EXTREMISM AND MATERIALISM THRIVE, BECAUSE OF THE GREED OF RELIGIONS LEADERSJun 092018
HANDS ON HANDS; THE FAILURES OF NIGERIA'S RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO REPOSITION THE NATION.
Nigeria as a nations would have been better than what it is today, if every stakeholders in the polity had risen to their responsibility. Sadly, leadership engagements of many clearly indicate a self serving leadership whose interests are diametrically opposite to patriotic national aspirations. If the nation totters to a brink, it is because the critical voices have remained inertia and feigned indifference to happenings in the nation. The same applies to our religious leaders, either the imams or the pastors and Bishops.
The nations had been passing through series of challenges, bordering on insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Much as the government of the day tries to address these challenges, such efforts are dampened by the actions or inactions of our religious leaders, who in some cases have become an accomplice in fostering more hardship on Nigerians.
Today, one of the basic and key issues that had contributed to undermine the nation’s collective aspirations to grow is the crass debasement of our moral and ethical values, which remain a key factor in helping to build the resilience of the society against the encroachment of the corruptions, greed and manipulations of the people, by these religious leaders. Because of these, every efforts and steps to move forward remain fruitless and daunting. Thus, much as the religious leaders remain a cog in the wheel of progress of the nation, their further engagements continue to pose a threat, bordering on security to our collective existence. Today, by the influence of our religious leaders, the quest for materialism had overridden the need for hard work and dignity of labor, leading to the fragility of the society and the debasement of the fabric of our family values.
Today, the motor convoy of our religious leaders, accompanied by stern-looking security agents, is longer and more expensive than many governors, yet, many of their innocent and gullible followers, defend their collective assaults on our sense of modesty and decency.
Religious leaders must be forthright and be the truest defender of the downtrodden and the oppressed in the society, and not the other way round. He, who must come to equity, must come with clean hands, the continuous criticism of ELECTED OFFICIALS and the government, by many of these religious leaders who put us in these problems in the first place is hypocritical and regrettable, and must be totally condemned, by every patriotic citizens.
Today, no one is an ardent of the proponent of hate speech as many of our religious leaders. No leaders make inciting statements as our religious leader, even at a trying time like now, almost akin to a war situation, this is rather unfortunate and uncalled for. Today, many of our religious leaders are politicians and a card carrying members of a political party, and as a result had been a beneficiary of the largesse of bribery and corruption by the militantly corrupt politicians. Religious leaders need to desist from being manipulated by unscrupulous politicians, to forment trouble and disunity for selfish gains. None of the holy book preaches intolerance and shedding innocent blood. Despite the massive proliferation of house of worship in the nation, almost competing against residential buildings, crimes such as corruption, human trafficking, ritual killings, fraud, greed, kidnapping and rape is still on the upswing. We remain very religious yet ungodly, because, the religious leaders have failed the society.
We must resist the manipulative antics of the so called religious leaders. We must not continue to fall to their political manipulations under the influence of one politician or the other. We must prevail on the to be gainfully engage in farming or other business ventures that will not limit their ability to minister, yet enable them to work to provide sustenance for their family, ensuring the dignity of labor in the process. For as many of them, that had contributed to undermine our moral integrity, the lack authority to accuse elected government officials of corruption as they have fallen below their standard of integrity and therefore lack basis to attack or criticize leaders irrespective of their religious affiliations. They must rise up to reject and condemned those who steal government money and give them to build a place of worship. They must make restitution, by returning all the money they collected from politicians as prayers money. How much is their conscience pricked, when they see those who gave them money in the past being hounded into prisons or the EFCC detention camps?.
It is time for the religious leaders to go into manufacturing, so as to contributes, meaningfully to the dwindling economy. If the moral fiber of the nation must be strengthened, then our religious leader need to do a lot of soul-searching, asking themselves, the pertinent questions of where they got it wrong, that led the nation to the present sad level of moral decadence, until this is done, the nation will remain a laughing stock in the committee of other nation.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON