Is it true that Nigerians lack moral and intellectual capacities to tackle human rights violations?

A friend recently told me of an elderly man who had a stroke, she was not sure if the allegations of the man’s niece as the cause of the stroke was true.

The news flying around was that the 60 years old man stroke was a curse placed on him by his niece.

“I thought stroke happened when brain is starved of blood?” I asked.

My friend knew all that but being a Nigerian she was caught up between believing science or the ever constant religious beliefs that all bad things that happened to us are the handiwork of the devil and by extension witches, mostly a family member we once had any disagreement with.

I pray the old man gets medical and psychological help he undoubtedly needed.

Here I wish making false allegations such as accusing someone of witchcraft could be made illegal in Nigeria, why is it so easy to label others when there are plausible explanations starring at us?

As it turned out in this man’s case, he was aware two years prior during his rare visit to the doctors that he had high blood pressure, his conditions were clearly explained to him. He was meant to keep taking his medications and make regular check up visits to the doctors. He however decided not to do the follow up despite the full understanding of the implication of his actions. As a result he had a stroke to the left side of his body.

Why did he feel comfortable labelling his niece?

A few years ago a renowned Nigerian priest slapped a young woman in his church in the presence of a huge congregation, he claims the victim was a witch and condemned her to ‘hell.’ This was publicised on Youtube, most people who watched the clip were not happy with the Bishop’s action but as the society goes, he felt no remorse for his action.

There is always talks of witchcraft in the community and often the adjective is used harmlessly to describe strong women. However, things have changed, now witchhunts happen mostly in churches and we allow the violations to go on even when there is no clear evidence to justify ill treatment and defamation.

When is our age of reasoning coming? Can we be religious and yet be aware of human right violations?

Or is it really the case that we lack the moral capacity to tackle reality staring at us, afraid questioning religious leaders of their detective skill of smoking out witches in our midst will be ungodly?

Categories: Africa, Nigeria

Tags: , ,

6 replies

  1. If nothing else, the mere fact that you mentioned it, means that some people in society can see human rights violations and various other abuses being committed in the name of religion. So people can’t plead ignorance as an excuse for inaction.

    I like the question “when is our age of reasoning coming?” As I see it most people don’t see the human rights violations as a problem and are happy for things to continue on as they are. This means that the age of reasoning is a long way down the track, as people think that things are currently ‘fine and dandy’.

    I think intimidation and impunity play a large part, youths professing to follow one cleric or priest can maraud around the place killing or intimidating whoever they fancy and nothing is done to bring them to court. Nigerians are actively supporting those who are willing to kill them, should they choose to. To my mind that is an unhealthy state of affairs. This whole thing is closely aligned with political leaders who have adopted similar practices and some even forge alliances with the religious leaders.

    Thanks for having the guts to tackle this uncomfortable question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks jco for the support.

      I think it is impunity, because when people knew they are going to get away with it all, it is unbelievable the length humans would go displaying their wickedness on others. And as you know in Nigeria, once the clerics, politicians, royals are exempt from ever being punished for any wrong doings – you essentially loose control on everyone.


  2. Hi Fola,
    I would guess that it is a few that believe in witch craft in Nigeria. Even here there are a few who believe in it. But it would be the medical pronouncement that would take precedence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Leslie. In the South of Nigeria where people are predominantly Christian, enough educated folks do not believe in witchcraft however, they do not denounce it neither for the status quo. This is why many human rights violations have gone unchallenged mostly in the church.

      My hope is that people who understood the practice is made up tale could speak up to boast the pressure on the government to separate itself from religious practice therefore make a lot easier to draw the line.

      Presently, there is only thin line between religion and politics.

      Liked by 1 person

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