ilorin — On fourth of April, 2019, the Masquerade Team, Ilorin branch, held a lecture, hosted by Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, and delivered by Prof Simon Ibigbolade Aderibigbe from University of Georgia, on sustaining African heritage, using Osun Oshogbo festival as a model. One of the issues raised was whether producers of alcoholic drinks should continue to contribute to the festival and marketing their products through such participation, since Osun herself does not take alcoholic drinks? The question would have been better thrown at a Babalawo (Custodian of sacred mysteries). At the same time, it is imaginable that Osun would not stop everybody from taking what she does not like, and African Traditional Religion (ATR) is not as dogmatic as Christianity and Islam. Anybody taking what is harmful to him or her and anything done in excess is condemnable by reasonable persons worldwide. And so, one can agree that to sustain African heritage, some levels of modernization and commercialization may not be ruled out. Yet, elaborate involvement of money can be very dangerous; it can lead to politicization, acrimony, perversion, unbridled exploitation, warfare, and so on, as in Christianity and Islam.
The advents of the two religions have diverted attention from love of God and neighbours to all sorts of idolatry, including the holy book idolatry, climaxing in the foolery that unless you are a Christian or Muslim, you cannot be a child of God. At Nigeria's expense in 2009, the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua attacked the Boko Haram Muslim sect-community of men, women, and children that did not attack anybody until attacked, with the active support of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Yes, "Supreme", because NSCIA holds the power of life and death. The former Acting President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan similarly abused his presidential powers to truncate rotational presidency with the active support of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), leading to complication of the Boko Haram crisis, 2011-2015. And when Yar'Adua's uncle, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) became the President, he aggravated the war against Boko Haram and worsened Nigeria's situation further by adding protection of the Fulani herdsmen terrorists. Count the costs in human lives and economic resources, 2009 till date.
Like other Nigerian public servants, GMB is the President because he has some Western education, and together with the backing of NSCIA and CAN, he decided to annihilate the opponents of boko haram (the Boko Haram Muslim sect), due to which the latter took to terrorism in the first instance. Who will redeem Nigeria from the clutches of the world's most exploitative religions (Christianity and Islam), and the negative effects of Western education? GMB doubles himself as the Petroleum Minister and is recovering looted funds without accountability for anything to anybody, yet the so-called educated elites, who are Christians and Muslims are saying that those who attend Osun festival drink dirty water of River Osun, and that those who use African traditional medicine are taking garbage. (I use both African and Western medicines, depending). The Western educated elites in question feel more at home with the myths of virgin birth and Angel Gabriel (Jubril) peddled by Christian and Islamic propagandists. Who will save Nigeria from Christianity and Islam? I hope that penury, debts to workers and retirees will eventually set some Nigerians to serious thinking about the Yoruba description of church and mosque as Alufa n sanra, ìjọ n rù (Christian and Islamic men and women of God are getting fat; lay members are getting lean.
Abioje wrote from University of Ilorin