No doubt, Nigeria is doused in religious activities and the belief of supernatural powers to solve the many problems bedeviling her.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode during the celebration of Eid-el-Maulud, the birth of Prophet Muhammad showcased that belief by calling on Muslims to offer special prayers “for the peace, unity and continuous progress of Nigeria.”
His call was contained in a statement issued Wednesday 23 December 2015 by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna.
Part of the statement reads, “On the occasion of the commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet, it is imperative to reflect on his teachings and uphold his legacies of unity, integrity, peaceful co-existence and love for one’s neighbour, which is indispensable in our quest for meaningful development and the management of our diversity.”
It would be imperative to remind the governor that Nigeria’s problems were not caused by prayers or ‘God’; they were caused by human beings and human beings should be urged to put themselves together and solve the problems.
It is heinous for someone who had a skill, say in civil engineering, to have a belief that he or she would build a castle given him or her to construct only “By the grace of God”.
‘God’ had already given the person the ‘grace’ to acquire that skill and it’s left for the person to show his or her expertise; ‘God’ should not be expected to do the work for the person.
The more Nigerians removed the mythical belief of supernatural assistance in solving the problems besetting the country and have a belief that they are to solve the problems, the better Nigeria would become.
Fani-Kayode accuses him of spending money like a drunken sailor;
Buhari insists Budget 2016 would revive economy
By Odimegwu Onwumere
Fresh indication might substantiate the assertion made by the former spokesperson of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode when he described as insincerity the 2016 budget as handed by General Muhammadu Buhari to the joint National Assembly.
On 22 December, Fani-Kayode said in a statement in Abuja, in which he fingered the Buhari’s administration of spending money like a drunken sailor. He affirmed that the government was bent on borrowing as if Nigeria was mortgaged.
““The 2016 budget is fueled by insincerity, shrouded in fantasy, built on tall dreams and spawned by deceit, ignorance and the illusion of change. It is bloated, unrealistic, expensive, cosmetic and it will not result in anything good,” Fani-Kayode said.
Fani-Kayode lamented that the level with which the government was borrowing money would put the country into a tighter corner. However, fresh indications on 23 December were that Buhari budgeted N2.3bn for ex-presidents in 2016; money some persons who claimed anonymity had said was not only ambiguous but outrageous.
The money said to be shared among eleven former Presidents, Heads of State and former Vice Presidents/Chiefs of General Staff, was nicknamed “entitlements in 2016”.
According to a source, it was part of the epitome of the projected budget 2016. Conversely, Fani-Kayode had cautioned, “We need far more fiscal discipline and seriousness than that if our government really wishes to improve the economy and better the lives of ordinary people.”
Meanwhile, Buhari insisted that Budget 2016 would revive the country’s economy.
BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: In this clouded government of General Muhammadu Buhari, he is yet to separate campaign propaganda from giving the people a true sense of governance 7 months after. He continues to blame ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for his ineptitude. He has thrown the country into somewhat warring zone that the best ways he has deemed fit to defeat Nigerians is to throw us into perpetual hunger and poverty as a military person he is, knowing that the dangerous way to make the enemy to surrender is to impose hunger on him. The outburst by the presidency that Nigerians should wear girdle for austerity by next year is one herald too many. While other leaders give their people hope, this one is taking hope away from us. This government is one that has shown us that it will operate a deepening income inequality, fostering unemployment and suppressing wages and salaries in the name of salary reduction or cut. Whereas experts in governance would always believe that every problem is solvable in a government, this one believes that badly the country’s economy, the happier it would be. It is sad that this austerity programme is not from top to bottom. It will be better to tell Buhari that he should not subject Nigerians to austerity which his leadership style is already suffering from. What Nigerians want is universalism; not individualistic posturing of Buhari. Certainly we would be remembering this government as one that led austerity in our lives in a democratic dispensation. Hooey!
BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: I have and have had friends who have attained glorious triumphs. Some of them are my elders, mates and younger ones. Some are homely and comely, while others have no discipline on how they carry themselves. They allowed their height run into their heads that they no longer pick calls or reply to messages. Some of them want you around them, but not to attain their height. They love you but not to properly assist you. You become an ‘enemy’ when you ask for any type of assistance. Anyway, while they measure success by the millions in their bank accounts, I think the real measurement of success should be how one disciplines him or herself and the level of inner peace that oozes out from the person. It is a pity that many people were given brain by mistake. It is a pity, also, that some of my contacts enjoy their own emotionally bad behaviours against me. Hooey!
-Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Writer, Rivers State.
Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka of an Adoration Ministry in Enugu visited General Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock a fortnight. However, while the Catholic leader has a right of association as an individual, he may have a rethink as a religious priest, owing to the fact that Judges of the court of law are restricted from socializing.
It is no longer hidden that Mbaka delves into politics just as any politician from any political parties, for the sake of hijacking power. Sometimes he would somersault to please who pleases him and displease whom he displeases, all in the name of ‘God said’.
Mbaka was the man who ‘blessed’ Patience Jonathan to continue as First Lady after the 2015 general elections, and just in a minute, made a u-turn to cast aspersion on the woman and her husband for the extolment of General Muhammadu Buhari in the “two birds” prophecy that Mbaka said he later saw.
Notwithstanding, there is an admonition! Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 warned Catholic Church Priests against such practice of romancing with politicians during an address in Warsaw. Benedict warned Catholic Church leaders in Poland to keep-away-from getting too close to government officials.
Will priests like Mbaka listen? Benedict told his audience at St. John’s Cathedral, “The priest is not asked to be an expert in economics, construction or politics. He is expected to be an expert in the spiritual life.”
Just as the alien religions of Islam and Christianity have been made to become the bedrocks of everything in Nigeria through the Constitution, Polish President Lech Kaczynski in the year in quote, had used a powerful Catholic network, Radio Maryja, to promote his candidacy. The same way political rulers use clerics in Nigeria, the ilk of Mbaka, to promote their shenanigansm? Conversely, it could be recalled that in 1993, Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland, urged church leaders to stay out of partisan politics; the Pope was then coming from Poland where 96 percent is Catholic.
The truth of the matter is that these ‘political priests or pastors’ are keen to vomiting all sorts of prophecies for politicians in order to gain recognition; but this habit is not certainly the way of traditional priests.
Just recently an Ifa Priest, the Araba of Osogboland, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon was asked in an interview to describe 2014, and he said, “There was not much difference between 2014 and previous years in that regard bearing in mind that we are not here to impress anyone or compete with another faith. We are here doing what we are known with right from childhood. So, each year will come and go, and we remain here on the track without going all out to do what Ifa does not recommend.”
When he was asked to say the things that Ifa does not recommend, the Ifa Priest said, “Ifa is a moral guidance on earth, and its adherents are morally upright group of people on earth. No hypocrisy here. No infidelity here. No corruption here. No intrigues here. That is why we are always at peace with ourselves at all time. You cannot find us engaging in immoral acts because they are against the tenets of Ifa.”
The Ifa Priest like every person with a belief in any of the African aboriginal belief-systems would not say much, because spirituality, not religion, is their way of life. No traditional-initiate would demean himself or herself the way Priests of Islam and Christianity in Nigeria do before politicians – all for monetary gain.
Remember that it was widespread early this year that a traditional ruler in Enugu was reported to have told Mbaka to resign and join partisan politics due to his loquacious tendencies in political matters.
An online media platform had in January this year reported that when Mbaka told the then President Goodluck Jonathan in his New Year message that Jonathan should forget re-election for lack of performance, the traditional ruler said, “It is better for Mbaka to join politics, contest election to have a taste of power other than calling people names, asking the president to resign. Who actually made Fr. Mbaka a Judge that determines who should be entrusted with power. Rev. Fr. Mbaka should resign as a priest and join politics since he has shifted from God’s vineyard to politics.”
Like Pope Benedict warned Catholic Priests to face issues that matter to spirituality, the traditional ruler had added, “The name Mbaka is an identity and not the human as there is nothing so special, simply because he is a priest in Catholic. Let him face the Catholic faithful, evangelize to win souls for God rather than tongue-lashing the president as being corrupt. The Catholic preacher ought to have devoted more time, fasting and praying for the release of the Chibok girls than apportioning blames for insecurity.”
The likes of Mbaka are in the trade with the name of ‘God’ just because the constitution recognises the two religions of Islam and Christianity. This is the reason, like the Ifa Priest would say that when those who are supposed to make policies that would promote culture and tradition are not publicly identifying with the culture, the culture will suffer.
Our once well known upright ways of life are dying and foreign cultures and the religions of the Mbakas are having a field day. According to the Ifa Priest, and our children will be swept away by the wave unfortunately. The moral lesson is now left for parents to teach their children their culture.
“But are the parents themselves not part of the problem? Every parent wants his children to speak English language. They have ignorantly reduced our language to vernacular, unfortunately. They are promoting other people’s languages to be seen as being educated,” the Ifa Priest said.
He continued, saying, “They forget or rather don’t know that a child assimilate studies better with his own language. In China, for example, the Chinese language is so dear to them, and they are better for it. Are Chinese not growing in the world? Is China not a powerful country today? This is what we are missing. But I must say that there is hope. Last year, there were a lot of awareness programmes on the need to protect our language from extinction. I attended some of these programmes and saw some seriousness on the part of the organisers. I think, this is the type of effort we need to seriously save our language.”
Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State, Nigeria. (email@example.com). Tel: +2348057778358.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi’s (OjajaII) justification that he committed no crime for kneeling in church to worship ‘Almighty God’ was a futile logic.
The futility is that the Ooni’s interpretation of the Christian God as the Almighty God was the erroneous move with which Africans and those in authority continue to extol the western philosophy and colonialism on Africa, without a rethink.
Debasing his so-called revered traditional stool with Christianity is most detrimental, negative, insulting, and psychologically crippling on the stool supposed to be traditional than Euro-centric.
The Ooni was supposed to be administering the cultures and traditions of his people and not to conscript himself in confusion called Western and Arabic religions like an altar boy that is learning how to be a Catholic Rev. Father.
It will be pertinent to remind the Ooni that throughout history, he needs to know that such move by Emperor Constantine was political to further the then Rome’s enslavement, colonisation and abusive nature of/on individuals and nations.
For example, “The Roman Catholic church unofficially came into being in 312 A.D., at the time of the so-called “miraculous conversion” to Christianity of the Roman Emperor Constantine but he still worshipped the sun god.” (See Roman Catholicism; Founder: Emperor Constantine).
Like the Roman Emperor then, what the Ooni wanted to tell the world was that his cultural belief-systems were evil, hence he wants to be like Constantine who made “his new-found Christianity palatable to the heathen in the Empire, the “Christianization” of these pagan deities was facilitated.”
Before the Ooni sees the Christian God as the Almighty God, he should know that “For example, pagan rituals and idols gradually took on Christian meanings and names and were incorporated into “Christian” worship (e.g., “saints” replaced the cult of pagan gods in both worship and as patrons of cities; mother/son statues were renamed Mary and Jesus; etc.), and pagan holidays were reclassified as Christian holy days (e.g., the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of purification of Isis became the Feast of the Nativity; the Saturnalia celebrations were replaced by Christmas celebrations; an ancient festival of the dead was replaced by All Souls Day, rededicated to Christian heroes [now Halloween]; etc.).”
A good way to look at it is, as spiritual leader of a people: Would the Pope kneel and pray to Oduduwa shrine? The Ooni’s church outing had no moral censure in cultures and traditions of his people, whose moral system he now infiltrates and yet posits that he controls.
–Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer and Igbo cultural entrepreneur, he writes from Rivers State. +2348057778358.
With the indictment of General Muhammadu Buhari that he shared in the supposed drained money meant for the procurement of arms by the ex-National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, reminds one of the statement once made by Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt said, “When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”
Without doubt, Buhari is in that fix now, even though that his watchdogs called media aides are doing everything media-possible to exonerate him from the smelling romance with Dasuki he never believed that a day like this would come when it would produce an illegitimate child that the world would wink at.
While that issue is making headlines on the walls of social media users, many Nigerians and organisations are worried and have described the presidency’s somewhat denial as presidential hypocrisy.
A pro-democracy non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), in a statement said that the admission by Buhari that he collected SUVS from Sambo Dasuki is a confession of culpability.
The group added that Mr. President’s excuse that a statutory provision entitled him to these privileges of multi million Naira SUVS as former Head of State is a red-herring and amounts to standing logic on its head because that statute never specified that the office of National Security Adviser should provide those privileges.
Moreover these vehicles were delivered after Buhari was purportedly attacked by Boko Haram, said the group and, the NSA who coordinated counter terror war then replaced his damaged car with expensive armoured SUVS. In addition, the group said that this singular act of magnanimity covered under the terrorism prevention Act of 2003 has implicated Buhari as guilty of participating in the expenditures incurred by the office of NSA for the counter terror war. This attempt to exonerate Buhari is like a man who professes not to eat rat but used his teeth to share rat meat delicacy for his children.
This issue is a massive thing! It is, in the sense that ‘Saint Buhari’ never knew or believed that he was among the rising bureaucrats in Nigeria who preferred Capitalism for Socialism. His damming curiosity that showed him as the only ‘righteous’ person in Nigeria would fall like every other empire within the shortest period of time.
Now Nigerians have seen Buhari in the comment by H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy, “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”
While Buhari has a mindset that successive governments in Nigeria were bad except his, he does not take into cognizance that within the six months he has piloted the affairs of the country, many people are regretting voting for him and the obnoxious political party that produced him that hypnotized many Nigerians with the drivel called ‘change’ that Nigerians can see clearly on the flawed path now.
A clear and unbiased mind is flummoxed why this government and its agents have a degree in lying with impunity but when others do, the government champions for a bed for them in the gulag. The disappointing aspect of this government is that the pilot is doing his personal bidding against the masses wish of seeing the true ‘change’ their ears were deafened with.
Everything that has a beginning certainly will have an end. One is sure that Buhari in his dream is now experiencing tension, hearing on the radio, ‘Nigerians laughing’ and he remembers that democracy is not autocracy.
One Edward Snowden had warned the likes of Buhari is a statement which reads, “And I think it’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort-of scandalize our memories to sort-of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through – and to justify programmes that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up, and that our Constitution says we should not give up.”
The keyword to the ‘Dasukigate’ is that Buhari received something from Dasuki during the largesse period. Let Buhari not make Nigerians to believe that the biggest criminals that are in Nigeria today are working for the government. He should stop making murderers look like amateurs. Hooey!
Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State, Nigeria. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tel: +2348057778358.