Of religion, politics and malpractice

Events throughout the world have always shown the relations which are usually established between the State and the popular religions of such a society. One of the main reasons for the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille from May 5, 1789 to November 9, 1799 was the unholy alliance of state and church. The story goes that the bishops led a life of impious opulence in Versailles while the population was burdened with all kinds of taxes up to the gabelle. The French post-revolution era saw Napoleon Bonaparte’s refusal to be crowned by the Pope with a denigrating statement, “I will not remove my crown from the gutter”. Religious figures in Britain and several countries have attained enviable recognition by the state and at public functions and gatherings they are referred to as spiritual and temporal lords as we still copy in our observance of protocols in Nigeria of today. There is nothing politics in Nigeria that does not bear the emblem of religion, nothing religion without the coat of arms of politics and all of this is denied recognition by the state.

Religious matters have reached a great dimension in politics and what should normally be a personal inclination of the individual to align himself with like-minded people in the outward modes, methods and means of worshiping the God of its understanding in sacred places and times, is now a subject. politics, politicians and politics. What should remain solely in the purview of politics, politicians and state politicians is taken to the altar of religious figures for their religious impression and expression, including depression. Religion in all its intentions, contents and contexts, if seen as an outward approach to entering the inner temple of God in the heart of man, can ensure spiritual ascent to the Kingdom of God. The converse of this places religious observances as mere window dressing and of course religion without the attainment of truth denies God from within, whereas truth without a religious basis is like soup without salt.

Invariably, in every society, every religious should normally be either a child or/and a servant of God engaged in the service of God and his neighbour.

Outside this class, we have many others who, by conviction, personal commitment and decision, agree to climb the rungs of their religious faith both to serve God and to serve their fellowmen. They, in their hierarchies, take the mantle of leading and directing their religious beliefs far more sacrificially and seriously than their flock. They are the shepherds of their flocks to whom others entrust their spiritual convictions and frank their lives. They are revered and taken as arbiters with God. Religious leadership and leadership can be titular, it can be lifelong service, and it can be personal, family, clan, and lineage heritage and inheritance. In Offa, the average Imam is usually from Lemamu Island, as we have in the Bible the House of Levi. The selection and rise of emirs and sultans are both religious and political issues as they are subjects and objects of family, clan, heritage and inheritance. In Nigeria, the incessant mixing of religion and politics and the constant bad practices inherent in both have made a mess of the impression that religious leaders and politicians are truly serving God and their fellow man.

Selfishness and greed are now modern attributes of many of our religious leaders and their political counterparts, which reinforces Kenneth Idiodi’s observation when he said, “Religion has been politicized, politics has been religionized and religion and politics have been commercialized. ”. In this scenario, how do we aspire to a vibrant nation? How dedicated are divided devotees? I agree with the warning of a Muslim mystic: “In the pure and holy heart, the true mosque is built and not the one built of stones”. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Father’s house of worship has become the den of thieves, who steal in the name of the Lord.” It is therefore our responsibility to seek our God within. And when we are in external congregation at a time of religious observances, let us yield to the submission of a Muslim mystic: “Now we will throw you into the fire of spiritual passion and you will refine yourself.” Let us be born again spiritually and not just embrace the outward proclamation of our religions when charged with the clarion call to “Serve Nigeria with all my might.” To defend its unity and defend its honor and glory. So help me God.

  • Olaniyi writes from Lagos


Concessionaires have complained of poor cooperation from state governments which are usually slow to fulfill their own part of the agreement, for example in the area of ​​land provision.

They pointed out that another major challenge was the lack of narrow-gauge railway lines inside and outside the dry ports, which they said was important for making the ports work efficiently.

They added that access to funds also remained a major problem even though banks and foreign investors made unreasonable demands for bank assets and bonds before funds were released.

Concessionaires unanimously stressed the need for ports under construction to be given port of origin and destination status and also to be registered with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) upon completion.

Given the delay in execution, the concessionaires stressed the need for a new agreement, pointing out that an agreement had started in 2017 between them and the NSC but that it still had to be approved by the Federal Ministry of Justice in name of the federal department. transports.

They however commended the ICRC for its intervention and also appreciated the NSC for its support so far, noting that they were confident that under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the contracts would be settled.

The concessionaires pledged to see the concession terminated and the ports operational even as two of the concessionaires, Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Ltd for the ports of Katsina and Dala Inland Dry Port for the ports of Kano said their ports would begin to operate before the third quarter of 2022.

The managing director of Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr. Usman Iya Abbas, informed the ICRC team that Funtua port is already over 85% complete and ready for launch before the end of the second quarter. 2022.

“We hope to go live with this project before the end of the second quarter and the ports will become operational immediately. We are fortunate to have excellent relationships in the shipping industry and with major shipping companies.

Managing Director, Dala Inland Dry Port Ltd., Hon. Ahmed Rabiu, Kano Inland Port Concessionaires, also hinted that the construction of the container depot is already nearing completion.

He assured that the company was working diligently to ensure the completion and start of the project before the end of March 2022.

For his part, the Director of the ICRC’s Contract Compliance Department, Dr Ewalefoh, who chaired the technical session of the meeting, assured the concessionaires of the Commission’s continued support, instructing them, however, to send an update. detailed contract status reports to the ICRC.

The G. ICRC head of media and publicity, Manji Yarling, further urged the other four concessionaires who had yet to make notable progress in fulfilling their contracts to emulate the milestone recorded by the other two who were finalizing their constructions, so that the ports can cede the economic benefits for which the concessions were granted.

While thanking the stakeholders for honoring the ICRC’s invitation, it was decided that in the future there will be periodic meetings to ensure that the projects are quickly completed.

Minnie J. Leonard