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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Nigeria Sends 76000 Pilgrims To Mecca


I had recently written about some Nigerian state governments sending pilgrims to Jerusalem and Mecca and this brief report details how the Nigerian government has already flown 18909 pilgrims out of a total of 76000, to Mecca for the 2015 hajj. Of course no one knows exactly how much will be spent by the government on this venal venture, except those who will directly benefit from it. In the Nigerian spirit, the prices will be over inflated and huge profits made by government officials and their collaborators at the expense of the deprived Nigerian tax payer. Most of the participating states will be from the north where there is crippling poverty, hardly any decent primary schools and a paucity of basic healthcare services.
This unjustifiable waste of scarce public resources must stop. The government of president Buhari which is 3 months old has barely taken off, most state governors are unable to pay salaries and have had to be bailed out by the federal government, and the price of crude oil, Nigeria's major income earner, continues its free fall in the global markets. In the face of all these worrying signs, money is somehow available to send 76000 people to Mecca. If each person costs just $1000, that will come to $76m, and I am only making the minimum estimate.
Nigerians can see that not only are our elected officials stealing us blind, they continue to use religion to steal even more. A Nigerian spring is long overdue. President Buhari may have been hailed as a messiah, but the ascetic cattle farmer and gentleman is in way over his head. Being a muslim himself, he is completely clueless about the disastrous effect religion is having on Nigeria. The boko haram problem is an obvious one which he, sadly, is blind to. It has become crystal clear that Nigerians are incapable of diagnosing their problems, let alone solving it; and as long as we allow those who only see through the lenses of religion to run our affairs and our lives, we shall continue to move further away from even the semblance of a solution.


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