FEATURE ARTICLE

E O EkeTuesday, August 29, 2017
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TRUE GODLINESS LEADS TO A PEACEFUL AND JUST NATION

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istory tells us that the most civilised, honest and best of men are not always religious, but men and women who learnt the lessons of religion and found God in honesty, peace, justice, love, compassion, respect of others and equality of all under the law.,

The wise of the earth are not those who believe that their religion or ethnicity makes them special or commends them to God, but those who understand the common humanity of all, the ephemeral nature of life and power and devote their life for peace, justice and goodness.

The greats of life are not those who master the holy books and can quote them at will to support their positions, but those whose masters are the eternal ideas and values that inspired the authors of holy books.

Therefore, it is not our profession of faith or claim to believe in God that makes us special, but the learning of the essence of all faiths and how it can make us treat others, at all times, the way we would like to be treated.

Furthermore, it is only when a man can treat a stranger, who is all he is not, the way and manner he would like to be treated that he becomes civilised, enlightened and godly.

As long as religion and ethnicity remain the constructs on which men segregates and defines their identities, such men are not civilised and have learnt very little, about life and God, no matter what they claim.

One should never present one's self pitiless and as not having respect for others.

Arrogance and pride rob mortals the wrong way. Though all have them, no one likes to see it in others.

They are like excrement, present in all abdomen and carried about by all, yet avoided, when seen outside because of its foul smell.

If you are an attack dog, you should make sure that what you think is a fox is not a wolf or a lion, before you attack. You lose nothing, if you only bark and wait. After all, that is what dogs do.

Some people will wax eloquent in defending the worst injustice as long as they or their loved ones are not the victims.

They would argue the rational for evil, corruption, discriminations, prejudiced and injustices as long as the perpetrators are their kins men or share the same religion with them and victims belong to another religion or ethnic group.

It takes an honest man, who is detribalised and dissociated in his beliefs to see evil in its true nature, even, when his loved ones are involved.

It would seem that it is the absence of this level of intellectual honesty and probity in the Nigerian polity that might be responsible for the rot in the country.

Northerners defend northern criminals and southerners defend southern criminal for the same sectarian reasons( ethnicity and religion).

Even our president who should be above board has succumbed to ethnic nationalism, nepotism and religious bigotry. He cleanses the army of senior officers who are not Muslims or from the north, he appoints members of his family and ethnic group to sensitive and important positions and says very little about ethnic cleansing by Fulani herdsmen.

Then we wonder why nothing changes in Nigeria. I have learnt one thing in life, which is that goodness does not often protect from harm and, evil is not always followed by punishment.

Good people do not always succeed and bad people are often not punished.

In fact, some may bring about their woes by their goodness. Nevertheless, it is right to do good not necessarily because it may bring good or reward, but because good is intrinsically better than evil.

Nigeria is experiencing one of the worst perversions of political processes, where the politicians abuse democratic institutions and use every thing and opportunity to work for their own selfish interests, while exploiting ethnicity and religion.

They ignore their parties' ideology, people's expectation, the teachings of their holy books and noble values and take self serving and deceit to despicable heights.

Nevertheless, we must work to ensure the triumph of good over evil, right over wrong, justice over injustice, love over hatred and tolerance over intolerance. Evil triumphs because good men find good reasons to do nothing.

Peaceful and just nations do not just appear, men and women of good conscience and judgement, who can rise above religion and ethnicity work for them.

It is only in the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, to do as one would be done by and to love one's neighbour as one's self, that the true and perfect condition for peaceful coexistence can be found. The good news is that one does not need to become a Christian to apply the wisdom in the words of Jesus. After all, Jesus of Nazareth was not a Christian.

Sacrifice is unnecessary, if the aim is to to achieve the happiness of all.

Why should one person sacrifice his life or happiness for the happiness of others? Why should one neighbour die so that the other may live.

True happiness must lies in any principles that secures the lives of the neighbours and removes the necessity for one of them to die so that the other may live. To die for others is to live a principle, which men apply in a jungle to ensure the survival of their race.

It is something done out of necessity, when the annihilation of all is the only alternative. It is what men can do, but not what they should do.

If the golden rule is taught and promoted, it would usher in a culture of increased awareness of fairness, which would curb greed, exploitation, ethnic hatred and religious intolerance.

This is the very thing religion is meant to do for humanity. However, by laying its foundation on the exploitation of ignorance, it undermined its ability to change men for good and only ends up converting them to its creed.

The result is that religion has set men against themselves and provide the justification for great inhumanity of men to men. It festers division and sows the seed of prejudice, which often mutate to terrorism in some minds.

Therefore, we need to go back to teaching people, not about God, but how to achieve peaceful coexistence, which is the only thing God wants for man.

True Godliness is indeed, to live peacefully with ALL men and do to others as one would be done by others. Nigeria is a religious nation. Let us make our faiths to count.

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