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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Nigerians, Their Leaders, And The Clergy Are All To Blame For Nigeria's Present Woes


It has always been easy to blame Nigeria's dubious clergy and light fingered politicians for the role they play in ensuring Nigerians remain religious so that they cannot be called into account for the way they mismanage and plunder the country. I have included the clergy, especially those prosperity preachers who hobnob with the political class and, to a large extent, determine the outcome of major elections, because both parties have come to  realize that they have a common goal, and have thus turned an unwitting alliance into a focused and effective one aimed at divvying up Nigeria's oil wealth.
While this "sharing of the national cake" is going on, the Nigerian remains silent (suffering and smiling in Fela's immortal phrase). It is this conspiratorial silence that is the bulwark of the impunity that characterizes every single scheme that has been devised to fleece the Nigerian state and its peoples.
Nigerians can no longer be excused as the hapless victims of a rapacious political class and an exploitative clergy. We have continued to adapt to the worsening situation of our lot and make excuses with "it is well" and other nonsensical phrases. Well, all is not well; nothing is well about a government that has remained insensitive to the plight of its citizens, nothing  is well about our horde of prosperity preachers who take our pittance and promise us heaven, while they connive with our politicians to steal the means to make a haven for us and use it to create a heaven on earth for themselves. Nothing is well with Nigeria, and we can no longer blame the usual suspects. We, the suffering, silent masses are as much the architects of our problems as those we readily blame. Our continued silence is our tacit approval of their actions.
Later tonight, tens of millions of Nigerian christians will gather in Nigeria's ubiquitous churches to usher in 2016. It is good to be optimistic about the new year, but there is really nothing to look forward to because we have done absolutely nothing to give 2016 an auspicious outlook. All we have done is pray, at the behest of those who put us in the very condition they want us to pray our way out of, and tonight, we are going to pray even more to welcome a year which we are not prepared to host. There will be the usual prophecies by charlatans like Enoch Adeboye. Many others will also give their predictions and they will, as usual, be all speculations (at best) and outright lies. I wrote about Adeboye's predictions for 2015 which included one about insurgencies around the world being considerably weakened. We all know about the deadly exploits of Boko Haram and ISIS, and their affiliates this year; I wonder what falsehoods he will 'predict' for 2016.
Nigerians have been made to believe that they do not matter in their own country. The politicians treat them with the utmost contempt, and the clergy they turn to for solace promise them an afterlife of paradise after conning them out of as much money as possible. We elected people to do a job for us, and we should not let them tell us to go and beg some god to do that same job. It is time we realized the power that we have; we voted out former president Goodluck Jonathan despite his failed attempts at vote-rigging, the use state funds and media, and some unscrupulous prosperity preachers, to influence the elections in his favour. He promptly conceded defeat and we were glad to see his back.
The only thing I ask of Nigerians for next year is to shed the toga of superstition that has so tenaciously kept us in the grip of our criminal prosperity preachers. Enoch Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Chris Oyakhilome, Ayo Oritsejafor, Helen Ukpabio, Lazarus Muoka, William Kumuyi, Daniel Odukoya and their fellow 'men and women of God' are nothing but con artists and charlatans. They specialize in making false claims of being in communion with God who performs unverifiable miracles through them. We do not need leaders who will ask us to pray for our country; Nigerians can be quite resourceful, and there are millions of Nigerians in virtually every country of the world who are doing outstanding work in their chosen professions. We can do much better than the mediocre leadership we have today. And without our horde of criminal clergy.