I can’t get tired of writing about my beloved country, Nigeria because here is my natural habitat. After many years of existence, I guess I will be insensitive if I didn’t know concrete things about my society. Nobody needs to tell me that Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa are just few tribes out of many that exist in this country; also it will be funny if I don’t know there is a “National Cake” that few people were sharing. I guess you know I know people are being marginalized and also, there is overdose of corruption in the social space. To show my vast knowledge about my people, I wrote an article sometimes ago which I titled “A Nation Where Almost Everybody Is Angry”.
I won’t be exaggerating if I tell you that I can say more about Nigerians without ambiguity; peculiar people with great attitude. People who strongly believe in divinities irrespective of their gender, tribe and even religion. Nigeria is a place where people don’t joke with prayers but frown at curses. It is a wide abode where some people train sinless child to like his fellow children by faith they practice. An environment where people co-habit based on religions but not morals.
Nigeria may not have grown industrially but this shortcoming has failed to replicate itself when it comes to building and inventions of both religion houses and different types of religious doctrines. Christianity and Islam which happens to be most prominent faith in Nigeria have grown both in length and breath. I won’t be hypothesizing if I choose to say we have few countries that can compete favourably with Nigeria when it comes to religion activities and worship centers, we have the best of the best here coupled with devoted worshippers. As of today the number of churches and mosques has no countable figure; religion industrialization. In this country, Friday is a special day for Muslim devotees and casual ones; it is not a day to toy with. In some cases roads are shut down and traffic is sometimes inevitable.
Likewise on Sunday every Christian set out to avoid the guilt of not keeping the Sabbath day holy. On this day the best of Christians are shown both in fashion and character pretence. No doubt the love for God shrouded in religion in this beloved country is precise and evident. But it’s un-lucid why our society is still filled with smoke of immorality despite this phenomenal gesture. Sometimes ago a Christian evangelist visited Nigeria and as the man moved around the cities, the man noticed that almost every car that plies Nigeria road had a religion inscription on them. The man resolved in his heart that he’s in a country that knows God, but is that true? I leave the answer to your conscience.
Despite the fact that religion has been institutionalized in the DNA of average Nigerians, it has refused to provide any significant impact in our day-to-day life. People claimed their religion preach peace, accountability, justice and above all love but do we smell this in our ecosystem? All I see every day is cattle rustler versus Agatu people, Boko Haram wasting innocent lives, Muslims targeting Christians and vice versa, the Rich marginalizing the poor and politicians deceiving the masses.
It will surely be an affirmation of fact that despite religious nature of Nigerians, the country still looks like the offspring of Sodom and Gomorrah. We tie religion on the head like bandana and the hatred within is immeasurable. The love we profess is perforated by hypocrisy and deceit. Even aside this, the Almighty religion has been the major tools used by the Privileged to flummoxed the mundane, what a pity!
Just recently the united Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC) and Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released their survey reports about corruption in Nigeria, it was reported that on average, almost one bribe is paid by every adult citizen per year to public officers and that the average amount paid in cash for a bribe is equivalent to a fourth of the average monthly salary. They revealed that a total of 82.3 million bribes were paid amounting to 400 billion naira. All these were found in a country like ours who doesn’t joke with religion rites?
However, the question that has remained unanswered by the clerics is what has become the role and influence of this growing religion in the present day Nigeria. Because we now live in a society where most of our cherished norms and values have been redefined as uncivilized virtues. Morals are gradually becoming stale and immodest is now being crowned with accolades, recognition and awards. If truly we are the character we claimed to be (a religious country that loves God), definitely our habitation should be the best place to live in this world. Recently, a Nigeria musician in his song said this “mosque don full and church full too then who con be the people doing bad bad things? Who con be the people wey dey chop government money wey sufferment plenty?” This artist was just saying, will all claim to be religious then where are these putrefacient acts coming from? Even with the use of Holy Bible and the Qur’an to swear in political officers, it has refused to deter them from pursuing their non-altruistic ambition and this same religion is used by them to mesmerize voters and in order to win elections.
As I round off on this piece, I cannot but reiterate how painful the way they make some gullible Nigeria see religion and what it has done to there manners. However, it is high time for Nigerians to drop religion of pretence, camouflage and make love a practical lifestyle. Our belief in God should truly depict personal conviction and high moral standard. Nobody should define his goodwill through religion but practice. Religion should not reduce the humanity in us. Also, religion activities with unrefined mind will take us nowhere; it will only deprive us of the Promised Land we all seek. We must not forget that we owe our unborn generation a united Nation saturated with selfless and undenominational love. Love should be endemic in our national values and orientation.