Misplacement of priorities
SIR: Lack of focus and prevalent selfish interests on the part of Nigeria’s rulers are the albatross. Nigeria’s priorities have not been properly defined and focused. Misplacement of priority on religion and entertainment sports that should be driven by private entrepreneurs gulps billions of public funds at the expense of infrastructure – potable pipe-borne water, roads, electricity, medical facilities, well-equipped schools, etc. The prevalent impression is that Nigeria is about religion and entertainment sports, rather than social security, order, infrastructure and enabling environment, generally speaking.
Too many Nigerians equate religion (particularly Christianity and Islam) with God. Yet, God is different. For instance, some religionists say God asks them to be polygamous, while another set says God asks them to be monogamous. Those in public offices should serve common interests and not the diverse religious interests which religious organisations should preoccupy themselves with, financially and otherwise. Until that is done, Nigeria may never experience social equity.
Constitution review should expressly outlaw spending public funds on religious festivals, pilgrimages, religious projects, etc. under any guise, including sale of dollars cheaply to pilgrimage-makers. Pilgrimages are reserved for those who can afford it, and not to infringe on public funds. No fuel; workers are unpaid, yet you sponsor pilgrimages!
• Pius Abioje,
University of Ilorin