Granted that Nigeria is an emulsion of peoples with
different nuances, predilections, bias, views and dispositions, there are
common traits which form the portmanteau of the attitude of the average
Nigerian. These are shared proclivities, propensities, actions and reactions.
By the way, my concept of the average Nigerian has nothing to do with class,
but it has everything to do with the cognitive domain. I may not lay authoritative
claim to understanding the “Nigerian genetics”, but I know there is a Nigerian
gene pool from where every average Nigerian is formed, socialized and
stratified. The average Nigerian is a wonder!
The average Nigerian does not know God! The God that he knows is the God of his belly. The God that serves him and not the God that he serves. The insular,
parochial and partial God!
of his “open doors” and “breakthroughs.” The God that strangles his enemies for
him. The God
that aids and excels
him in corruption. If he is caught, his enemies are at work, and his God must smite them. The God that gloats when he acquires a
new car while his neighbor commutes to work through public transport. And he
would say, my enemies will know I have a
very big God! The “sharp”, “sharp” God of signs and wonders!
Does the average Nigerian fear God? This is a
convoluted and contestable question. The fear of God by the average Nigerian is
tied to superstition. When he is fired from work, the witches in his village
are at work; perhaps that old, lonely hag that he calls Grand Ma is the
purveyor of his woes. And when he has been unemployed for years, then it must
be Chichi that innocent girl he used and dumped while at school. When his car
breaks down, the witches from his wife’s family are trying to frustrate him.
When he is sick, it must be a curse from Iyabo the girl he impregnated and
jilted. When he does not get the contract he had lobbied for and spent huge
amounts of money facilitating, he remembers Pastor Sam who had told him to sow
a cash seed of five million naira for “swift approval” not minding that fact
that he is not qualified for the contract. Despondently, he mutters, God is dealing with me o! And lastly when
he loses an election, he surmises, I
should not have gone to that Baba (Voodooist), I should have stuck with Prophet
Aribaba. In the throes of any these
is when the average Nigerian grovels in reverence of his God. In fact, he
cringes at the mention of God. He submits, fear
The average Nigerian is doctrinaire! His sense of
worship is weaved around religious personalities. Muslims and Christians alike.
You will incur the wrath of the average Nigerian if you insult his Daddy or his Alfa (religious father or head).
His Daddy or his Alfa is the personification of the benevolent God.
Abubakar Skehau and his “Boko” boys come to mind. The Daddies in Nigerian
Christendom too! As a matter of fact, some of the doctrines that the average
Nigerian swallows are by every iota of reason devoid of credibility and truth.
Yet he surrenders himself helplessly to religious moguls for his thoughts and
actions. My Daddy says this, my Alfa says that. That is the case with the
average Nigerian. An archetypal religious zombie!
Does God know and answer the prayers of the average
Nigerian? A witty piece by Elnathan John entitled “How to Worship the Nigerian God” comes to mind. Simply, the
knows and answers the prayers of the average Nigerian for there is no shade of
difference between the average Nigerian and his god. The Nigerian god absolves him of all malfeasance
and blesses him anyway. When he loots the national treasury, the Nigerian god looks the other way, when rapes
a teenager, the Nigerian god
looks the other way, when he gives a bribe the Nigerian god pats him on the back, and when
he lies to the masses the Nigerian god
rationalizes for him, that is the way of politicians. The God of the average Nigerian is a
very big God,
he blesses him anyway.