Please don’t crucify me yet, read and get my point. I am not evil or an atheist. I so much believe in God and as a catholic, I believe in His presence in the Blessed Sacrament. If we trace the root of Nigeria’s civilization and development, religion has played a very big role. Religious institutions in Nigeria were the first to build primary schools, hospitals, stopped the killing of twins, and many other traditional immoralities. I once asked my father, why many Nigerians (especially Igbo people) use English names instead of their tribal names. He said during the colonization era, people wouldn’t be enrolled into schools or got baptized in a church unless they have an English name. Then, I believe religion is made for some people who had created and designed it and would always cause and generate deadly and bloody problems for others who try to understand it their own way.
Religion is a subject so touchy, so dangerous, and so deadly. So many wars and so many lives have been lost by something (religion) that is supposed to bring about world peace and unity. I choose to believe in God but the negative stories associated with religion reminds me of why I harbor no grudges whatsoever towards people who choose to be atheists.
Walk into any streets in Nigeria and you would be amazed on how young men struggle so hard to establish a church of their own. The number of existing church could outnumber faithful Christians. Their basic theme always stand on Malachi 3:10 ‘Bring the whole tithe.’ I don’t give tithes to the church; instead I give out to the orphanages, less privileges or other physical meanings to my offerings. Why would I pay my tithes to a man/pastor who would drive in convoys and armored cars as if he is the best of all men? Why would I pay tithes to a so called man of God, then he would fly on private jet, drive on flashy cars, dine with politicians, get tax free rights to import goods for his personal business and lives in luxury. Ninety percent of Nigerian church goers are the poor market men and women who would struggle to make daily earns selling groceries on the sunny streets, pushing wheel barrows on a site and digging in crops into the soil.
A young lady once told me she had not gone home for 10 years because her pastor accused her of witchcraft and her family threatened to kill her. I believe such pastor is the witch. He/she would have milked out huge amount of money from the girl’s parent so as to find a deceptive solution to their problem which they believe is spiritual. Her grandparents had passed away; the pastor would have tagged them with witchcraft. She chose to marry a Muslim in a country where religion had built and now destroying, so the pastor used that opportunity to crown her the princess of witchcraft.
On September 11, 2001 the landscape and mind set of America were changed forever when 3000 innocent people were murdered in their primes by fanatic lunatics fighting the “holy war” jihad in the name of Allah. In 2009, just like many past instances, Nigeria saw a blood bath, again, in the name of God when some idiots decided to kill innocent people in an attempt to stop the advancement of western technology. I believe science and technology is so neutral that it could peacefully inter-exist with every religion. But, the Boko Haram said no! not in Nigeria. The leader of the faceless cult Boko Haram was “accidentally” killed in crossfire by the Nigerian Military. Found in his possession were 6 or more different cellular phones, the same technology he was fighting to abolish!
A friend once proudly told me that he knows Nigerians could be fraudsters, con artists, drug peddlers, 419s but that “they will never blow themselves up. They love to enjoy and live life!” Those were the good old days before Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, a privileged son of a wealthy Nigerian decided to upgrade every Nigerian resume, to include international terrorism when he attempted to blow up flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit in the name of Allah. What a shame! There is no ideological justification for strapping explosives in your underwear; just plain craziness and stupidity. AbdulMutallab can now meet his 70 virgins without his private part! Since he has successfully castrated himself, he should be a beautiful bride to his fellow inmate Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber. If his attempted bombing was to be in Nigeria, there would have been rubber tires around his neck and his burnt corpse deposited along the road. Better still, his body would have been ridden by “accidental discharge” by the Nigerian Police.
Historical stories and negative impacts had been laid down in the boiling pot of religion. More unanswered questions have been added to other questions associated with religion. Since the existence of religion from the Roman Empire, so many wars have been fought in the name of God. I began to ask myself, what would people talk about religion in 50 years to come?