NIGERIA: THE NATION OF HYPOCRITES by Ikoro Iyineleda

homFor you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

– Jesus, The Christ.

Nigeria is said to be a very religious country. According to a 2003 report, which is recorded in Wikipedia, 50.4 % of Nigeria’s population are Muslims, while 48.2 % are Christians, and 1.4 % adhere to other religions. Which is another way of saying that practically all Nigerians believe in one religion or the other. Almost everywhere in the Southern part of the country can be seen churches and other such Christian gatherings. While, in the North, blood is constantly shed in The Name of God. Thus giving the impression that Nigeria is a country of citizens who live a life of total commitment to The Almighty. Yet, like The Christ has said, “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Thus you see the hypocritical and lawless Nigerians trying to dictate morals to the West. “No,” it says to Western leaders. “We cannot accept your homosexuality. We cannot accept your perversion.” Then it concludes its moralizing with threats of a very heavy jail term for those unfortunate enough to be caught practising homosexuality in the country. A conclusion that was applauded by most of its citizens; who placed editorials in the Press, letters to editors of newspapers and magazines, essays and articles, and other such opinions, all in the mass media; all expressing their approval of the motion and their denunciation of Western perversion.

Yet, in this same country Nigeria, an incredibly great percentage of those same citizens are involved in the practice of homosexuality; most especially amongst the educated, most especially amongst the youths, most especially amongst the women. Women, or so say some intellectuals, are not as interested in sex as are men. But the rate at which lesbianism is practised in Nigeria proves these theorists wrong. Or maybe women are merely more interested in perverted sex. Up to the point where, in some parts of the country, there are certain strip clubs where women are known to go and ogle women like themselves – and even pay to sleep with them. In the same country that just damned homosexuality with the threat of a heavy prison sentence! And is it not in this same country that lesbian prostitution – according to media reports – recently attained a new, unprecedented prevalence? Wasn’t it this same country that had a video placed on YouTube just a year or two ago, featuring a female law-maker having lesbian sex? Whatever came out of that particular incident, it certainly was not a jail term for the said law-maker. And yet Nigerians will say only the Westerners are perverts!

And the same sort of prison sentence reserved for homosexuals in Nigeria is disregarded by the youths striving to gain an education in the country. Examination malpractice, or so they say, is punishable by more than a decade in jail. Thus, Nigerians will steer clear of examination malpractice. But do they?

Go to a typical U.T.M.E. examination centre. Or visit the centre of a school certificate examination – be that examination conducted by W.A.E.C. or N.E.C.O. And witness the atrocities that go on during a typical examination in Nigeria; be that examination public or private, internal, external, or national; atrocities committed by both candidates and invigilators, parents and teachers alike. It makes one realise that, just like in the case of homosexuality, Nigerians are merely paying lip service to the curbing of this other vice; for the punishment reserved for examination malpractice is rarely ever meted out.

And the same thing goes for the issue of cultism. In fact, cultism is now so firmly entrenched in the nation’s culture that: if you see a businessman, a pastor, a governor, or a vice-chancellor; walk up to him and call him a cultist – to his face. Should he deny the allegation, he will be merely living up to the culture of hypocrisy that pervades the entire society. For you cannot achieve anything more than a stipend in this country without being a cultist. And even that stipend (if you’re ever allowed it) will be handed out to you grudgingly, with all others of the hideous culture calling you names such as “coward,” “loser,” and “lazy man” because you chose the straight and narrow path to make your own money, rather than join in their evil gangsterism. The hypocritical society calmly condones this culture in private, while heavily condemning it on the pages of newspapers; mounting podiums in public to denounce cultism in public, while in private? They are all patrons of these evil groups.

Nigeria is a nation of hypocrites. That is the long and short of it. For the only sphere in which we admit our fault is in the area of corruption. In all other spheres, we pretend as though everything is okay; yet our vices stink to the highest heavens, despite the cornucopia of religious gatherings that dot every nook and cranny of the country. And those that would that this country become anything positive should admit that fact. Only then can this nation move forward. In this country, the average man is a cultist, the average woman is a lesbian, and the average youth involves himself in examination malpractice. Those are basic facts of life. And until we all come out of our shells to admit that homosexuality and lesbianism have indeed become as much a part of our culture as it is a part of Western culture, that the threat of punishment has not been effected often enough to noticeably reduce the practice of examination malpractice, that our people are all cultists (be they political leaders, religious leaders, entertainers, businessmen, academics, or what-have-you) and need to be looked upon as such, and that a variety of other such vices exist in our society that – despite being avidly condemned in public – are just as avidly condoned in private; until then, I sincerely believe we’re all deceiving ourselves in this country.

 

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