CBN-Hajj Brouhaha: Tale Of A Country And Her Religious Bigots
Nigeria is indeed a country of boundless absurdities, most of which were “invented” and found their way to the fore just after the exit of PDP which “ruled” the country for sixteen years uninterrupted.
The oddity in the attitude of the average political commentator we see today, especially from those who pitched their tent with PDP in the last election, stem more from the fact they are predominantly Christians and can’t seem to stomach the thought of being led by a Muslim.
Their party leadership spared no expense in sowing the seed of religious intolerance in the hearts of Nigerians, through their dogged sponsorship of inflammable propaganda, the fruits of which we are reaping today in no small measure.
Yesterday, it was reported the Central Bank will be subsidising the dollar for intending Hajj pilgrims, and as expected, mixed, mostly negative, reactions have trailed the announcement and as expected, those people who’ve sworn to ensure the president is seen by all as a religious bigot have seized the opportunity to spread their propaganda throughout print and electronic media.
Time and again, we have seen that no sooner do they launch the attacks than history comes to the rescue of Mr President.
One could fault the President on a whole lot of fronts, why not. He’s a mare mortal and as such must have his own imperfections. But one thing you certainly can’t call the president is “religious bigot”.
Here are but a few events in the past that shed light on exactly who the religious bigot is between mr President and his accusers:
FG Earmarks $11million for Christian pilgrims
The Federal Government has approved $11 million personal travelling allowance at a subsidized exchange rate of N160 per dollar for 13,800 persons participating in this year’s Christian pilgrimage.
This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, in a circular entitled Year 2015 Christian Pilgrima-ge: Purchase of Pilgrims Travelling Allowance. The circular was signed by Mrs. O. L. Ahuchogu on behalf of the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN. It said: “The Federal Government has approved the purchase of a maximum of $1000 at concessionary rate of N160 to the dollar by each intending pilgrim as personal travel allowance.
“Consequently each pilgrim travelling to Israel is entitled to maximum of $750, while those going to Israel/Rome or Greece are entitled to a maximum of $1000.”
In response to above:
This was done less than a year ago. An interesting part is that the maximum amount entitled to each pilgrim is the same as what we have today- $1000 and at a lower rate of N160/dollar since the naira had more value then as opposed of N197/dollar today!!
The economy wasn’t really faring any better then.
Pray tell, where were the voices of these later day activists/economists when this happened??!!
Buhari Cancels Govt Delegation to Hajj
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu who stated this on Monday quoted the president as saying that the decision was not targeted at any individual or group.
He also stated that States were at liberty to sponsor their pilgrims, if they so desired.
“The states can deal with that (meaning appointment of own delegations) but this year at the Center, we will not be involved” Shehu said.
Again, to show his “extreme love for Muslims and his disdain for Christians”, mr President shelved plans to send a FG delegation to Hajj 2015. We didn’t see “Christians” take over cyberspace to “condemn” this extreme demonstration of bigotry by the president.
Today, he’s done for Muslims what he did for Christians and social media has literally been set on fire!!
FG Approves 65% Tax Waiver For Christian Pilgrims.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Tor Uja says that the Federal Government has approved a 65 per cent tax waiver for pilgrims.
Uja made this known when the chaplaincy committee of the National Christian Centre
paid him a courtesy visit on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the waiver would go a long way to reduce the cost of the October /December pilgrimage.
This was done earlier this year under this grim economic atmosphere, yet we never heard as much as a whistle from nobody!!
These and many more instances where the FG under President M. Buhari intervened to make things a lot easier for Christian pilgrims never became major talking points- but as soon as anything is done by the president that seem to favour Muslims, who are no less citizens of this country than Christians, it becomes a huge problem- no thanks to religious bigots who think themselves Christians!
I have been going to church since I was 3 and been listening to pastors, reverend, bishops, etc, preach the word- never a day have I heard any of them extol hate or bigotry as a virtue! Nowhere in the Bible have I read such (not that I always read the bible anyway).
Where then did these Nigerian “christians” propagating this brand of “christianity” where Muslims MUST be hated get their doctrine- PDP constitution??
Myself and many other well meaning Nigerians have been advocating that government completely hands of sponsorship of pilgrimage. Man’s relationship with God is their private business and must be treated as such. If one chooses to visit Mecca or Jerusalem or the Bohemian Groove or Okija Shrine to commune with their God, let them sort their expenses out themselves!! If they can’t bear the cost, they should sit asses at home and pray- God is omnipresent and can hear them from wherever whenever.
PDP “apologised” for their toxic brand of politics the other day- it would do Nigeria a whole lot of good if the party called her members and supporters to order as that “apology” appears not to have registered on their minds. Heating up the polity with religion does no one no good, certainly not a party that seeks to return to the center in 3years time.
Had the constituent units of the current governing party conducted themselves in this manner when they were the major opposition parties, imagine what the country would have looked like today.
When you set the entire country ablaze, when then would be left to rule over afterwards, her ashes??
Let a word be enough for the wise.