to come in when people are afraid to go to church-sad. So, in order to secure their major means of income, those that “traffic in the word” must work hard to dismantle the source of their scourge.
Our Pastors, Prophets and Imams are really a bunch of very smart lot. They have devised a brilliant means of “giving hope to the hopeless” while smiling to the banks and flying around in private jets and cruising in posh automobiles. I give it to them; it is not their fault that we have consistently being saddled with wicked and heartless bloodsuckers who parade themselves as leaders. These men and women who obviously have no shame have maintained a steady and sustained practice of looting our treasury with the highest degree of lust! The nation is in shambles because of the wicked and obnoxious actions of those that either shot or rigged their ways into positions of authority; our schools are all in different stages of decay, our health care is one huge joke, transport system is comatose, our roads are death traps, made in China electric generating sets of different types now sustain our quest for power supply, our environment is so polluted that it is really a miracle how we remain healthy here, everything is bad in Nigeria.
In the absence of a responsive and responsible government, in the absence of men and women who are honest and armed with a strong will to serve the people, in the absence of a purposeful leadership, what we have is a stifling array of churches and mosques all churning out ridiculous and weird messages of hope to assuage the quest of an already bewildered and impoverished populace. Sounds of gun shots and exploding bombs have become a steady stream in the life of our nation while the Presidency maintains the comedy which maintains that “Nigerians should go about their lawful business as government will soon smash the scourge that is Boko Haram”
So far, it has become a sinister habit of those in the Presidency to attempt to insult us with messages that achieve nothing other than expose their annoying inability to secure Nigeria and all that concerns Nigerians. Boko Haram is bombing us into oblivion, those in government are in a serious race of stealing all the money in our treasury, the EFCC is busy celebrating jailing hapless and petty 419 boys while shying away from prosecuting the big men and women that raid public funds with impunity, our police men continue to shoot unarmed civilians while scampering to safety at the mention of armed robbers/kidnappers, etc. etc. The above scenario is the perfect breeding ground of swindlers and rogues who mask as preachers.
As far as I am concerned, Pastors, Prophets and Imams are all in their game for their own cosmic amusement which is about the wealth, the prestige it accords them and the opportunity to make cock and bull claims. This is the time for them to come out and unravel the apparent “mystery” that the Boko Haram and other societal evils have become. Those that claim to see into the future with the aid of “an all seeing God” should harken to this clarion call, or accept openly that they are a bunch of Motivational Speakers whose major career is all about challenging people to surrender their thinking faculties in place of “praying and fasting until something happens”. Perhaps, there might be men and women who genuinely believe in their role as men and women ordained by the Divine to help the suffering masses of Nigeria.
However, why is it only in Africa that religion encourages people to be blind to reason and logic while in developed nations, reason, and science and technology rules? There are so many “whys” in my mind now, but chief amongst them is why our self-acclaimed men and women of God are not using their powers of “vision and prophesy” to expose the Boko Haram and their many plots? Why? Let’s pray about it brethren.