Friday, 30 December 2016

Trust me, there is a huge potential in diversity!

Few weeks ago, I read in UK Evening Standard of a black British woman of Nigerian origin who had to change her name to an English name to get a job. After graduating from the college she was not able to attract any job interview despite her brilliant CV, track records, academic achievements and work experiences. The saddest part of this story is that as soon as she changed her name by deed poll she landed a job interview and a job within one week! Isn't this sad? 

Must we all be whites? Must we all be named John Smith to get a job in the United Kingdom in 2016? Isn't this akin to ISIS or Daesh or whatever you prefer to call them or even Boko Haram wanting all of us to become Muslims and live under a caliphate? There is a good reason why evolution allowed us to evolve differently. There is definitely a good reason why we all speak different languages or even same language with different accents. In fact, our different accents and even languages could be an aphrodisiac to some people. Listen to French, Italian or even Hausa and Swahili languages and you will know where I am heading.

There is also a good reason why some of us were born blacks while others were born whites or other colours. Those reasons should be seen as a blessing and not a barrier. They should be celebrated and not tolerated. There is nothing wrong with being black, Nigerian or having a jaw breaking name or even speaking with an accent.

Nobody should have to be overlooked or denied any job in the United Kingdom in 2016 because of their language, accent, name, origin, religion or creed or even the colour of their body for these  are immaterial as to whether someone could do a job and do it very well.

It is very sad that brilliant candidates are not being hired due to their accent or the colour of their body while square pegs in round holes are being hired because of their 'accepted' name, colour, language and accent and who they know or related to in the high places. 

Same employers who employ these people would tomorrow be the first to shout that graduates of these days are not well equipped for the job market whereas the blame should be on them for hiring wrong people based on nepotism and their myopic and thwarted prejudices.

On a final note, I must reiterate that great talent can come from anywhere. See beyond colour. See potential. Employ an ethnic minority!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Question God! Go beyond boundaries! Yes you can!

I find it distressing and disappointing when people refuse to use their brain and thinking faculty! What on earth makes you think that you cannot think for yourself? Would it be a crime or a sin for you to sit down, speculate, observe, rationalize and come up with a novel answer to a problem so that others can learn and begin from where you stopped? You can think! So think!

You don't have to believe it just because the Koran or the Bible said it or because Mohammed or Isaiah said it first. Subject those claims to analysis and I bet you, you will see the wonders your brain and thinking faculty can perform!

Why would you go on barefoot in London in the middle of hurting winter? Because you are a member of Celestial Church or because your pastor said that is what God wanted? I so much doubt God would want any of his children to die of hypothermia!

How about facing the east to pray? Does it mean that God cannot answer your prayer if you face the west, south or north? Did He not make them all? I mean did He not make all directions? Why would He specifically choose east? Does it mean that He consciously created the four directions and suddenly chose one over others?

The issue here is that people have refused to reason and use the brain God gave to them. Why would you have to do something that does not make sense to you? You don't have to do it if it does not make sense to you! It is as simple as that and not a rocket science!

How about the woman who had a bad dream and ran to the church to sleep for three days? Does it mean that God is no more in your heart and in your house? Must you pray in the church or mosque when God said that He is everywhere at all time?

And you, who pay tithe everyday, have you ever asked your pastor or imam for the church or mosque account book? Who says you cannot question him? Even if he is God, you still need to question him! I question God too all the time. In fact everyday!

I have always asked God why on earth He made men with nipples when men are not expected to feed any child. I have always asked him what happened to his sense of perfectionism when He ended up making organs in human body asymmetrical. Could you believe that two breasts in a woman are not of equal size? Not even your balls as a man are equal! Why would God do such a thing?

And the most annoying thing is that when you ask, a thinking and rationalizing human will ask you not to question God. Hell no! God must be constantly questioned until we get all the answers to our problems from Him.

And for you who refuses to question him, best of lucks in your ignorance and myopic mind.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

In Support of Abolition of Government Sponsorship of Pilgrimages and Taxation of Places of Worship in Nigeria

I support the resolution of the just concluded Nigerian National Conference to introduce taxation of places of worship in Nigeria and to abolish the government sponsorship of pilgrimages to holy places such as Jerusalem, Rome, Medina and Mecca. Sadly, some people have already started opposing it. How on earth do you tell a victim that he is being victimized? How do you convince an average Nigerian that most of these religious leaders are milking them to death in the name of God?

But, why should churches and mosques not pay tax when atheists and agnostics do? Democracy is all about equality and equity and if one is forced to pay tax, the other should not be exempted. Religion has done more harm than good in Nigeria and it should and must be forced to pay tax to repair the damages it has done to the nation so far. Almost every single unrest in Nigeria is directly or indirectly rooted to religion. All the obnoxious laws in Nigeria against the minorities especially the homosexuals are directly or indirectly rooted in religion. Even the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok in Borno State is down to religion. If religion can be used effectively to cause trouble, preach hatred, propagate division and endorse the victimization of the minority, it can also be used effectively to generate much needed money that the nation is in dire need of to repair these harms, heal the nation and placate the victimized.

I so much doubt there is one good reason churches and mosques should not pay tax? Just look at the likes of David Oyedepo! Is it fair to our nation, equity, decency, good governance and democracy that a man openly known to be the richest pastor in Africa with fleets of luxury cars, expensive private universities and private jets is not paying tax simply because he is a ‘man of God’? If the poor civil servants are paying taxes why should the likes of Oyedepo not pay tax? And yet his conscience is not telling him that he is robbing both the Nigerian government and our poor folks! Oyedepo is an epitome of whatever is wrong with Nigerian religious leaders. They are rich beyond imagination, highly elevated like sacred cows and of course above the law. They rob the poor, wine and dine with the corrupt and fellowship with the oppressors of the oppressed in complete opposition to what Christ and His gospel stood for.

Religion is one of the main reasons Nigeria is in precarious financial situation today. It has retarded development in the country, elevated corruption and yet leaders of these religions are busy manipulating their followers and living scandalously on the contributions of these poor followers and taxpayers. Every right thinking person should be asking of what benefit is religion to the nation that it should be exempted from paying tax? In fact, there is no benefit whatsoever to the nation. Any benefit these religions bring goes only to their members and not the nation. You are more likely to be admitted to the Covenant University owned by Oyedepo if you are a member of his church just as a Muslim university would always think twice before employing or admitting anyone outside of their faith. Religion is therefore of no benefit per se to the nation to be exempted from paying tax.

I would therefore be happy if this noble idea is pursued and implemented. But then, if it is implemented the religious leaders would simply tax their poor followers the more. Education is therefore very important to persuade these brainwashed folks that their religious leaders are milking them to fund their opulent lifestyles.

These religious leaders have for so long abused their position. Give them handshake, they would want an arms length. Look at Boko Haram, they want a caliphate and people like David Oyedepo are slapping and assaulting little girls up and down the nation and getting away with it because they are religious leaders! And the part that is most sickening is that these so called religious leaders would allow the nation to sponsor their opulent lifestyle and sponsor their members (often handpicked rich donating members) on pilgrimages to Medina, Mecca, Jerusalem and Rome with money that should have been used to better the lots of poor Nigerians. I am even flummoxed that many Nigerians are against the proposal but then how do you convince a man in chain that he is actually in chain? Until he realizes that he is chain, any effort to set him free would be futile and akin to pouring water on stone!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Boko Haram, Homophobia: They have same roots, hate and prejudice!

Recently, I was accused of being out of touch with reality for mixing and comparing the fear and plight of Nigerians due to the terror of Boko Haram with the plight of homosexuals in Nigeria due to the recently passed Nigerian anti-gay law. But am sorry, if you cannot see the connection I can see it clearly and my point is that what Boko Haram is doing today in Nigeria is terrorism just as what Nigeria is doing to Nigerian homosexuals is also called terrorism. Nigeria is inflicting a brutal act of terror on Nigerian homosexuals and Boko Haram is doing exactly same thing to all of us and we must condemn both. They are both acts of terrorism.

The activities of Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have same thing in common; terrifying the weak and the helpless. Boko Haram wants all of us to abandon western education and become Muslims or we shall all die. Their mission is not different from that of Nigeria Government headed by President Jonathan Goodluck: become straight or you end up in jail for 14 years. Do you not see the connection there? I can see it clearly.

To homosexuals in Nigeria, the Nigerian anti-gay law terrifies, dehumanises and puts them in daily and constant danger and fear of their lives and that is exactly how the terror of Boko Haram makes the rest of us feel. They are using numerous tactics including kidnapping, looting and suicide bombing to make us agree with them and be what they want us to be and not what we want to be. They want to reap us apart and strike ruthlessly at the core of our fundamental human right to freedom of choice, association, life and being who we are and not what others want us to be. But we should not allow them just as we should not allow the Nigerian Government to send our brothers and sisters to jail for committing no crime but being who they are.

I invite every well-meaning Nigerian to join me in condemning Boko Haram as well as the Government of Jonathan Goodluck who set this motion of hatred in progress. This is the right thing to do for you cannot condemn one terror leaving the other. You cannot condemn Boko Haram and yet continue to condone the persecution, imprisonment, lynching, victimisation, blackmailing and all sorts of terror against homosexuals in Nigeria. It does not work that way. You cannot have it both ways. If a Muslim wants freedom of religion, he must also grant that freedom to Jews and Christians and to everyone else, no matter how repugnant their belief maybe to him. If Boko Haram wants to abolish the western education in Nigeria and make all of us Muslims, fine but then they must allow the people to exercise that choice. They can always group as a political party and then give the people the opportunity to decide for themselves.

What Boko Haram is trying to achieve is impossible and that is to make every single Nigerian a Muslim, establish a Muslim caliphate and abolish our western system of education. It might also interest you to know that that is exactly also the mission of Nigerian Government of President Jonathan Goodluck: to forcefully ‘convert’ all Nigerian homosexuals into being straight. This is ridiculous! I am convinced some people are born gay but even if they are not, what is wrong with that freedom of ‘choice’? What is wrong with the ‘choice’ you made to become a Muslim, a Roman Catholic, an Anglican, an America, British, black or white or even an atheist?

Democracy is not about domination. It is all about majority for the protection of the minority. A man is strong and his strength comes out fully when he uses that strength to defend the weak, the poor, the helpless, and the minorities and in fact, whoever is in need of that help. That is exactly the reason the West has been saying 'Hey, you are getting it wrong! Do not victimise your brethren for what they do not choose to be. They are your brothers and sisters and blood'. But then most Nigerians including the Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan turned around to accuse the West of meddling in Nigeria affairs. This same people would shamefully turnaround and invite same West to help them fight Boko Haram! These people, do they not have a sense of shame at all?

I do not agree that the West is meddling in our affair. They are telling us the right thing. These people are smart. Ever wondered the reason the West is highly organised and today a dream of every single African to visit and live in? Ever wondered why these people were able to invent aeroplane, computers, trains, cars, television, underground travelling system, iPhone and loads of other sophisticated technologies? Ever wondered the reason the West is against the victimisation and persecution of homosexuals? They have invested millions, times, manpower and efforts before coming to that conclusion and we must respect them for that and accept that we got it wrong. There is nothing wrong in saying that someone is more brilliant than you are. In fact, it is a virtue to acknowledge that and that is exactly what Nigeria needs today. We must be humble enough to accept that we got it wrong and are still getting it wrong before it is too late. We cannot do without the West and their hugely relevant and important guidance and advice.

But then, if you cannot accept what the West is telling you about homosexuality and even telling the West to their face to shove their aid up their ass, how on earth could you still turn around all of a sudden to ask same West for help to fight Boko Haram? Has someone sold her shame in the market or is someone not thinking before talking. You cannot have it both ways.

In fact, whatever Nigeria thinks about her internal affairs and sovereignty, sadly globalisation has made the whole world look like one little village and what happens in Nigeria today is not just a Nigerian affair but a world affair. The West is therefore justified in guiding Nigeria to the right path and Nigeria in the spirit of humility and humanity must accept this guidance. The whole world cannot and should not keep quiet while Nigeria is busy persecuting her own minorities. But why on earth do you think that the West would ever leave Nigeria to turn into another Gambia under a lunatic? Nigeria should learn that hate does not pay; it actually breeds more hate and we should not allow this cycle to continue ad infinitum.

Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate could not have said it better: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must-at that moment-become the centre of the universe”.

The situation in Nigeria is calling for an urgent action and response. Nigerian homosexuals are living in fear of their lives for being in the minority. But so are also the rest of us due to the menace of Boko Haram. But I must add that Nigerian government including the government of Jonathan Goodluck should be blamed for all these mess. By their actions and policies, they instilled in the mind of ordinary Nigerians the ugly concept of hatred and persecution of the minorities. Today we are reaping the bitter fruit.

Nigeria fired the first shot and once you fire the first shot of hatred you cannot stop it. It must complete its target. Nigerians hate homosexuals and I have issue with that and Boko Haram hate all of us and I do have issue with that too. Therefore, the solution lies in one concept: equality for all and the protection of the right of all without discrimination.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The meaning of Islam?...

Is Islam still a religion of peace? Maybe, you should ask those caught up in the recent mall incident in Kenya or the victims of the recent Peshawar church bombing in Pakistan. Frankly, I am unable with this short piece to give a befitting and balanced response to this question myself, however I will leave the platform open for you to form your own opinion at the end of the day. But to help you out, I think it is pertinent we take another look at the events of the last few weeks.

The event at the Kenyan Mall is still very fresh in our minds. I will therefore leave that and jump into what happened at the same time in Peshawar, Pakistan. Some days ago, two Muslim suicide bombers entered All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar, and slaughtered more than 70 Christians and maimed many more as they worshipped God and praised Jesus. That ugly incident occurred just at same time some Somali Muslims entered a mall in Kenya, separated the shoppers into Muslims and non-Muslims and to be sure those who claim to be Muslims are truly Muslims, they were asked the name of the mother of Mohammed. Those who failed the test were slaughtered alongside those who did not identify themselves as Muslims.

I am not sure if you actually know the situation of religious minorities in Pakistan but from my own little research about the country it is safe to conclude that if you are not a Muslim in Pakistan today, you are dinning with the devil! In fact, you have your house dangerously built in the midst of a drunken hungry shark, devil and a deep blue sea. There is no means of escape for everywhere you turn is equally dangerous. One blogger summarized it thus: "You have absolutely no idea how many Christians cower behind locked doors and boarded-up windows, living in terror of those who say they follow the example of Mohammed in cleansing the land of non-Muslims".

"Christians routinely have their houses burned, their schools and hospitals destroyed, and their churches desecrated and vandalized. In Pakistan, it is not uncommon for entire Christian families to be burned to death inside their houses. The crime is allegedly 'blasphemy' against Islam-invariably baseless, but the summary punishment is meted out by a baying horde-sometimes thousands strong-and there is no mercy from the clubs, sticks and stones", the blogger added.

In fact, situation on ground shows that Christian towns and villages in Pakistan are being reduced to slums even as poverty amongst these communities has reached an endemic stage. Christian children are often poorly educated (except in the private schools) and local politicians are corrupt and incapable of doing anything meaningful to safeguard these poor Christians apparently in fear of provoking the Muslim majority, the members of Taliban and Al Qaeda. These corrupt bunches also include some of the Christian leaders, who have little concern for social welfare, security, justice or human rights. But be aware also that not even some of these Christian politicians and others are safe from the hands of these mad Muslim extremists.

"Christians in Pakistan are hunted by complete strangers and haunted by fear. Muslims dare not convert or intermarry with Christians on pain of death. The pulpits whisper their sermons for fear of upsetting the mosques, and the graveyards are filling. There is social segregation, economic hardship and political disenfranchisement. Abduction and forced conversion to Islam are commonplace-especially among young girls. These are rarely reported to the police for fear of the consequences", noted the blogger.

This is sad and the fact that these happen in the name of God makes fun and mockery of the concept of God. Maybe, I maybe right after all after being vilified for suggesting that religion and hatred go hand in hand and that one needs a heart of darkness and wickedness to be a believer.

"To be a Christian in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is to be persecuted and oppressed. The Muslims who persecute and oppress the infidels are simply doing their job. Those who blow themselves up and kill Christians in their churches are martyrs for the cause of Allah and the greater glory of the Prophet of Islam", says the blogger.