What Nigeria should learn from European history
Sir: My American mother, Rosemary Curcio (peace be upon her), took me to several places, including the Statue of Liberty, and that Seaport in New York that served as the entry point to Europeans who fled to America around the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, due to hardships of massive bloodshed and inhumanities of human beings to human beings, occasioned by Christian divisions, principally Catholics versus Protestants, and some others, such as the Baptists that were persecuted by both Catholics and Protestants.
The forebears of Rosemary came from Italy, so I thought she should be called Italian-American. She controlled her temper but told me, “I am an American,” even though she was never ashamed of her Italian roots. It could be because nobody has ever spoken to her that way while I was used to hearing the “African-American” expression. It could also be that I misinterpreted her mood at that point. The main issue, however, is that time was when Europeans identified themselves as Catholics or Protestants, and a country or locality was either Catholic or Protestant. It was a time of bitter religious rivalry and upheavals with heavy bloodshed.
Would the massive bloodshed be because of Jesus of Nazareth? It was in the name of Jesus Christ after whom the Christians name their religion (Christianity). I am a professional Christian theologian. A seasoned Biblical or Christian theologian who is not regimented (devoid of dogmatism) is able to identify the personality of Jesus of Nazareth and that of Jesus Christ in the Bible. The Europeans in Europe and America did not start to know peace and progress until they tamed Christianity. They decided to be Americans, Germans, Spanish, French, etc, and not Catholic or Protestant. As a corollary, until Nigerians decide to overcome the madness of identifying themselves as Christians and Muslims, they will never know peace and progress. I credit Russia, China, and Cuba for taming Christianity, Islam, and other religions.
Look at the simplicity of African Traditional Religion (ATR). After yearly festivals, what remain for the most part are spontaneous prayers of: May it be well with you; May your going and coming be blessed, etc, which Prof Bolaji Idowu (of blessed memory) and the rest of them interpreted as being religious in everything. Sincerely speaking, being godly in everything says it better than being religious, to the extent to which a people can be said to be godly. Christians and Muslims who emphasise daily and weekly liturgies cannot be surpassed in religiosity, because for them religion is a scheme for milking people daily and weekly every Sunday/Friday. Nigerians must return to their ATR roots for peace and progress. Nigeria rulers abuse political powers to promote Christianity and Islam rather than building the nation. God and human beings must deter the Emirs and the rest of them turbanning and knighting public servants. Muhammadu Buhari, Bukola Saraki, Atiku Abubakar, et al, have all been criminally turbaned to serve Islam and Christianity rather than Nigeria.
There can be no other victims than the downtrodden. The enemies of common people are ruling the churches, mosques, public offices, and the school system from kindergarten to university levels; hence the prevalence of Boko Haram (literary-based frauds) being criticised by the Boko Haram Muslim sect. God’s curse is on all the enemies of Boko Haram, because Nigeria will never know peace and progress until they tame Boko Haram that is in tandem with Christianity, Islam, Western and Arabic trainings and practices worldwide. Try to discourage people from being Christians and Muslims!
Prof. Oyeniran Abioje, PhD, University of Ilorin.
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