Nigerians are joyous, merry-go-round people. Several reports have adjudged and lend credence to this fact. We are the happiest people on the Planet Earth. This is understandably so. We are a happy go people. We give in to little, if at all, anything that bothers us. To every issue, we take solace under religion: It is the will of God, is a common refrain. Once this lazy religion mindset is developed, all other things simply fall in place. And those dealing with us, internally and externally seem to be fully aware of this physiological lacuna.
No one need to flaunt the level of excruciating poverty currently ravaging the land. It is unheard of. But the response of the people to this devastating social problem is to run to the Mosques and Churches. Ilorin, a hitherto peaceful town in the heart of the Middle Belt, is boiling now. So also is the palpable tension in the entire Yoruba land. The entire Northern hemisphere can be given up. The rampages of the so-called bandits in the North West and the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East have reduced the Region to a shell of its former self.
There is no peace either in the Eastern flank of the country. The Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) rascals, through the Eastern Security Network (ESN) have started what may end up becoming an insurgency in the area. Remember, Boko Haram started just like this.
The Ilorin, Kwara State issue is the most ludicrous. The neighbouring Osun State had tried to swim in the ocean of state’s meddlesomeness in religion, without success, yet Kwara is burning, plunging into the wild ocean blindfolded. Religion is never a State affair. No State dabbles into religion matters without burning its fingers. Osun recoiled her tailed ashamedly. Kwara State’s fate will be worst if the State Government do not recoil fast. Hijab in schools or no hijab, should not be the pre-occupation of any serious-minded 21st Century government. But Nigerian are jolly and fun-loving people and by a further stretch of definition, an unserious lots.
We have been adjudged as the happiest people. This is practically based on our irresponsibly lavish ‘owanbe’ mentality. This ‘owanbe’ mentality, we carried to government, to Public Offices, to board rooms, to Ivory Towers, to market places, to Motor Parks and at the end of the day, only create nuisance in the larger society.
With the never seen before poverty and hunger ravaging the country, one think a reasonable people, will sit down and start thinking of a way out. Filling the lacuna social insecurity created by actions and inactions of our leaders past and present. But nay, Nigeria will not dwell on that. It is the Will of God. And nothing changes that.
While the Yorubaland boils, a section of the people saw an opportunity to play politics in it. They quickly marooned the main issue, and start propping up a 2023 Yoruba Presidency agenda. This is a disservice to the Spirits of the progenitor, Oduduwa and forbearers, most particularly, late Papa Obafemi Awolowo. A Yoruba Presidency cannot and will never assuage the devastation on ground. Who tells this charlatans that 2023 will even ever come? Why can’t we dwell on today first, sort out all the debilitating issues and then when the time comes focus on the 2023 Presidential contest? To these myopic people, poverty and hunger ravaging the land are part of the Will of God!
The politicians may be forsaken; for they are lost in ambition and this is endemic. The so-called religion leaders are no fairer, indeed. Ilorin hijab controversy is a mindless distraction. But this can only be promoted by thoughtless people. The hateful, unhealthy struggle for domination among the two imported religion is one of the bane of our peaceful co-existence in this country. Our traditional religion has never given the country a goose pimples, never. They worship in silence and peacefully. But not these foreign religion that we perhaps, do not understand properly. They struggle for superiority on all issues.
And I always have this weird thinking. Remove Offerings, tithes and sundry vows and pledges from the Church, remove free Arab money from the Mosque, very few people will remain there. Churches are sprouting here and there, the prefix, Pastor is being adding to names here and there is because of the unbelievable money and other pecks available freely in the Churches. The Mosques too go as far as Middle East to source for funds. Many faithful ignorantly are oiling the lavish lifestyle of the Pastor or Imam.
Nigerians have been adjudged as the happiest people. We are glad. The Churches are happy. It is prayers. Yes it is prayers. Agreed. But now, Fulani herders and Yoruba farmers are at each other’s throats. We suddenly stopped prayers. We resorted to queuing behind a political facilitator, a known violence merchant, to intimidate and harass the Fulani herders.
These are issues requiring deep political sagacity, not political expediency. An Awolowo would not come out at this time jostling for the Presidency while his flanks are burning. We may not believe this, but let us mark it down. This issue may largely disrupts the electoral process in Yoruba land come that 2023. This is an issue requiring the leaders to sit down and map out plans, strategize on to curb the Fulani herders and Yoruba farmers’ squabbles. Like Yoruba land Fulani herders crisis, like Ilorin Hijab crisis, these are issues for creative minds to solve. They are not issues for Prayers’ Warriors.
I remember, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola government in Osun State lost the Hijab policy. Abdul Razaq government in Kwara too will lose. The people’s minds are not easily manipulated when it comes to religion matters. They have people egging and goading them on from the outside.By and large, these people should know that it is the security of the Southern Nigerian that is being put under severe stress. The North West is captured by the bandits, the North East by the Boko Haram. What next for the North Central? What next for the South East? If the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) rascals, through the Eastern Security Network (ESN) menace is not creatively addressed and uprooted, the Region too shall soon be under threat of insurgency. And once the South East is endangered, the South South shall become a ‘no-go area’.
The unrestrained hooligans trying to seize the control of Yoruba land are already belching violence and war. Beating war drums profit these rascals. But because we are the happiest people on Earth, we take no notice. And we may not, until it is too late. Neither the proponents of Yoruba Sovereignty nor Presidency Agency mean well for the Oduduwa race. They are all self-serving people, in the service of their personal gains and interests.
As I write this piece, the streets of Ikeja where I live, is full of people. Gaily dressed. All carry a plastic smiles. Trooping to one church or the other. Under the fly-over here, there are about ten churches. All because we are a happy people. But what will the Pastors sermon dwell on? This is the flight of Common Sense! (To be continued next week)
Afolayan Adebiyi writes from Lagos, Nigeria
Images: Courtesy google.
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