Date Published: 08/20/11
Christians 0 - 1 Muslims on Islamic Banking By Sunday Njokede
Nigeria didn’t only import Jesus Christ and Christianity from abroad. She also borrowed our modern conventional banking system from the same Christian-Caucasian source. We already have Islam in Nigeria; also imported! So, what’s the heck if we name bank after Islam? Haba Oritsejafor!
The heated debates, threats, shouting-matches and bad blood between Christians and Muslims over Islamic banking are pure clashes of religions. Those of us who tell government to separate religion from politics or Statehood have been vindicated. That religion is one of our biggest problems in recent times.
It’s only until Pastor Oritsejafor and his Christian brothers have been able to convince president Jonathan to stop using our collective monies to sending Christians and Muslims to holy pilgrimages could Oritsejafor criticise Mr. Lamido Sanusi for using government funds to sponsor Islamic banking. Otherwise, pastor Oritsejafor and co. would be one big pot calling a small kettle black. Oritsejafor is guiltier than Sanusi in using government money to further religious issues or grandstanding.
In light of the bombshell that pastor Oritsejafor and his CAN brothers have been shelling on Mr Sanusi and Islamic banking. One is tempted to ask this question: ‘why have pastors in the top brass of Christendom in Nigeria not said a thing about President Jonathan Goodluck’s tenure prolongation gamble?
The simple reason is that, pastors in Nigeria work hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with corrupt politicians in racing Nigeria to the bottom. It seems that every morning, when flashy money hustling pastors wake up, they pray to their God to cause confusion and desperation in Nigeria. In these situations of dire chaos made possible by pastors and politicians, there’s mass flocking of citizens to their churches. Thereby, swelling the amount of customers that pastors reap on daily basis in such organised confusions. It is the nature of human beings to look for reasons and meanings to why their lives and world have hit the rock bottom.
There’re truckloads of money to be made as well when people who’re down-and-out in society move in mass exodus to the churches whilst seeking meanings to their battered existence. The last thing pastors have in the menu is the salvation of their converts let alone the betterment of society. The only one exception that I know is Pastor Tunde Bakare who’s seriously down with the poor masses. Mr Bakare wants the corrupt system to change for good while Adeboye, Oyedepo, Oritsejafor and co. prefer that the Sodom and Gomorrah rulership and political system continue to hold sway. Such system help to devastate citizens, and hopeless people are more attuned to looking for God and miracles. Unlike in Europe where leaders are upright, the system is clean and people are hopefully contended and not looking for God or miracles.
What’s uppermost in their minds of lowlife pastors are lust after moneymaking, playing around with expensive playthings as private jets plus much more and political contractual racketeering. Preachers serving as wayward fronts to godforsaken politicians as if monies tricked away from their followers aren’t enough to live a Jesus life. These are the reasons amid plenty others why ace pastors in Nigeria would never complain about Jonathan’s tenure elongation but will make so much noise on Islamic bank and other trivial.
Pastors profit from the ills and rots which result from misrule hence they feel un-concerned about misgovernance by politicians. So, pastors continue to build more churches in churns in anticipation to take up Nigerians who’ve been made hopeless by the same system pastors co-authored with ill politicians. And the next assignment for ‘men-of-God’ would be to raise fear-mongering and scare tactics of hellfire and damnation to the next level. Thereby, employing fear to subdue their followers into brainwash, blindfold and dull passivity as per exploiting converts! And that’s by the way!
Meanwhile, Mr Oritsejefor hypocrisies have been showing in the big pictures and living colour. Since Islamic banking palavers started hovering over our heads in the negative. Pastor Oritsejafor and his Christian brothers have been blowing the notorieties of Islamic banking out of allowable proportion. In attempt to shoot down Islamic banking and its co-author Lamido Sanusi - Christians in Nigeria have done more damages to their reputation. It has also brought to the fore the hyper-condescending narcissism of Christian faithists in Nigeria. There’s this attempt by Jesus people to push the rest of us in society to the category of insignificant others. And forward Christianity to superimpose upon other faiths and freethinking people.
There’s this wisecrack that: ‘those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.’ But that notwithstanding, Oritsejafor and his comrades-in-Christ have been throwing plenty on stones on anything that walk, talk and quack like Islam. But alas! Most of the missiles aimed and fired at Sanusi and all things Islamic - have boomeranged sometimes on Oritsejafor and his CAN bothers. And other times, their attacks have exposed the hypocrisy of Christendom and Islamism as practised in Nigeria.
It’ll take Oritsejafor a long time coming, to regain his reputation on how rascally, immature and unprofessional he has been conducting himself over this matter. Most times, he seems to have forgotten that he’s in the business of pastoring when lashing out. He cuts the image of a roughneck in his approaches in public matters as if he’s the most guttersnipes of them all. A man who preaches tuning the other cheek for more slaps would’ve acted with plenty modesty devoid of area-boy shenanigans. He had once replied a bunch of troublemaking Muslims that Christians would return fire-for-fire should the case be. Very, very not Jesus-like of Oritsejafor to have gone fanatically out of control. Nearly all the comments coming from both Muslims and Christians are about whose religion takes prominence.
In the process, they’ve undermined the benefit that non-profit cum non-corrupt Islamic banking could bring to bear on our polity and lives. The ordinary conventional banking system in Nigeria which arouse from European-Christian civilisation is fraught and bedevilled with corruption. Islamic banking, when fully operational, might be corruption-free and become a win-win across the Nigeria board. Who knows? If Islamic banking is incorruptible, it mightn’t be long before it takes over the conventional one which is full of rottenness. Islamic banking should be given a chance side by side convention banking which has its influence from Christian Europe.
The stone that broke the camel’s back as they say, is the continuing accusation made by Pastor Oritsejafor against Mr Lamido Sanusi for using government money to further Islamic banking project. And each time he makes that accusation, the pastors’ hypocrisy, intolerance and self-aggrandisement are shown in living colour.
A good Pastor Oritsejafor should tell Federal government to stop using our collective commonwealth to sending only Muslims and Christians to their holy places of pilgrimage first. Before he could curse and chastise Sanusi for the same sin of which the pastor, his Christian brothers, Muslims and Federal government are guilty of. Nigeria isn’t made of Christians and Muslims alone that only the duo should benefit from government-sponsored religious bonanzas.
Each time government uses our monies to sponsor them on pilgrimages, the rest of us who’re not Christians and Muslims are seriously cheated and marginalised. I hereon, suggest that government must henceforth stop using our collective monies to sponsor religious matters. If President Jonathan continues the practice of using scare money to sponsor Christians and Muslims pilgrimages; he should as a matter of fairness more so send Senator Chris Ngigi and his Orkija worshippers to their Holy Land to attune to their Orkija God as well. That said, government must in this regard take differing worshippers across the Nigeria board and freethinkers to holy pilgrimages of their choices to give all Nigerians a sense of belonging. Or, otherwise, President Jonathan should send a bill to National Assembly restraining government from sending anyone on, or to pilgrimage. And more so, on the bill, should be a total divorcing of government from whatsoever is religious. No more swearing of official oaths with only the Bible and Koran.
If tenure prolongation bill could be so hurrying for Jonathan, I don’t know why the abolishment of government from all religious matters shouldn’t superimpose on such trifle as elongation of office.
Sunday Njokede writes from The European Union