The dark-skinned Bogey Man
The invention of Satan was cast upon humanity’s consciousness as the allegorical metaphor of a talking serpent/tempter. Satan it was, who tricked Eve and by extension, Adam into committing the sin of rebellion. God was adequately riled, and in His fuming fury, evicted them from the nirvanic Eden. Since then, humanity has longingly drooled for the prelapsarian glories of Eden.
Satan later made cameo appearances in old testament narratives but reappeared manifestly in the new testament. Unlike Yahweh that metamorphosed from a fire- spitting judgemental God to a compassionate Father, satan remained unconscionably mephistophelean in his shenanigans and devilry.
After the life and ministry of Christ, the tiny Jewish sect He commissioned escaped Palestine and sprouted in Europe. The Roman Establishment carried out a coup d’etat and dislodged Jesus Christ and His love message from Christianity. They clad the remains of the faith in religious garb, and weaponised it. From then, Christianity changed from a movement for the oppressed to religious Christianity– a tool of oppression, imperialism and expansionist conquest.
Africa was not left out in the imperialistic drive of the Mega Powers then. While the continent was scambled for, and her lands irrationally parcelled, European Christian missionaries came with strange memes– the image of a white God and a black satan.
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This material portraiture of God in the flesh was a blue-eyed, blond haired figure. His long hair was parted via the course of the sagittal suture and he appeared sanctimoniously effeminate. Satan, on the other hand, appeared inky black, with kinky hair.
See!, those images were hose images were subtly subliminal,but were advertently intended— “This God you are to serve looks like us( Caucasian). And satan– the corrupter of God’s glorious creation looks like you– he is black.” Our skin colors, our names, our uniqueness and Africaness were made to appear evil and savage. Their goal was sinister. They understood the power of imagery. It was all about inferiority of the black man, mind control/ cognitive imperialism.
European folklores described satan as a black human figure. During the Salem witch trials of the 1690s, the accusers, in their delusional hallucinations, claimed to have seen black, scrawny, horror-plagued bugaboos.
Back in the time, in America and Europe, creeping normality was encoded in the stereotyping of dark and black as negative. It also crept into their vocabularies— black sheep, blacklist, black Friday, black market etc.
The entertainment industry is also fraught with the depictions of satan as a black man. Make-up artists made Moroccan actor, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, look darker when he role-played “Devil” in the TV mini-series–“The Bible”.
African American actor, Carl Anderson, portrayed the role of Judas, in the movie “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Wasn’t Judas Iscariot a Jew like Jesus and the other apostles? How did he become synonymous with blackness?
Sadly, this cultural pestilence has crept into our movie industry, the Nollywood. Last week, I saw a movie on Africa Magic Epic. The guy that played Lucifer was overdosed with melanin, with extra layers of coal tar, to boot.
According to the Judeo-christian narrative, God actually created a powerful, intelligent and angelic being, the chief among all angels called Lucifer– ‘The Shining One, The Morning Star, the son of the dawn(Isaiah 14: 12-14). It’s from his name that the word ‘Luciferous’ was derived.
After the heavenly warfare, warfare, Lucifer and his coterie of angelic entourage that rebelled against God were thrown down to the earth. Where, when and how did Lucifer and his demonic minions transmorgrify into black, double-horned, long-tailed, winged, cloven footed grotesque figures? It beggars belief!
Truth is, all these cultural ethos and iconographies, are subtly encrusted in the white supremacist agenda. The human mind is minded to bow in submission and reverential awe to the image or object it worships.
As part of African renaissance, it’s high time we as Africans, decolonised our mindset by deconstructing our thoughts and values that resonate with European colonialism. Indigenous sovereignty can only be achieved through fervent cultural, mental, psychological and economic freedom.
Decolonizing Christianity, as part of African rebirth, should jolt our collective consciousness.
Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew, and Jews in 1st century Judaea were closest phenotypically to Iraqi Jews of the contemporary world–black hair, olive-brown skin and deep-brown eyes.
Extradition; Where Is Kyari Going? – By Ezugwu Okike
By Ezugwu Okike Esq
Arehash is important: as a result of an investigation by the US Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States of America Grand Jury unsealed the allegations against Abba Kyari, one of Nigeria’s most decorated senior police officers, who was also admirably called the; “super cop”. On the strength of an application filed by the FBI in that respect, a District US Judge, Honorable O. Otis, issued a warrant for the arrest of Kyari who was described in the document as; “a high-risk defendant,” as well as other conspirators at large.
This was coming after the Grand Jury, on the 28th day of July 2021 similarly unsealed indictment against a Nigerian Dubai-based Instagram celebrity and Big Boy, Ramon Oloruwas Abbas, commonly known as “Hushpuppi”, and other conspirators in a spectacular fraud to steal $1 million from a Qatar businessperson who was seeking funding for his school project. Abba Kyari, much-admired Nigeria senior police officer and the former Deputy Commissioner of Police would come to allegedly have a hand in the pie after Huspuppi fell out with one of his Nigerian confederates, one Kelly Chibuzor Vincent.
The dispute started after Chibuzor felt shortchanged in the sharing of the proceeds of the fraud and made desperate efforts to alert the victim and warn him off. Miffed, Hushpuppi allegedly contacted Kyari and requested the arrest and detention of Chibuzor. Kyari complied and kept Chibuzor out of circulation while the fraud sailed on smoothly. For his part, the unsealed document revealed that Kyari was rewarded with the sum of N8million through an account number he furnished. Following an investigation, Abba Kyari was suspended from the Nigeria Police by the Nigeria Police Service Commission on the recommendation of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba. Since then, Nigerians have kept wondering where Kyari is headed and the possibility or otherwise of his extradition to the United States to answer for the allegations against him.
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In this considerably short opinion, attempt will be made at this question in the light of existing domestic laws on extradition, international treaties or conventions to wit; United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime adopted by General Assembly Resolution 55/25 of 15th November, 2000 and already in force as at since 29th September, 2003; the United Nations Convention against Corruption adopted by General Assembly Resolution 58/4 on 31st October, 2003 and came into force since 14th December, 2005; and of course the Nigerian extradition act, the historicity of which shall be shortly highlighted from the opinion of a learned author.
For a start, this writer does not make light of the fact that suspended Abba Kayri is a Nigerian citizen and enjoys the presumption of innocence made possible by the important provision of section 35(6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. As such, there is no suggestion whatsoever that Kyari is guilty of the allegations leveled against him by the US authorities.
It might be important to define extradition. About this, I will fall back on George Udeozor v Federal Republic of Nigeria, where the Court of Appeal defined extradition as; “the process of returning somebody, upon request, accused of a crime by a different legal authority to the requesting authority for trial or punishment.” Extradition proceeding, it might be pointed out, is not the same thing as the trial of the respondent.
It was the well-considered ruling of the court in Attorney-General of the Federation v. Olayinka Johnson that extradition was founded on the notion that in the interest of states, fugitives from justice must not be allowed to get sanctuary outside territories against which crimes have been committed. On the rationale for extradition, nothing can possibly be more apt than the opinion of Lord Russell of Killowen, C.J noted in R v. Arton (cited with admiration).
“The law of extradition is without doubt founded upon the broad principle that it is to the interest of civilized communities that crimes acknowledged as such should not go unpunished and it is part of the comity of nations that one State should afford to another every assistance towards bringing persons guilty of such crimes to justice.”
It might as well be necessary to tell extradition apart from extraordinary rendition. The latter is an unlawful, government-funded arrest, or abduction of persons wanted, accused or convicted of a criminal offence either to the state which sponsored the arrest or a willing third-party state. It involves a breach of international law, especially where the party abducted is subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. Interestingly, we might have witnessed two cases of extraordinary rendition in Nigeria. MIGHT is used here in exercise of caution as there has been no judicial of Nnamdi Kanu’s case as extraordinary rendition.
First was the case of Umaru Dikko in 1984 wherein the Nigerian state, impatient with the pace of the response of the British Government to its request for the extradition of the Respondent, planned with three Israeli nationals and abducted the respondent and made attempt to cargo him to Nigeria. The attempt was foiled by the British security apparatus and the abductors jailed. In a paper published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Country Office, the Dikko case was called an attempt by Nigeria to go against international norms in expressing its political will.
This year, again, the Nigerian state, now, possibly and successfully, extraordinarily renditioned the fire-spitting leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, from Kenya. The dual national is agitating for the independence of Biafra or the Southeastern part of the country from the Nigerian federation. His possible rendition might have involved some mindless disregard for international law and conventions by the Nigerian state in its haste and indignation, as his lawyer revealed that his client was subjected to dehumanizing and tortuous treatment. Interestingly again, the two cases of possible and actual extraordinary rendition there-above sampled happened at two different periods where President Muhammadu Buhari had been Nigeria’s leader.
THE NIGERIAN EXPERINCE
In a learned opinion published on 10.08.2021 in the Disco, Francis Moneke had this to say on the Nigerian Extradition Act;
“Extradition proceedings are usually treaty-based. The governing treaty is the Nigeria’s International Extradition Treaty with the United States, which was originally signed by the United Kingdom on December 22, 1931, and came into force on June 24, 1935. Nigeria assumed this treaty on her independence on October 1, 1960, and the treaty is still in force. Nigeria’s Extradition Act of 1996 is the applicable domestic legal framework, supplemented by the Extradition Act (Modification) Order 2014, the Extradition Act (Proceedings) Rules 2015 of the Federal High Court, and the Guidelines issued by the Federal Ministry of Justice on Extradition.”
The extradition Act is the primary legislation on extradition and recognizes two categories of states. States in the first category consists of states which have extradition agreement with Nigeria in respect of which publications have been made in the Federal Gazette and commonwealth states. While separate bilateral treaty is necessary with a non-commonwealth state, it is not necessary with a commonwealth state. Before the coming into force of the 1999 Constitution, the Magistrates had jurisdiction with respect to the extradition of fugitives from the law. Section 251 (1) (i) of the 1999 constitution took jurisdiction from the Magistrates and granted same exclusively to the Federal High Court.
It has therefore been more than satisfactorily demonstrated that there is an existing Extradition law in Nigeria. But most important of all, that Nigeria has an existing extradition agreement with the United States. This invariably goes to show that a Nigerian who commits fraud or crime against the American state or its citizens, can, after the due processes of law are complied with, be extradited to the United States for trial and vice versa.
It might be relevant to state that in the absence of any extradition treaty or agreement, the injured country would be confronted with a horse of different color. It follows, quite inevitably, that in a situation where the Nigerian law on extradition is complied with by the relevant authorities and persons, that Abba kyari could be flown to the United States to face trial for his alleged involvement in a dubious scheme to defraud a Qatar business person of $1million. But in certain special cases, even the existence of a treaty agreement may not suffice.
Thus, it is important to answer the question as to whether Kayri is an extraditable person. In the light of prevailing legal traditions, this question becomes especially necessary because, as it has been hinted, albatrosses could still be found around the neck of a valid treaty in certain special circumstances. In this regard, I readily instance diplomatic immunity which could make it difficult for elected executives or officials working in the diplomatic offices of countries to be extradited during the pendency of their tenure. The question regarding Abba Kyari extraditability, so to express, is loudly answered in the affirmative. This opinion is founded on the combined reading of the Nigerian Extradition Act and the aforstated transnational treaties or conventions (to be hereunder examined) as well as Nigerian case laws.
The case of Attorney-General of the Federation v Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi aka “Abdullahi”, “Ayatollah Mustapher (Babafemi) Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CR/132/201 is important. Therein, the Federal High Court curtly stated that all that is required to warrant extradition proceeding is for the Federal Government of Nigeria to show that there is an indictment against the party against whom extradition proceeding is instituted. Following from the indictment unsealed against Kyari, the principle in Attorney-General of the Federation v Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi is likely to be satisfied.
TRANSNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS.
United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime; accompanied by other protocols, this convention has been an important instrument in the struggle against transnational organized crimes. The convention targets specific crimes. I consider the following provisions as important. But just before I go on to highlight the relevant provisions of this treaty, it is important to note that 180 countries are currently parties to this convention and that both Nigeria and the United States are signatories as well as parties to this convention.
“For the purpose of paragraph 1 of this article, an offence is transnational in nature if: (a) It is committed in more than one State; b) It is committed in one State, but a substantial part of its preparation, planning, direction or control takes place in another State; (c) It is committed in one State, but involves an organized criminal group that engages in criminal activities in more than one State; or (d) It is committed in one State, but has substantial effects in another State”.
Article 16 of the Convention provides for the extradition, with respect to the extraditable offences recognized under this Convention. It therefore, provides:
“This article shall apply to the offences covered by this Convention or in cases where an offence referred to in article 3, paragraph 1 (a) or (b), involves an organized criminal group and the person who is the subject of the request for extradition is located in the territory of the requested State Party, provided that the offence for which extradition is sought is punishable under the domestic law of both the requesting State Party and the requested State Party”.
For the avoidance of doubt, Article 2(a) defines what an organized criminal group and what constitutes serious crime means when it provides:
“For the purposes of this Convention: (a) “Organized criminal group” shall mean a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefits; (b) “Serious crime” shall mean conduct constituting an offence punishable by a maximum deprivation of liberty of at least four years or a more serious penalty;.”
From the above, it is not difficult to see that the super cop is generously accommodated by the Articles 2 and 3 of the convention. Again, it bears repeating that the two relevant countries, the United States and Nigeria are both parties to this convention. Let us look at one more convention.
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption
This convention was welcome by majority of the members of the United Nations Organization. About this convention, the remark made by Dr. Ayodele Akenroye is illuminating;
“The Convention is favored with majority members of the United Nations. Thus, it has far reached operational effects. It is worthy to note that the Convention covers five main areas which are: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers various forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.” Article 1 of the convention expectedly made provision for the purpose of the convention and states as follows;
a) “to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively;(b) to promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption, including in asset recovery; (c) to promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property”.
Article 3 of the Convention provides for the scope of the Convention and states as follows:1. “This Convention shall apply, in accordance with its terms, to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption, and to the freezing, seizure, confiscation and return of the proceeds of offences established in accordance with this Convention. 2. For the purposes of implementing this Convention, it shall not be necessary, except as otherwise stated herein, for the offences set forth in it to result in damage or harm to State property.”
Other relevant provisions of the convention are found in its explanation as to who should be taken as a public official by the scope of the convention. Now take a look at the following provisions.
For the purposes of this Convention: (a) “Public official” shall mean: (i) any person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office of a State Party, whether appointed or elected, whether permanent or temporary, whether paid or unpaid, irrespective of that person’s seniority; (ii) any other person who performs a public function, including for a public agency or public enterprise, or provides a public service, as defined the domestic law of the State Party and as applied in the pertinent area of law of that State Party; (iii) any other person defined as a “public official” in the domestic law of a State Party.
However, for the purpose of some special measures contained in chapter II of this Convention, “public official” may mean any person who performs a public function or provides a public service as defined in the domestic law of the State Party and as applied in the pertinent area of law of that State Party; (b) “Foreign public official” shall mean any person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office of a foreign country, whether appointed or elected; and any person exercising a public function for a foreign country, including for a public agency or public enterprise; (c) “Official of a public international organization” shall mean an international civil servant or any person who is authorized by such an organization to act on behalf of that organization;.”
By Article 2, Abba Kyari falls within those who perform public functions as he had headed, before his suspension, the Intelligence Response Unit, a Department in a Nigerian Public institution, the Nigeria police. It needs hardly pointing out that he might have used his office as well as his position as a senior officer in the Nigeria police to facilitate the committing of fraud and to corruptly obtain the proceeds of crime. It is not also hard to see that he had criminally and corruptly traded his influence whilst in office. It is therefore the opinion of this writer that he does not escape the dragnet of this convention to which Nigeria and the United States are parties.
USA, NIGERIA, KYARI AND FINAL REMARKS:
Having in some measure established that an extradition agreement exists between Nigeria and the United States, that Kyari might have contravened some conventions to which Nigeria and the United States are parties which have provisions for extradition, and that Abba Kyari passes for an extraditable individual, let me now consider the processes of extradition, assuming a request is made to this respect by the United States. Frist of all, the US authorities will send a diplomatic request to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This written request will be compulsorily accompanied by the following documents;
- an affidavit deposed to by a designated officer
- a copy of the indictment against Abba Kyari
- a duly authenticated warrant of arrest issued by a US judge
- a copy of the law on which the indictment is predicated and founded.
When these conditions are satisfactorily met, the ball will be left in the AGF’s court. He will decide whether to approach the Federal High Court and initiate extradition proceeding or to look the other way. It is worth stating in case the AGF prosecutes and a ruling entered for extradition, the option of appeal, right up to the Supreme Court, will be open to the respondent.
The authority of George Udeozor v Federal Republic of Nigeria CA/L/376/05, made it crystal clear that the AGF enjoys unfettered discretion as even the courts cannot compel him to initiate proceedings. This again, to this writer’s mind, is an unjustifiably powerful position; another indication that the AGF is way too powerful.
Nobody can quantify the amount of ink already spilled in bitter criticism of Sections 174(c) & 211(c) of the 1999 constitution which empower both the AGF and the AGs of state to discontinue any criminal proceeding irrespective of the stage. The AG need not furnish any reason for his decision and have his answers as to what is in the interest of justice, the public and what amounts to the abuse of legal process.
And the courts are similarly powerless to inquire. In our unevolved and corruption-ridden jurisdiction where the AG is a mere obsequious employee of the executive and its principal defense Attorney, this power is dangerous and prejudicial to any fair justice administration. Qua Abba Kyari, the ball, as I said earlier, will be in the AGF’s court and the world will be curiously watching.
Here, Nigeria will be faced with two options—a diplomatic scuffle with the most powerful country in this planet and allowing the normal, due and fair processes to happen respecting the extradition or otherwise of Abba Kyari. The latter, me thinks, looks like the saner choice. On the 14 of August 2021, newsmen obtained the disconcerting information that the United States Congress slammed embargo on arms sale to Nigeria. They cited concerns over Nigeria’s now worsening human rights record and; “a drift towards authoritarianism.” The deal, worth over $873 million was suspended, because, according to the law makers, the arms could be turned on the citizens. This decision was made despite a full knowledge of Nigeria’s dire security situation compounded by long-running terrorism in the Northeastern part of the country, commonplace banditry and pockets of insurgency happening in various parts of the country. You need not be told again that this is not the most propitious of times for Nigeria to be seen obstructing the course of justice on a transnational scale.
…Ezugwu Okike is based in Enugu State (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Source: Dnl Legal And style
Leadership Of IPOB: Kanu Created More Followers and Less Leaders
IPOB, the Indigenous People of Biafra, an organization seeking the freedom for its people in South East and some parts of South South, Nigeria was founded in 2012 by a British-Nigerian, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu who began broadcasting on Radio Biafra from his small room in London, UK rose to prominence after his 2015 arrest by the Nigerian Government. His arrest that year was heavily criticized by many who believed such act triggered emotions among people of the regions.
In April 2017, Kanu was released from prison on bail and by then, he had amassed overwhelming number of followers and sympathizers emanating from the most remote villages to cities in the South East. The Supreme leader, as some of his followers willingly chose to address him, seemed to be in total control of the organization, he appoints who does what and dethrones who he finds unworthy.
After his release from prison, Kanu was obviously the big masquerade that everyone had eyes on. He had rallies in different cities across the states in the South East. Those rallies sincerely had crowds that were never seen by this generation of people in the region.
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September, same 2017, Kanu’s home in Afaraukwu Ibeku, Abia state was invaded by the Nigerian Army, which according to IPOB left about 28 persons dead. The invasion which was suspected to be a counter force to the perceived threats imposed by Kanu’s gradual control of people of the region saw to disappearance of the IPOB leader. A year later, 2018, Kanu reappeared in Israel. “I’m in Israel,” he said on Sunday in a broadcast on their popular radio station – Radio Biafra.
IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu reappeared in Israel – Okanga Trumpeters, 2018
Fast forward to 2021, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested, or rather abducted in Kenya in what some Senior Advocates of Nigeria(SANs) have described as ‘Kidnap’ becuase it violated repatriation processes known by the international laws.
IPOB Leadership Without Nnamdi Kanu;
Following Kanu’s repatriation to Nigeria, the IPOB leader had to leave the affairs of the group to be run by its members. According to information circulated by IPOB, the next in line to preside over the organization’s affairs is the DOS, Directorate Of State.
Just weeks after Kanu was remanded in custody of Department of State Services, DSS, cracks in its leadership structure were revealing itself.
Kanu, while in DSS had earlier instructed Simon Ekpa, a lawyer and Finnish citizen to immediately take up the role of broadcasting on their radio channel- Radio Biafra. The instruction saw some divisions among people who are considered even top leaders in IPOB. It was alleged that Simon Ekpa, who calls himself ‘Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Disciple’ was not coming fort with criteria required of anyone who must broadcast from the station.
The allegation which was countered by many IPOB members and supporters online further created some hostilities among parties in the organization. An unconfirmed reports said that Simon Ekpa is not a registered member of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB. The question many are asking is why is someone who is not a member of IPOB be allowed to head one of the most sensitive departments of the organization.
The recently-cancelled ‘sit at home’ order by IPOB was yet another period which revealed the weakness in its leadership. It was seen that the only leader who the members have 100% loyalty to was Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the Supreme leader. It is however worrisome that if Kanu ceases to exist today, there will either be no more IPOB or there will be multiple factions in the same organization.
Lead Council to Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor has made series of publications expressing his displeasure with reactions of some members of the organization regarding the cancelled sit at home, suggesting members’ failure to adhere to instructions.
“Great leaders don’t just create crowds and followers, they rather create more leaders”―
It would be expected that an organization as big as IPOB should be stacked with brave and disciplined persons who can lead the organization excellently, without the feeling of “I must Be The Head”.
Many who occupy sensitive positions in IPOB are not leading, they are not disciplined and certainly, they are bribe-able. They are simply waiting to grasp the opportunity that may come should Biafra be actualized.
… This Article Was Written By Ezugwu Joel, A Concerned Igbo Man
A lawyer makes beautiful argument for faith
Ezugwu Okike my friend, a very sound and brilliant scholar will always question the seeming foolishness in faith. His chief reason has always been the weary spirit and indolent disposition of the believers who welcome everything dished to them by their clergies without questioning the rationale and logic.
He finds so much slouch, sloth and incompetence in this disposition. A lot of other persons who are highly placed, educated and informed have of recent lent their voices to questioning this languorous attitude.
This new trend of finding great displeasure with the believers’ attitude is not only gradually but rapidly gathering momentum and acceptance. The proponents who have become experts at faith analysis and criticism have mastered the art of subjecting everything about faith to empirical and philosophical tests.
This has sufficiently armed them to shed light on the seeming inadequacies of these faiths. The missing string however, is their failure to acknowledge that the world itself is replete with unexplainable, mystical and unempirical phenomena. It is very important to highlight that much more than happens about the world have not been explainable and amenable to science and empiricism.
Over seventy percent of things in the world remain invisible and metaphysical. The whole story about the existence of man and other beings is still largely shrouded in mysteries.
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The very essence of faith is believing in the unseen. Assuming but not conceding that the believers should be philosophical enough to subject all they have to believe through the prism of logic and empiricism, would it not be defeating at the least that essence of faith. Faith as we were thought is not at war with science and or logic. Logic and science are both the offshoot of faith. They both cannot defeat faith when properly appreciated.
It has been established scientifically that the best of scholars and intelligentsias could not use up to thirty percent (30%) of their brain and cognitive capacity. This clearly tells us that in all our learning and knowing we have not been able to know up to thirty percent (30%) of things there are to be known.
Aristotle in one of his quotes had this to say… ‘‘the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know”. Albert Einsten concurred when he stated… ‘‘the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know” this tells us that there is so much about reality that is yet unknown.
The truth about faith is that it deals with the believe in the unseen force and being. Upon a deep thought and meditation over the things of the world, it is very unlikely that the universe and planetary bodies (galaxy) came to be by accident. The sophistication of the design, order and structure lends testament to this. These things could not have just popped up from no design. The idea of there being no supreme being who out of his overwhelming knowledge which from available indices is beyond mortal comprehension being behind the creation of such beautiful galaxy is almost nonexistent.
The organization and sophistication of the galaxies will rarely be accidental. God we are told, made man in his likeness and as such the beauty which man has recreated is a microcosm of the greatness and sophistication of God.
Man has not been able to decode some of the realities of life. This is evident in the fact that many things that affect us are unseen and remain alien to us. The constant supply of the air that we breath which sustains us has been a great mystery. To better appreciate this, a visit to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital to observe oxygen patients pay so much for air which we are freely given by this all-encompassing being is apt.
Our admission that we know almost nothing will give us the necessary inclination and disposition to soft-pedal. We can speak out on things not done well by the administrators of the faith. However, we should stop at questioning and castigating the faith of these believers in a superior being.
The world has done well to allow and encourage freedom of worship and thought. This clearly shows that we can comfortably practice our faith without in any way chastising others. We may realize that we do not add any meaningful value by making people believe less. The sad fact is that we can actually criticize to necessitate and birth positive changes and improvements without necessarily condemning the faith.
All religions as has been defined and categorized, intrinsically preach peace, tolerance and honesty. African Traditional Religion (ATR), which happens to be the denominator in Africa prior to the advent of Christianity and Islam is in my opinion not evil. The society then had some sacred practices which maintained relative peace and love in the societies. The masquerade was mainly used to achieve this end.
In the past, masquerades were regarded as the means for maintaining peace and order, and were primarily used as law enforcement agents. The whole village would come out for the ceremony of the colourful masquerades. While entertaining through dances and exhibiting extra-human feats, the masquerades would walk up to certain individuals and loudly expose any bad habits, crimes or misbehaviour of that person. As people would always take corrections from these exposures, the masquerades were effective in keeping up with traditional norms and values in the communities. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the masquerade even heard, ruled and settled disputes. All these show that none of these religions is bad.
I had a terrible fall when I was much younger, I fell with the back of my head hitting a pavement. For some split seconds I passed out. In those few seconds, I found myself at a place I still consider so beautiful and welcoming. I was greatly excited at the place. But in a very quick transmutation, I recovered my consciousness, staggered and stood up. These things happened within seconds.
Ezechinemere, a big brother recounted his experience. He had gone out in Lagos and had taken alcohol. He was high in spirit and morale. Upon arriving home, he fell on a hard surface and passed out too. For some long minutes he was unconscious. According to him, he found himself somewhere around Asaba. He was heading towards a big gate and met lots of people, including people he knew. The people were all happily walking towards the gate. Upon getting to the gate, everyone was crossing and from his observation, the inside was so beautiful and all the people were so happy to be there. Interestingly, someone at the gate asked him to go back as he was not welcomed yet. He keenly contested, insisting he wants to go in. It was while he was still contesting to enter that he awoke. He was sweating profusely. The neighbours had gathered and were lamenting and wailing and beckoning on him to rise. He felt so hungry.
This clearly shows that the world is a mystical zone. The unknown is bigger than the known. The more reason we have to look for a higher being to find fulfilment and meaning in.
The beauties of the different religions are holding unto our faith without disturbing the peace of the others. Shalom.
~This was written by Chijioke Obute Esq. (email@example.com)
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