Radio talk and common sense in Nigeria
Sir: The Yoruba say if a proverb is targeted at you and you cannot respond in kind, you are only afraid of confrontation.
If a pot was taken to the forest by a human being and the pot became a divinity exerting sacrifice, it will not be out of place to ask whether the pot asked to be taken to the forest in the first instance and whether it knew the purpose for which it was taken to the forest.
Let us replace the pot with a man who was supported to attain a political position. Those who helped him to get there then started telling him to demonise and disown his ancestors/ancestresses. Did he understand the condition for helping him as that of having to demonize and disown his ancestors/ancestresses? What if he was not a bastard?
I was once invited to participate in a radio programme, to be the one to present the Christian position, while another person would present the Islamic position. I declined, saying that my perception might not represent what many Christians would accept and university talk may not coincide with radio talk in all circumstances. I did not take undue advantage of the invitation but rather pointed to someone who was better placed for the purpose and he was commended for doing a great job at the end of the day.
If you are asked to talk about traditional Africa and your religion would not allow you to do so, appropriately, is it not more dignifying to decline? Why are too many Nigerians consumed with sentimental talk rather than facts, deep thinking, and critical analysis? I can find no other answer than association with the dogmatic religions (Christianity and Islam), even if someone out there would prove me wrong.
I believe that my background in African Traditional Religion makes me less prone to rabid indoctrination and dogmatism, or having to be falsifying facts to suit dogmatic and pastoral or evangelistic positions. Between the church and me, it was a question of giving and take, if only because I worked for the church. There is nothing anybody or any institution does for me that will make anybody or anything to replace God the Creator in my life.
Olówó kìí ṣe Ọlọ́run, àsíríirẹ̀ ló bò (a rich person is not God; he or she is only lucky). That is the position of my ancestors/ancestresses and it is my own position as well. Gratitude that will make me to be praising you while you are doing evil is inconceivable for me. I will not fear human beings and offend God.
Stop politicising Islam and Christianity against the dictate of Nigeria’s Constitution, because the ultimate result would be what you are seeing already: insurgency. If some Nigerians can protest to make Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo step down for alleged rape; what about the President, Muhammadu Buhari squandering human lives and economic resources?
Prof. Ọlọjẹẹde Oyeniran Abiọjẹ wrote from University of Ilorin.
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