Saturday, April 10, 2021
Lagos, Nigeria

y Moslem friends who are united with me in the rehabilitation and progress of Nigeria have been wondering why I have not spoken about the disagreement between the Muslim, and the Christian communities in Ilorin and the Government. I have responded to some why it has not been possible.

I thank them very much for the trust they have in me.

I am going to title this message "On bended knees for Peace about Ilorin Schools (Part 1)"

Let us pray.

Let me say from the onset that though I am a Christian, I am not a member of the Executive of any of the Churches that built the Schools in question.

But the Holy Spirit of God dwells in me and it is this Holy Spirit of God, which does not give me rest concerning the suffering, which majority of Nigerians are going though in spite of the enormous wealth, which God gives us. And that is what is pushing me to do all that I am doing, by pursuing the agenda of alleviating our poverty.

Today, I am using my money to voice my opinion. If I were home, Radio Kwara if none other, will have invited me to, at least one of their discussion forums, which I would not have to pay for.

God gave us religion among other things, so that we can live comfortably on earth. He wants us to live comfortably because if we are not comfortable, we may be lured into sin and miss heaven. I did not know that this statement, which is said at the signing out at every of my broadcast is in the Quran until recently when my learned Imam, Mukhtar Lukman Isale Koto quoted it.

God had put in place for us, all, which we need for our comfortable existence, even before He made our fore parents and He wants us to enjoy the goodies in full. But there is a condition attached to enjoying the goodies. He said "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land" (Isaiah 1:11). So if we want to eat the good of the land, we must be in obedience to the directives He outlined for eating the goodies.

Those guidelines for eating the good of the land is what I have been exploring, so that poverty can be eliminated in our land and Nigerians will be able to live in in their own country, rather than being servants in other people's land; in addition, that Nigeria can be reckoned with, in the comity of nations.

It is for this purpose, to free Nigeria from poverty that I coordinate the establishment of the "Inter-Religious Organization for the Rehabilitation of Nigeria" in the hope that the two major religions and others can work together and set Nigeria free from poverty and any other thing, which can debar us from reaching heaven.

Unfortunately however, some top clerics do not see it as I do and they distant themselves from us, because they do not believe they should mix with people of other religion.

So my comments will be entirely based on how we can use the wisdom of our different religions to our benefits, which in turn will help us to get to God after we die and on another hand, that our reproach as a nation will be eliminated.

So, If we live in poverty, it must be our fault because we might have concentrated our attention on things, which though are important in one way or the other but, they do not help us much, to take our suffering away; we do not pursue those things that are more important, which can take our poverty away, which can make our country to be reckoned with in the comity of nations. And when those are not what we pursue, we shall be playing into the hands of the Politicians and they will be happy because for once, we lose our focus on how they govern us and they can plan to make themselves rich.

I do not fail to drum it into our ears that it is our behavior that gives directives on how the government governs us. Even if they know that our agenda contributes not much value to our lives, they go with us in order to remain in power and continue to enjoy themselves.

I have never put the blame of our lack of progress and poverty in this land entirely on the Politicians. Why? They spend a lot of money to get elected. Every group of people; Moslem and Christian leaders takes money from them during their campaign. Won't they recoup their money after they got into the office? When we take money from them, we are selling our birthright to them. We are being paid for our eternal poverty.

Consider a situation where a Politician comes to our community and rather than taking money from him, we entertain him with whatever thing we have, even if it is only a bottle of coke or even, water. Will he get to the office and steal our money? No. He will be very fearful to do that, when he is not a soldier who has gun in his hands! I know some of you are in the habit of saying "We had better take whatever we can from him now, how are we sure that he will remember us after he gets to the office" You see, the Politicians know the way we think and they exploit it fully to their benefit. The cheating, which the ignorant does to himself is not little! Is it the one time gift in 4 years that will take you out of poverty?

Consider the number of years, which some of us, Christian and Moslem preachers have been campaigning that we reject the government sponsoring us to the Holy lands! The money can be used to do things that can benefit the general populace to some extent. The Politicians know this but they go with us because if they do not do it, it can cost them their job in future elections. And why will they not do it when such a project is advantageous to them because they too are bound to derive personal benefits.

If we are able to block all the conduits, whereby the commonwealth go down the drain, surely our poverty will fast disappear. If our wealth is fairly equally distributed unlike what it is today where it is in the hands of a certain cabal, anyone should be able to perform the Holy pilgrimage on his own as it is done all over the world.

Consider our Schools, which are in shameful position, Is there any year, which the government does not budget money for those schools? Does the budgeted money reflect in the appearance and the running of the Schools? Yet the students themselves pay School fees, however little the amount. Where does all the money go? The School where I graduated over 50 years ago, though it is purely run by the Government, is today in a pitiful state. No old student of my time gets there and would not shed tears inside.

Only people, old enough, who saw the Schools, run by the Missions whether by the Church or Mosques and communities in the past, will remember how beautiful those schools were. Children of my days looked towards the day when we would be enrolled into one of them.

They were glorious unlike the shambles we are seeing today, in spite of the huge money made available to them. Even the little developments we are seeing today are done by individuals and groups in the Churches of their owners including the Old Student Association of the different Schools. Other than the salary of the Teachers, which the government pays, what can we point to, as the hand of the government? Every good plans of the government, the civil servants in charge of the projects are fast at profiteering from them.

I learnt that a past government had the habit of using the School Board as a conduit pipe to divert large sums of money to their pockets.

How fantastic it will have been if the Proprietors of Schools owned by the Missions; Christians and Moslems conspire and wrestle the Schools from its hands in order to returning the schools to their original glorious estate? This would be advantageous to everyone. Or is anyone happy with how those schools look like today compared with when the original Proprietors managed them? Except those who are profiteering from them.

With the disagreement between the Christians and the Moslems meanwhile, I see the government as the winner because it is able to retain one of the conduit pipes used to enrich itself.

And in fact, the situation does not need to go to the court at all. Luckily, we still have in our midst some of the people who built Kwara State, people who without their names, the history of Kwara state is incomplete. They can still tell us the history of what they did, their intention for what they did and their aspiration for the future for a day like this. These are people I respect a lot for their dedication to the state and the country. No one can see any trace that they pilfer from the public purse when they were in charge.

It is over 50 years I graduated from a Government School in Ilorin, the School Principal who graduated me is still alive, Baba is a Moslem. A few of my teachers are still alive.

I know two Principals of Queen Elizabeth School who are still alive; the senior one is a Moslem and the other one is a Christian? Has the government of Kwara state reached out to such people?

A Yoruba adage says "Agba ki un wa ni 'le, ki ori omo tuntun wo" meaning the head of a baby cannot wobble when elderly fellows are around.

Besides, there is a committee set up by the Government of Kwara state on Inter Religious matters. Has the government reached out to them? If not why did the Government set it up? My campaign for a great Nigeria, makes me to have a working relationship with them, so I know them all. They are very respectable and humble people in the society. Their love for the progress of the Country is not small.

They are not ordinary people. Many of them were in the government at the creation of Kwara State. The chairman was a former Secretary and Head of Service to the government. He is a Moslem. The vice was a Commissioner, probably the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice at the inception of Kwara State in the government of General Bamigboye. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). There is still another former Head of Service in the committee who was even senior to the Chairman. There are other former Permanent Secretaries and a former Sharia Court justice. There is an Emir who doubles as a Medical Doctor in the same Committee and a Professor of Islamic studies etc.

How can all these people be alive and we are spilling blood and damaging properties?

All, which I have said is my personal take of how I believe religion should be used; to better our lot. I will continue next week.