Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
When Will Religion And Politics Save Nigeria?
Samuel Peter Aruwan
November 16, 2005
Today in this global world, no simple definition can describe numerous religions in the world. To many people ,religion is an organized systems of beliefs, ceremonies, practices and worship that center on one supreme God, or the Deity. For some religion involves a number of gods, deities. While others have a religion in which no specific God or gods are worship. There are even those who practice their own religious beliefs in their own personal way, largely independent of organized religion. But almost all the people who follow some form of religion believe that a divine power created the world and influence their lives .However from my own philosophy of religion ,it stands as guide on how to live according to the ethics of religions ,to which the end is peace and salvation in the bosom of our creator forever.
Politics too, a complex concept with too many disputes. Politics according to some refers to a process of obtaining power political power and how it can be exercise satisfactorily for the betterment and good of the society or state. Others said it is a game of who get what, when where and how.A friend of mine once said to me that it is a game of deceit and manipulation so as to get political and economic power. Whatever it may be to may people .Politics of course is politics with many compartmentalization and itís an everyday affair for mankind.
Both religion and politics are important institutions to mankind, it depends on how the are being used ,it can be source of joy and happiness and on the hand can be source of miseries, and agony. To begin with South-Africa and the dismantling of the apartheid government, it is a well known issue that religious institutions were at the vanguard of the struggle along with other political activists. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev Allan Bosak's struggle for the liberation of of the blacks was through the religious orbit. Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Steve Biko revolution against the white minority government was under the spectrum of political consciousness and political activism. Of recent, one is aware of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutuís effort towards their country getting the hosting of the 2010 World Cup.
The same story in Poland where the late Pope John Paul II refined their quagmire and depravation while in the Poles trial many priests were killed. The same in Philippines where Ferdinand Marcos was chased out.
The negative application of both religion and politics can be attributed to the Rwandan 1994 genocide, the Sudanese wars, etc. All these do lead a nation to political instability, corruption, mal-administration, religious and ethnic, and other phenomenon coming through the wrong usage of our institutions.
In a country in which all of its people both in the position of trust and leadership are religious, the positive significance of the religiosity should have been reflected in the governmental life and other sectors of the country. The president is a born again along with governors so much so that some governors with religious leaders were re-introducing many laws that have been with us for time, but in their own architectural design so to say. Others governors with their clerics too were counteracting the first one.
Within a twinkle of an eye there was tension and war was brewing right in ports of cheated indigents Nigerians amid the poverty, servitude etc. Disharmony ,animosity, suspicions ,discord, bigotry and hatred became part and parcel of life. This manipulations were not only played by politicians but with religious leaders who joined suite all in the contest of power and largesse that followed the so-called negotiation. All these to the impoverishment of the poor unlearned masses to the leisureís and comfort of the elites of both institutions .
All these were orchestrated in the name of religion and politics, Nigerians were segregated, the northerners were told not to believe in the southerners, the same the southerners were told not to trust in the northerners .The Muslims in the south were told to align with Muslims in the north, the same the Christians in the north were told to align with the Christians in the south. While the divided poor Muslims and Christian were killing and maiming one another the good thing the elites are doing to celebrate and appreciate their blinding of Nigerians indigents is to be giving themselves awards, the other time it was in Zamfara state where some Christian clerics honored him for his contributions towards peace and unity according to them and the day it was in Rivers State in which the governor according to some Muslims is the most Muslim Christian friendly governor.
This has become a national affair of celebrating those responsible of our disunity and disintegration.
In a nation where both institutions are compendium of Rev DR Prof, Sheik Dr Prof, DR etc this and that one still wonder how they cannot protect their followers from being exploited by the unmindful and selfish leaders who preached probity and accountability ,but negate justice, fairness ,sincerity in their attitude of leadership. The same faction crises we are seeing in our political parties are if not the same but worse in the religion cycle,for there is even rigging of religious elections!
It has even come to a point in which the religious people cannot be distinguished from politicians, for they are now accompanied by security bodyguards in convoys akin to selfish partisan politicians. When they are dishing out their sermons one sees securities operatives keeping abreast of security threat .Please where are we going with this mentality of materialistic and worldly possessions instead of the quest for our final peace and salvation.
Our national elections are marred with these stigma even before time. When the president was asked some years ago, whether he would run in 2003,he was quoted to have said until he consulted God. After God consultations he sang a song "I have decided to save Nigeria". One still wonder how God will endowed a nation with many of his apostles but they are unmindful of the leads plights. It is even on this that one is doubting the godliness of our leadership. May be it is their own God not the supreme God. The most pitiable thing is how government cronies are always relentlessly propagating that there is growth and development despite what people can attest that nothing good has actually been sown by the government.
To my mind since the leadership is so full of godliness in governmental business, Nigeria should have become a role models not only to Nigerians but even those of our African siblings, but the fact remains that Nigerians are not happy with their government if really they have government. If we have government, what is our national purpose and agenda as other nations do set and work towards the realization of their agenda. One still wonder if this what a religious nation go through in the hands of their leaders.
Our leaders with their cultivated crudity have been using Nigerians as a tool of object ional games .While these are going they find solace in swapping public funds to foreign lands or building an earth-heaven mansions before our very eyes to our poverty and languishing. While the masses are blinded in hating and chastising one another the elites are re-united in far away Europe or America celebrating their loot .
Today in Nigeria, the news that the health sector has collapsed is not a hyperbole ,absence of experienced medical personnelís and other hospital equipments attested this. The though that education sector has fallen is not a fiction ,the hand-outs saga, lectures intimidating students for cash and sex is a fact .The fact that social vices are rampant in the society is not a comedy .The fact that pensioners are denied their rights after a merit able service to this nation is true. The laziness and insensitive to duty of Nigerian civil servant is a reality. The bastard nature of nation has even come to a situation were Army and police are waging mini war among one federation security outfit. All these are reflection of our countryís leadership and fellowship. The political killings, the religious and ethnic crises, MASSOP, Nigerdelta, Middel-bellt, the nationhood crises, etc are of course hunting the survival of of Nigeria as a nation. If it is one!
A government sensible should have given these priorities so as to solve the scourge once and for all.
An irresponsible government is one that knows its problems and failed to address it, for it shall multiplied in time and could pose a threat to the survival and stability of that nation.
I still have one strong firm believe in my mind. That one day Nigerians whether Christians or Muslims, Hausa or Efik would rise one day not only to challenge but to crush their oppressors, be they their tribesmen, religion people. It could be a tall dream but would come to pass one day if things continue this way. This piece excluded principle religious men and politicians, who are not influenced by the sweet juices of power.
Its on this that one is asking: When will religion and politics saves Nigeria?
© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to legal recourse.
Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA 20171-0080, USA.
This page was last updated on 10/27/07.