One will assume that religious chastity equals good morals, the twist in religion and religious acts in glorifying corruption is alarming. Where prayers exist, corruption should not cohabit because these two are conflicting puzzles annihilating our society on a daily basis. Prayers are often said out of ignorance and sometimes used as tools of amassing wealth and keeping the populace in continuous poverty.
Transparency International conducted a survey on how transparent and the corruption levels of 90 to 174 countries from the year 2000 to 2014, Nigeria occupied the giant position of 90th to 136th position in transparency while occupying the 1st to 38th position in the most corrupt country of the world.¹
Till date, there has not been a significant improvement or possibility of getting rid of corruption which has become the skeletal mainframe of the whole system in the nation. In the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency inflicting the country, $2.1 billion was budgeted for the purchase of arms which grew wings and vanished into the thin air with no explanation or accountability.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC used to be a fearsome agency with rays of hope until the proceeds from the recovered looted money amounting to one trillion Naira was allegedly diverted by the former chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Lamorde, making him a culprit of the very corruption he vowed to fight.
Hope is now a very scarce commodity to the drowning nation – the giant of Africa that, people would hang on to a strand of hair for rescue. Thus, religion and spirituality which was expected to be the peak of morality and pillar of holiness but has become another strategy to manipulate and exploit the desperation of people from the snarl of poverty that has hypnotized the majority.
Therefore, the majority of unemployed youth and university drop-out that are smart enough to change their status either claim to be a prophet, spiritualist, herbalist or a motivational speaker. Religion has proven over and over again to be ineffective in taming the bewildering invasion of corruption but the efficacy of the preachers and consultants appeal to the wallow of the people in serendipity. Nigerians worked really hard to earn the name ” the praying country” meanwhile, this has to a large extent encourage laziness even among the youth.
Citizens are convinced, even when it is otherwise obvious, to believe that demonic forces and spiritual attacks are the cause of depression, illnesses, poverty, and other misfortunes. Irresponsibility and lack of accountability of the officeholders are seen as the work of devil and leaders are made to believe as his agents. Thus, protest and holding leaders accountable are seen as a waste of time.
A former governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako had the audacity to open about 30 different accounts to save the siphoned money of about twenty-nine billion naira because like other leaders, he believed people would rather pray about their situations than act irrespective of their level of education.
If blind faith, endurance and endless outcry for a miracle are the tickets needed for a house in heaven then, the least person in Nigeria would own a city. It is not normal that a wealthy nation such as Nigeria should continue to stagger in poverty and deep corruption. Prayers are effective but it shouldn’t equate to stupidity, the people should hold their leaders accountable and fight for their rights.
Transparency Internation https://www.transparency.org/