Religion – Nigeria’s Greatest Problem – By Bello Isiaka | http://www.diasporascope.com
Nigeria is endowed with unbelievable wealth, but resources without a system, structure and lasting institutions is dangerous. Religion, poverty, ignorance & illiteracy have destroyed our value system in Nigeria. Religion is clearly the opium of the oppressed and keeps Nigerians addictively high with illusions that things will get better as long as they fast and pray.
My observation form the ongoing problems Nigeria has been facing can be traced down to religion. Be it Muslims, Christians or any other religion in Nigeria. Religion itself is very confusing with more than 20 documented religions existing in the world and all battling for supremacy of their messiahs. It is this confusion that the religious leaders capitalize upon to sedate their followers, oppress and extort them of their meager salary and hold them hostage with promises from above (Heaven) and hopes for miracles.
In one of my previous writes, I wrote on the subject that “church, a mere social gathering” but of a truth, religion is seriously turning into social gatherings. For instance, most churches are now places where the unmarried go to seek for marriage, the jobless go for job seeking instead of filling out applications, actions that should be taken against our corrupt leaders are tabled in the church in prayers. Students come to pray for success in exams instead of studying, the weirdest thing I have seen was at a church in Abuja were the pastor was blessing the pen the students will use in writing exams and asking the Holy Spirit to take control in the exam hall. Nigerians forget that faith without works is dead, little or no input of energy leads to less or no force output and “he who do not know that he doesn’t know it will never know it expect you try to know it”.
The only way out of this bondage of fanaticism, religious bigotry and too much uncontrolled religiosity is education and empowering Nigerians. But unfortunately many Nigerians prefer to be instructed than educated, oppressed than empowered and always blame spiritual influence on any predicament they face which leads to an average Nigerians paranoia.
There are many things that require our physical actions to change positively but instead we Nigerians hide in our rooms, churches, night vigil, religious conventions etc. pretending to be praying for a solution. We do not need any rocket science to turn the bad situation around for better but our collective physical efforts to get in tune with our community, what is going on around us and know our rights.
Nigerians only believe in prayers without any physical action whatsoever, which is the result of the stagnant growth our country is facing today. We spend most of our time praying for things that need our efforts and actions (Example: please God touch the heart of our leaders, please God make Nigeria a better place, please God touch the heart of our corrupt police men, Fire of God burn our corrupt leaders, the list goes on). Leaving our corrupt leaders unchallenged and grant them freedom to run the country down because the followers are not concerned with the politics of the country rather waiting for an Act of God to turn Nigeria to a beautiful utopia. Why can’t we call a spade, a spade and stop letting sleeping dogs lie? With all sincerity, religious sentiments put aside of which Nigerians are sentimentally dogmatic which makes them conceal the truth because the subject is from their constituency (religion or tribe).
If Martin Luther King didn’t fight as hard as he did to make a change, only spent his time in the church and preferred to be instructed by most uneducated religious leaders we have in Nigeria who are money minded, he wouldn’t have had a “Dream”. If Nelson Mandela prayed once and asked the Holy Spirit to stop apartheid, and didn’t sweat, bleed and go to jail for it what would have been the fate of South Africa? If Obama decided to be a junior pastor whose duty is to carry the senior pastor’s bible around and preach false messages of change only to enrich his pocket than working hard to make his famous and Victorious Change Speech, I guess a USA black president would have been a Greek myth.
If only the Nigerian youths will reject our countries apathy towards ongoing crisis and be the voice of the nation, if every Nigerian will stand upright and challenge what is wrong, things would be a little better. A revolution doesn’t have to be bloody to be a revolution. If we have unity amongst us, empower the young generation, educate and not destroy, work towards bringing positive change to be able to revolve around Nigeria’s current political and economic situation, that is what I call a “Revolution”. Change is all we have, education is the foundation to build an economy and not a bruising our knees praying and shouting on top of our voices in the act of prayer; as if God is deaf and needs to be shouted at before he hears or braking our foreheads praying at the mosque. If Nigerians can only face reality and know that faith without works is nothing.