By Adeola Aderounmu
In Nigeria God has been used to perpetuate and cover many atrocious acts both inside and outside of worship centers.
When dubious men and cunning women who have stolen Nigeria’s money enter into churches and mosques and ask God or Allah to save Nigeria, then you wish for the God that can answer by fire and consume the guilty flesh in his presence.
The characters of several Nigerian political and public officers call for evaluation of both the ordinary mental states and the anticipated cognitive capabilities in Nigeria.
In my opinion I think it is pure stupidity for a man to neglect his obligations and pray for miracles to achieve the goals of his obligations.
The problems with Nigeria are too complex.
It is also disturbing that since we see things from different perspectives, it appears there is no way forward. Since I have known Nigeria it has become increasingly impossible for the people to find a genuine way to seek the common good.
Increasingly, before and after the days of the songs made popular by “The Mandators” Nigeria deepens as an incomprehensible jungle of rat race.
I have no hope in Nigeria based on the status quo.
Nigerians themselves have acquired the Stockholm syndrome because millions of Nigerians will do anything to defend the nature of Nigeria. They will tell you to stop criticizing the government, that you should proffer solutions to unintelligent rulers and above all some Nigerians will tell you to hope in God who can do all things.
This veil of God has, in no small measure, contributed to the persistent underdevelopment in Nigeria.
The intellectuality and the creativity of the majority of Nigerian people have been truncated and incapacitated mainly by this mentality hinge on religious belief side-by-side negligence of citizen duties/obligations to country and humanity.
Isn’t it sad that religious rulers have now developed sticky fingers by stealing from tithes and offerings to buy private jets? Nigerian pastors now rank among the richest people in the world. If there is a real hell fire, these men will probably be likely candidates. Apparently they know there is none, so they feed fat on the masses who are scared and are brain-switched by religious indoctrinations.
Even Jesus whom they try fruitlessly to emulate was said to have rode on a donkey. He gave to the poor and needy, he shared with them.
Which God is going to save Nigeria? The one the religious rulers are stealing from or the one the looting politicians are pretentiously calling upon?
I don’t know how one God or several gods will save a people that permit and tolerate the looting of their common treasury. A people so resilient they cannot use the numbers on their side to turn the table in their own favour.
No one knows exactly how much has been stolen from Nigeria. The estimate (still growing by the minutes) runs into several billions of dollars. Several countries in the world would have become extinct if such were stolen from them. The sum stolen from Nigeria so far would have led to a global economic crisis if such amount were to disappear from the European economy.
At this time of the year and at the beginning of a new one, Nigerians will converge at different worship centers not only at home but across the world. They’ll pray for miracles in the New Year and they will pray that God will take control of the Nigerian political and economic situations.
Those who are stealing Nigeria’s money from the presidency to the local government will say the same prayer. Let us imagine a God like that of Elijah in the Holy Bible. Let us imagine a God like that of Moses in the Bible. Let us just imagine how fire and earthquake would have consumed all the hypocrites gathered in the temples, churches and mosques on the last day of the year, or even before then.
That type of God would have saved the helpless masses because by one swoop, 99.9% of Nigerian rulers would be consumed and 99.9% of the pastors and imams would perish.
If this is what Nigerians are waiting for, I am sorry to break the news again that several millions of Nigerians will go through this life without ever experiencing the true meaning and the essence of living. I am fond of calling this situation one the worst but hidden tragedies of modern era.
In recent months, I have pondered over the reasoning of some people that I’d encountered in real life and through other means. It is sad that some Nigerians have confused their personal achievements and survival strategies with the opportunities that the state is supposed to provide to everyone.
When people start to do well through their struggles through thin and thick or via their connections to the strings that fetch wealth from the Nigerian situations, they suddenly forget or neglect the maladministration, the gross incompetence and the severely corrupt nature of the Nigerian government across all strata. They give credits to their gods or to their spiritual fathers.
Some people are still struggling genuinely and some are also struggling with the anticipation or hope that one day, they will get to that point where they will benefit from the corrupt system. You can ask all the people who have been made wealthy by each successive corrupt government in Nigeria. Their testimonies of sudden riches represent the rude shock Nigerians got used to, with bizarre admiration.
All these categories of Nigerians converge in churches and mosques and pray that God will save Nigeria while they forget the roles that the citizens play in nation building. They forget the function of governments at all levels.
The other day I was at a gathering of some Nigerians in the diaspora. One young man was very emphatic about what should be done when you get the opportunity to serve in Nigeria. According to him and in fact, according to many confused and silly minds, “if you can’t beat them, then you join them”.
Majority of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora have unfortunately come to terms with the ill fact or misconception that the primary purpose of politics and public service is to enrich oneself when one gets elected or appointed into an office.
This is part of the sad reality that led me to the conclusion that Nigeria is in a very hopeless situation and that there is no God that will save Nigeria.
If Nigerians want to be saved or rescued they should abandon their churches and mosques and face the reality of everyday citizen roles in nation building. I don’t think they want to be.
The president of Nigeria and his vice are feeding themselves with over N1b annually on record and probably over N2b off record. In which other part of the world can this sort of systematic stealing happen? Since when do people who receive salary feed on government and tax-payers’ money? Nigerians should ask Jonathan about this and the insatiable urge from the presidency to spend all of Nigeria’s money and reserves.
Nigerians should get out of their worship places and ask about the report from each federal minister and every state commissioner about the outgoing year. They should seek answers to the ways their lives have been steered by those who they elected, selected or forced into offices. They should task the governors and lawmakers who are feeding and living on the highest paid political wages in the world-what have they done in the outgoing year to improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians?
Nigerians are going to the wrong places every Friday and every Sunday. God owes you nothing! The politicians and public servants owe you everything.
Nigerians, you owe yourselves that boldness to seek probity and accountability.
Take your drive away from places of worship and move towards the various government houses instead. Ask about the future of your children and yours. Ask about the quality of education against the backdrop of global industrialization and technological advancements. Make a request that the children of all politicians be educated in the local government where their fathers and mothers live.
Ask your local, state and federal governments about the state of health provisions when the president, his wife and all your politicians are heading abroad for treatments.
Nigerians, ask the people who rule you about water, roads, electricity and other social amenities that add meaning and values to life.
Ask about your police and the judiciary and how to make them work for you. Ask about jobs, housing, employment opportunities and social or welfare services that exist in the constitution but not in real situations. Ask about anything and everything that affect the way you live and the quality of your life.
Stop asking God. No deity will save Nigeria!
On your own part, you must come to the table with clean hands and pure hearts. In what ways have you contributed to the development of your family, community and region?
Are you looking for ways to impact positively on the people around you and on your community or are you looking for ways to “join them if you can’t beat them”?
Who told you that you cannot beat them? Stop believing in popular fallacies! Your gullible existence is sucking away positive energy from your living. Gandhi told you many years that you should be the change you want to see in the world.
You can pray from now to eternity and your lives and the future of your children will remain stolen and wasted. Your president can knee before men from now to eternity for nothing. Think more about your children and the useless country you are about to bequeath to them-a place where people get away with crimes, lootings and all sorts of atrocities.
You want to leave behind a country where they are not expecting anything from the state but where they have to struggle like it’s a rat race. Some people will do some extra struggle as history has always recorded, no doubt. But such situations that have now replaced normalcy can only be reversed by your positive actions and not by prayers.
God will not save Nigeria. I am sure. What will happen is that your pastors and imams will get richer tapping more from your meager earnings. You will contribute to building more churches and more mosques and no new schools for your children.
Your politicians (that include your fathers, your mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and acquaintances) will steal more money, get richer and sprinkle some crumbs around. They will give loads to churches and mosques, a confirmation that the churches and mosques are ruining your lives.
If you continue to pray without facing the realities, Nigeria will continue to waste away and possibly crumble. We won’t need seers to tell us that insecurity will rise, that the cost of living will continue to climb and that these difficulties will be directly proportional to sub-human standard of living.
Those who have escaped the poverty line should stop confusing their emergence with the real situation that ordinary Nigerians face daily. In 2012 Nigeria is rated among the most corrupt countries in the world and Nigeria is the worst place to deliver a child. These rankings are relative but a lot can be drawn from the statements, including the fact that Nigerian political and religious rulers are gangsters.
At the beginning of 2011, I wrote “My message to Nigerians in 2011, stop saying it’s God”. Since then things have gone even worse.
In 2013 I believe that Nigerians need to demand for as many as possible referendums.
It is very important to redefine the meaning of some words like: Nigeria, Nigerians, Regional Governments, Federal Government, Federal Republic, Federalism and Patriotism.
I read a bit of the Nigerian constitution and I thought it was written either by drunkards or some mad men. No nation will get anywhere with such a constitution. The application of common sense is far better than many of the contents of the Nigerian constitution.
For instance the issue of the federal character is clearly retrogressive and it gave a clear sign that Nigeria is not going to move forward anytime soon. We have subdued intellectualism and replaced it with resounding mediocrity. We have killed the voices of reasoning. I thought about some top employees of the Nigerian Immigration Service who are from Northern Nigeria and who usually ask their colleagues from western Nigerian to help them write letters to their wives and families in the north. My hope now is that they can at least send emails or sms on their mobile phones.
I also thought about some commissioners in Bayelsa State who served under Goodluck Jonathan. They wanted to travel to America with the Nigerian passport even when entry visas have not been sought. They were already asking for travel allowances ahead of visa procurement.
These types of men (and women) abound in Nigeria’s political space and public services due to local and federal character slash politics of thugs. Are we still surprised why the system collapsed in Nigeria?
In the Nigerian constitution, there are sections covering national awards. Over the years political thieves and known criminals who unfortunately are above the laws of the land have been given national awards in Nigeria. That alone, zeros the constitution because it takes a thief to honour a thief. Who is now fooling who?
In Nigeria millions of people are joining the bandwagon, looting, accepting bribes, cutting corners and doing anything it takes to “survive”. “If you can’t beat them, join them” is the national slogan and they keep praying to God. What a joint joke?
Some expectations are driven by absolute foolishness and blind faith. The things Nigerians are asking God to do are the functions of people and governments across the world. How can God fix a country where nearly all the national and state resources and funds are distributed into the private accounts of politicians and public servants? Is God a global magician?
When Nigerians are ready or when the veil of God is removed, they will rise up and claim what is theirs. How they do that is definitely up to them. Nigeria is not going to get better based on religion, prayers or miracles. God will not save Nigeria.
Only Nigerians can rescue and save themselves completely.