By Richard Odusanya
“We must never remain silent in the face of bigotry. We must condemn those who seek to divide us. We must teach tolerance and denounce racism, anti-semitism and all ethnic or religious bigotry wherever they exist as unacceptable evils. We have no place for haters in America, none whatsoever.” – Ronald Reagan
Religious shackles debilitate the mind and they are unfit for every noble enterprise. Religion is the most popular business in Africa today. It has mostly been used as a means of subjugation and exploitation especially in Nigeria. But what else do you expect the poor masses to rely on? In our country, we pray for basic items like water, good roads, electricity, hospitals and so on. Religion was supposed to bring peace, security, progress and justice to most of its adherents but it has been responsible for most killings, looting, deceit, slavery, wars, division and complacency in the world. Religion has failed but most people refused to see it and use it to justify their crappy bigoted beliefs. It is claimed that all religions preach about peace yet killing and genocide have been our reward in this part of the world.
“Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot are fools, and those who dare not are slaves,” Lord Byron. Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy; the mad daughter of a wise mother. It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end up as superstition. Superstition is the religion of feeble-minds. Men become superstitious, not because they have too much imagination, but because they are not aware that they have any. No wonder Karl Max said, “religion is the opium of the poor,” so the masses have been subjugated to abject poverty which is meant to enslave them forever.
In Africa, religion is a tool in the hands of both political and spiritual manipulators. A classic case is the Nigerian predicament where a few individuals in politics and religion have successfully hoodwinked the gullible masses and shortchanged the system to the disadvantage of the unsuspecting citizens. Religion has also been used as campaign tool.
The current controversy surrounding the personality of Isa Pantami is not entirely strange, if we consider the stand of Major General Muhammadu Buhari himself on issues of religious bigotry and nepotism. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami is a man of questionable identity. He has a record of being a terrorist sympathizer and extremist from his public utterances.
It is not only Pantami who has been sympathetic to terrorist organizations like Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Prior to the emergence of Boko Haram, who believed that the activities of Taliban and AL Qaeda were justified in Islam. Osama bin Laden was so popular after the 9/11 that a lot of people named their children after him. Bauchi Radio Corporation was running a programme Duniya Ina Labari in which it updated people with the activities of Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other terrorist organizations around the world.
The programme was very popular. Sheikh Ahmad Sulaiman, the famous Buhari supporter who used to recite prayers for him in the campaign trails still has an audio praying for Taliban in Afghanistan, Al-Qaida in Iraq and Al-shabab in Somalia. The truth is that it is the public anger against the humanitarian catastrophes Boko Haram have brought to the people that made many of such sympathizers flinch from publicly aligning with terrorist organizations.
The average African mind. This is feeble, shallow and easy to manipulate.. Lives of innocent people are wasted for nothing while the real enemies and criminals are right in the government. Major General Muhammadu Buhari is ready to protect Isa Pantami same way he has protected Buratai because they are likeminds.
It’s expedient we wake up from slumber and smell the coffee. Nepotism and religious bigotry robs one of the ability to think for themselves. Once people’s mind become free, the sky can only be the starting place for them but you become the enemy of the nation when you start saying the truth. And the truth is that this government is deteriorating each passing day and we still have another two years for them to go.
THE RECENT BIOMETRIC AND COLLECTION OF DATA OF OUR COMPATRIOTS SHOULD BE VIEWED WITH SUSPICION AND THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY SHOULD TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE.
Richard Odusanya is the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.