Religion has played a big part as a means of identification for Nigerians. It is an extensive thread, woven deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian culture, and one cannot go without the other. Unfortunately it has formed a unique divide between the Nigerian people. A Bini Muslim, very unlikely. An Ibo Muslim, I personally have not seen one, but then again I’ve only lived two decades in this country. An Hausa traditionalist, do the Hausa’s even practice any form of ritualism? I think I can safely say less than ten percent do. These are just a few examples of the dilemma that we have found ourselves in. Different religions has found a way to cement itself into the various demographics of the Nigerian society. To the South, West and Eastern parts of Nigeria, form the majority of regions that practice the Christian doctrines. While to the North and again Western part of Nigeria form the majority for the Islamic doctrine. Ironically both religion forced on us by the iron hands of the western Invaders, who at first came baring gifts. Leaving us to abandon our roots and our old religion, our ritualism and polytheistic practices.
Although, the western religion has taken a big chunk out of our old traditions and ways of worship, the tides are changing. The advancement of society and technology. The constant improvement of technology has left the Nigerian youths pondering. Further expanding their minds and leaving them to ask the thousand years old question, ”Does God exist?”. This question continues to grow everyday, creating various debate and school of thoughts. The old days of blind followership is gradually coming to an end. Days where we were told that, there is an almighty and powerful God, who created us in his own image and likeness. Who loves his creation and has given them everything and in return ask only for their love and worship. But I don’t believe it’s as simple as that. With so much suffering and pain in the world today, if the almighty God, who loves his children dearly, can take it away, why is the world still broken. In as much as he could command a word and it comes to pass, why hasn’t he commanded the pains of this world away. But then again, it’s not that simple, or so we are led to believe.
In a world full of identity crisis. Where people know little to nothing about their heritage, native culture or traditional practices, I believe Nigeria and Nigerians are suffering a great deal. We all indulge in the practices and norms of the western man, leaving us to act hostile towards our own religion. The white man came and told us our religion is wrong, unpure and fetish. Holding a Bible in one hand and a gun behind their backs, and enforcing their own religion on us, but let me tell u this ‘all religion started as an idea’.
They came to our lands, claiming our ways of life was barbaric, but yet they absconded with our beautiful art works. So why then should we accept their religion, is ours not good enough?. They kill and slaughter innocent black men everyday, and with hate still in their heart for men of color, they pray to their almighty God. Who they claim created us in one image and likeness, but even they don’t believe that, enforcing different forms of segregation on men of color, and believing in white supremacy, hypocrisy at it’s best. Who is to say Jesus wasn’t black, they created a white image for us because that’s what they wanted us to see.
But the times are coming, when the eyes of Nigerian youths would be open and they would be able to see the church as the profiteering ground that it is. The richest pastor in Nigeria, has an estimated net worth of over, one hundred and fifty million US dollars, I’ll leave you to convert it to naira, the numbers are completely unreal. Making him one the richest pastors in the world, and still yet there are members of his congregation who can’t afford to pay the tuition fees for his prestigious tertiary institution. Where did our humanity go, what does Christianity preach. It is truly sad that majority of the Nigerian youths eyes are still closed to this reality. I thought the Christian doctrine was about love and peace, but all I see is hate and conflict. Hate between our fellow men. Hate between our fellow Nigerians, where is this love that religion preaches. But after all said, i have hope. Hope, that the direction of mental awareness social media platforms are creating would one day put an end to this illusion.
If there is a god, I hope he is watching us, because I am. I am only watching because that is the sane thing to do in a country like ours. Watch and advocate silently and subtly draw their attention to the reality, so as to avoid and form of bigotry altercation. Religion is a big part of our culture, but it has been corrupted by the greed of men. Who’s only aim is to profit rather than serve humanity. All I see now is a tumor, growing silently in the midst of believers and unbelievers. The million dollar question now is, who do you serve?…
Osifo Daniel wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org