How d’you solve a problem like Nigeria? – Some comments

October 14, 2012

Arts & Culture

Fatai Bakare

Submitted on 2012/10/12 at 8:03 pm

What would one expect as treatment for a crowd that is supposed to be, say, 50,00o and we have a bloated crowd of one million?

We are just deceiving ourselves in the country. I have the feeling that the Saudis know us inside out as far as religion (Islam) is concerned. We are not that individually-rich to be having that crowd every year. Holy Pilgrimage to Mecca is the last of the Pillars of Islam and it is required to be performed by those rich enough to make it at least once in their life time.

Papa Awolowo established the Pilgrim Welfare Board both for Christians and Moslems to help follow Pilgrims to the Holy land and take care of their health in cases of health issues. But these latter-day politicians politicise the whole thing by hijacking the good gesture and start sending people who are not followers of the religion. I have witnessed cases of moslem wives converted to christianity sent to hajj because of the high connection or positions of their spouses. What are their businesses going there? Trading. Many do not even perform the rituals of the hajj.

If government is to sponsor people at all, it should be the poor devotees in the Mosques and Churches who are helping in the up-keep of these places as compensations through recommendations from their Imams and Pastors. Of course, these can be politicised as well because Imams and Pastors are human beings. The bottom line is that government sponsorship should be scrapped. However, rich Moslems and Christians can sponsor devotees as done by late MKO, Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, Arisekola Alao and so on. Enough of the strains imposed on our economy by these government sponsorship at all levels.

Submitted on 2012/10/14 at 12:23 pm | In reply to Fatai Bakare.

Dear Fatai,

This is a great suggestion, and thanks, as always. Government getting out of the business of religion in Nigeria will never happen as long as we continue to practise the pseudo “federation” we have right now. The North, with its ALLOTTED fake huge population does not want a real federation where sections that do not want religion as a growth industry have been sucked in and have now accepted the wasteful spending that pilgrimages allow. Worse than spouses being sponsored are relatives of state governors heading states’ pilgrims boards as in the case of Osun during the profligate PDP reign of retired army officer Oyinlola whose senior sister headed the Christian Pilgrims Board.

We may be a “religious” people but evidences do not point to Nigerians being generally people of faith, I’m sorry of faith, a perhaps irrelevant comment here. The big government bureaucracy that feeds the pilgrimages is mind-boggling in a country where people pick trashes for food and in the same country where a single minister, the Oil Ministry’s Madueke reportedly owns her own jet – no denial; owns a mansion that is worth millions of dollars in Austria reported by an Austrian newspaper – no denial, etcetera.

The worst part? The churches – I know nothing about the mosques – are there to receive ‘THANKS OFFERINGS” from these people whose sources of wealth they know v. well.

The most important thing is to continue to fight for true federalism as well as get government out of commercial religion.



Falade A.G.

Submitted on 2012/10/12 at 8:53 am

To push Nigeria to greater heights, we need prayers. But, not the type of prayers that are widespread in Nigeria. True prayer is ceaselessly doing good, and not petitioning. It is very interesting to me, that at last, Nigerians even though still few now realise that prayers, or should we call it petitioning, without good works are like empty cymbals!


Hei, Dear Prof.,

How and where have you been?

I’m all for prayers – accompanied with action as He has promised to hear His people when they call on Him but one thing I always believe, Prof., is that our petition may be in vain on the matter of Nigeria IF we, the citizens do not show we do not want to continue to be used as foot mats. Your – and my – Yoruba ethnic group have a saying about a child with the arms up would be picked up because he/she has indicated the wish to be picked up.

Only a few Nigerians have indicated by action more than words that they are sick and tired of the looting, the godlessness, etcetera.

Regards, as always,

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