Religion is the the opium of the people so says Karl Max. In most cases where religion is overstretched, development issues are often pushed to the background. Even though religion teaches moral and makes certain demands from its devotees, but it is obvious in practice, many of the religious leaders are not leading lights of that they preach.
Several atrocities are committed in the name of religion. Yet no one can query such anomalies as these is tantamount to disobedience of higher authority or invisible being. Yet it is obvious the divine is neither an oppressor, confused nor divisive. Religion and Politics are two dangerous explosives. Nigeria is becoming a pathetic case because two explosive weapons of politics and religions are fused together. Inability to manage one well is tragedy enough not to now talk of when a Country has the gut to acquire a combinein honour in the mismanagement and application of both.
The challenge of religion is that as long as many remain ignorant of what they are supposed to do or be, the few elites and leaders of these so called religions will take advantage of such ignorance. Religious leaders make ignorant followers do their own bidding instead of following the tenets of the religion itself. Many will rather put people under bondage so they do not know the right thing for selfish reason. In country where religion colours everything they do, the people are always in a big problem. Check most of the developing countries. Religious beliefs are promoted over what needed to be done.
Compare these countries to developed world, you will see the difference. Why no one can actually do away with a believe in one extra terrestial being, but loosing one senses to these beings is the greatest calamity of mankind. The being that created the world gave man his sense to use not to keep in a cooler. When potentials are left at the potential level, it is a colosal waste of time and resources.
In Nigeria, religion has been the undoing of development. Everything is viewed from religious mirror. People cannot trust each other. The two or albeit three dominant religions and their adherents will rather consider issues from their religious sentiment than yo look at issues critically. Our Politicians understand this dynamic. Many of them who will not go to a religious gathering before or after election due to ‘pressure of office’ will suddenly attend as many worship centres few months to election. The worst is those who go to the extend of appeasing their gods with human beings just to gain control of political power.
In this age and time, many will rather discuss who should become President of this nation based on religion and not issue based. Today, former President Obasanjo was quoted in the Newspapers ‘Nigeria should beware of Muslim – Muslim ticket’. That is, whatever we do, Nigeria should never vote any Presidential candidates with both the President and his vice who hold same religion views. Come to think of it, we all know most of the deputies and Vice have no big say but rubber stamps. Where the vice or deputies have asked to be given authorities to operate his/her constitutional rights, trouble always ensue. We have examples of President Obasanjo and Abubakar Atiku, Asiwaju Bola Hammed Tinubu and Kofoworola Buknor in Lagos as few examples.
In the past Nigeria has missed great opportunity to break from this cocoon but we keep pressing the head of the nation down on issues that bring no one any good. The irony we have seen in the past was that all we see is to have Christians who come to power and used State money to build a religious house in the State House. Many of the times, these so called ‘Christian and moslem’ candidate never attend the worship service regular. When they do, they always hire a religious leader who cannot tell them the truth as contain in the holy books. Or they see going to mosque and churches as a routine to host their visitors.
If Nigeria has done something consistently and have not gotten any positive return, why do we stock to a trade which has constantly leads us into deficits? Why is religion overpriced in Nigeria over issue based politics? Why do we constantly fall into the same dish in the name of whatever? Why can’t Nigerians wake up to the demands of our times? Why don’t we leave religious bigots in the past, whoever they are and whatever position they occupy in the society?
Why do we allow religion to determine the essence of what we do especially when we all know we neither have true nor honest devotees who adhere strictly to the demands of these religious beliefs. As we know, many religions are avowed to selfishness, unfairness, injustice, oppression, stealing, corruption among many vices. They all preach sound morality. These political warlords turned religious bigots neither follow nor obey such injunction as contained in their religious books.
We have seen both Christian and moslem political leaders who had corruptly enriched themselves. Many religious employees offer bad services when they had already collected their fees. Yet we continue to put religion in the forefront. A Nigeria adage says ‘ no god should leave me worst off than when I start professing to be adherent. If a god cannot help me it should at least leave me the way I was before I met me’.
National and state development in Nigeria had been hampered just because we consider or place religion above what is right and needed to be done. Many religious beliefs are hampering girl and women development. We have seen where religious leaders ‘misfire’ break the law and we gather round them to protect such leaders because they are major actors in our worship places. Many have used religions to commit rape, stealing and many vices and they do support political appointees who are thronging their religious places when they know such political leaders are not doing it right. A leader in Nigeria has once said you cannot be eating and be talking at the same time. This is the bane of our undoing. Many religions leaders’ mouths are filled with blood money given as seed, tithes, alms etc No wonder it has become so difficult to speak against what is wrong in the society.
If we must mix religion plus politics, it must be on a sound doctrine of fairness, openness, truthfulness, equity and exemplary leadership religious doctrine preach. It is based on this that Nigeria can witness rapid development and progress. Humans are spirit and need sustainance from the spirit as we are told but no such things as religious bigotry should be allowed. More importantly, no body should live on what their religious leaders tell them alone.
They must dig deep into their own religious books, study what such require and become a shining light of what the religion teaches. No sane religion will command anyone to kill, maim and destroy others just because they do not see issues the way you see it. In fact we should emphasis morality, character and demands such from everyone. If one’s life styles are not in conformity with these standards they should be relegated and send back to where they belong.