Today, I passed a church and heard several rhythmic chantings: “O God kill my enemies”, “Holy spirit silence my enemies”, e.t.c. A question immediately came to mind: Is God a hired killer? Is the holy spirit an assasin? I’m also aware that Prophet T.B Joshua said a club will win Champions league, and he even went as far as saying those who’ll score. I can’t but ask, Is anointing for this? What has exactly made us susceptible to these kind of people?
One thing i have come to realize is that we are like people sinking; we grasp whatever we can. I have always tried to think of reasons why Nigerians are so religious, and I can only think of one thing: because of the helplessness they feel about government’s oppression.
Have you ever asked yourself why some religious people in other countries with better conditions of life and work go to church and sleep off or even read newspapers while religious people here in Nigeria have to scream their hearts out in prayer throughout the service? Have you ever asked yourself why christians in developed countries mostly have Praise concerts, Hosannah singers, e.t.c, while in Nigeria, all we have are, Deliverance nights, Night of miracles, mountain of solution? Have you ever asked yourself why the largest places where you see the largest crowd in Nigeria are in religious houses, while in developed countries, you find the largest crowd in Stadiums and at cinema houses? Have you ever asked yourself why in foreign films, we often have sad endings, but in Nigeria, we MUST have good endings to films(i.e, if you enjoy at the beginning, you suffer at the end and if you suffer at the beginning, you enjoy at the end) or it won’t sell in the market? Have you ever wondered why we have so many atheists in developed countries, yet in Nigeria, almost everyone has a religion, both inherited and adopted?
The answers aren’t hard to see, Nigerians are suffering and they need assurance that the people oppressing them will still suffer too, hence the wide acceptance of the heaven and hell concept.
Having a religion and sticking with the ideals of that religion is not a problem, but the problem starts when we start taking things to the extreme. The problem begins when we start adding things to religion that the people who brought the religion to us did not add. The problem starts when we start killing ourselves in the name of advancing our religion. The problem starts when religious leaders start giving their members false hope in the name of religion. The problem starts when we start killing ourselves because of 70 virgins waiting in Alujanah. The problem starts when religious leaders start preaching false peace to avoid addressing national issues.
If there is anytime when Nigerians should rise up and open their eyes, it’s NOW. If there is anytime when we should start thinking for ourselves, it’s NOW. Enough of gullibly following the dictates of religious leaders. Enough of following leaders who have amassed a great deal of gullible followers who don’t care whether or not their leader addresses National issues.
Nigerians who truly love Nigeria should not sit by and do nothing. Enough of hiding under the cloak of religion. Yes, we know we are going to heaven and our oppressors are going to hell. Yes, we are aware that we have 70 virgins in Alujanah. But look at our pastors and Imams who keep promising us that, they travel to wherever they want whenever they want, they live in mansions, the drive the latest cars in town. Ask them if they don’t want mansions in heaven. Ask them if they too don’t have 70 virgins in Alujanah. Enough is enough.
Instead of hiding under religion, let us address national issues, let us demand better conditions of life, better conditions of work, transparency and accountability. Yes, religion is good, but it won’t solve our national problems. Remember, God won’t do for man what man can do for himself.
By Ogunjimi James Taiwo