Have you ever wondered why Nigerians are often united when it comes to sports, games and “insults from abroad” but never religion?
Yes, When it comes to politics, ethnicity, and religion, Nigerians are always divided and they will continue to do so if nothing is done about it.
Take or not, the major problem Nigeria has as a country is religion. Religion as a practice is not really the problem here but the people practicing it.
It is so easy for Christians and Muslims in Nigeria to link any tribal, political or ethnic issue to religion rather than treating it as it unfolds.
It is high time Nigerians started thinking towards tolerating each other’s religion, tribe and ethnicity if they want a better and peaceful country.
At the moment, it’s all about superiority. ‘My religion worships God better than yours’, ‘my political party is more reliable’ or ‘your culture is barbaric’ and all.
With all the issues on ground, Nigeria ought to have passed this phase in terms of growth but it seem like it is stuck in there.
While condemning the ongoing killings in the country all in the name of religion, professor Wole Soyinka said at a book launch in Abuja on Thursday;
“I would like to transfer that cry (by President Muhammadu Buhari on corruption) from the moral zone to the terrain of religion. If we do not tame religion in this nation, religion will kill us.”
This statement did not go down smoothly with religious leaders in the country as Islamic leader and the Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Abdulkadir Khalid-Aliyu disagreed with Wole’s comment saying;
“Is Prof. Soyinka saying religion is bad? It is important that we really have to be decorous and be respectful of the sensibility of the people. Even in advanced countries, people respect religion and adhere to religion.
“Until we are able to separate the chaff from the grain; there is a difference between religion and people of religion. Such assertion coming from somebody who doesn’t believe in religion is uncharitable.
“If he is talking about moderation and the need to really purge ourselves of extremism in the practice of religion or of being used to advance considerations that are inimical to peace and development, then, that could be understandable.”
In the same light, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), also countered Soyinka’s views saying that religion is never the problem.
CAN’s National Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, said;
“With due respect to Prof. Soyinka, it is not true that religion is the bane of Nigeria’s stability. No genuine religion promotes killings and destruction of lives and property. It is unfair for the Nobel laureate to project religion as a problem when it is the faithful believers that are praying and sacrificing to keep the nation moving.”
“Christianity preaches peace in all its ramifications. I challenge the professor to identify one attack on any community in Nigeria that was reported to have been carried out by Christians. Let him show any terrorist group by whatever name that shouts the name of Jesus before attacks or claim they are fighting for Jesus.
“We are sad that the so-called religious killing is persisting because our prominent leaders are not ready to call a spade by its real name.”
There is no doubt that God Himself does not take delight in his children killing one another. Thus, if both Muslims and Christians believe they serve God and adhere to his teachings, why all the killings?
What’s your opinion? Share with us.