An appeal to religious leaders

IN what appears as a sharp departure from the common trend, a ministerial nominee, Mr Adebayo Shittu, while being screened at the Senate, took time to lecture Nigerians on the need to eschew mere religiosity and embrace Godly living. According to him, what most Nigerians practice is nothing but empty religion that does not reflect positively on their behaviours.
Shittu’s position is a pointer to the prevailing sheer pretence that passes as religious devotion among many Nigerians.

Indeed it is quite ironic that while most Nigerians lay claim to being religiously committed and even make bold shows of defending their religious beliefs at every opportunity, this has never deterred them from exhibiting behaviours that infringe on the laws of the land.

This explains the baffling contradiction whereby, in spite of the steady increase in the number of churches and mosques in the country and the overt display of religiosity as represented by the mammoth crowds of worshippers that attend religious programmes, the level of morality remains abysmally low.

In the same vein, thousands of Nigerians embark on pilgrimages every year to designated Holy Lands in the Middle East and Europe without any indication that the attendant religious experiences enhance their moral consciousness.

An evidence of this can be seen in most elected and appointed public office holders who, in spite of their public shows of religiosity or frequent defence of their religious beliefs, are never shy of dipping their hands in the public till.

In fact, in Nigeria, treasury looting is the norm, with Christians, Muslims and adherents of other faiths equally culpable.

This situation continues to thrive because rather than preach against practices bordering on primitive accumulation of wealth and the rampant looting spree by public office holders, religious leaders often delight in celebrating their members who make huge donations without minding the sources of such donations.

This encourages the impression that the stealing of public funds can be expiated by giving out a portion of what is stolen as donation for religious causes.

Indeed, it is quite curious that most of those with cases to answer at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are notable members of different religious groups and denominations in the country.

It is also curious that even in instances where some of these fellows have been indicted or convicted of financial and other related crimes, the leaders of their religious persuasions never openly condemn their nefarious actions.

We urge all religious leaders to re-emphasise the principles of morality, holiness, love, good neighbourliness and self-sacrifice, which the founders of major religions exhibited while on earth.

This would be a major compliment to the war on corruption and moral rebirth.

Source: Vanguard News


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