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]