Blindly, people are too divided along ethnic and religious lines and therefore support politicians based on religion and ethnicity rather than track record and capacity to deliver good governance.
Ethno-Religious Diversity and Political Leadership: Nigeria is at a crossroads. We have lost our moral compass. Yet, we are parachuting deeper and deeper into the valley of bigotry, uncouth and stupidity. We may never soar again like the eagle of which in these current elections circle, religion seems to have the upper hand. Therefore, if we don’t deliberately recalibrate our patently defective value system our beloved country Nigeria is doomed and may likely explode before our “Koro koro” eyes. Undoubtedly, religion and ethnicity have fully developed into monsters and are a very big threat to Nigeria’s unity.
Although politics is a man-made game, nonetheless some of us have inadvertently dragged the name of God into the game through religious leaders leading to unwarranted divisiveness. How divided we are as a people: first, ethnicity, and now religion is added by leaders of the faith. Religious leaders in the country need to refrain from stoking the embers of hatred and disunity, resorting to scorched-earth rhetoric at this time could trigger unintended consequences. Notable among the utterances were the unnecessary vituperations and activities of some religious and past political leaders.
Sadly, this has become the norm in many of our churches. My worry is that if the church drags itself into partisan politics, then it would have lost its moral authority to pontificate because it has made itself an interested party. Indeed, the church cannot be on the moral pedestal to preach against certain conduct of society if it has not gone through purification by purging itself of those who are diminishing its authority. Given that situation, it is not surprising that public support is very high for fundamental change in our political system to make the system work better. This is exemplified by the conduct of clerics like Paul Eneche of Dunamis church.
Let me be clear, we have mannerless people on social media that can’t express themselves without an insult added, to now include the kind of recklessness from the pulpit that will set us up for failure and violence of unimaginable magnitude. Pst Paul Eneche undoubtedly a cleric with profound oratorical articulation cannot be said to be ignorant of the weight of certain threatening sermons. Simply put, religion is mental slavery. religion should be viewed only to the extent to which it entrenches humanity. It is instructive to note that the goal of ‘gaslighting’ is to deliberately mess up your head. It’s not a mental illness, but a form of manipulation that promotes emotional and mental abuse.
As such, the consequences of politics-of-bitterness are grievous enough to make one outrightly condemn in the strongest terms, the irresponsible, insensitive, reckless and provocative message of Pastor Enenche in his sermon on Sunday 26th February 2023 to congregants and Nigerians via the social media platforms. When we set this quest for truth as our intention, we are opening ourselves up to finding a new awareness of what is, rather than what we believed previously. Only then can we allow the screens of judgement and bias that we have manufactured within us to slowly drop away?
This is a life-long process, but it is empowering to know and understand that almost anything in life can be adjusted with a change of perception. Elections should ordinarily be festivals of democracy; not do-or-die affairs, but Nigeria’s political history has recorded episodes of elections as wars. Blindly, people are too divided along ethnic and religious lines and therefore support politicians based on religion and ethnicity rather than track record and capacity to deliver good governance.
Fundamentally, our citizens particularly the restive youths are incapable of sound reasoning and involuntarily gullible – that is the reason why the likes of pst Paul Eneche should desist from further inciting statements from the pulpit. Therefore, Enenche’s hate speech from the pulpit violates the law of the land and he should be reprimanded for such incongruence. Finally, I like to place it on record, that history beckons as the verdict of posterity are inevitable. We cannot afford another version of June 12, 1993. NIGERIA WILL BE PEACEFUL.
Richard Odusanya, Email: email@example.com
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