Published June 17, 2014 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

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.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.



  • Religion is another of the many institutions that have been hijacked and distorted to exploit, contrary to the intents of their founders. Albert Einstein, a pacifist, would be turning in his grave to see how his noble inventions have been used to annihilate much of humanity in modern warfares. Your post is a good reminder for us, adherents, to be mindful of the possible pitfalls in our strongest convictions.
    Very good piece here, Ms.
    My condolences on the loss of your friend.

  • *sigh* I really do not blame people who leave the country in the midst of this crisis………I hope we come to our senses soon enough! Intersting and educative piece by the way that’s one of my favourite poems right there! Kudos!

  • Wole Soyinka said: “He who kills in the name of God leaves God without a name”. I would have asked the extremists to ponder on this but they lack the tool, Reason. Another issue brings to mind the Epicurean paradox of the incompatibility of evil with the existence of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
    Intolerance is a problem we have in this country and it has affected every little distinction be it religion, ethnic groups, ideologies etc. Unfortunately, it is not just a particular problem, it is a general one.
    Wonderful piece yet again by Emmanuella.
    May the soul of Eucharia sleep on in peace.

  • Meticulously scripted piece as usual. I greatly relate with every message passed in this writeup. I personally have become a silent cynic with regards to religion as practised in this part of the world; my silence largely necessitated by the vehement narrow minded disapproval that often greets any attempt to highlight the greed and selfishness of religious leaders who more or less have acquired the status of deities in recent times. However, I seriously think that whatever connection with religion, the deadly sect that has been so far responsible for many a deadly attack in this country bears has long been severed. These days, it is more logical to assume that these attacks are not mere religious fracas but a carefully scripted, well planned agenda of terror that is now perfectly unfolding in tandem with the blueprint of its schemers. I’m utterly bemused at the glove hands with which this matter is continued to be treated by our so called government. I firmly believe though that one day, the chickens will eventually come home to roost. Impressive write up once again and sorry about your friend.May God grant her eternal repose. Keep scribbling.

  • Honestly this piece is way more than awesome, highly inspiring too beyond bounds. D in depth analysis of almost evry travail we are faced with in this country. I noticed that I have a certain tendency to assume that it’s going to be a really long time before we get it right and it’s only because until we make dt decision in Nigeria to actually start defending our rights instead of merely expecting a “dues ex machina”, until we get invovled in the governmental proceSs, until we make conscious efforts to change ourselves and individuals, until we realise that it isn’t up to our ‘clueless’ RULERS, until we stop allowing oppression in any form(school fees hike), until we go out of our comfort zones to make things happen for this country……….things wouldn’t change. The question to ask therefore is “ARE WE READY FOR THIS?? Because if nt, the best case scenario is, we graduate get dt so called “white collar job” get married, have kids, win some cases in court, build a house, buy cars, therefore making efforts to improve our individual lives bt never taking into consideration our country never taking into mind patrotism. So basicly, my belief is that it starts with You and Me and ends with the country and dere is no place in that equation for our current leaders!!!!

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