There was another plane crash in Nigeria last Sunday. The fourth within 12 months interval, claiming more than 300 lives in total. My intention is not to really talk about the possible causes of these mishaps, which many rightly believe to be corruption and professional negligence. I really don’t want to blog about that.
However, while watching the coverage of the unfortunate event on CNN, I couldn’t help but notice another factor. Folorunsho syndrome, which literarily means 'God is in charge of our safety and security'. One of the ministers went on air, few hours after the incident, at the scene, while rescue work is going on and reiterated this concept by saying ‘…may God, the Lord of host not allow this to happen again’. The implication of that statement epitomizes one of the decays in the Nigerian system and governance. This is a system where politicians do not take responsibilities for their actions. They place everything on the shoulder of God. By saying ‘may God not allow this to happen again’ it means that this mishap is God’s doing, hence we need to beg Him so that it won’t happen again. It places the mishap in the category of a hurricane or tsunami, beyond human help. It means all we have to do to prevent this again is to pray and possibly fast.
I think one of the problems with the Nigerian system is religion and the misinterpretation of its principles. The minister’s statement is a reflection of government’s reaction to most issue. Shift responsibility to God. Preliminary investigations into the cause of the crash shows that the pilot refused to heed to a warning from the control tower. When he was told to wait for some minutes due to the bad weather, he was quoted as saying ‘God is in control’. Just like the minister, he shifted the responsibility of safety and proper procedures to the hands of God, and then killed his 100 passenger.
I am a Christian, and I believe in God. But I do not understand the ways Nigerian officials deal with that God. They cowardly use God as a shield the way terrorists use children as human shield. Few months ago, a politician was assassinated in Lagos by unknown individuals. He was a gubernatorial candidate who is still planning to run in next years’ election. The president went to pay his family a condolence visit, and what did he say? God again! He cursed and prayed that God should reveal and kill the assassins. Isn’t that ridiculous? I think he should be asked why he hasn’t sacked his Inspector General of police and appoint Angel Michael in his stead. He should then replace all the police force with angels, there are lots of them in heaven. The same way the pilot said ‘God is in Control’, all the politicians in Nigeria should have resigned in Nigeria and literarily put everything in the hand of God.
The Bible is so wise when it says ‘Faith without action is dead’. I agree with that statement and I wish Nigerian government should start putting action into their faith by discussing and implementing real policies. People should start asking their elected officials and those that are vying for such post in the next election about their intentions on issues such as poverty alleviation, urban regeneration, housing, employment, road safety, urban and rural transport, food programmes, social services, education, environmental protection, security, trade and industrialisation. They should stop peddling petty issues about which region or religion should produce the next leader, who killed Dele Giwa, who stole what and when. This is the 21st century, we shouldn’t live as if we are in 1884.