By Adeola Aderounmu
On the 31st day of December every year Nigerians usually troop in millions to churches across the nation. As a teenager I realised that even millions of people began to troop to the mosques on the same day. Not totally surprising as vigils had earlier become a common denominator for all the forms of worship/ belief in Nigeria.
Nigeria probably has the highest number of places of worship in the world. Everyday Nigerians troop to churches and mosques to worship. You will be amazed by the level of insanity in the Nigerian society. There is a complete lack of correlation between the numbers of worshippers plus the places of worship and how people conduct themselves at work and places of businesses.
The more people go to churches and mosque, the more serious our national problems have become. Nigerians proclaim God with their mouths but their hearts are far from good.
Take this classical example of Obasanjo and Yar Adua as proclaimed by Fela few decades ago. Take any of the Yar Aduas and add it to an Obasanjo, you will get a class of people who deceived the nation the best way they can while hiding under the umbrella of religion. The recent Yar Adua did all he could to shield an Ibori and other cronies while the stupidity lasted. Obasanjo among other things wrapped 16 billion naira in a safe place. Heaven must be weeping.
Nigerians believe that politicians who have been ruining their lives are sent by God. They even provide special places for them in churches and mosques. Nigerians worshipped both God and political office holders. When elections are rigged or when violence is used to achieve a political result, Nigerians say that it is God’s doing. Nigerians still believe that it was God who put Obasanjo and Yar Adua as successive illegal presidents in Nigeria. I hate these submissions with great passion.
God has no role in our political madness. It is some useless Nigerians who rigged the elections. They have been doing that since 1959. God does not vote and if there something God knows about-it is the fact that men have the freedom to decide how they want to lead their lives.
The calamities in Nigeria are not God’s faults. Nigerians have refused to think right and do things well. Is it God’s fault that some Nigerians are sabotaging the power sector because they want to continue to import generators for the profit they make?
Wake up Nigerians! You and the rest of Africa are light years behind the rest of the world.
On the last day of every year, you run to churches and mosques. You do the same thing every Sunday and every Friday. Where are the outcomes? Pray! But act too.
What about getting out of the churches and mosques and marching to the local councils to demand for the rebuilding of the society? What about getting out of the places of worship with a resolve to demand accountability and probity from those who are stealing your money and taking them abroad to buy houses and jewelleries?
You, the common people keep praying while everyone who gets the chance to steal sends his children abroad to receive good and proper education. People are dying of preventable conditions! There are no schools to attend as public schools near extinction. The best you could do is pray? You can do better, act!
Look at the bridge that Daniel and Bankole fought over! How could you let these two guys get away without showing them that before and after the bridge are revelations of poverty, suffering and useless government altogether. Yet you still reserve the best places in the church and mosque for these rogues. Pity!
When will Nigerians start to act? 2011 comes with new challenges. These add up to the piles of old unresolved challenges. There is no electricity in Nigeria. It’s almost zero watt power supply. Jonathan and Atiku are the best candidates? Maybe it’s time to stop praying folks! These two men are wasting your time and life. Start a campaign in your churches and mosques with a view to generating new candidates that can bring freshness to the field of politics.
Our politics and ways of life need total transformation. How can we achieve these goals? It’s a dilemma because the rot is well rooted and our mentalities have been deformed as to the objectives of politics and public services.
We say politics is a dirty game. Is this what we learn from the churches and mosques? We and these people who are involved in the dirty politics belong to one church or the other OR to one mosque or the other as well. Indeed in several cases we mix these things and swear oaths at Okija-styled shrines nationwide. What a bunch of hypocrites! Little wonder we are suffering amidst plenty!
What do we preach in these holy centres? Obviously violence is one of the vices perpetrated by Christians and Muslims. Jos in Nigeria is a classical example of the fact that Religion in Nigeria is a means to suffering rather than salvation of the souls of men. We kill and maim one another in the name of religion. Jos continues to burn even to this day in the name of both religion and politics.
Now we have turned to full time terrorism with the spate of bombings across the nation. Soon Somalia will be a child’s play compared to Nigeria. We either get it right now or face the calamities ahead. The impacts of a failed nation are manifesting.
Is there anything in Nigeria that is not distorted in the name of religion and God? Nigerians leave everything in the hands of God. Millions of Nigerians have not known another life except that of penury and poverty. The situation may never change. By implications several millions of Nigerians will live the life they never chose. They will spend their entire lives having no choice and no option to poverty and hardship.
Millions of Nigerians do not know what it means to have constant power supply for even 24 hours. It’s a luxury that has not happened in several localities since the 80s. Living in Nigeria is almost a tragedy. It doesn’t even matter if you are rich. Being rich make it possible for you to have advantages but it doesn’t exclude you from the living conditions outside the walls of your home.
In 2011 Nigerians are preparing for the polls again. When the outcomes are known, they will say it is what God wants. They will forget that the elections have been rigged even before they started. Nigerians do not know that the democratic institutions they have are weak and non-viable. We want results for the things we are least prepared for.
I wish Nigerians a Happy New Year in 2011. I’m hoping that the mad accusation against God will stop. Take your destinies in your hands. Ask the government for transparency and stop worshipping those who steal both your money and your future. Stop respecting those who have planned that your children will not be educated. It is their way to subdue you and make you their slaves forever.
In 2011, look as the votes are counted. When you get out of the places of worship every day, take time to go to your local council in troops, ask them for accountability and probity. Nationally, take the time to monitor events and situations, organise protests to fight corruption and social injustice.
Ask for your rights: good roads, good water, good schools, acceptable standard of living, and employment opportunities. Nigerians, among other things, ask your government to diversify the economy.
Nigerians, you must become bolder and rise up against the upcoming evil because the sufferings may get worse. Ask your government to make things better. They should stop stealing money especially in Aso rock. It is sheer wickedness and a form of demonic insanity for some people who become mega-rich at the expense of the rest of us.
Get up and speak against all the evil men and women in government. If we unite, we will stand against them.
Power belongs to the people. We must stop this stupidity of going to churches and mosques without reflecting well in the society. Imagine the glory of this nation if we transform our religiosity into godliness and sincerity.
We cannot continue to have the largest numbers of religious places and the largest numbers of problems in the world. It doesn’t add up.
This is my message for you-Nigerians- in 2011. Stop saying it’s God. Stop the mockery! Take your destinies in your hands!