the things that are done in your name-
I mean, the things that are undone behind
The flimsy façade of Your name.”
Kobena Eyi Acquah
“keago” as she was fondly called was a woman who loved GOD. Yes, God! That Supreme Being who has been touted to know and see all.
As a childhood friend, I was fortunate to be privy to a lot about her, for little did I know that my friend would fleetingly make the headlines someday. She went about, daily evangelizing the works of the Almighty, through words and deeds, in places where angels feared to tread. Undauntingnly, she bore her cross in the valley of death, which in this case was in YOBE, a state in Nigeria where she had been called to serve.
Keago, like the Queen she was, regally fell to the onslaught of bullets fired from the murderous weapons of the hitherto faceless fanatics. She made the news briefly and was heard no more.
Friends and family were aggrieved, angry youths chimed war songs over social media and strangers expressed the requisite due shock. But what could I do? Armed with naught but my pen, I was helpless. And like the sprinkling of water on a kindled flame, this story, like subsequent tales of this nature was doused away.
IT began with a bloody trail of incessant but muffled protests, persistent killings and selected explosions that we all termed insignificant. Mere firecrackers that snuffed away strangers’ lives, lives we knew and cared nothing about. Its steady growth in murderous intentions was fed by our disbelief and our careless undermining of the beauty of resilience.
And so it was believed to be another “Maitatsine”, the remains of which shall be locked away like those of the legendary protestant. Maitatsine , another koranic scholar who claimed to be another renaissance in the emancipation of the supposedly “lost flock” , whose sad but expected end is merely muttered in hushed tones within the eerie stillness of a cremated glassware in a laboratory!
ALAS! This gory story doesn’t happen to be that of “he” stated above but of the erstwhile faceless ones who seem to have adopted another modus in the redemption of their lost adherents. One characterized by continuous bloodshed and the all too familiar wailings which reverberate our auditory senses.
Hence the questions pour forth continuously as the masses direct their queries to these masked fanatics… what have we done to deserve this?
As a little girl , I was raised to respect the tenets of my religion and for those religions I didn’t know or couldn’t quite fathom, I was made to understand that , as a general rule for the supremacy of peace to prevail, we must tolerate that which we do not understand , for we are consistently being tolerated every day. I was taught as a woman in higher institutions of learning that Religion seeks to be that agent which deters the criminally minded from perpetuating crime. It is that opium craved by the masses which promises tranquility in times of political or social unrest. However, reverse is our case in my Motherland , as Religion is used as a weapon to untimely snuff away lives , persistently delude adherents and adequately ensure the victimization of the masses , all for a precise and selfish cause…POWER!
Ironically, it has been defined as “the opium of the masses”, however it has certainly had no tranquilizing effect on the adherents so far. Day after day , imposing edifices are erected in the guise of institutions of learning and places of worship. Edifices that steal not only our breathe away in awe but also every penny earned by the poor deserving masses.
From the pastor who preaches Prosperity and fails to pay his Tax, to the smoking nuzzle of the religious fanatic’s weapon, the tenet of every religion is mocked.
From the human ritual site at SOCA, in IBADAN, to the endless tabloid stories about the financial indecencies of our churches, the aim of Religion is destroyed.
From the threats made by power thirsty politicians to the kidnap of innocent young girls from their erstwhile safe haven, the weapon of religion is used. From the misguided Idiosyncrasies of the religious fanatics that despise western education, (yet who sadistically utilize the ammunition made from a wealth of western knowledge), to the blood thirsty intentions of the basic criminal, the Nature of Religion is manipulated. And in the throes of this passionate display of Religious Deceit, political unrest and financial corruption. Our MOTHERLAND remains the greatest victim of all.
Every sphere of religion is culpable and none can be exempted . It is however not a lost cause for we may yet fight to regain lost ground . we may yet question disturbing , unhealthy and myopic choices rather than blindly following. We may probe the “overtly righteous” and demand answers to our queries and not answers that may not be queried. We may create a special kind of madness. Kobena Eyi Acquah in his poem , “In the Navel of the Soul” stated
“They say we have gone all out of our mind
If madness nurtures such lucidity
God , make us mad-
Make us even more mad”
Refute these endless ponderings like , When did we miss it? Was it during the brain washed worship or was it when we turned a blind eye?
The solution is merely attitudinal.
Think about it and while you’re at it, I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you!
…In Loving Memory of Eucharia Nwakaego Remmy.
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