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The on-going United States Presidential election between the incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden thus far is proving to be the most interesting, and obviously most watched presidential election in the American history as well as the rest of the world. This is largely due to the fact that America is a world power, and as such the cynosure of all eyes. Her decision, especially in electing a President, certainly will affect or graciously impact on, virtually all the countries in the world, and one of such countries is Nigeria. Hence, it was very imperative for Nigerians to follow the electoral process beginning from when former Vice President Biden became the Democrat’s presidential flag bearer to the present stage that he is running against President Trump.
The choice of Biden for Nigerian Christians mostly from the southern part of the country was viewed with disdain because, according to them, Biden served in the former President Barack Obama’s administration, and a close pal of Obama. And for the mere fact that the rights of LGBT community in the United States were recognised and enshrined in the laws of the United States during the Obama’s administration was an abomination to the Nigerian Christians, and they labelled Obama as, an ‘Anti-Christ’ who made the ‘righteous’ country of the United States to ‘sin’. Based on that, anything or anyone associating with Obama is considered as ‘evil’ and should not be tolerated one bit regardless of whatever good intentions they might have so they despised Biden, and relentlessly prayed against his victory.
The Christian faith particularly, Pentecostalism undoubtedly, is one that its tent does not embrace anything that represents the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community), and also the African culture even in these contemporary times, does not approve of the LGBT community, such is considered immoral and unnatural. All these factors contributed to the Nigerian Christians dislike for Biden and instead wholeheartedly praying, and ceaselessly hoping that Trump would be victorious in the election. Though, Nigerians in Nigeria who are not American citizens have no rights whatsoever to decide the outcome of the presidential election because they can neither vote nor influence the election.
However, what this article is trying to correct is the need for Africans in actuality, particularly Nigerians to stop letting religious fanaticism becloud their sense of rationality because that path has never brought anything good to Africans, on the contrary, it has brought the continent of Africa, misery, contention, and poverty.
Without even listening to Biden’s manifesto, and thoroughly juxtaposing it with that of Trump’s present administration, they were quick to condemn Biden and if they had the opportunity, Biden would probably not even be given the chance to run against Trump.
As much as Nigerian Christians are concerned, President Donald Trump who is a Christian but not a fervent one, who prior to his election against Hillary Clinton in 2016, ‘politically’ identified strongly with Christianity to garner the votes of the Evangelicals is not just the ‘American Messiah’ but the entirety of the world sent by the Christian God to lead the United States aright, far away from the ‘evil’ path that the ‘Antichrist Obama’ had plunged her into. And with their belief on that, Biden should not waste his time running against the ‘anointed one’ Donald John Trump! To that effect, prayers and series of religious fasts were ceaselessly offered for Trump’s victory, and many pastors and prophets alike claimed how they received prophecies as well as clear-cut visions from Heaven that President Donald Trump would beat former Vice President Joe Biden in a flawless victory.
With the results so far from the election, one does not require a soothsayer to deduce that these so-called pastors and prophets who posited or falsely prophesied the flawless victory of Trump against Biden only allowed sentiments to disconnect them from their cognitive resonance. Trump as the President of the United States of America, within four years of his administration, has succeeded in dividing the country more than any of the 44th President of the United States before him. Trump’s notoriety amongst the teeming population of the United States, ranges from racial bigotry, brazen endorsement of White Supremacy, ruthless immigration policies of separating families, peddling of falsehood to his administration’s woefully failed management of the recent Coronavirus pandemic with incessant death rate due to his refusal to take professional medical advice to curb the spread of the virus at its inception.
For Nigerian Christians, who live in Nigeria and perhaps have never even visited the United States for once, Trump had performed extremely marvellous and deserves reelection while Americans who are actually facing the consequences of Trump’s actions felt they had, had enough of his cluelessness and it was high time, they took the bulls by the horn, and edged him out.
Part of the reasons, that separates the United States of America from Nigeria or any other African country is the absolute pragmatism being exhibited by Americans in tackling their problem or concern while we Africans would rather wait for an imaginary being from the sky to descend, and solve all our problems so long as we believe that we must have made enough supplications and fasted so hard to the point that our physiques would have been completely emaciated. This religious fanaticism is not only peculiar to Christians but Muslims as well. These two major organised religions in Nigeria have eaten deep into the fabric of our national consciousness and cognitive resonance irrespective of our civilisation in this contemporary era, and instead of addressing issues from a pragmatic prism, many of us Africans are neck-deep in religious gimmicks that waste both productive resources and time.
Nigeria as a result of religious fanaticism from 2008 to 2019 had spent a whopping sum of 1.6 trillion naira all in the name of pilgrimages to the purported holy sites in Saudi Arabia and Israel, most especially Mecca and Jerusalem, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s economic data.
It is utterly sad, to know that Nigeria has such huge amount of money to give to Muslims to go to Saudi Arabia to stone the Devil and Christians to see Bethlehem, where their Bible tells them that it is the hometown of their saviour, Jesus Christ yet the country has dilapidating infrastructures, and poor healthcare system which in no small measure is lead to high mortality rate in the country. Monies that would have been utilised judiciously to impact positively on the lives of the citizenry are being spent on frivolous activities on the gimmicks of doctrine and dogma of organised religion and we still expect to have the kind of decent lifestyle, the Western world that is almost fully disinterested in organised religion, has.
Vice President Biden without Nigeria praying for him, has already defeated President Trump both with the Popular and Electoral College Votes. And one important lesson Nigerians need to take home from this United States election, and allow it to sink properly in our consciousness as a people is that prayer from organised religion, in reality, has nothing to offer humanity. It changes nothing, and it is a waste of time engaging in it instead of engaging in practicable affairs that have the possibility to change the narrative of any challenge confronting an individual or a nation-state like Nigeria.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK