The Manipulation Of Religion In Nigeria – Fwa
This heading is borrowed from late Dr Yusuf Bala Usman’s book, published about 35 years ago. I searched my library for the book but couldn’t find it. In a nutshell, Dr Usman said the Nigerian elites have been manipulating the hapless Nigeria masses using religion in order to exploit and keep them under perpetual bondage.
For them to grab power, they whip the ethno religious card. It’s not about ideas on how to transform the society for the good of the people. Meanwhile these are the same people that patronize marabouts for acquisition of power, making all kinds of ungodly sacrifices, including burying animals alive and killing fellow human beings. Here they are bloody hypocrites whipping ethnic and religious sentiments to gain power and polarizing the people along religious and ethnic cleavages.
In doing this they even resort to use of violence in order to secure power. Check the history of the Matasine revolt in early 1980s and creation of BH in the early 2000, all were nurtured and festered by politicians. Check the history of Mossab( biafran separatist movement, it’s now called IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu) ) in south East. The militancy in the Niger Delta in South South have the dirty hands of politicians.
The funding of Fulani herdsmen that have been terrorizing people in all the nooks and crannies of the country could be traced to politicians and elites from their ethnic and religious group. What of the almighty Oduduwa People’s congress which is a violent movement headed by illiterate Adams. If you search deep down, it is nurtured and funded by the Yoruba politicians and elites In fact I feel so saddened that despite our exposure of bad governance in both governments of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan( GEJ) and President Muhamadu Buhari ( PMB) regimes which we are fully aware, yet we still cling to to them based on religious and ethnic affiliations.
Let just take few synopsis in both regimes and see how our blind fellowship lacks objectivity and merit. GEJ inherited a robust economy from Yar Adua and Obj. Accumulatively, they left $67b as foreign reserves and $22b in excess crude account. GEJ had oil being sold at it peak $140 Per barrel. What did he do with the money? By the time he left, excess crude account was squandered, leaving a paltry sum of $1b.
Foreign reserves nosedived from $67- $30. Corruption rose to high heavens with phantom fuel subsidies reaching N1 trillion annually. As being unearth today, $2.1b voted for supply of arms to curb insurgency were corruptly used to enrich the henchmen of the ruling party and their cronies. It was bazaar and done with fan fair.
That was not all, some militants from Niger Delta became instant billionaires owning universities, choice houses in Abuja and other cities of the country and the world. The bazaar became so embarrassing that a Christian religious leader in the forefront of support of GEJ owned a private jet and a highly placed lady in ASO rock had $20m traced to her account and unashamedly claimed it was her money and inherited from her mother! Despite these those who supported GEJ were largely Christians and minorities, while the initial festering of BH had the tacit support of some highly placed Muslims to fulfill their vow to make his regime ungovernable.
GEJ in the dying days of his regime became indifferent to spread of insurgency because the people inhabiting the areas under insurgency were largely populated by Muslims.The calculation was to reduce the quantum of votes from his opponent so that he could win the election easily. Now emerged PMB who inherited a economy that was down because of monumental corruption and the fall in oil prices. But despite making some feeble efforts, it also had it’s minuses which are: lopsidedness in political appointments, over devaluation of our currency inherited from GEJ at N170- $1 to N500- $1 thereby making our purchasing power very low, unprecedented inflation never witnessed in the life of this nation, monumental corruption in the management of FOREX making some few elites close to power instant billionaires, emergence of some untouchables in the regime that were involved in corruption some with MTN, some with the management of IDPS funds yet nothing has been done.
This has registered very loud criticism in the polity that the corruption war which was initially hailed has now lost team and being dubbed as selective. Now, despite these minuses that have accelerated poverty in the land which is more felt largely in the Muslim North, yet just like GEJ where an average Christians supported him blindly, PMB fanatical followership in the region remains intact.
In fact, God forbid, if anything happens to him because of his ailment there will be massive violence never seen in the history of this country. Just like GEJ’S regime was sabotaged by fanatical Muslim religious elements by allying with BH, PMB’S regime is also being sabotaged by militancy in Niger Delta and IPOB in the South East who also are largely Christians. it’s extremely important for patriots to get the vivid picture of our self inflicted predicament as a nation. Any hope? Do we continue to beat the drums of religious and ethnic bigotries which have brought as no good except sorrows, blood and massive poverty.
It’s sad, so so sad. We either kill religious bigotry or it will kill us. I’m on my knees everyday praying fervently to God to look into our leadership challenges and one day give us a visionary, purposeful leadership that will not pander to ethno religious interests, but govern fairly and justly for peace and progress to be achieved in this blessed land.
No 25 Kula Close
Karewa, GRA Yola .