- The Storried Platform
A NATION FIXATED ON SPIRITUAL AVATARS – By Mark Godwin
# Ours is a nation where every social, medical, political, educational and infrastructural problem has a spiritual causal link. Even its presidency will rather hand over our security failures to God than confront situations headlong and decisively. “Prayers answereth all things” we were all taught. So we have an aggressively praying nation, but superlatively backward. Very prayerful but powerfully poor; the world’s official poverty capital infact. So holy, but lamentably lowly. So sanctimonious, but mightily depraved and ‘dequated’. So religious, yet dangerously crooked.
# Africa, and Nigeria has prayed for donkey years, yet its woes continues. Her average citizenry is wired to think that every misfortune is the consequence of a demon, a familial spirit or other forces of darkness. It then becomes obvious that this is the mentality that drives its laze, complacency and helpless resignation to fate. A fatalistic culture is indeed a retrogressive culture. This mental system has become our bane and albatross; the harbinger of the weakened institutional systems that now punctuate our geopolitical space.
I have not been in Europe that long but I continue to enjoy fellowship with others in diverse Christian functions. Interestingly, I am yet to hear the popular cliche used by many a Nigerian ecclesia like “every demon against you or your family… blah blah blah…. or die by 🔥 fire”. Seriously? As in seriously? A demon, die? We play too much.
# The average African religious fellow reminisces all his misfortunes and tries to implicate either an old helpless woman in the village, some occultic forces or even powers of their ancestors as the causative agent. Even so-called Christians believe that one or two trans-generational curses may be at work in their life…. So this becomes a governing mentality that puts a cap on what height they can attain throughout their lives…. The reason why they keep patronizing ‘pastorpreneurs’, some imams, ‘dibias’, magicians, spiritualist and others claiming to have reversal powers or the capacity to offer them better fortunes. So it is usually from one prayer house to another, from one shrine to the other seeking a sign and a wonder!
# Anthropologists have argued for instance, that, many Africans believe that a myriad of diseases are caused by interferences of supernatural forces, the consequence of the wrath of an offended god, ancestor or evil spirit (Kottak, 1994). From a Nigerian perspective however, Maclean (1971) hinted that diseases were believed to be caused by one of three factors: natural factors like unhealthy diets and pests, preternatural factors like belief in sorcery and lastly mystical events or supernatural powers of ancestors. Corroborating this, Parry’s seminal work itemized evil 😈 spirits, poisoning by an enemy and ‘the hand of God’ contagions as some perceptive causes most diseases (Parry, 1976). A similar study in Tanzania investigating associations between malaria and witchcraft concluded that both elements were interrelated as the respondents believed that black magic could impede the potency of biomedical therapy or cause failure of detecting malarial parasites in the blood (Hausmann-Muela et al, 2002). This shows why many of such rural locals seek treatment from unorthodox healers claiming to remove witchcraft prior to visiting the hospital for malaria treatment. Can you imagine? Jokers!
# If the roads are bad, then we need to pray. If gunmen/herdsmen are on rampage, even more prayers are required. When the health sector is in a lamentable quagmire, we ought to pray even harder. When a lady’s suitors delay, it is a special case needing ‘2 power Sundays of open heavens’; where the seer must have the revelation that the lady’s mother-in-law is involved. A nation where her spiritual seers are rather doom seers…….. They’ve got a name for every devil after you, but have not the faintest clue of how to survive without your patronage. Wake up!
# Permit me to say there’s no special devil after us; we only have a special case of ignorance and an unholy romance with superstition, at the root of which are poverty and illiteracy. It takes only 24hrs in a clime where electricity answers, healthcare is working, security is top notch, transport is A plus, for all one’s useless prayer points to cease being an issue. There are no special demons at work in Africa. The devil is one and the same. There’s no white, brown, black or green devil. We have a special case brain ossification…….. A senseless model of religiosity that has nothing to do with being spiritual.
# No nation can make meaningful progress this way; where societal problems are reduced to a demon problem. An inferno engulfs a major road, yet, we think it is the work of mermaid spirits intent on sucking human blood. We leave the issues of reckless driving, inappropriate parkings, hawking on major roads and transporting of oil products with tanker lories in 2018. We’re probably the only nation still transporting fuel this way, instead of building underground tunnels and conduits.
# We have prayed for donkey years, and we are still praying. We conduct 7 power nights of deliverance and the next Sunday we re-doing the same deliverance under a different title. “Die by 🔥 fire”, yet the demons aren’t dying but are rather basking and multiplying. Wake up Africa, you play a lot! Stop being demon-conscious, it is not the problem.
By Mark Godwin
# Ours is a nation where every social, medical, political, educational and infrastructural problem has a spiritual causal link. Even its presidency will rather hand over our