Nigeria, religious bodies and warehouses

We go to churches and listen to wonderful sermons but we never pick up anything about the importance of industry, asking that we learn the ropes to be industrialists.

Our Lord is depicted as an omnipotent being interested in quick fixes and loves money. There is in our day the absence of Hasidic conscience.

Everyday and at a certain time of the day here in Abuja, I hear loud preachment from a loud speaker out of a mosque. No mention is made always for youths to be productive and to build the country.

All I hear is the supremacy of adherents, creating dourest convoluted chasms. Never preaching and holding on to small straws in the wind, and to their own petrified traditions.

In December, Nigeria is in a nippy mood. There aren’t industries but churches and mosques. We must be the most religious people on earth but ours is devoid of love, transitory and faddish just to go through the motions.

The church behind my house in Port Harcourt was demolished for a better outfit running into millions but I don’t see church members go out on outreaches to help the poor and needy.

Theirs is just to receive and not to give. What drives TV houses today are church programmes, no content.

September 5 every year is set aside as the International Day of Charity by the United Nations to promote and save the lives of people, especially the poor and overburdened around the world.

This is important in Nigeria because the haves treat the have-nots of today as a class that can’t become successful tomorrow. I bridle at this attitude. Sadly, adversity has hit its peak this period, invoking images of a starving people.

Bad times in other places from literary works available seemed to make people reach deep inside themselves until, each time, they reached the very essence of humanity: compassion.

It is no wonder then that we have institutes and foundations such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Dangote, Gates, Buffett, Clinton, Elumelu, Danjuma  etc. to care for the many interests of poor people in the absence of churches and mosques.

I often despair. What good is caring about suffering humanity if you don’t have the means to alleviate it? Even less so when you do have the means to alleviate it.

So we pray that “before your day ends, your cup of bitter dregs passes in exchange for a chalice of purest nectar.” We say, “God be with you.” “It is well.” But we don’t offer help and give our resources to starving people. The best place to get help from Christians is in the church, when they are in a congregation of worshippers.

Christians love to showboat and are more angelic than angels when they are in a group. They offer help in church and make open donations so as to be praised and recognized. Meet these fellows after church service when they are alone for help and you will notice what a heartless, horrible, Godless people many are!

Individually, muslims are trustworthy, obedient, accountable, reliable and generous. You can get their commitments for projects without drama.

As a group, most Nigerian muslims aren’t as reliable as they are as individuals. When will all adherents of religion in Nigeria show more interest in humanity than that which currently exists? Giving shouldn’t hover around doling out money only, it must not be impersonal for the sake of giving, but should be humane and targeted at changing the system of injustices that we have in place in Nigeria. Who says you can’t give your time for a worthy cause?

I ran into a revered friend in the women’s estate who is close to two decades older than me. We exchanged banters and sought to know how both of us were coping with the prevailing times. “Managing” seems to be the casual reply to questions bordering on welfare these days.

So “managing.” We both mentioned how we were owed payment by people for services done on their behalf, I with vexed spirits and disgust while she remained calm and philosophical. It comes with age I think. 

“You need not be angry with people who owe you money, the problem is not them but spiritual forces preventing them from paying you, so what you need do is pray for them.” I had to disagree.  “It is not spiritual, these people lack integrity.

One of the persons only told me about the status of her financial insufficiency after I had delivered the consulting service, traveling from Port Harcourt to Abuja to do so.” I said.

“You don’t understand. People owe me millions, some people also come to my shop to make orders for intended purchases with assurances for closed deals but never come back. People averse to my success use spiritual forces to prevent them from coming back so as to frustrate me.” I couldn’t wait for our good-natured harangue to end: it was drag and tolerable.

How interesting would life be if everything was spiritual, if our spirits are forever on alert to watch our backs continually? Many people probably even won’t cavort when it is needed for fear of the spiritual. “Go close to a man of God with the power to pray out spiritual forces from your pathway,” she said finally.

Now I have to look for someone to mediate between my enemies and spiritual forces.

The spiritual has made Nigerians of all divides lazy. No love for industry. I wonder how Michael Okpara must be feeling for moving the industrial avenue of Eastern Nigeria to Trans-Amadi in Port Harcourt. All the industries there today are vestiges. The political kingdaddies in Rivers do not care squat.

The same for Sir Ahmadu Bello. What we have in the north as mosques are makeshift preaching centres in market squares and garages. The presidency has not helped to alter the course of things in the north.

It is either that relying on prayers will make us succeed or that we failed because of the absence of prayers and not love for industry. No one bothers to work anymore.

Many of our Lords spiritual on both sides are simoniacs.

Abah wrote from Abuja.


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