There’s no denying the fact that hypocrisy, political myopia and deception are walking on all four in Nigeria today.
The recent sack of Imam Sheikh Nuru Khalid by the management of the Friday mosque at the Legislative Quarters, Apo-Abuja laid credence to this. Sheikh Khalid did not sound esoteric in his sermon. He was speaking the mind of most Nigerians about the present hydra-headed security challenges facing the nation and the need for the government of the day to double its efforts at combating it.
But because we are a nation that likes playing the ostrich even in serious matters of life and death, the melody of truth often sounds like a cacophony of disturbing noises in our heads. And this is rather unfortunate.
The fact that such high handedness can still be dished out to a clergyman performing an ecclesiastical duty by speaking truth to power speaks volumes of our reverse religiosity and the prevalence of pretence within the circle of religious laity in our clime. And this is disconcerting.
Some argued that the “Digital Imam”, as the Sheikh is fondly called, should be left to the whims and caprices of his employers who can hire and fire at will. And that the mosque is a place of worship and not a place to fire political shots. But these are the same people that will still turn around tomorrow to blame religious leaders for the decay in society.
It is high time everyone speaks up. Especially at a time when death has become so cheap and common. A time when our collective expectation from the leviathan remains unfulfilled and campaign promises broken like a crayon.
In a nation where hitherto volatile and vociferous activists become quiet in the face of helplessness, all in reverence to an unperturbed paymaster, the likes of Imam Nuru Khalid become the collective conscience and voice of reason in a predominantly “unreasonable” society. He must be revered and not vilified.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online