Nigerian Government, Official Prayers and Public Functions By Leo Igwe

By Leo Igwe

A critical look at the recent adoption by the Federal Executive Council of the second stanza of the National Anthem as the official prayer at public functions raises so many issues. This second stanza actually reads:

 

“Oh God of creation.

“Direct our noble course.

“Guide our leaders right.

“Help our youths the truth to know.

“In love and honesty to grow and living just and true.

“Great lofty heights attain.

“To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.”

 

This stanza is problematic not only as a stanza in the national anthem and also as the official prayer at public functions. 

 

This stanza, according to the National Orientation Agency would help engender ‘the spirit of cohesion and unity in the country’. Personally, I cannot really understand how this prayer verse would help Nigerians achieve such a lofty ideal. As the second stanza of the national anthem, has it helped us achieve that?

 

 Even without this official prayer, Nigerians are among the most prayerful in the world. Still unity and peaceful co-existence have remained elusive? Surely Nigerians are very ‘religious’ and needs peace, unity and harmony. But are these going to be realized by merely saying and repeating this prayer? Is that how other nations that live in peace achieved cohesion and unity?

 

 I must admit that this is really a clear departure from the past when clerics from the two major religions-Christianity and Islam- are called upon to say prayers at public functions. And since this official prayer does not make any particular religious references to Christ or Mohammed, many might think it is in order.  Still, it has not resolved many political and constitutional matters arising.

 

Agreed, this is the second verse of our national anthem which is recited at some public functions. Certainly that does not diminish its negative implications on our polity.

 

 First of all the expression “Oh God of Creation’ is actually controversial because both ideas of a god and creation are myths. And these ‘powerful myths’ are capable of undermining popular understanding of science particularly the science of the ‘Origin of Species’.

 

Some might say it is metaphorical and that they 'god of creation' can be equated to nature. But subsequent lines do not really state so. Instead they call on an active personal and intervening god to direct our noble cause.  Invoking the mythical God of Creation at a public function is giving political endorsement to this misconception. Imagine what would be the reactions if the lines are changed to read, “Oh Forces of Evolution and Natural Selection. Direct our Noble Cause”,…particularly from the religious quarters.

 

We just cannot not pretend that these lines are religiously neutral, they are not.

 

 Asking the God of Creation, to direct our noble cause, to guide our leaders right and help our youths to know the truth has serious implications in terms of responsibility. First of all, people could easily attribute situations where these demands are not met to God not hearing their prayers. When that is not actually the case.  It comfortably shifts the responsibility to God, not to us or to our leaders or our youths. It absolves us, and our leaders of any responsibility. And that should not be the case. When it comes to the problems, mismanagement and misdirection of our nation, we should hold ourselves and our leaders responsible and accountable, not the God of Creation. “No deity will save (help, guide or direct) us,” says Humanist Manisfesto 11, “We must save (help, guide and direct) ourselves”

 

Our leaders should marshal their best knowledge, talent and wisdom in directing and guiding the nation, and be ready to accept responsibility for their decisions and directions. They should not be passive, awaiting God’s guidance and directions but rather should take action- bold and decisive action based on what they consider to be the best interest of the nation, of course in line with the constitution.

 

The government should not make Nigerians to understand that we need ‘God’ to know the truth and do what is noble and right.  Or that we cannot achieve unity and harmony without supplication to the God of creation. Instead the government should make Nigerians seek the truth and strive to achieve justice and peace on their own, without the help of any god or deity.

 

Some may argue that this official prayer is in order not only because it is part of the national anthem but also because the preamble of the national constitution says that Nigeria is ‘a nation under God’.  It states, “We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Having firmly and solemnly resolve, to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under God,…” Agreed this is what the constitution says but the constitution does not tell us ‘which God’ we are under. It does not mandate us to officially pray to this God at public functions for direction and guidance. Does it?

Instead section 38 of the Constitution recognizes the right to freedom of religion of all Nigerians. It states, ‘Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.’

 

So official prayers violate the rights of many Nigerians including those who believe in god but who do not pray to it, and those Nigerians who do not believe in god and who do not pray, and also millions of Nigerians who believe in god, who pray but who regard praying as a private not an official exercise. There are also Nigerian who do not believe in the efficacy of this particular official prayer even though it is part of the national anthem. Saying official prayers at public functions actually discriminates against many Nigerians.

 

The government should ensure that the public functions are religiously neutral in furtherance of equal rights of all Nigerians. Nigerians should not be compelled by the government to pray to God for direction and guidance at public events. After all, section 10 of the national constitution provides for the secularity of the Nigerian state. And the government should uphold this by ensuring that there is no official prayer at public functions.

 

All secular oriented Nigerians should oppose this creeping theocratization of the Nigerian state before it is too late.

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miMIKO IS A FAILURE

Mimiko has failed the people of Ondo state. The issue is not about Asiwaju Tinubu supports but political antecedent of Mimiko will speak against him is a matter of time and people has seen light after the tunnel.
1,Mimiko is an epitome of betrayal because of the role he played since the era of Ajasin,Adefarati and Agagu against 2nd term is a vital political issue against him,don’t forget that the remnant of their spirit and followers are so much around the corner to rise against IROKO as soon as election draw nearer.
2, The total federal allocation he has collected has nothing to write about compare to his performers over N600 billion excluding loan and internal generated revenue
3, He has spent more than N700 Million on buying awards across the nation
thier are a lot of project initiated by Dr.Agagu which Iroko abandon.eg ondo state University of Technology Okitipupa,Omotosho and Olokola free trade zone etc.infact,ikale people and ilaje does't want to hear MIMIKO AT ALL.

Sorry!

I think the article is meant only for those of us that have sense. Sorry.

BE WARNED!

Our leaders may be stupid... but thats not enough for a practicing infidel to poison our thought process.
Mr leo igwe is notorious for his antiGod, antireligion and anticreation stands. He, together with his focussless humanist crew tried to contarminate our learnings back in our gullible undergraduate days but failed, so what makes him feels he can succeed now.
He and his godless desciples must accept the fact that every other knowledge amounts gross stupidity without acknowledging the CREATOR of intellects. Its like appreciating a work of art with no regards to its originator.
ITS ONLY A FOOL THAT SAY THERE IS NO GOD.

Be warned!!

HYPOCRITES!!!

Thieves, rogues and religious bastards (ie people calling on God without subscribing to Gods moral imperatives) are plenty in our government.

I will not follow them to pray any yeye prayer ...

Time wasters.

Nigerian Government, Official Prayers, Public Functions

God loves us and wants the best for us, that is why His only son died for our sins. We are familiar with: Chief Dr. Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha (JP) (first Executive Governor: 29 May 1999 – 9 December 2005)
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (second Executive Governor: 12 December 2005 – 29 May 2007).
Chief Timipre Sylva (Executive Governor: 29 May 2007 - 16 April 2008)
Rt. Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu (Acting Governor: 16 April 2008 - 27 May, 2008)
Chief Timipre Sylva (Executive Governor: 27 May, 2008 - Date). James Onanefe Ibori, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Samuel Ogbemudia, Anthony Aneni, Olusegun Obasanjo, etc, but who we want to lead, depend on us. 'Love thy neighbour as thyself'

EMPTY PRAYERS DONT WORK

SOME YEARS BACK I MADE AN OBSERVATION THAT STICK WITH ME TILL TODAY. WE JUST RISE FROM A JOINT MEETING WITH OFFICIALS OF THE BRITISH GOVT DFID, I ASK MY GENERAL MANAGER THEN IF HE OBSERVED THAT THERE WAS NO OPENING OR CLOSING PRAYERS. HE TOLD ME NOT TO WORRY AS THE BRITISH ARE INFIDELS! I THEN WENT FURTHER AND ASK WHY IS IT THAT OUR MEETINGS THAT START AND CLOSE WITH PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS PRODUCE NO RESULTS WHILE THEIR MEETINGS APPARENTLY NOT SANCTIONED BY GOD DO PRODUCE RESULTS? HE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE JUST COMMITTED BLASPHEMY AND YOU SHOULD INFACT BE EXECUTED?! I APOLOGISE IMMEDIATELY, BUT HE SAID IT WAS TOO LATE. I SAID IT WAS JUST AN OBSERVATION.

SO MANY WORDS AND DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCRIPTURE DOES NOT A PRAYER MAKE. THE SOONER WE STOP PLAYING WITH THE NAME OF GOD THE BETTER FOR ALL OF US, CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS.

RELIGION IN NIGERIA ONLY A DECORATION!

Yesterday Imams and Shieks were getting their prayer money but today Pastors and Reverends are getting millions in the name of prayer. That is why Oritsijafor will never keep quiet. Also the way some pastors showered abusive comments on GEJ's opponents it is enough to convince one that money and position are more relevant than religion in Nigeria. Even those predicting troubles and uprising if GEJ is impeached are all concerned with their source of income rather than the reality of the matter. If another person comes as the president of Nigeria they'll do the same to him against GEJ.

why dont these people just

why dont these people just say their prayers in whatever form or guise and get the hell out of their back stabbing Exco meetings--are they patriots-they are not-if they were-we would have had light, water, good roads, education and wonderful health facilities. But because they are thieves-they will rather our people travel to India to go and die there. Than equip or hospitals. Jonathan should not allow every dog squeeze him and mould him into their evil ways-we steal simply because we dont love our country--that is why we have to split--there is too much hatred amongst us. We are just busy pretending to love nigeria-because of the oil wells-period

Evolution Is Real

Either we have refused to evolve or evolving too slowly. We can do better folks!

We start simple, make mistakes, fail, use feedback mechanisms, learn, and repeat the cycle from the old editions to improve over and over again.

Take a look at the evolution of BMW: http://lancechee.multiply.com/photos/album/175/1989-BMW-520i-E34

Evolution Is Real

Most of the Nigerians in Nigeria and some in the diaspora are 200 years behind on an evolutionary time scale.

My own definition of evolution is completely different from hereditary changes or appearance of new species which is racist in my opinion.

My understanding of evolution is similar to:
1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state : growth
2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evolution

I recommend a course in evolution similar to the definition above be introduced to the basic schools as part of the curriculum for teaching and learning. Besides, critical thinking should be emphasized rather than religion at home and in schools.

The existence of the One True

The existence of the One True God who created heaven, earth and all in it including you is very real and you had better believe that. However, i oppose this policy of government because as a christian i pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Hence i believe that at public functions, Christians should be allowed to pray in the name of Jesus. Otherwise, it would be a violation of our fundamental rights.

Directionless piece of writing!

This is merely an eclectic piece of rudderless writing aimed at making sense but ends up not making sense at all. If the writer rejects this adopted material bring up a more viable alternative. Criticisms must be constructive please.