The objective of every society is development, aimed at founding a flourishing world where the basic needs are not only met, but the people have the luxury of a comfortable life and pursue whatever endeavor that promises happiness as the ultimate goal. The belief is that religion is the foundation of this objective since it reaches out to God, the source of life and goodness. If development and growth must be found, it should first manifest amongst African societies because they are the uncontestable vanguard of this enterprise. What is ironic is that African societies wallow in poverty and corruption, thereby, giving out products quite incompatible to religiosity, or rather, religious expectations.
Has religion been a vehicle to African developmental struggle, or is it the very source of poverty and corruption? What can one make of a society that takes pride in religion but cannot afford three square meals a day? If African societies are corrupt, who made them corrupt? In many African countries people who do not subscribe to any form of religion make up less than 0.1% of the population (Koenig 2009:283; cf. Mbiti 1999:15). The rest are people who belong to one church or religious group. It can be deduced that corruption in Africa is not perpetrated by mythical entities but human beings. It is either religion is a fraud or Africans are practicing religion with such uncanny devotion, fraudulently?
There is strong evidence that religion in African societies exerts undue influence on socio-political life of the people which has adversely affected the economic development in the region. In a society where more than 70% of the population is illiterates who embrace religion that talk more of the rewards in the hereafter, political participation is not always taken seriously. People are less proactive and are ever ready to accept their fate with religious mien when they can be the very force to bring about the desired change and development.
The developed countries of Europe, Asia and America didn’t come to this height with religious gathering and speaking in tongues or gibberish. They went to work because it is through work that growth and development can be achieved. In Africa we substitute work with prayer and thereby waste precious time clapping and dancing and believing in miracle money and lottery. After each prayer session we return back to misery and pay less attention to the political rogues looting the treasury dry because we are not of the world, but chosen children of heaven. The spiritual highway robbers in the garb of pastors and priests perfectly take advantage of our gullibility and fan this propensity to religion to flame provided we replenish their coffers continually.
What one has not been able to figure out is how those who patronize these church houses cannot discover this fraud, packaged as religion in Africa. It is a shame on the pastors and their sheep that their God is deaf and dumb. For if who they worship is the living and one true God, they will understand first His laws that require work as a way to receive the wealth they are reeling on their knees, begging. What else is an indictment of religion in African societies than the squalors from where they celebrate poverty? Sadly, we accuse the western world of losing touch with religion, yet we beg to be allowed to visit their countries.
It is obvious no virus is as deadly as religious virus. Almost the entire African society is infected and it has killed us already because we don’t live like human beings. We are denied of all the basic human needs because this religious virus won’t allow them to happen. If someone tries to call our attention to this terrible pandemic that has colonized our psyche, we attack them with the ferocity this modern preacher man Ibiyeomie, attacked Daddy freeze for undermining his business partner.
Realistically, there seemed to be no vaccine for Africans; we only hope that something should happen to wake us up. Until we wake up, development in Africa will remain a fantasy!