Sometimes ago I wrote an article titled Holy Bible, or Koran can’t solve our problems if we keep planting churches or mosques every 100 meters in Nigeria Attempt like that would only lead to more poverty and backwardness in our society, but planting more industries and building more industrial parks will serve as a gateway to enduring prosperity in Nigeria.
The article attracted widespread celebrations and I hope this article would attract the much anticipated attention it required from the public as expected, too.
The intention here isn’t to stop people from praying or going to church or mosque but to separate faith from good governance so that we can engender a prosperous society.
What is faith? Faith is your doctrine or what you believe in and choose to worship. Your faith may be to worship Islam or Christian religion or traditional religion or to be a free thinker.
.Nigeria is a secular state. People have choices of religion. This makes sense to me even though Nigeria is probably the only country in the world that conducts state affairs with prayers and also ends with prayers.
Nigeria is yet the only country that sends their citizens to Mecca and Jerusalem annually from state funds at the expense of public education that is in dire need of funds.
While the world is full of all manners of evils, the intentions of those who brought the two dominant religions to us in this part of the world were to stop all manners of harmful practices.
It was intended to bring sanity to our moral integrity so that we can achieve a peaceful and prosperous society.
In the past, there were fewer religious centres and fewer crimes. Today, churches and mosques are in every hundred meters space in our country. Now, our old industrial parks at Ilupeju, Apapa, Ikeja, Amuwo Odofin, Agbara, Sango Ota, Iganmu have been turned to mega churches and worshipping centres, thereby destroying our economy.
Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina are the biggest religious tourist centres in the world. and attract largest people from all over the world embarking on religious pilgrimage, smile to the bank and improve the GDP of their national economies.
In the case of Nigeria, where churches and mosques are the social barometers to measure politics and who should occupy what position don’t we see this as a ploy to foist the religious economy on us, and how does this ideology add value to our national economy?
The other day, I read a story online where the former governor of Zanfara State was alleged to have spent N7 billion on Quranic citations. If this story is true, the former governor must be made to face the consequences of his actions.
The former governor is amongst our leaders that start state functions with prayers and also end with prayers, yet they are corrupt. What can we also say about our former head of state, Gen Sani Abacha who stole so much money from the national treasury. Can’t we see mockery and hypocrisy in our religious activities?
Another story that just happened in the UK I that a young Nigerian lady, working in the hospital as a care giver was detailed by the hospital management to take care of a patient on terminal illness, but rather than work in compliance with the policy of the hospital, throughout the night was praying, disturbing the patient.
The following morning, the patient reported her to the management of the hospital and she was sacked and arrested for noise pollution. There is nothing wrong with one’s having a doctrine, but there is extremism in the way we do our own in Nigeria.
The young lady lost her job and she is also facing prosecution in Britain.. She may not be able to secure a similar job in Britain and the implication is that she will be faced with economic survival and deportation from soon.
The white men that brought religion to us don’t mix religion with their works and they don’t use religion to constitute nuisance in the society. In most cases, prayers are said quietly in the churches or mosques. You can’t find places where people fast 70 days, go to the mountains to pray ,or casting demons daily and praying in the public places like parks, roads and markets as the case in Nigeria.
We can also not find a situation where people go to church or mosques from Monday to Sunday, which would prevent them from carrying out any economic activities to be able to put food on their table , yet we are crying of poverty.
It’s also ironic that Nigeria was recently declared as the second most prayerful country in the world. In my view, without doubt, Nigeria is a prayerful country, but can’t we see that we have just exposed our moral bankruptcy?
As second most prayerful country in the world, yet the poverty capital of the world and unauguably amongst the most corrupt countries in the world! What a contradiction! Are you saying with all these noise on the streets, on the prayer grounds, in the mountains and holy ghost fires, God is not hearing our prayers, but only listening to the prayers of the white men who brought the religion to us because, they keep on breaking new ground in their economies and politics.
I recall, some years back, it was reported in some dailies that 80% of the crimes being committed in Nigeria were by religious people. What that means is that with the avalanche of mega churches and mosques in our country, we are confronted with more crimes.
In any case, it’s foolhardy to think of dotting our land with more churches and mosques when China is expanding its industrial base to other parts of the world. Yet we think we are going to pray our ways out of poverty without taking practical and decisive steps .
One of the reasons why our national currency is being vilified is because we have replaced our factories with religious centres, praying from Monday to Sunday when our counterparts are at work 24/7, thinking that miracles, holy ghost fires will catapult our economy from obscurity to the top. Absolute nonsense!
We do the opposite of what we preach to the people, thereby creating confusions like Fela Anikulapo said in one of his heat music.
Why should it ever cross our minds that planting churches and mosques in every hundred meters in our country will improve our moral latitude? What economic benefits will such ideology bring to the country? Such religious ideology will spread poverty because no faith will put food on your table without work, no matter how long you bind lucifer and fast. What they know how to do best is to brainwash their congregations. They shop in Europe, America and China from the offerings contributed by poor people. They also know what is good, but they prefer to keep the poor at the bottom of the ladder.
They have forgotten the ideology behind the two most dominant religions in Nigeria. It’s all salvation and humanity. Our churches and mosques are home to all manners of inadequacies like prostitution, corruption, cultism, intimidation and open display of opulence and riches, yet Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world.
So, let’s deploy the resources into planting industries in every 100 meters in our country so that the children of the less privileged people can work and maintain tbeir aged parents. That way, you would see that in no time, Nigeria will become the industrial tiger of Africa and our national flag would soar amongst the comity of nations
.Otunba Sola Olatunji, Chairman, Ikale Heritage Development Association writes from Lagos