They wonder why religious homes should be shut despite the havoc of Covid-19. I wondered why they should be insensitive. Don’t they hear the numbers of deaths announced every day as a result of the virus and the need to maintain physical distancing to reduce the scourge?
Market men and women, transporters and all manner of business people go to religious homes to pray but they have found causes during this period to increase the price of their wares, further dealing with people who are poor without mercy. This is not from government to people but from the poor to the poor. Only the people help the poor but the poor in Nigeria deal with the poor.
“I swear to G-d,” “I swear to G-d.” you hear this, time after time when you bargain with them, after which they shortchange you. When they begin to swear, I flee. Those kinds aren’t to be trusted. The people who cheat you more in Nigeria are those who carry Holy Books.
But preaching work in Nigeria, it doesn’t appear to work. Why are we so religious and yet the country is in hovel groveling in darkness?
People already have set-mindsets. No level of preaching changes people who do not want to change. Change is influenced from within and the road map from the sponsor must be embraced first by the people for whom change is directed.
Why do people steal inside religious homes? Religious people fake everything: honey, oil, palm wine, the only thing they haven’t been able to fake is “burukutu”.
During traditional marriage ceremonies, drinks are emptied on the ground as offering to the gods and for “our ancestors to taste”, kola nuts are thrown to the gods and for ancestors to chew, some are taken to elders – uncompromising traditionalists, some women swear after eating nuts that they will be faithful to their husbands and accept consequences for unfaithfulness, others cook meals of fidelity for elders to eat in village squares in the dead of the night. The religious do not frown at these practices, but when it comes time arising from troubles in marriage when husbands see tell-tale-signs that backs the belief that another man has viewed the wife twice instead of once, and twist her arm to go to the village with him to do all rites to exculpate her from the charge of infidelity, so that he and children wouldn’t die, she only then becomes conscious that she is not a traditionalists and cannot engage in acts of devilry, to worship and swear to a small god.
Didn’t she believe in “our ancestors and ancestral spirits enough to feed them during traditional marriage services – aren’t these spirits invoked during traditional marriage ceremonies?” Hold on please! Didn’t they (elders) say from time to time, during these rites that our ancestors are here with us? Who called off these traditional practices if they were nonsense?
At wedding ceremonies, vicars are accustomed to asking the families of spouses if the groom’s families have fulfilled all traditional rites. You hear them say after that, “I married properly, in court, church and fulfilled all traditional rites.”
But these vicars encourage women to not go to the village and swear. Is there a mix between tradition and religion? Both are linked in Nigeria. One aspect of tradition is enough, not all. It is absurd.
The culture of respect and fear of husbands for stability of the home which should be instinctive to women are now taught to wives. What with competition with husbands.
Simon Abah, Abuja