OPINION; Osun School Uniform Crisis and the Need For Caution
I remained closemouthed for always three days when an Osun State High Court gave a judgment in favour of the state’s Muslim pupils to wear hijab in primary and secondary schools in the 30 Local Government areas of the state.
As a liberal Christian, I had initially kept mute but the outrage that followed the judgment compelled me to take a position.
I had read series of stories from the state ranging from the CAN’s directive that Christian pupils should also wear Sultana and choir gowns to school, how Christian leaders converged on the state for prayers to tackle what they termed ‘demonic forces’ that are bent on Islamising the state, to the alleged involvement of Ogeni Rauf Aregbesola in the debacle.
I am, however, disappointed by unsavoury comments from the acclaimed adherents of the both religions claiming superiority over one another.
I want to use satire here and refer to a play by Professor Wole Soyinka, ‘The Trials of Brother Jero’ as a pointer to the hypocrisy of some of our religious leaders.
The summary of the play
The Trials of Brother Jero is a light satiric comedy that takes aim at religious hypocrisy in the form of a charlatan, or fraud, named Brother Jero, who preaches to his followers on Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria. Jero is a master of manipulation and keeps his followers in a subservient position because he understands what they long for—money, social status, and power—and convinces them that they will soon be able to fulfil these materialistic desires. For their part, they are gullible enough to believe him. The vitality of the rogue Jero makes him a popular figure with audiences, and this rambunctious, humorous play is one of the best-known and most frequently performed of Soyinka’s early works.
With this play, I conjure that some of us are hypocrites with our religions because we do not practice both according to the specified tenets. Tolerance are the forbearance of the both. But how many of us are not extremists, fanatics and do not play religious card?
We, often times, play politics when religious issues are raised and forget our humble beginning and our collective being as Africans.
The colonial masters had succeeded with their antics of brainwashing and bamboozling us that their religion was better than ours.
Though, I am not a traditionalist, I am of the firm belief that an Ifa devotee, is more committed to his religion than us because all the laws of his faith will be adhered to strictly. But in our case, reverse is the case.
We proclaim our religions at all fora and despite that, crime rate is on the increase and all the atrocities are either committed by a James or a Jamiu, what a deceit!
Every Nigerian is a secretary to God because he/she knows who will have hell fire as his final abode. We are more holier than the thou and see religion as a means to enrich our pockets.
Has anybody taken his time to investigate the level of corruption in our places of worship? If your answer is no, then, why are you fighting for what is not yours?
Both religions belong to Yahweh and why are we His creatures fighting for their supremacy?
To me, I view what is happening in the State of Osun as uncalled for and if care is not taken or caution is thrown into the wind, may later lead to religious war.
In Yorubaland, Christians and Muslims had lived harmoniously for decades and there is no where in the Yoruba history where it is recorded that they fought over ‘foreign’ religions.
If Islam is a religion of peace and Christians are Christ-alike, so who is fanning the ember of discord in the State of Osun?
We should jettison this alien attitude of promoting the supremacy of one religion above the other if we want peace at times.
Sunday is a Kwara State-based Journalist and be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.