United We Stand: How Sentiments and Religiosity Threaten National Unity

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Nigeria Coat of Arm - Unity and Faith - Peace and Progress
Nigeria Coat of Arm - Unity and Faith - Peace and Progress
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By Richard Odusanya

Nigeria as a nation is passing through persistent, complex, and terrible evolutionary challenges in the quest for attaining cohesion and development in the midst of shameful abuse of gospel grace by men of crafty pretence in religious ropes, which has brought a stigma of infamy to the venerated image of God’s church —diminishing its moral voice.

Sadly, one of the major factors threatening the unity and stability of Nigeria as a nation is traceable to religious sentiments, ethnic jingoism, and emotions driven by fallacies and hatred – the consequences of these on our nation and Nigerians have been exceedingly harsh.

By spiritualizing mundane matters, such as political views and partisanship, they delimit terms of success known to man. It may seemingly look unthinkable to question the motives of either a fake or a true ‘man of God’, however, these demagogues turn human judgments into divine commands as exemplified through many of them forcing lies on our people. Needless to say, the incident of the recent past few years particularly the 2023 general elections has riled up many Nigerians. Given the conditions of the country, our fault lines, and the high level of economic hardship.

Admittedly, religion has been a part of sociopolitical movements from the dawn of history. By contrast, never in the chequered history of our beloved country Nigeria have we gotten to the point where religion laced with heavy emotion became an issue of serious concern during an election period. Driven by a putrid stench of materialism, the so-called merchants of faith peddle the holy word for profit at the expense of worshippers, whose genuine concerns they exploit to feather their nests. Regrettably, this is exemplified by the unfortunate activities of those who have successfully commercialized religion for personal aggrandizement. The ‘Pastorpreneurs and their Òsùká-carrying Àáfàs’ colleagues also capture my views about Nigeria and the psyche of Nigerians.

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Freedom and growth come when you liberate your mindset. To achieve GREATNESS in this Nation, we must reduce our affinity with religious bigotry, emotion, and tribal sentiments. ‘Pastorpreneurs, Òsùká-carrying Àáfàs’ and Politicians use it against you because they want you to remain their SLAVE. We are teaching our children to be religious fanatics while other countries are teaching their children to be gods in terms of advancement technologically and otherwise. Then our children become adults who go to church to thank God for consuming the products of other countries whose children have become adults who invent all the good things that make life worth living. That’s why they are not religious fanatics and emotional about issues that common sense can resolve.

Nigerians are too emotional for nothing’s sake, divine intervention will not come as long as we continue to dwell in the abundance of insincerity as well as dishonesty! May we not continue with what they called “mumuism” losing our sense of discernment and reasoning while following people in the name of worshipping/serving God. ‘Pastorpreneurs, Òsùká-carrying Àáfàs’ and Polititrikcians without vision have jointly dragged us back as a nation destined for greatness. One thing I will say straight away is that, we must begin with a forward march in equanimity and must be prepared very well.

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To put it bluntly, our major problem is religion, and to some extent, ethnic bigotry. If the tenets of religion are strictly adhered to, bad governance will disappear and what is the first in the tenets of religion is LOVE, the second is service to HUMANITY, etc, if these are considered, Nigeria will be great. Along the same line, though, our most significant achievement will be attained through broadminded and collective bargaining not an emotional display of religiousity or ethnic jingoism.

Additionally, there is a crucial fact we are missing, if Nigeria can ever tap half of our potential (natural and human potentials), and play down issues of emotion, ethnicity, and religion; no country in Africa can be compared to Nigeria. No way. Therefore, this is a case for introspection – it is all about commitment and being passionate, as such, we must reduce our love for materialistic tendencies typically characterized by the teachings and fake prophecies of the so-called ‘Pastorpreneurs, whose stock-in-trade is fleecing the unsuspecting gullible followers and their counterparts the Òsùká-carrying Àáfàs’ of Ilorin with their toxic doctrine of intolerance.

Finally, I would like to conclude this contribution that focuses on emotion and religiosity with the profound words of Abhijit Naskar, a celebrated Neuroscientist, Bestselling Author of 100+ books, World’s First Poet with 1000+ sonnets, and an untiring advocate of mental health and global harmony. Naskar posited: “I have zero tolerance for intolerance – If you want me to acknowledge you as a human being, first learn to behave like a human being” This is evidenced in the ungodly abduction of an Isese traditionalist ‘Tani Olorun’ by the Òsùká-carrying Àáfàs’ of Ilorin – a clear demonstration of religious bigotry and Intolerance.

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Richard Odusanya

@Richard_Odusanya is 9News Nigeria special guest writer on Politics, Africanism, African Emancipation and Humanitarianism
@Richard_Odusanya is 9News Nigeria special guest writer on Politics, Africanism, African Emancipation and Humanitarianism
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