The Garden of Eden

“God did not make all men in his image. He made just one couple in his likeness and gave them the ability to procreate. It is this couple that brought forth other people and all sorts of people tend to mess up a good thing.

“I’m making a case for why good Christian folks turn out to be mean to people in need of assistance at their door steps.”

Just maybe…

“The garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit in the middle of it, in the story of Adam and Eve, is really just the bushy forest between Eve’s legs and her vagina right at the center of it.

“Satan told Eve about her vagina, which she had no clue existed before he told her about it. Then Eve revealed its bounties to Adam, who naturally allowed her to lead him against the wishes of the almighty.

“All that talk of fruit and trees is quite nonsensical and was crafted to hide the true identity of the very first crime of sexual intercourse.

“That may sound like the most absurd interpretation you have ever heard. It will like feel you with rage or amusement with the crafty twist in the interpretation of the tale of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

“On the contrary, it is quite logical. How else would anyone explain the sudden need for the first couple to cover their nakedness?”

LEGALITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

By Leke Alder

It’s virtually impossible to appreciate the full ramification of the New Testament without recourse to the legal construct undergirding it. The New Testament is resolutely mounted on a tripod of commercial law, criminal law and constitutional law.

There are other legal dimensions but those are the major three. Without those legal authorities the New Testament will not be efficacious in heaven, on earth or under the earth. It will just be history.

That’s not to say only lawyers can appreciate the New Testament. It’s the Holy Spirit that unveils the word. But there’s a way and manner a Paul would read the scriptures that Peter can’t.

Paul had formal training in Mosaic law. His dean was Gamaliel. Acts 22:3. Peter on the other hand was an ordinary fisherman, and you can see the difference in their writings.

It’s like those first few verses in the book of Genesis. A cosmologist or quantum physicist would salivate over them. He has a technical grasp of the issues.

When he reads, Let there be light, he’s thinking photons, we’re thinking light projection like in a dark movie theater. He’s probably thinking of the speed of light as well – 299,792 kilometers per second. We won’t.

Every major terminology in the New Testament is a legal terminology. Redemption is a clear example. Redemption is a commercial law principle. It speaks of the right to regain ownership of property by freeing it from a debt, charge or lien.

Colossians 2:14 says God “cancelled the record of debt that stood against us WITH ITS LEGAL DEMANDS, set it aside and nailed it to the cross.” That’s “the redemption of the purchased possession”. Ephesians 1:14. We were bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:20.

We were then sealed with the Holy Spirit as a first installment on God’s promises to us, a reminder we’ll get everything God planned for us. The Holy Spirit is thus a down payment on God’s promises. Ephesians 1:14 MSG. Salvation is a commercial law transaction.

There are two other legal fields at play in the New Testament. They are criminal law and constitutional law. The death of Jesus is largely based on criminal law whereas his resurrection, ascension and session in heaven are constitutional law matters.

He would devolve certain rights to us after his ascension. Those rights are inalienable, meaning they cannot be taken from us. We can’t surrender them even if we want to. It’s one of the reasons we can’t lose our salvation.

Indeed, the very phrase, “New Testament” is itself a legal term. There are two senses in which the Bible uses the phrase. In the first sense the New Testament is talking about a will. Jesus left us a will after his death.

A will is a legal instrument apportioning assets after death. It’s why the King James bible in Hebrews 9:16 uses the word, “testator.” That word is used to this day in the drafting of wills. A testator is the person who dies, leaving a will or testament.

It is this idea of will the book of Hebrews was elucidating on: “Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove the person who made it is dead. The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is alive, the will cannot be put into effect.” Hebrews 9:16-17 NLT. It says the proof of the death of Jesus is his blood, and because of that proof of death his will went into effect. It’s how we got our spiritual inheritance.

The death of Jesus “marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, cancelling the old obligations and its sins, and summoning the heirs to receive an inheritance that was promised them.” Hebrews 9:16-17 MSG. But then that passage says Jesus “brought together God and his people in this new way.” Hebrews 9:17 MSG.

That leads us to the second sense in which the phrase, New Testament is used. The second sense in which the phrase is used is constitutionally. It is a social compact. God made an agreement with mankind.

Nothing captures this better than the words of Jeremiah: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33.

Referring to this passage, Hebrews 8:7 tells us that “if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

The relationship between God and mankind under the old agreement was adversarial and very toxic to say the least; whereas under the new agreement the relationship is conciliatory. There’s rapprochement.

In 2 Corinthians 5:19 we’re told that God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them. It is for this reason angels announced goodwill towards ALL men at the birth of Jesus – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward humankind.” Luke 2:14. God was extending the olive branch.

The arduous nature of the relationship between God and humanity was why the provisions of the law of Moses were severe. It was an impossible situation. You could never please God by obeying the Ten Commandments. You still can’t.

“No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” Romans 3:20 NLT. The King James translation of that passage used the term “justified” – “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” That word is a legal terminology.

In criminal law, justification means to be exempted from criminal liability. Charges are dropped. What the Bible is saying is, God has dropped all legal charges against us. God is not holding your sin against you. It’s either you believe that or not. But you better do because it’s liberating.

The death of Jesus is what lawyers refer to as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability means someone took on the legal liabilities of another person. Jesus paid the price for our sins. Sin is a criminal offence. It’s why Jesus was subjected to capital punishment. The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23.

It’s a lack of understanding of biblical jurisprudence that makes us imagine we can do good to get saved. That’s like a murderer saying he should be absolved of his crime just because he gave alms to the poor, or because he helped a widow. You can’t pay for a capital offence by fulfilling a civil obligation. Sin is not a tort. A tort is a civil wrong. It’s why Jesus couldn’t pay for our sins with all those good he did. Acts 10:38. Or they would have saved us. He did a lot of good.

But he had to go to that cross. He was crucified as a common criminal with two robbers. Those weren’t petty thieves, they were violent robbers. They had murdered. It’s why the thief on the right side told the thief on the left THEIR crucifixion was justified, but Jesus was an innocent man. Luke 23:41. The charge of treason against him was as bogus as they come. It was the only lie that could stick.

The accusation about wanting to destroy the temple and rebuilding it within three days fell under religious law. That’s outside the purview of Roman authority, so they accused him of insurrection against Caesar instead. The Bible says Satan is THE accuser of the brethren. Revelation 12:10. That’s not gossip mongering it’s talking about, it’s real prosecutorial stuff, like in a court of law. Or we wouldn’t need a defense attorney. Jesus is our advocate. 1 John 2:1.

His omnibus defense is justification – “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God that justifies.” Romans 8:33. The modern equivalence of justification is acquittal. You’re acquitted because Jesus has been judged on your behalf. In criminal law you can be discharged but not acquitted. Which means you can be tried for the offence again. Acquittal on the other hand means nobody can prosecute you for the same offence again. That’s the rule of double jeopardy.

Because some Christians don’t know they’ve been acquitted they keep begging God for forgiveness for the same sin. They don’t believe God has forgiven them. They keep responding to the memory of the sin and their bad conscience. Some resort to penance and restitution but that’s an affront to the sacrifice of Jesus. Once you’ve asked God for forgiveness your sin is forgiven, and forgotten. The blood of Jesus cleanses you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7.

Because of guilty conscience some can’t claim their healing from God. They believe their sickness is a punishment from God. But if Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, why would the same Jesus be doing the rounds putting sickness on people? Is he schizophrenic? Doesn’t make sense. Acts 10:38.

And talking about righteousness, contrary to popular teaching it is NOT right standing with God. Right standing with God is the RESULT of righteousness FOR SINNERS. The contradiction comes when the definition is applied to God. God is righteous. He cannot be in right standing with himself. He’s not a sinner. He wasn’t alienated from himself.

Righteousness is in fact a constitutional principle. As enunciated in scriptures it is the totality of the sovereign rights of God, his essence, as well as his brand. Everything God does is righteous, just because he’s God and nothing else. You can’t judge what he does. What standard will you use? You can’t question God. Isaiah 45:11.

In the exercise of his sovereignty he chose to save the descendants of Abraham & not those fallen angels. Hebrews 2:16. Both species were fallen but he chose to save humans. And then he did something extraordinary – he devolved his rights to us having designated us his heirs.49. We became not only like him, we actually became him. He is in us, we are in him. Total identification. As he is so are we. 1 John 4:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21. We don’t have righteousness therefore, we ARE righteous. Our righteousness is existential. We can’t become unrighteous.50. Unlike in the Old Testament where they did righteousness to earn God’s approval, in the New Testament righteousness is a gift of grace.

You don’t do anything to become righteous in the New Testament. You’re made righteous. Because of this righteousness we can boldly approach the throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16. So, stop being timid. Stop all the I’m unworthy religious stuff. 1 John 3:1. Sorosoke.

Exercise your constitutional rights. 2 Timothy 1:7. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. This has been a crash course in biblical jurisprudence. I want you to give your life to Jesus. Please pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead. I am saved. Amen.”

To read On Faith Part 6: Legal Matters go here

To understand the Christian walk from a contemporary perspective, read my book, Conversations of a 21st Century Saint. Order at:

https://lekealderstore.com

© Leke Alder |

Source: https://threader.app/thread/1338031021405708288

Forgotten Covenant; between Muslims & Christians

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

There is an overwhelming need to improve inter-communal harmony that has become so toxic in our dear nation. Religious hatred is a mainly product of ignorance and mischief. Both sides of the divide are very much guilty particularly against the background of political grandstanding. We currently live in tumultuous times. The ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic is no respecter for religious difference. Its economic fallout will not spare anyone while the political will be all encompassing irrespective. We therefore need a bird’s eye view on issues to pull through.

I asked the first Israeli I ever met, why the dickens Jews and Arabs in that highly combustible nation haven’t been able to work out an acceptable peace agreement between them for decades? She replied that the problem wasn’t actually religious as I had presumed but more about international power play, control and manipulation of spheres of influence as such it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to resolve the fundamental issues between them due to the various conflicting interests beyond their borders.

I still find my conversation with that secular Jewess in far away Singapore 31 years ago instructive as far as Nigeria is concerned Najran is the capital of the a southern administrative division of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the same name. Before 1902 there were 4 monarchical Sheikhs of 4 regions which Abdulaziz Al Saud of Nejd emerged superior and became overall King in 1932 up to 1953. All subsequent monarchs in Saudi Arabia to date are among his 36 sons that survived him based on seniority.

I first heard about the Pact of Najran through my good friend Ahmad Ramadan, a extremely brilliant legal mind who back in the mid 1990s was a practitioner at the chambers of Aliyu Umar Esq, later Aliyu Umar SAN now of blessed memory.

On the al-Masīḥiyyūn al-ʿArab in the historical Arabian Peninsula the background narrative is; “The visit of the Christians of Najran to the city of Medina in 631 is perhaps the most important noted interfaith interaction between Christians and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). At this time Muhammad (pbuh) had sent letters to different communities and their leaders, encouraging them to embrace Islam. In the case of the Najran, who lived near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medina, the Prophet sent Khaled ibn al-Walid and Ali ibn Abi Talib to deliver the letter.

At the time of this diplomatic endeavor, Najran Christians had a highly organized religious system. As such, after considering Muhammad’s (pbuh) letter, it is unsurprising that few Christians embraced Islam. In reaction to this “failed attempt” of conversion, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent another representative to Najran, Mughira Ibn Shu’ba, who was meant to elaborate on this new religion called Islam. Intrigued by Ibn Shu’ba’s message, the Najran Christians sent a delegation of sixty people to visit the Prophet in Medina. The delegation consisted of about forty-five scholars and fifteen assistants.

When the Christians of Najran arrived to Medina, Muhammad allowed them to pray in Nabawi mosque where the Muslims also prayed. This invitation was not only the first example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, but it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque. While Prophet Muhammad and the Najrans were not able to reach common ground on all theological issues, he nonetheless gave them a place to stay near his home, and even ordered Muslims to pitch their tent.
Upon leaving Medina, the Najran Christian leaders told Muhammad (pbuh):

“O, Abu al-Qasim, we decided to leave you as you are and you leave us as we are”. But the Christians nevertheless left Medina with a pact (written guarantee) that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would protect their lives, property, and freedom to practice Christianity.”
No doubt the visit of Najran Christians to Medina is an example of religious pluralism. If so why are Al – Mu’minin (Muslims) and Ahl – al – Kitab (Christians) so historically daggers drawn? There is need to highlight the Pact of Najran;
“I hereby declare that my horsemen, my foot-soldiers, my armies, my resources, and my Muslim partisans will protect the Christians as far away as they may be located, whether they inhabit the lands which border my state, in any region, close or far, in times of peace as much as in times of war. I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert.
I will protect their religion and their Church wherever they are found, be it on earth or at sea, in the West or in the East, with utmost vigilance on my part, the People of my House, and the Muslims as a whole.
I place them under my protection. I make a pact with them. I commit myself to protect them from any harm or damage; to exempt them for any requisitions or any onerous obligations and to protect them myself, by means of my assistants, my followers and my nation against every enemy who targets me and them”

Agreed there is controversy over the applicability of the he Pact of Najran beyond that specific Christian community the treaty was sealed with. Understandably, through the eras of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Safavids, and so on Ottomans right down to the Maliki revival of Sheikh Othman Dan Fodio a lot of water has passed under the bridge, lest I forget the intervening Crusades that spanned 175 years from 1096 – 1271.

We however have a monumental reference point in our own clime in the groundbreaking letter written by Shehu al- Hajj Muhammad al – Amin al – Kanemi (1776 -1837) on the 23rd day of Rabee-ul-thani, 1238 AH to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Bello (1781 – 1837) who was Amir al – Mu’minin, Commander of the Faithful from 1814 -1836. After the usual polite and often flowering greetings, felicitations and best wishes the Shehu of Borno that was born in Murzuk, in present day Libya stated;

“Hence, the cause of writing this letter and the purpose of its lines, is to acquaint you that the bearers are English travelers; whose nation, out of all the other Christians, has maintained with the Mooslemeen uninterrupted treaties of religious amity and friendship, established since ancient periods, which they inherited from their forefathers and ancestors; and on this account, they penetrate into Mooslemeen countries whenever they please, and traverse all provinces and lands in confidence and trust, without fear. They came to our country, sent to us by our virtuous and accomplished friend, the Lord Yousuf Pasha, master of Tripoli, to see and delight themselves with the wonders of the Land of Soodan, and to become acquainted with its rarities, as lakes, rivers, and forests (or gardens) ; equal to which are seldom seen in other countries.”
The accomplished cleric and sovereign of the Borno empire that was of Kanembu ancestry of present day Tchad who upstaged the Sefuwa dynasty with its former capital in today’s Yobe state, ruled from Kukawa which he founded in 1814. Maiduguri was later established around Yerwa by the Ngadda River in 1907 after a treaty with the Germans, French and British.

He continued;
“You are well aware of what is stated in Alcoraanic sayings upon the subject of the observance of honour, dictated by our Lord, the Apostle of God; and that the true Mooslemeen have always avoided shedding the blood of Christians, and assisted and protected them with their honour. Be then attentive to these travelers, and cast them not into the corners of neglect; let no one hurt them, either by words or deeds, nor interrupt them with any injurious behavior: but let them return to us, safe, and may the high God bestow upon you the best reward for your treatment to them, and insure to us and to you the path of righteousness for conduct in this life.”

For me this iconic attestation that accompanied the English explorers Major Dixon Denham and Royal Navy Commander Hugh Clapperton from Kukawa to Sokoto in January, 1824 is sufficient proof of the historical covenant between Muslims and Christians before even Nigeria was crafted into being a nation. It is on that foundation laid 196 years ago we must build a new Nigeria!

In any case the conclusion of the Pact of Najran emphasized;
“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

In conclusion; You don’t have to be Hindu to enjoy Indian films or an Inca to watch Telenovelas or indeed worship Shinto to drive a Honda or Toyota neither have no religion to patronize any Chinese product nor be a Korean Buddhist to use any Samsung or be an agnostic to admire Nelson Mandela. Must you own an iPhone or any Apple product if like Steve Jobs that produced them you don’t subscribe to any particular religion?

Less 48 hours or so ago America despite its present health pandemic and economic woes launched a space mission called Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover; “That will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance the quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars” – yet here we are in Nigeria still dividing ourselves over religion!

God is Not a Christian

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The construction of Hagia Sophia church with its characteristic pendative dome was completed in the year 537. The project started in the year 360. Hagia Sophia which means – Holy Wisdom in Greek was the Constantinople seat of Byzantine Orthodoxy which had severed relationship with Roman Catholicism. When the ancient city where Hagia Sophia is located was captured by the Papacy during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 the church was converted to Rome.

In 1261, the Byzantines recaptured their city and church. Constantinople was named after Constantine the Great (227-337 AD) the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However by 1453 the city became Istanbul and Hagia Sophia, a mosque under the Ottoman Turk, Mehmed the Conqueror. That was when its minarets were added and the crosses, icons removed with the images within plastered over with various Arabesque features.

In 1923, the historic edifice was converted into a secular museum by the founder of modern Turkey, General Kemal Atatürk. Most of its original imagery were then restored. The United Nations would eventually declare it as a World Heritage Site.
By July 24, 2020, Hagia Sophia would revert back to a mosque again. The Turkish presidential order has already been signed. Many in Christendom are worried, others concerned. I am neither for 2 main reasons. First,

I totally subscribe to the Solomonic axiom – “The race is not for the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to the men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” Second, I remain an acolyte of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who told the story n 1989; “of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?” The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!” The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.”

His Grace Tutu went on; “Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.” The Nobel laureate eventually rested his argument; “My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don’t know what significant fact can be drawn from this — perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.

My second point is this: not to insult the adherents of other faiths by suggesting, as sometimes has happened, that for instance when you are a Christian the adherents of other faiths are really Christians without knowing it. We must acknowledge them for who they are in all their integrity, with their conscientiously held beliefs; we must welcome them and respect them as who they are and walk reverently on what is their holy ground, taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. We must hold to our particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, not pretending that all religions are the same, for they are patently not the same. We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.”

Tutu concluded; “God is not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us”

In the 1567 year history of the existence of Hagia Sophia it has withstood massive earthquakes in years 553, 558, 869 and 1344. This UN World Heritage Site has outlived wars, famines, plagues and indeed dictators, emperors and kings including presidents. It has been a constantly recurring decimal in the politicization of religion in Constantinople, now Istanbul at that crucial junction in modern-day Turkey where Europe meets the Middle East. Simply put the issue is beyond religion, it is another chess game in the “Clash of Civilizations”
Hagia Sophia will therefore outlive President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and return to its origin status as a church one day. Whether or not it happens during our lifetime is beside the point. So why bother? As the ancients wisely put it; “Only 3 things cannot remain hidden for long, the Sun, the Moon and the Truth”

Tick, tock, tick, tock…………

No Religion – The World’s Latest Religion

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe (edited)

My thoughts start with the notion that the western world’s first day of the week (Sunday) is always the most segregated in Nigeria due to the number of ethnic and tribal association meetings that take place. No nation is built that way.

The attached picture is that of Morgan Freeman the host of The Story of God, a documentary of unforgetable 15 episodes asking very tough questions across the religious divide. Mr. Freeman also engages those that argue that there is no God. One thing that is obvious from that program is that there is a direct link between religious intolerance and ignorance.
Secularism, is defined as “indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations” It also the “desire to exclude religion from social activities or civic affairs, banishment of religious symbols from the public sphere, state neutrality toward religion and the separation of religion from state”

According to a 2016 report in the National Geographical “The religiously unaffiliated, called “nones,” are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. In the United States, nones make up almost a quarter of the population. In the past decade, U.S. nones have overtaken Catholics, mainline protestants, and all followers of non-Christian faiths.”
So why are the numbers of those subscribing to no religion increasing by the day? It is chiefly due to increased economic prosperity, advances in medical sciences, improved standard of living and a man known as Christopher Hitchens that wrote a 2007 book entitled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

In it Mr. Hitchens argues that organized religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children” A review of the book puts it that Hitchens “supports his position with a mixture of personal stories, documented historical anecdotes and critical analysis of religious texts. His commentary focuses mainly on the Abrahamic religions, although it also touches on other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.”




It is significant to note that the increase in the number of those that subscribe to no religion is in the US, Canada and Europe. While China remains majority atheist parts of Asia, Middle East and Africa are still very religious. The case of Nigeria is toxic. We breathe religion like oxygen yet every aspect of our national life is characterized by corrupt practices from top to bottom.

In his book Hitchens addresses a hypothetical question: if he were alone in an unfamiliar city at night, and a group of strangers began to approach him, would he feel safer, or less safe, knowing that these men had just come from a prayer meeting? Hitchens answers:

“Just to stay within the letter ‘B’, I have actually had that experience in Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade, Bethlehem and Baghdad. In each case … I would feel immediately threatened if I thought that the group of men approaching me in the dusk were coming from a religious observance”

He gives detailed descriptions of the tense social and political situations within these cities, which he personally experienced and attributes to religion.
Will no religion reach Nigeria? It is inevitable due to the way and manner we distort and manipulate religion for our personal agenda, economic gain and political purposes besides one day economic prosperity and improved standard of living will finally arrive in Nigeria!

It is obvious this ‘No Religion’ talk will deeply worry some of my close friends and even relatives who took time to personally reach out to me with their concerns. I thank you all. Like I emphasized during your various visits, I am still on course but nevertheless entrenched in Thomas Jefferson’s dictum of:

“Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”
Against that background may you find the following excerpts written by Festus Adedayo further instructive on my position. Have a great week ahead!

In Kano State, a highly populated & politically influential historical region in Northern Nigeria, the Umar Ganduje government announced a ban on street begging by Almajiris. Spokesperson to Ganduje, said:

“If Almijiri teacher thinks he cannot accept the new policy, he has to leave the state. When Almijiri are caught begging, it is not only that beggar (who) is caught, but his parents or guardians. Such parents or guardians would be taken to court to face the wrath of the law.”
However, in flagrant disdain of these emerging Northern mindsets against centuries of decadence in the North, the Kano State Council of Ulama deplored this move. Similar to this warped thinking was that of Lagos beggars. They were reported to have stormed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s office in ten buses and seven tricycles. Reports also had it that they barricaded the entrance to the State House of Assembly, demanding audience with the Governor. One would have thought the best persons to barricade their offices and homes were the hundreds of Northern leaders since independence who had abetted that decadent system of begging.



The above puts Madame Aminata Fall Sow, a Senegalese novelist’s The Beggars’ Strike at the centre of consideration. Like the beggars’ issue, which has been engaging the minds of perceptive northerners in recent time, issues like begging, polygamy, inordinate political ambition, superstition and strength in unity also engaged Sow Fall while writing the book, originally published in French, in Dakar in 1979, with the title, La Greve des Battu. Aminata, with her gripping, fast-paced satire, tells the story of the hypocrisy of society.

A variant of the imprisonment of the Northern Ulamas’ minds and indeed, their hypocrisy, can be found in Southern Nigerian rigidity to a divorce between it and unscientific reasoning. Recently, a 22-year-old female student of the Lagos State University, Favour Seun Daley-Oladele, was killed and dismembered somewhere in Ikire, Osun State by her boyfriend, Owolabi and her body parts made into pepper soup by a Cherubim and Seraphim prophet, Segun Philips Adeeko. The boyfriend was said to have contracted one Prophet Adeeko to do this, so that he and his mother could get rich quick. Similar methodology to this today in Southern Nigeria is how churches and mosques are besieged by aimless young men and women who believe that inside those places lie their monetary and indeed, existential redemption.

What links the Northern Ulamas’ and their Southern accomplices’ minds is an unscientific reasoning. Born in 544 BC, Heraclitus had been quoted to have said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” In the same vein, some precepts in the the Holy Bible, written for a people alien to Africa centuries ago, have to bow to a modern age if we are serious of being players in modernity’s roulette game. Or else, we will continue to encounter contradictions like our youth believing that if they sacrifice human parts, they would become millionaires or that if they stew in churches/mosques, God would make them rich like Mike Adenuga.




The truth is that, money-making is more of science than metaphysics. It is a deceivable opinion to believe that anything apart from mental exertion and careful planning, with a dosage of prayer, can bring wealth. The richest people in the world can articulate how they make their money scientifically. American business magazine, Forbes compiles world billionaires’ names periodically and I cannot see anyone of them who arrived at being wealthiest billionaires in the globe on account of their being embroiled in human rituals. I cannot see among those wealthiest people anyone who sleeps in church or mosques. Even Aliko Dangote or Mike Adenuga’s religious colour is at best opaque.

In 2018, 2,208 people made the Forbes list and that included 259 newcomers. Most of them were from China and the US. Sixty-three of them were under 40, with a record number of 256 women. The average net worth of the people on that list was said to be US $4.1 billion, up US$350 million from 2017. The 2018 wealthiest human alive, Jeff Bezos, with an estimated wealth of $131 billion, and his billionaire ilk, are not reported to sleep in any mosque or church or fiddling with human entrails to make money. The un-science mind infiltrates virtually every aspect of our lives. This is why we are under-developed.”

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOKO HARAM & THE RELIGION OF ISLAM

1. The Boko Haram kidnapped girls and forced them to change their religion.

While
Islam says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion…..”

(Qur’an 2:256)

2. The Boko Haram have forcefully married off girls.

While
Islam says: “…..Do not inherit women against their will…..”

(Qur’an 4:19)

3. The Boko Haram are aggressive towards those who do not follow their beliefs.

While
Islam says: “IF IT HAD BEEN YOUR LORD’S WILL, all of the people on Earth would have believed [in one religion]….” (Quran 10:99)

And

“Let there be no compulsion in Islam ”

(Quran 2:256)

4. The Boko Haram have murdered thousands of Muslims and Christians alike in cold blood.

While Islam says: “….If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…”

(Quran 5:32)

5. The Boko Haram use the cover of Islam to commit their mayhem and claim they are doing ALLAH’S work or JIHAD (HOLY WAR).

While Islam says: “…… BUT DO NOT TRANSGRESS LIMITS; FOR GOD LOVES NOT TRANSGRESSORS.”

(Qur’an 2:190)”

6. The Boko Haram believes once you are not with them you are an enemy to them.

While Islam says: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other)……”

(Quran 49:13)

7. The Boko Haram have unleashed tyranny and indecency in the land.

While Islam says: “God commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny….”

(Quran 16:90)

Finally, upon all their false claims its clear to see that Boko Haram do not represent Islam in any way because, they are acting against Islam.

*Copied; Author Unknown

Question is, the non-Muslims do not get or feel the impression that regular Islam, as proposed & preached by the Holy Quran, is Defended by genuine Muslims as much as it is said to be Offended by Boko Haram.

© Yas Niger

Boko Haram: Western Values are Forbidden by Yas Niger (2014)

St. George’s: Old grand Church that will not be killed.

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

St. George’s: Some Historical Perspectives and Fundamental Issues
The recent furore over a reported notice for the demolition of a 111 year old Church building in Sabongari, Zaria is not only a direct consequence of the residential segregation that started during the colonial era but part of the collateral damage caused by the religionalization of politics in contemporary Nigeria. A Sabongari is defined as “strangers quarters” or literally new town in an emirate. It is normally a designed layout populated by persons not indigenous to the host community and predominantly from the Southern Protectorate and other West African colonies whether Christian or Muslim. Sabongaris blossomed with railway development. That of Zaria is no different. It fitted into the master plan of segregation to maintain inter communal harmony by the British.
What eventually became St. George’s Church started in 1907 at the private residence of Mr. CA Kasumu an employee of Loco (Railways) located at 22 Yoruba Street. He was a tally clerk in the construction of the Baro-Kano and Bauchi light railway lines. Services were conducted in English and led by Mr. J Mcla Slove and Mr. CH Crabb, a Sierra Leonian and Ghanaian (then Gold Coast) respectively. The growing congregation moved to its present site in 1908 but it was not until 1912 that an ordained priest Revd Victor Johnson from Sierra Leone was sent over to take charge. By then Igbo and Yoruba services were included. The Igbo however relocated to what is today known as St. Michael’s also in Sabongari in 1946. But before then a primary school was built by the Church in its vicinity in 1930. It is now known as Ja’afaru Primary School owned by the Kaduna State govt. That school was expanded in 1949 to become the Northern Nigerian Archdeaconry Teachers Training Center with an initial intake of 23 students. It was renamed St. Peter’s Teachers College and moved to Samaru. It eventually formed the nucleus of the Nigeria College which is now ABU, Zaria. St. Peter’s relocated to Kaduna and St. Faith’s for girls opened near. Both institutions are now owned by the Kaduna state located in Kawo behind the WAEC Secretariat
St. George’s Church is an integral part of the Church of Nigeria. From 1932 to 1980 it was the District Church Council seat of what is now known as Kaduna Province of the Anglican Communion covering the 7 states of the North West geopolitical zone current headed by an Archbishop Most Revd Dr. Ali Buba Lamido from Wusasa also in Zaria.

The Mission hospital in Wusasa was the first Teaching Hospital of ABU at inception.
The religionization of politics in the North started in 1953. This was when the first four Lagos ministers and the three in Kaduna were appointed. They were all Muslims. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa vehemently resisted entreaties by the North’s Governor, Sir Bryan Sharwood Smith for a more balanced and equitable representation (See ‘But Always As Friends’ page 237) Eventually an agreement was reached and Mr. Peter Achimugu, Mr. Micheal Audu Buba and Mr. George Ohikere became Parliamentary Secretaries. It was not until 1955 the first Christian minister was appointed in person of Pastor David Lot. He was however in office without a portfolio. By 1950 there were only 3 colleges in the entire North. Government College Zaria (Barewa) Government College Keffi and St. John’s College Kaduna (now Rimi College) There were however 12 Middle Schools owned by government. The Missionaries owned the rest such that by 1962 there were a total of 8995 learners in these schools. Only 3227 were in government schools. As far as teacher training was concerned as at 1956 there were a total of 540 teachers of Northern origin: 224 in govt and 316 employed by the Missionaries.

What is the way forward? Permit me to quote from Sir Ahmadu Bello’s assurances given when he became Premier of the North in 1957 – “I want to emphasize one thing our Government is a government of Northerners, both Muslims and Christians…..I am pleased to know too, that the relationships between Government and the Missions have been cordial, cooperative and friendly. We cannot deny that there have been differences from time to time, but such differences in our religions need be no bar to our continuing to work together for the good of our people”
Next Governor Nasir el Rufai must live up to his own words. One expects with his quest for national assignment in view he should have outgrown “body bags” grandstanding by showing the kind of maturity commensurate with being called His Excellency.

At 12.40 pm the Kaduna Governor’s official Twitter on Thursday, 11th April 2019 declared “In Kaduna State, the Indigene/Settler dichotomy has been abolished. Every person resident in Kaduna State would be accorded all rights as citizens and indigenes of the state”
Then all Missionary Schools seized without compensation under the Public Education Act of 1971 must be returned to their rightful owners. Under such circumstances the issue of demolition of St. George’s Church would be moot. All states in the South have returned such schools. None have been so far returned in the North. Worthy of mention are those returned by then Muslim governors of Lagos and Ogun states, Bola Tinubu and Ibikunle Amosun respectively. The objectives of the takeover was to not only standardize but accelerate educational developed against the backdrop of an Oil Boom. The exercise woefully failed as it enabled moral degeneration giving rise to widespread exam malpractices and scandalous spike in diverse immoralities. The rest is now living history.

Diverse Factors on the Plateau

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe.

I personally took the attached photograph on the Plateau earlier this year in June on my way from Kaduna to Jos through Manchok via Vom. I was awed by the engineering genius in the road construction. Barely a week later that same road reportedly had become a killing fields of sorts particularly for delegates returning back to the North East from the APC national convention held in Abuja. That is how precarious that axis of Nigeria despite that many of us are still pretending that the nation is not dangerously sitting on a time bomb following latest events on the Plateau.

Call them potato chips or French fries you can’t have any without the Berom just as you can’t traduce the Fulani and still enjoy your Suya or Cow tail pepper soup anywhere in Nigeria. We are therefore all involved on the Plateau. That nevertheless it would be an act of deliberate mischief and reckless presumptuousness to box the Berom into a genocidal corner despite the circumstantial evidence recently found at a pond in Du District.

This is simply because an alleged crime scene is very much different from a suspected dump site. No doubt there is probable cause for complicity that however does not translate into credible evidence against the entire Berom. Truth is General Alkali and other hapless Nigerians suspected to be victims in the vicinity of Du are actually collateral damage of a longstanding proxy war of historic elite dynamics on the Plateau. That notwithstanding the suspected perpetuators of whatever led to Alkali’s car been found at the bottom of a Du pond must be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law. Permit me to reemphasize that the rule of law must prevail. While that would bring some semblance of justice and temporary succor for the nation at large what of the fundamental issues that created the enabling environment for the dumpsite to exist in the first place?

The fire on the mountain currently on the Plateau is all part of the symptoms of a deeper malaise caused by the stubborn virus of religion. Merely treating its symptoms without ridding the underlying virus will continuously be an exercise of futility for the nation. If so what then are the fundamental issues bedeviling the Plateau? Jos is a Green Line of sorts which makes it the Nigerian version of Jerusalem. Jos is the home of the Izala sect founded by Samaila Idris a religiously controversial army officer that was forcibly retired in 1978 who hails from Bauchi’s Jahun Fulani clan. He set of up JIBWIS that his one-time teacher Abubakar Gumi became the Grand Patron of. The Sunni Izala is essentially Wahabbist and anti-Sufi. Their openly confrontational stand to all others that don’t subscribe to their teachings does not need further elaboration here.

Meanwhile Jos is also the home base of the Sudan United Mission that was the arrow head of missionary activities in the non-emirate areas of the North. That is one aspect. The other is Jos is the capital city of Middle Belt consciousness making the Plateau a perfect storm waiting to happen in the political North. Under such circumstances the truth and level headedness are normally the first casualties. With Jos being hotly contested historically between the Berom “Gwash” narrative and the Hausa-Fulani “Jas” counter narrative the battle lines are therefore well entrenched and rest is now living history. As the say in the Middle East if the talking stops the shooting starts.

The Northern Muslim intelligentsia and North’s Christian must find common ground in Jos or there will be much more General Alkalis which an endless number of Zaki Biams or even Odis can never stop. History has a curious way of repeating itself. First as tragedy then as farce.

The Nigerian Army on 15th January 1966 lost its present day equivalent of Chief of Administration then known as Adjutant General in person of Lt Col James Pam. He hailed from Du and his body was never found after he was abducted by mutinous troops loyal to the infamous “5 Majors” from his Ikoyi residence. 52 years later the same institution has lost another Admin chief in Du District under the same circumstances of inter-communal violence as one section of the Nigerian polity angrily raises up against another. Both chiefs have somehow become victims of the inherent contradictions of our nation building process.

Have we not learnt anything in 5 decades? Back then drums of war were beaten right now drums of war are still beaten. Back then also there was anger and revulsion in segments of Nigeria. Right now there is still that same kind of anger and revulsion. What historical inferences can we draw from the unfortunate incidences of 1966 than could serve for us as useful signposts in 2018? That should be the topic of conversation.

Every issue in Nigeria no matter how complicated has a big picture and a small one. In any case apart from its infamous pond what else is Du known for? Du is the home district of Lt Col James Pam, DIG Victor Pam and Air Cmdr Jonah Jang. The senior Pam was the 4th most senior Northerner in the army when the unfortunate events of 15th January 1966 unfolded. His esteemed seniors Maimalari, Kur, Largema also lost their lives alongside his good self.

He was the Adjutant General having taken over that office from his bosom friend Yakubu Gowon who had to proceed to Staff College in the UK. The police Pam was billed to by seniority succeed Gambo Jimeta as IGP but was seconded to the National Guard instead. He would later be Gbong Gwom of Jos in 2004. A tough cop he met the Maitasine sect eyeball to eyeball in Kano, Bulunkutu, Gombe and Jimeta. He also set up the Mopol school in Gwoza.

Many political pundits have put it that if his Mopol hardware ordered from abroad had arrived earlier the coup to topple Shehu Shagari would have failed. As the monarch of Jos he criminalized selling of any Berom land to non-Christians and any Christian parents whose daughter converted thrown out of the Church a source put it to me. He also attempted ridding Berom land of its famed Burkutu small scale industry. He woefully failed.

Little wonder before joining the police in 1958 he trained as a priest at the famous TCNN in Bukuru. Jang on the other hand if it would be recalled was Military Administrator of the former Gongola and Benue respectively under IBB. Shortly earning his first star he was appointed head of air force logistics then almost immediately retired. He is still bitter which trickled down to the rest of the Berom.

IBB ever the Maradona would then appoint Lamba Gwom a former Navy paymaster to replace Domkat Bali on the FEC to water down Berom anger. Worthy of mention is the “Langtang Mafia” that apparently came into ascendancy as the Berom star was dimming. They were AFRC members when Jos South and Bukuru LGs separately created to diffuse Jos North. That is why I had earlier mentioned elite dynamics and its overall effect on what is playing on the Plateau.

Without understanding the context and background of this multitude of diverse factors how can a veritable solution ever be crafted out on the Plateau? God bless Nigeria.

Obama: Student of Time

Another must read in the New Year

(OUT NOW ON PRE-ORDER)

Release Date: 20th January, 2017

obama-student-of-time
As change comes to the free world and the saying isn’t any longer ‘Yes we can’, here is the one book that tells it all, finally.

For most people, life is not about grasping a meaning but making a meaningful contribution. For some, life is a race against time they set out to win and not learn from, until they know better.

Time is always in a race and Obama had set out to win. He had a mother in Anna that had set the pace and a mate in Michelle that kept up. He had a history laced in Islam that threatened to hold him back and a name that didn’t sound credible in a land that should know better.

He and Michelle took on a journey through limited time and chartered space, in an untrusting period that needed more of reaction than untested ideas. Through the maze of world politics and diverse personalities who do not want to change their spots, the couple learned their failures are also victories.

Their romance with history taught them timeless lessons that come with quite demanding price tags. They made the sort of friends that looked like enemies, in their struggle to realize an increasingly vague dream that looked attainable until their search inevitably was exhausted.

They return home like they never left, like they never started their life changing journey. The world appears as unchanged as they met it and looks to be worse off but shrouded in personal victories as their complete opposites take a turn.

obama-student-of-time-copy
Obama
Student of Time
http://authl.it/B01MS1WIEG

ORDER NOW!!!!!

Genres: Satire, Teen & Young Adult, Literature & Fiction