By James Patrick
Nigeria is not the problem but Nigerians are the problem. Nigerians are very religious but also very ungodly. We are very religious not because we love God so much or being religious is a thing embedded in our DNA. We are too religious because we have too many problems in this country caused by bad and irresponsible leadership. We are so religious because we have to virtually go to God for even the little things that make life comfortable, which a responsible government can easily provide, such as; light, clean water, to get a job, good roads, good health care system, quality education, security etc. Take a look at the western world that has some measure of highly responsible government who takes the priority of it’s citizens very seriously, they do not have to pray unto God to get a job. They have no need to call upon the creator of the universe for a good hospital to take themselves or their loved once when they fall sick. They equally do not have to beg God for protection from the hands of kidnappers, bandits or Fulani herdsmen. They have no need to commit their journey into the hands of a supreme being because they also have good roads. They don’t pray for NEPA to bring light because they have constant electricity in their country. They don’t also have to pray for what to eat, what to drink, what to wear. All these things are already available in abundance for them to enjoy. They don’t really need any special miracle for these thing to be made available for them. The Government of these advance countries have over the years been able to provide the basic social amenities for the betterment and enjoyment of their citizens. All these daily necessities of life have been made readily available by the government of these country in advance form. These countries do not only have a stable electricity, it is also constant 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days in a year. There hospital, there health care system is a top notch. They have the best Doctors, nurses, laboratory scientist who are very dedicate to their job. The medical practitioners they have in most of these western world take their job very seriously – they value the life of any and every patient that steps his or her leg into their hospital. So why would a sick patient pray to God for healing when he or she has a well trained Doctor taking good care of the illness? Why would a citizen think of dying when he or she is under a well equipped hospital where everything to perfect the healing process is available within a snap of a finger. Come down to a country like Nigeria, just pray you never fall ill, that’s your only way out of the dilapidated healthcare structure we have all over the country. Because our hospitals are in such a deplorable condition, most Nigeria now seek for spiritual way out; they pray and fast never to even fall sick in the first place. If par adventure God did not answer the prayer like he would sometime do, they have to pray and fast for God to take them to the hospital safely and bring them back safely. A Critically sick person in Nigeria been taken to the hospital could die along the way due to the bad roads that leads to the hospital. Then if God answers the prayer, the sick person may now have to face the ill-quipped, under funded, untrained or unprofessional hospital staff (rude nurses), empty hospital that does not have a common panadol to cure headache. Right from the hospital entrance gate of a Nigerian hospital, a Nigerian would begin to pray to God for healing because we do not trust the competence of the person who would eventually prescribes drugs to take for the sickness to be cured. Nigerian, especially millions of jobless, unemployed or underemployed Nigerian youths pray to God every day for good job to cater for their daily needs. Those in the country who are suppose to provide jobs have failed in their responsibility to do so. Bad economic policies over the years have made most industry to close down, thereby denying millions of agile young men the opportunity to be employed. It is the monumental failure of the Nigerian government which gave birth to such an unprecedented hardship that has pushed its citizens to become too religious.
This is very simple, if the Nigerian leaders both past and present have been performing at an optimum level in terms of dutifully discharging their leadership responsibilities by providing quality education, good roads, clean water, affordable health care service and decent jobs for all, most Nigerians would stop being religious. Many People in this country would have absolutely no reason whatsoever to be disturbing God in heaven because the things they should have been disturbing his peace for had already been made available by the capable government of the day. Check out those thing we Nigerian flock into religion center daily to beg God for. Just imagine if all these things are available to almost everything citizens in this country, automatically our over zealous attitudes toward religion would recline. No one would have any reason to keep praying to God for what is available on ground in abundance. It it the scarcity of employment opportunities in this part of the world that makes people to fast from January to December imploring God to get one. If jobs are available for all who would waste his or her time begging God for it? If the people’s lives and their properties are well secured by our security agents, no one would be seeking for spiritual protection in churches, mosque or the shrine. If hunger, hardship or poverty are not in every nook and cranny in this country, no one would be praying to God for visa to travel abroad for greener pastures. If our health care system is up to standard, there would be no need for the high number of medical tourism we have among those that can afford it here in Nigeria. We would have no need seeking for divine healing when we know that we have capable hands to treat us from whatever sickness we are suffering from. If we have good road network in this country, we would reduce the way we pray against any form of road accident whenever we want to travel. I can go on and on showing you how we Nigerians disturb God for things he has given us solutions for. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t go to him if our leader had made use of their brainless head in solving most of these problems we have on ground.
So our over zealousness towards religion has nothing to do with loving God more than other countries on planet earth. The common fact that you see either Churches and Mosques in every single streets in Nigeria does not mean we respect or reference God more than other people in other countries of the world. We are not over religious because we love God more than any set of people in this world. We do flock in our hundred, if not in our millions to worship God every Fridays and Sundays not because we are too sanctimonious, too holy or too righteous. But because our government is completely dead! Yes, they are dead to their duties, dead to their responsibilities, dead to the pains and poverty among millions of it’s citizens. This is the reason why we have no any other option than to pass their responsibilities down to God – what they are suppose to do and they fail to do it, we now pass it to God to do for us. Since God cannot help over 200 million people at the same Time, alot of Nigerians get frustrated with God. Some other Nigerians instead of blaming their Government for being jobless over the years, they blame God. Instead of blaming the bad leadership which resulted in the high level of poverty and insecurity in the country, they put the blame on God. Instead of blaming our leaders for lack of electricity, bad road, poor infrastructures and poor educational system, we push the blame on an innocent God that has no hands in our misfortunes. Dear Nigerians, let it be known unto you that going to God for everything does not prove that we are more Godly than any other nation on earth, it only shows how much rut of a leadership system we have that has failed woefully in the duty of protecting life and property. The most unfortunate thing about the failure of leadership in Nigerian is that it has created the proliferation of religion centers all over the country where people run to to seek the face of God. It is the so called spiritual men that are profiting from the bad leadership in Nigeria. Due to leadership failures at all levels in Nigerian, Nigerians think they know God more, they think God is for them more than He is for other people in different countries around the globe. They think God should favour them or pay more priority to the artificial needs. They think God should pay more attention to them. This is why to find respite from all the hardship they have to confront on a daily basis, they run to worship centers to seek the face of God, to disturb God for their innumerable needs. Since God cannot answer all the prayer requests at once, since God cannot attend to everybody at the same time, some must have to wait for their turn and their time to come. This is where those who must wait get frustrated with God. This is where most Nigerians get tired with God. This where we begin to fight or blames God for our misfortunes while we allow the main criminals enjoy the money they stool from us by denying us the good things of life. It’s high time we stop BLAMING or fighting God and start fighting the bad leadership in this country. It’s high time we Nigerians start demanding for a good life for all. It’s high time we start fighting for good governance and accountability in this country. It’s high time we start exerting all our energy in fighting for a better living condition for all rather than wasting that energy in praying to a God who would probably take till eternity to answer everyone of us. God cannot come down to fix the problems He has given us the power to fix. God Cannot also solve all the artificial problems of over 200 million people at the same time (it has to be one at a time and one after the other). Humans like us in other part of the world with good leaders have fixed these simple problems we cry upon God for on a daily basis – they do no have to go unto Him anymore!
BY PATRICK JAMES