Predators of religions are dangerous
Sir: When Jesus came, he had nothing to do with politics. His preoccupation was to guide people to love God and neighbour. He never gathered people for the purpose of extorting money from them and be the General Overseer of one of the richest organisations in the world, as we have it today. After his death, his disciples formed themselves into a community and started asking members to submit their treasures and wealth(s) to the community, as recorded in Acts of the Apostles. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, who didn’t submit everything, probably because they had dependants at home or afraid of the very idea of emptying themselves, immediately, died mysteriously. The biblical reporter writes that they were struck dead instantly “by the Holy Spirit”, thereby making the Holy Spirit to be a murderer, killing people who would not submit everything they have; a thing that has no precedence in the lifetime of Jesus. How many people are submitting everything today; why is the Holy Spirit not striking defaulters dead?
Materialism became the hallmark, and deciding factor of Christianity. There is a saying in Yoruba (I don’t know if it derives from the Bible, but it is true) to the effect that money is the vehicle of the gospel. They need money to produce copies of the Bible, build churches, maintain clerics, etc. It is not simple materialism, but owning of territories, in forms of dioceses, archdioceses, parishes, or things like those. Islam is not different. This discussion becomes necessary as I see politicians calling on Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) for one prayer or another, tactically politicising Christianity and Islam.
The leaderships of the two religions are dangerous in the sense that they enslave their followers to politicians who divide and rule. Many Christian and Islamic clerics are bribed with pilgrimage sponsorships, and financial Greek gifts to win their sympathy and silence them from telling truth to authority, and to defend their misdeeds before the populace.
“We have to be patient, because God chose them, and government is trying.” Yet, it is the same story, year-in, year-out. Many Christian and Muslim clerics drum support for the politicians who, rather than provide infrastructure, spend borrowed money on frivolities. Some Christian and Islamic clerics actually go to those in government to ask for financial assistance, and they are obliged for reciprocal reasons. Hence not many Christian and Islamic clerics condemn those in government, no matter what happens.
Until very many common Nigerians recognise CAN and SCIA, church and mosque for what they are, as imperialistic and exploitative organisations, Nigeria and any part thereof cannot develop. Paradigm will not shift until very many Nigerians understand the politico-economic natures of Christianity and Islam and recognise Christian and Islamic clerics for what they represent, politically and economically, with spiritual pretensions. Count the costs of war with Boko Haram, imposed by Christian and Islamic promoters.
Prof. Oyeniran Abioje wrote from the University of Ilorin.