Revenues behind Nigerian Govt’s Law for churches? Transfer Oil Blocks to states for accelerated development – A. Afunleyin

January 10, 2017

Faith, General, Nigeria

Why are Nigeria’s successive governments always using double standards when it comes to what threatens our fragile national unity? Nigeria is a secular State by its Constitution, and the Government therefore should not have any hands in how each religious group runs its show.

For example, the sultan of Sokoto is the supreme head of Muslims in Nigeria. His leadership like his predecessors have never been linked to certain number of years as is now being stipulated in the FRCN Act. Although I do not know who is the new Aarẹ Musulumi (the Leader of all Yoruba Muslims) since the death of late Alhaji Arisekola Alao but Alao was not given any tenure by any successive governments that were in power during the many years that he gloriously led Yoruba Muslims till he died.

Why should the tenure of the heads of other religious groups be subjected to an Act of government because even though the law that makes a mockery of our secularism claims it affects both Muslims and Christians, the latter group knows it is a law aimed at Christians. No Nigerian president is going to ask the sultan to step down because he has led Muslims for 20 years as Pastor Adeboye, leader of perhaps up to 50 percent of all Nigerian Christians, and several millions more in close to two hundred countries, was forced to do recently.

Is that not clearly a double standard?

In Yoruba traditional religions for example, there have never been tenures for head worhippers of Osun, Ifa , Oya etc. They are all positions held for life once attained. Will those people be subjected to this ill-conceived edict?

If the Nigerian government wants to increase its revenues most of which have always been squandered and looted under many governments, it should work transparently hard at recovering looted funds from legislators – past and present, former heads of government, civil servants, heads of parastatals, civil servants’ collaborators in the private sector, banks that collaborated with looters, etc, AS WELL AS businesses set up by churches or mosques, etc.

Another issue is the cunny-man – as in con artistry – approach to governance that has been on the m.o. of successive governments since General Babangida which they chose to give our common resources away to individuals through the selfish and squandermania oil block awards, a situation that has made a few people stupendously so wealthy that the effect of their conspicuous consumption has contributed in no small measure to insecurity in the country.

President Buhari can make a clean break from this sorry past by not renewing any Oil Block up for renewal in 2017. Government can work with competent lawyers to see how the other Licenses can be wrestled from those who have continued to profit from our common wealth.

What did those people do to warrant or merit being gifted with our common wealth?

Why not withdraw the oil blocks and give them to the different States to operate, states that must be required by law to let multi-national oil giants prospect for the oil? This should not be difficult to achieve through the National Assembly because I have read that the Oil Blocks expire after a period of time. The amounts being earned are in the billions of dollars and having each state own even a single well would cancel the idea of the cap-in-hand “allocation to states that have rendered states powerless in the hands of a Federal Government that has so much cash and little will that Level 09 officers in the Civil Service could be millionaires through shady oil sector deals.

Other revenues from various sources could then be used for massive development in education, infrastructure, etc and states’ hands would not be tied behind their backs financially as happens now.

This current wrong step by FGN (looking to reap where it did not sow) has nothing to do with good governance. It’s  a subtle way to test the waters before heavy-handed religious persecution. The move is pregnant with envy, covetousness, avarice etc. that is skewed against Christians.

 Nigeria kìkì èéri, A fọ̀ fọ̀ kò lè mọ́, are the first two lines of a Yoruba parody of the old Nigerian Anthem and can be sung to the same tune: Nigeria, we hail thee, Our own dear native land but the person that came up with the words apparently did not believe there were reasons to hail his land of birth because of these words: “Nigeria is all a mess; We’ve washed and washed it but it cannot be clean!”

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017. 7:35 p.m. [GMT]

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6 Comments on “Revenues behind Nigerian Govt’s Law for churches? Transfer Oil Blocks to states for accelerated development – A. Afunleyin”

  1. emotan77 Says:

    FROM MY MAIL BOX

    There are some signs for cheer –the BBOG group is extending its advocacy to demand for good governance and for an effective fight against corruption. Also the outcry by Christians and SAREP against the massacre of Christians in the North has caused the UN to name a delegation to Nigeria to investigate; the actions by CAN in this regard are a most welcome and long overdue development.

    To crown it all the strong outcry by Christians has forced Buhari to act with unprecedented swiftness to stop the malicious interference in Church administration –for goodness sake, as you and some others have said, government has no business in who and who run or do not run the Church. Of course the Muslims are quite happy, pretending to be indifferent — which is obnoxious enough — since they believe in theocracy.

    I believe that if Christians maintain this stance under the wholesome, new leadership in CAN, all attempts to islamise Nigeria will definitely fail, in fulfilment of Christ’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against HIS Church.

    I don’t share your view that we elderly ones cant do much to influence the way the country is going.We can, if we determine to, and work with younger people.

    S. Bisi

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Sis.,

      Thanks very much for this.

      First, I do not, of course, believe or really imply that we oldies can do nothing because you are, W.S. is, others, including me, are also doing our best but the vast majority seems resigned to just count the rest of what they have left undisturbed as much as possible by the evil that Nigeria has become. Such people forget that not doing anything is worse.

      I am surprised too at the prez’s pace this time around in the continuous slaughter of Xtians in the North, esp S. Kaduna since the governorship of the loud-mouthed self-entitled el-Rufai. The trick – if one can call it that – is to keep the pressure on.

      With the proper leadership and not the type exhibited by such men-of-Nigeria’s god (money) like CAN-led Oritsejafor, the room to roam for reactionaries would be tight.

      Fond regards,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. emotan77 Says:

    FROM MY MAILBOX

    ” AS Well as businesses set up by churches, mosques etc” is to me the catch phrase.

    The government ought to have classified that without a whimper about the nomenclature of the owners. Isn’t it true that the funky Hallelujah people with their gospel of prosperity have gathered plenty of wealth and refused to share with their poor congregation? The flamboyance and road shows have set the scene for envy which was never the case when we were growing up. But all the blemish do not amount to rather biased government intervention. Its even more unwise at a time of unnecessary religious tension created partly by the government.

    Remove places of worship, abode of the full time church workers, tax every other income, and close your eyes to tenure: it’s the business of their congregation.

    General

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Sir,

      Thanks very much for your contribution.

      One of three essays on this blog on the subject was written by me two days ago. It was along the line you outlined:

      “Regular readers of this blog have an idea of my feelings about the new-age churches but Nigeria’s Constitution proclaims secularism and while I may feel and believe that most of these “men of God” are nothing more than evangelists/entrepreneurs, my opinion is not relevant on the subject. Nigeria’s Constitution’s words are.

      Nothing concerns Nigerian government about determining who leads a church, how long he/she does so, nor is it government’s business the matter of succession.”

      The commentator also suggests the taxing of churches’ or mosques’ schools, et cetera but officialdom in Nigeria always seems to complicate issues by bringing personal issues and agendas. Progress will be difficult until real patriotism and maturity are always present in the country’s leadership.

      My regards, Sir.
      TOLA.

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  3. Adegoke G. Falade Says:

    Auntie,
    Good morning, and Happy New Year, even though belated.
    I’ve been educated by a friend that giving the oil blocks to the regional owners(say the Niger Deltans) will not work, because the latter are also evil! In the US, oil blocks are owned by individuals and the North Sea Oil is the property of the UK government; these arrangements work in the US and the UK, because the Americans and the Britons are REFINED (more intuitive than the …) people.
    Everything boils down to one thing: LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. This strengthens individual’s intuitive perception.

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Prof.,

      Thanks for the good wishes; they are never late!

      I agree that a regional devolution may not achieve the result that Mr. Afunleyin envisions but as nothing really seems to work in Nigeria’s case, the idea may not be that off.

      The present situation of gifting the oil blocks to individuals is way, way off because it benefits the awardees and their families in perpetuity. Worse, even though the blocks were reportedly awarded – generally – at less than their real values, I’m not sure tax benefits accrue to the country.

      My main agreement with the commentator’s suggestion is the possibility of such – like a general devolution to states that is embeded in the much-sought “Restructuring – engendering healthy competition among the federating units which would accelerate development.

      Sincere regards,
      TOLA.

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