By Denrele Animasaun
This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” — Dalai Lama XIV
They say that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. In Nigeria, it seems that the blind is leading the blind and they do so willingly and that is more the pity.
They seem to go towards the precipice without questioning the true intentions of the leader. The piped piper plays on and like the mice of Hamlin they follow doggedly leaping from one disaster to the next without a flicker of reflection or conscience.
A response-”Religious fools, under the facade of Nigerian politics, are scheming their latest retardancy to posterity of the nation. As if quota system served any good, a new divisive tactics or denominationalism is ushered into a failing government already laden in corruptions of all sorts! Rather than find ways forward, the wasted generation wanted to enshrine their culture lacking in civic mindedness further. A sad case of spiritual frustration or of cultural attitude toward madness should anyone take this Alex Bamgbala seriously-Naheem Adio Kujenya
The Christian Conscience seminar held on September 26, 2013 and what a seminar it was too. There is so much stoking going on. I cannot believe that “eminent” people gathered to hear a prominent journalist polemically recall political history and reduce Lagos State to religious camps. Lagos State does not operate on religious lines, Lagosians are very tolerant, secular and that is why Lagos is the way it is and its people are the way they are: more open, more egalitarian and cosmopolitan. These are the qualities that attract people to Lagos. Sectarian politics does not start well and neither does it end well. These quota systems and conspiracy theorists should be shown the door, it has no place in modern Lagos nor in Nigeria. The archaic way that politics is being practiced has not served us well in the past and definitely will not make us progress. If the Christian conscience group feel they are being pragmatic and progressive, they are not. The whole business of “having a turn” is what got us in this mess and it is about time people with their conscience place people on merit and not religious and tribal affiliations.
Have we sunk very low that we are reduced to how many Muslims led and Christian led administrations? In the summit, it was said that; “Muslim/Muslim ticket for Governor and Deputy Governor – Alhaji Jakande and Alhaji Jafojo respectively. They were elected for the two terms and would have ruled for eight years – if the military had not terminated civilian rule after four years and four months”. And it goes on ; “Muslim occupation of the Governor’s Mansion in Lagos State grant four/eight more years to Muslim candidates, bringing the totals to 292 or 340 months to 14 months, is the greatest sort of injustice anybody or group can ask another group to endure”.
The winning gambit is this and in their infinite wisdom that come 2015, come what may no other Muslim will be in governor house! Have they really asked what Lagosians want? They will know that all people want is to have safe future, good jobs, a decent standard of living, sustainable and safe roads and transportation. That is what ordinary people want and it means nothing to them if the man on the top is Muslim or Christian. Would they be decreeing that Christians should vote for Christians and Muslims should vote Christians? Or that no Muslim candidate be forwarded for the post?
We want honest, transparent and hardworking cadre of leaders who is there to serve everyone and not one part of the people or religion. Is that too not much to ask? And on and on it goes that “We will not accept it and we shall organize ourselves to fight this creeping institutionalization of inequity. This is not an anti-Muslim struggle; we appreciate the achievements credited to Governor Fashola”.
Whatever the mathematics, it is so divisive and trouble rousing that they would go through the lengths of counting the days and months to ensure that they get a Christian-led administration come 2015. How absurd that we think so little of ourselves and the electorates.
Whatever the number of Christian/ Muslim ratio in Nigeria does that equate to a good administration or providing good governance for the people in Lagos? Does it mean that more young people will be at work, education, good health care, basic amenities and safe transport and good roads?
So much needs to be done in Nigeria and being tolerant of one another should be at the top of the list. We should be leading our children to learn how to get along regardless of what tribe or religion you are, that we owe ourselves and our nation some respect, compassion and understanding. If we profess we love Nigeria, then it is about time we did away with our suspicions, selfishness, pettiness, dishonesty, greed, corruption and meanness.
Nigerians need to grow and dividing us on religious and tribal lines is not growth or progress.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” — Albert Einstein
No Awards for African leaders in Leadership in 2013.
For the fourth time in a row, no African leader has qualified to win 2013 prize. The Ibrahim prize for achievement in African leadership is the largest in the world and it is worth a yearly US$5 million and over 10 years and US$ 200,000 annually for life.
In order to win the prize, the nominees must fulfil certain criteria: to be a democratically elected former African head of state or government who has left office in previous years. This also depends whether they have served the mandated term and have demonstrated excellence in office, have they helped and lifted their people out of poverty and paved way for sustainability and prosperity. It is not that hard is it? Or is it too much to ask, is it?
It is self-evident that very few African leaders have willingly and gracefully left office at their respective mandated time. No, they have simply and tenaciously refused to leave office, over stayed their mandated term, in fact, they resolutely increase poverty and corruption and actively participated and collude to have their political opponents disappear, maimed or killed.