If ethnic balance matters, then religious balance matters By Adeola Soetan

Ordinarily, ethnicity and religion should play no role in determining good leadership and good government. But if unscrupulous and power-hungry politicians promote ethnic balance for “fairness”, why not the same with religion for the same fairness and the same delicate balance in a country torn between the two dangerous weapons of destruction massive under the attack of some crazed Islamic fundamentalists, Boko Haram and the Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Salafist jihadist militant group.

ISWAP has just attacked a Catholic church where more than 40 worshipers were killed and several others seriously injured. Although they have attacked citizens of other religions and ethnicities at random as well, the criminals have not changed their names or abandoned their main objective despite their dissociation from Islam and condemnation by credible Islamic leaders and citizens. .

Fear the people who change their thoughts and principles like baby diapers to achieve a selfish end, by any means necessary, are willing to damn the consequences, regret later, and do costly damage control later. They are very dangerous people and they pose a real threat to the peace and stability of the nation as they take advantage of the crisis.

We have over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria, but there are only three major religions in the country. Ask yourself why, at any private or public function, including government functions attended by more than one ethnic group, the opening and closing prayers are always recited in either of the two religions (Christianity and Islam) and the discussion never takes place in the languages ​​of all the ethnic groups present but in English?

The answer is simple; it’s because the dichotomy of religion is sharper than ethnicity and everyone recognizes that. Even in labor and civil society programs, as soon as you agree to pray, you must pray in the two foreign religions. Some of the deceitful human rights and pro-democracy activists have now become political entrepreneurs, many rogue politicians have put Islamic and Christian prayers on their agenda to balance the religious equation.

The media are not left out. All newspapers, radios and televisions have Islamic and Christian programs for religious balance. No consideration is given to the other 250 or more ethnic nationalities. The government and the ruling class enjoy the threat of what they have promoted, which is why we have pilgrimage tips for both “great” religions. It’s a monster they created, it’s a monster they have to tame when Nigeria is a “secular nation” that shouldn’t have an official religion.

Why do we have public holidays for Muslim and Christian holidays – Easter, Christmas, Eid ul Fitri, Eid el Kabir, and not too long ago now we have a public holiday for Eid El Maulud? This is in recognition of the need for a sensible balance but no national holiday for followers of traditional religion despite commanding the highest secrecy of followers by birth, origin, association or consultation.

This means that religion divides the nation more, more than ethnicity, hence the need to always balance the sensitive balance. In the university system the same applies, at each university chapel there must be a central mosque and vice versa. Some lawyers who now say religion doesn’t matter have been right at one time or another to complain about the religious imbalance in the appointment of judges in their states. Government secretariats and lodges now have central mosques and central chapels. As outrageous as this may sound, it is the sad reality.

So why are the same people now claiming that religious balance doesn’t matter but North-South ethnic balance does?

Those who refer to the June 12 Abiola – Kingigbe Muslim – Muslim ticket do not really understand the dynamics of the June 12 presidential election. Firstly, religion played almost no debilitating divisible role then as now and the eagerness to get rid of the notorious Babangida and his murderous army was a more unifying factor. Then there was neither ISWAP nor Boko Haram threatening to Islamize the country. And Babangida has never been accused or suspected of being outwardly ethnically provincial or of being a religious fanatic. He was a common and powerful evil genius who united almost all interests against him and had to be eliminated.

The imposing figure, credibility and charity of MKO Abiola across the ethnic and religious councils for decades was another big point. For many years he donated and helped develop churches and mosques. I covered some of Abiola’s charity towards Christians and churches where he sang Christian songs and danced, told stories of himself and his family background which had a mixture of three religions. MKO was a very distinct genius figure with great acceptability across the religious divide.

Hell Rufai rightly said he cared less about the pilot’s religion when boarding a plane, but he conveniently forgot to tell his gullible audience if he ever cared about the identity ethnicity of the same pilot. Otherwise, why did he care about the ethnic identity of his party’s presidential standard-bearer before the primaries and in years past? Part of the reason why his state has become one big easy killing ground and a vast crematorium of citizens’ corpses is that he has undermined the religious balance in his dying state of Kaduna, now under ethnic and religious terrorism, to which he has no choice but to lament after each successful attack and mass. murders and kidnappings by criminals. Again, beware of people changing principles like baby diapers, what they want to eat, or what they eat makes them dumb.

As I mentioned before, ordinarily religious and ethnic considerations should not be taken into account when choosing leadership for good governance, after all, Jonathan and Buhari would be devout Christians and Muslims respectively, and we, in as victims of their bad governance, can attest to their “religious piety”. But religion in politics has become a monster created by the ruling class in its desperate power game. The monster has now outgrown its creators, and like its twin monster, Ethnicity, it must be tamed for now by maintaining a delicate balance so as not to further aggravate the already deadly situation.

The twin monsters can only finally be tamed when the leaders of labour, radical organizations and left-wing ideological movements properly arrive in the arena of power politics and are ready to mobilize the rank and file workers, the masses, the youth and students around a unifying pro movement. -workers/masses, anti-capitalist economic and social programs to conquer power by their own forces with a clear workers’ socialist ideology.

It is an achievable historical duty and responsibility. Until then, ethnicity and religion would unfortunately continue to play a major role and be opportunistically deployed by the rogue ruling class to gain or maintain power. The balance must be maintained to avoid a planned trip to Afghanistan.

Soetan is an activist and pro-democracy campaigner.

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