Nigerians should rescue Religion from its Captors-Prof. Olagoke

Prof 1Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right provided for in the 1999 amended constitution.

The constitution also prohibits the adoption of an official religion by the government at all levels, just as the separation of government and religion is a constitutional imperative.

Indeed, religious leaders have crucial roles to play in making sure that the freedom of religion is assured for all Nigerians. In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head, and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olgoke advise Nigerians to make concerted efforts to rescue Religion from those holding it captive. Excerpts :

How in your views do you think that present administration in Nigeria can ensure the separation of Government and Religion in a way that would not negatively affect the freedom of religion?

The clamor for restructuring needs to beam its searchlight into the areas of culture, religion, education, and government with respect to their freedom and interconnectivity ab initio by the design of nature or almighty God, there is no way you can separate one from the others because each of them focuses in terms of service and benefits on mankind and humanity.

The cultural segment is deceptively neglected but always sourced by the other three segments of existence. In the political arena, the  Obaship, Emirship, and Obiship is more recognized by the segment than the religious sector because the apex bodies of these segments are regarded as the custodians of our culture and traditions which are the primary functions to be jealously guided by the regarded fathers of the land through whom government or political parties believed to be important factors in reaching out to the people while traditional rulers enjoy the patronage and remuneration of government.

They are, however, puns in the hands of the government, who by the design of the constitution, which is a social contract can be removed at will, when they don't dance to the tune of the government in power, while the culture continues to suffer under the resistance of collusion of religion and idiosyncrasies of merging civilization.

The culture itself becomes unguided to lose a grip of ethics and the much-needed discipline of an environment that is needed for the people to live in harmony without any traces of insanity.

The constitution on the issue of religion looks very much contradictory because of a lack of understanding of the divine concept of it.

Generally, the government and the people view religion as Karl Marx's perception of it, as being the opium of mankind.

The constitution on one hand states that Nigeria is secular instead of been a multiferous religious system, by this, the implication is that religion is trivialized into a speck in an environment where the services of God are not needed, hence religion loses the grip of sourcing for us, the necessary divine intervention, most especially in the times of travails.

This, on assessment, has put all worshippers into a state of no scripture compliance and mere religious commercial merchants to the generality of the adherents. Religion becomes so weak to sanitize the environment as well as reforming them into morally conscious, disciplined people. By this failure, every successive government in Nigeria that claim to wage war on institutional indiscipline and corruption always end up as failures because the situation has always weakened the fabric of the network of all agents of socialization to be able to get strong enough into the expected responsibilities of reasonable and rational change agents. Under this fatal condition, the project of education-non-formal, formal and informal- get affected to the detriment of helping school attendants to attain the altitude of their life's desire to be true community leaders, nation builders, and ethically based professionals, individuals, and organizations. The environment equally eats into the fabric of the management of the home front to eventually lack good parenting for the society to suffer so much for it.

If religion is so vital to human life why do we need to trivialize it into having no freedom?

It is unfortunate that 90 percent of Nigerian religious leaders are fraudulent and unpatriotic to the nation by capturing religion into captivity, making it to be hostile to culture, instead of allowing it to work together for the possible reformation of our religious beliefs like Mary Slessor did in Calabar when she put an end to the killing of twins. The apex body of every religion should not be trivialized into political tools, giving religion the necessary independence would be a direct challenge for the leadership of all religions face the need to eradicate poverty among the majority of their adherents and to be able to use the scripture to correct anomalies of profanity in the houses of God-Tim.16-17, Quran 2: 185.

The constitution needs to be amended to allow religion which by definition is a school of faith-building where the primary concern must be a focus on perfecting man-God relation for the system to be able to enjoy corporate governance in government, due process in procurement to avoid fraudulent practices, justice management in the Judiciary by incorruptible Judges, equity in material management and distribution, peaceful co-existence and sustainable development among others.

No religion teaches evil, let us all rescue religion from its captors, for our leaders to become Solomonic in knowledge, wisdom, and power of discerning mind which will never come if we continue to trivialize the issue of religion, bastardize the content of the scriptures by not walking the talk.

Only the independence of religion in terms of management can address the present areas of weaknesses and threats, so that we are able to have the light at the end of the tunnel, after darkness. The study guide on this includes-Isaiah 29: 11-16, Quran 87: 6-9, and 2: 269.

Religious people, if thoroughly bred through their houses of worship would be best in management and administration in the process of governance and leadership because hey would be fraud-free. Religious leaders in their various capacities are supposed to be unbiased advisers and opinion molders for government services to be result oriented.




Nigeria Prof. Sabitu Olagoke Religion

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