Dear Prof

Dear Prof. Omo Omoruyi, Thank you for you elaborate attempts to rewrite the history of the Mid West Region and Edo history in particular. I tried very hard to read between the lines to ascertain your goal in trying to paint the picture that Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia whom you said is your cousin has no locus standing in hosting members of Bendel Consultative Council (BCC).In your opinion, David Ejoor should play that role along with Chief Enahoro. David Ejoor can only be remembered in Mid West Region for his role in hosting the National Conference at NIFOR before the breakout of the civil war in 1967. A lot of people are still suspicious of his role in the Biafran occupation of the Mid West Region weather or not there was complicity with Col C.D Nwanwo commander of the 4th Area Command of the Nigerian Army. This area of our history is murky As far as Chief Enahoro was concerned, he did everything in his power to prevent the creation of Mid West Region whereas people like Dalton Asemota lost their lives in the process. Can Chief Enahoro or David Akpore Ejoor now lay any claim to the Mid West Region? I doubt not. This is where Edokpamahia khin will not fly. Like you, I thank God we had visionary leaders like the late Omo n’ Oba Ne Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Akenzua 11 , late B2, Chief Omo Osagie, the Iyase of Benin and late Chief Festus Okotie Eboh. Together these men actualised the vision of ‘ One Nation, One People and One destiny’ for all in the then Mid West Region. They are gone beyond and so occupy a good place in our history and your essay but not so for Dr Ogbemudia, Chief Odigie- Oyegun etc who are still alive and past governors of Mid West Region and Edo State respectively. The implication is that only the dead Edos are worthy of leadership, those who are alive are not. This is a wrong assumption unless of course there is someone somewhere nursing the ambition. To actualise his dreams, he must first set aside and fault the past performances of our past governors and living Edo leaders of today. Chief Okotie – Eboh and Chief Iyase of Benin were not remembered. You were right to stress that these illustrious sons from the old Mid West Region were not remembered by the Ogbemudia administration or by the people. You must remember that Dr Ogbemudia’s administration was military and things were done by decree and efforts were being made then to stamp out corruption, nepotism and tribalism. These leaders, one of whom was killed in the January 1966 coup, would have been too soon remembered during Ogbemudia’s tenure as they were thought to be the corrupt politicians that brought about instability in the country. The most important singular factor in the non-recognition of these our illustrious sons was the scorched earth policy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in then Bendel State. Soon after his release from the Calabar prison and made Minister for Finance, he was de-facto deputy head of state of Nigeria and he remembered his old political rivals. His hand was also visible in the result of Owegbe Inquiry. So there were obvious factors that militated against the recognition of these Edos by Ogbemudia’s regime.
Edo and Delta Leadership: There is no single individual dead or alive that can truthfully lay claim to leadership of Edo and Delta states aside Dr Ogbemudia. He single handily took Bendel State from the ruins of the civil war to make it number one in Nigeria. In administration, infrastructure, sports, transportation, self help development projects, health, the lottery, mechanized farming etc. The list is endless. Hishandwork can be seen in all nooks and corners of Edo State. (See my essay on his
70th birthday). His desire to bring about the viability of BCC is in fact actualising
the late Oba Akenzua’s Vision of a united people with one destiny considering our
ancestral origin. You also quarrelled with his idea of hosting these people who
contributed to the division of Bendel State. In fact to me that is a good quality in
him of being magnanimous and forgiving. That is true leadership. Today it should
be obvious to all that no one individual or single state that can make the desired
impact in the Nigerian Nation hence the essence of these alignments and re-
alignment. This is not peculiar to the old Mid West Region. The arrangement for
voting in the coming election by Aferenifere in the old western region is what unity
of purpose can provide. Everyone, seeking the best advantage point for his people.
That is what is lacking in Edo State, and the old Mid West Region and it is what Dr
S.O. Ogbemudia and the BCC is trying to address. This is what Edo Global
Organization is trying to address. This is what Air Iyare is also trying to address in
Pan Edo Congress. Will they succeed? Time will tell. There is no greater means of
success like uniting all these fragmented parts into a viable whole.
The repeated unsavoury comments on Dr S.O. Ogbemudia.
Every time I read your essay, I always wonder why you write in your style and paint
the way you do Dr Ogbemudia’s achievements. Will this be connected to your failed
attempt of a position in Ogbemudia’s second coming as civilian governor of Edo
State. I recalled your name was repeatedly mentioned for a post. When the
executive was formally announced, your name was not there and even the coveted
post of secretary to government went to someone else. All Edos can see the work
of Dr Ogbemudia. The growth of Edo State stopped when he left office after the
military coup of 1975. I will quickly remember the achievement of my former
teacher Prof. Ambrose Alli in Bendel state. The Ambrose Alli University is a living
testimony to the man. The last time I saw him, was at the University College
Hospital Ibadan in 1987 during his detention. ‘Five Medical Doctors went to pay
homage to a teacher and a mentor’ may his soul rest in peace. Ambrose Alli can
also lay claim to Edo State leadership. His legacy is there for all to see. I recall my
comment after one of your essay last year that ‘a chief must create a chief to
replace itself for perpetuation otherwise the lineage is dead. My question was then
and it is still pertinent now. How many Edo son’s and daughter got elevated when
you were formulating Ibrahim Babaginda’s policies? What was your role in the
creation of Edo State. Why is Edo state without a sea outlet today? The map was
visible to all. You were in a position to do a lot and influence a lot and you did
nothing. Mrs Marian Babaginda (Asaba born), used her position to make Asaba the
headquarters of Delta state. Why ! Why! Why was Edo state made to take the
reminder portion after everyone was satisfied? Why is Edo state evbareke?
These issues are very dear to Edo sons and daughters. Today using the principle of
derivation, Edo State gets 0.3% of the allocation to oil producing areas. It could
have been better. The present non-payment of salaries and Edo State indebtedness
can be successfully traced to errors made by Edo sons in corridors of powers who
did nothing to elevate the earnings of Edo State.
I wish to appeal that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, those
who did not perform when they had the opportunity should not blame others for
not doing enough. The problems of Edo State belong to us all, so also are the
solutions. With collective responsibility, we shall build Edo State of our dreams and
make it viable and competitive amongst Nigerian States. Lets us stop criticising
destructively. Let us give praise to those who deserve it. Let us be fair and truthfulin our dealings and writings. That is where the honour lies. Is BCC anti -Obasanjo? The answer is no. BCC is not anti -Obasanjo. BCC is doing its best to improve the earning of Edo State by causing the government to accept a more favourable method of disbursing the earnings that accrue from oil. The majority of members are bona fide members of the ruling party and so are positioning themselves to get more for Edo and Delta States. No Edo son or daughter should fault that. These are my observations. Regard, Stephen E.O. Ogbonmwan
Dear Stephen,
Thank you for your reply, which reassured me that I’m not the only one perturbed by Professor Omoruyi’s current stance and certainly not trying to “pull Professor Omoruyi down” as has been suggested by a pedestrian political observer and commentator on the forum. Firstly, I have read your contribution, understood the content and in particular, articulated the rationale behind the write-up. I can see that you are ahead of me in your ability to identify what may be Professor Omoruyi’s motivation. If he wants to float Edo Okpa Makhin as a political party, let him go a head; if he is using Edo Okpa Makhin as a think-tank to move the people forward, let it be made clear; if Edo Okpa Makhin is a charitable organisation, let this also be made clear. What ever the strategy is, let the people see and feel the substance of this organisation. I may be wrong, our people are not foolish – if they can measure and link changes in their lives directly or indirectly to Edo Okpa Makhin – they would move with organisation and reject what ever emerges later. This is the best way to stifle competition without resorting to the kind of war of attrition that Professor Omoruyi is currently engaged with the so-called Bendel Consultative Body. He is yet to come out categorically why this body should not exist and why it is bad for the people other than the people involved lack the credibility necessary to lay claim to the aspirations the body currently holds and intends to pursue.
My regards,
O J Ebohon BA(Hons) MA (Econ.Dev) PhD (Energy & Deve.) LLM(Env.Law) MInstE Reader on Energy, Sustainability, and Development, & Director, Developing World Built Environment Research Unit, School of Architecture, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH, England. Phone: +44 116 2551551 (Ext. 8420) Fax: +44 116 2506352
Mobile: +44 (0) 7770966191

HISTORY OF BENIN

 

DR SEO OGBONMWAN KSC.
Dear Dr O, It is an impossible task to write a two page history of Benin; as I promised, I would try although the task is daunting.
Benin is the centre of the world ‘Edo ore isi agbon’ that is the belief in oral tradition. The history of Benin is woven with the history of the ancient Benin Kingdom which at the height of its power extended beyond present day Benin Republic to the Ewe speaking area of Ghana to the west; extended to the Niger River in the east and to the River Niger again in the north and bound by the Bight of Benin in the Atlantic ocean in the south.
The present day Benin is what is left after political manipulation and re delineation of the boundaries of the kingdom on restoration of the monarchy in 1914 by the British. Benin City proper (Oredo) is the area of Benin surrounded by the moat; the unexplored an unpreserved largest man made historic and defensive structure in the world.The present Edo State of Nigeria is home to Edo people. In spite of different variations in Edo dialects, the language is Edo. These people are all from the same quaver as they left Benin at different times in the history of the ancient Benin Kingdom. All Onojie or Enijie or Onogie or Enogie of towns and villages in Edo State are all blood relations of the Oba.
The history of Benin will be divided into three parts for this purpose.
The first period spans the arrival of Edo people from the Nile valley to Igodomigodo and the reigns of all Ogiso to the last one Ogiso Owodo
The second period spans from the end of the inter regnum to the annexation of the Kingdom by the British forces in 1897.The current period spans from 1908 when Oba Eweka the 2nd was crowned
and more precisely when the monarchy was restored and authority
bestowed by the British to the present day. There have been three Oba in this
period, Oba Eweka who restored the monarchy and power from the British
after the deportation of Oba Ovoramwen to Calabar; Oba Akenzua who
campaigned for the creation of Mid West Region and the present Oba
Erediauwa who is a product of Cambridge university, a seasoned civil servant
in the public services of Nigeria and a keen writer doing all in his power to
straighten the history of Edo people.
During the period of the inter regnum when Igodomigodo was difficult to
govern, diviners recalled that there was a surviving son of the last Ogiso
Owodo who was banished due to the treachery of the principal wife Esagho
and the messengers by altering the message of the diviners.
Ekaladerhan refused to come back to the city of his birth as he was very old
but sent his son Omonoyan in his place. He found it difficult to rule but had a
child from the daughter of the Enogie of Egor who gave birth to a son later
crowned Eweka the first.
We have had 38 Obas, most leaving their foot prints in the sand of Edo land.
Oba Esigie was the first to come in contact with Europeans (Portuguese) and
had an ambassador in the court of the King of Portugal. Oba Ewuare a
physician, magician, hunter and warrior constructed Akpakpava Road and
renamed the kingdom EDO.
The history of Benin is documented in wood carving, brass casting and oral
tradition and it is authentic.
The system of government is a mixture of autocracy, democracy and
gerontocracy. The Oba has absolute powers but there is an Iyase (Prime
Minister) who heads the town chiefs who can argue or disagree with him on
rare occasions, there are the palace chiefs and the Uzama ni Ihinron who are
the King makers. The title of the Edaiken (Edayi Ni Iken) has a long history
behind it; is the heir apparent who lives away from his father and is notallowed to use the title until the Oba joins his ancestors. Succession is by primogeniture hence there is no in fighting for the exalted position when the Oba transcends unlike in other communities.
The Edo excels in arts. The wood carving industry is located in Owina, brass casting in Igun and weaving in Ihumwunidunmwun. The Benin artist perfected the lost wax method which they still use till today. After the sacking of the Kingdom by the British forces, a large number of the art works were looted and can be found in major museums in Europe and America. The most popular is the Idia mask which was the mascot for Festac 77 and symbol to many Black and Edo groups around the world.
Edo people are farmers, hunters, traders, fishermen and great travellers. Today they live in extended family homes in the villages and towns and this forms the social security system where ‘everyone looks after everyone else’.
There are numerous festivals in Edo land to commemorate important events in the history of the Kingdom. The most popular is Igue Festival which takes place about Christmas time, the Ehor, new yam festival, Ikpoleki and the initiation of one age group into another.
Generally Edo people believe in the supreme God who is Osalobua (Osanoghodua) who they put first in everything. They also serve or remember their ancestors. In recent history there have been many deities introduced into the City from adjoining tribes like the Yoruba and Christianity by the missionaries.
Edo people are Pickwickian in nature, respectful, kind, friendly and ferocious in battle.
They greet with reference to their family which in a way identify them; for example la Emorę, la‘Giesan, La ‘Tose, la ‘Umogun etc, about 56 in all.
Due to the poor economic state of Edo land today, Edo people can be found in the remotest part of mother earth but one thing is certain, they never forget home as they cherish Edo land, the land of the red soil.
SEO

Christianity Traditional Religion

 

Dear All, We are all Believers as even the ‘fools’ know that there is God so the bible and our Edo saying goes.I am a Believer in the existence of God Almighty and I also believe strongly that Edo tradition and custom must survive. My wish and what is reality are very different. That is my worry. These differences in the way of worship are as many as there are different cultures and traditions in the world.
We know God is everywhere ‘omni presence,’ He is all knowing ‘omni science’ He has so many
names in all the languages and He understands every language including Edo language because he hears our prayers in whatever language we say it.
He is Alpha & Omega and our ancestors understood this very well in their dealings with one another
and in communing with God Almighty and our ancestors. I have listened to our elders praying thus; Osanobua vbe enikaro! Osanobua vbe erinmwin n’ egbe ivbi Ise! Osalobua, Osanoghodua, Osanudazi kevbe Olokun!
The above is also similar to edifying God as the God of Jacob, the God of Isaac, the God of Abraham and the God of our ancestors
The above shows the reverence our people placed on God Almighty. They did not go wrong because they always placed God first. Even amongst those who are not Christians, they always placed God first in their prayers. It was with the power of God they achieved all the conquest credited to the ancient Benin Kingdom.
Our people have known God from when time began in what is today Edo Land. To say otherwise is to be ignorant of our culture.
Osa is God in Edo Land with praise and edification like Osanobua… Osanobuwa . God the creator, Osa nudazi, Osa noghodua the provider, Osa nose naga, worthy to be worshipped.
God is all purity in Edo Land hence His symbol is ‘white’ depicted as white chalk in ‘Aruosa’ (do not confuse with Aruosa Church). There are no carved images or symbols like we see in a Shango or Ogun shrines.
For anyone to say the worship of God by Edo people must be exactly the same as the worship of God in England or in America is not being realistic. Even in Christendom, all denominations do not worship God the same way. Belief in God is through faith and those who worship Him do so in faith.
We are talking about different people with different ways of life (culture & tradition) and different socio-economic status.
With the advent of Europeans on our shores, with commerce, there followed religion on the other hand.
Today with better means of communication and the advent of satellite television preaching, our people gradually imbibed this foreign ways of worship to the neglect of our own ways of worship.This alien or foreign ways of doing things have permeated our ways of life in all aspects in recent
times.
The food we eat, our way of dressing, speaking, celebrating our births and deaths and crave for
foreign goods are testimonies to this permeation or foreign influence.
The way we bury our dead have been drastically changed and reduced to only one wake keeping
instead of the usual three days or more depending on social status, so the new way seems easier
and cheaper. It may be more of economic reasons that most families whose parents never ventured
to the four walls of a church now prefer to bury their parents in the church.
Secondly people like the sense of belonging of being a member of the main stream faith which today
is Christianity at least in our part of the world.
Thirdly, church burial is regarded as ‘posh’
These changes in our custom and tradition are irreversible as sons and daughters of traditional
chiefs who are supposed to be custodians of our culture now pastor churches and are strong
members of main stream Christian denominations like the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
This is a welcome development because they are in a position to edify God and preserve what is
godly in our culture and tradition.
No one therefore can alter the wheel of change as this is the spice of life.
In the Catholic Church for example there is effort for some reverend fathers to conduct the holy mass
in Benin language as a way of shoring up our custom and tradition since language is an integral part
of custom and tradition. The deduction here is that the main churches have not set out to
exterminate our customs and traditions rather they wish to co-operate with it. It is for these reasons
that they try very hard to have indigenous priests to handle the parishes in some localities. The
above comment may not be true in all the denominations of Christian churches operating in Edo land
today. Some of these churches insist on dress code, insist on greeting or salutation code which are
alien to our people and an affront to our cherished way of life. It is in some of these churches that
commercialization has taken root eroding the original principle of God which is to love our neighbours
as ourselves.
Another factor for coexistence is that Nigeria is a secular nation and everyone is allowed to practice
his/her faith the way he or she wishes. Individuals should be allowed to follow the religion of their
choice without any hindrance; to do otherwise is to introduce chaos, unrest and acrimony. The only
peaceful countries are those where people are allowed to worship unhindered.
What we should be doing now is to emphasis those aspects of our customs and tradition that we
need to keep especially our language which is fast being eroded by the use of ‘pidgin’ English.
Pidgin English does not add to the study of the English language nor does it help in the test of English
as a language. It is the greatest culprit in the destruction of Edo language and adulteration of the
English language; therefore all efforts must be made to eradicate it especially from the primary
schools during the formative years of our children.
Secondly, every effort should be made to record our custom and tradition in print and electronic
version and Kudos to those who are already working in these areas for the benefit of all of us and
those yet unborn.
Celebrations of festivals of new yarm ‘ehor’ is akin to harvest in the church and should be
encouraged and nothing ungodly about it so long there is no idol worshipping. The Igue festival forexample is an example of thanks giving ceremony and should be encouraged so also are the
accompanying ceremonies of ubi rie’ and ewere that follows Igue festival which symbolises the
triumph of good over evil. There is a slippery slope here and one should know where, as a Believer
one should not cross the thin line.
Every culture must modernise or else it will die. Edo culture must modernise like the British Royal
Family is modernising. The above ceremonies of ehor, Igue accompanied with ubi rie’ & ewere,
ikpoleki can be modernised to make them more acceptable to 21st century Edo citizens.
In fact Our Oba knows this and he Omo n’ Oba is already modernising and bracing the trail.
The world is moving ahead and very fast indeed; and anyone who decides to standstill is actually
going backwards. Odaro Agbon rie!
To think things can ever be what they were a few centuries ago is an illusion. To refuse to modernise
is to loose everything.
Finally belief in God and practice of Edo custom can coexist in harmony and in fact they have been co
existing for centuries. The way we celebrate our marriages, births, and death, naming of our new
born are unique and are not ungodly so can coexist with the Christian faith. Our morning salutations
are also unique and not ungodly and can coexist harmoniously with our Christian faith or belief. As
Edo and Believers in God Almighty, it is our duty to help preserve our customs and traditions in the
best possible way as it will be pleasing in the eyes of God as our culture and tradition are His
creation.
Usual Regard,
SEO
Thanks, Sir Steve Ogbonmwan.
Alex G. Igbineweka
Dear Steve
Thanks for that well written piece.
My only concern is your strong position that “These changes in our
custom and tradition are irreversible… ”
They are not irreversible.
The ebbs and tides of theological controversies and the rise and fall
of forms of worship over the centuries prove that it all depends on
many complex factors, including leadership. The motivation for some
of the changes you have described are – as you have yourself pointed
out – economic, western educational, fraud (ie “religion as a business
investment industry”), etc.
To say that the current situation is irreversible” is like some 19thcentury Edo Priest saying that Edo religion of that era
was “irreversible.” Ofcourse we now know what has happened since then.
Churches have arisen from nowhere. Even Hare Krishna has a small base
in Edoland.
If a well funded charismatic character were to emerge, develop a
theoretical basis for indigenous theology, and attract followers do
not be surprised if there is a groundswell of followership.
One limitation to the expansion of traditional religion has been the
lack of desire to proselytize. Traditional religion was built around
individuals and families and villages and tied in to our lifecycle. It
was always tolerant of alien religions even though the reverse has not
proved to be the case. If that restraint were to be removed anything
can happen.
What the colonial people did was insert a new lifecycle and allow
foreign religions a degree of access to take hold of the young minds
they were nurturing – in schools – for future leadership and control
of our society. Hence the so called conventional wisdom, now, many
years later that an alien religion is somehow “mainstream.” Many are
forced to practice syncretism under the table – although it is the
true “mainstream”. (There are only a few “pure” christians”
and “moslems” in Nigeria. Many so called Pastors and Imams visit
traditional shrines in their spare time)
Ofcourse, in the far north, Islamic leaders (just like the Chinese and
Vietnamese and Thai etc…) resisted western education for a long time
because they correctly foresaw the danger. They preferred for their
children to attend Koranic schools (or Buddhist and other Oriental
Schools as the case may be in Asia). They (the far north) are paying
the penalty in terms of the modern political economy in Nigeria but in
large part their “traditions” have survived to a greater degree than
ours. The trick, therefore, is to balance the two – as the Asians
did. The current negotiations between the Vatican and China reveal
the sensitivities involved.
Why can’t those who are very concerned, establish schools in which Edo
traditions are actually taught and the language used as a medium of
instruction? We are talking of years and years of so called education
away from the home, where our people are slowly conditioned to get
away from their roots.
Even the Aruosa Church, a hybrid of Portuguese christianity and Edo
religion, can grow rapidly and develop a pipeline for its long term
survival if it were to adopt some of the “development” activities of
other churches (like major Christian denominations), such as
estabishing primary, secondary and perhaps even higher educational
schools built around its doctrinal base. I have observed, for
example, that there are moslems that send their children to Catholic
schools, in the belief that they are offering them an economic
passport for future survival, while anchoring them (with varying
degrees of success) to Islam in the home. This real politic of
political-economy and religion needs to be understood if our
traditions must survive.
Further, the responsibility for protecting our traditions is not just
for the “traditional institution” although it does not help that some
of those with high visibility are busy establishing institutions ofalien worship – at least in part for money. Every Edo individual is a
soldier in our tradition. His or her thoughts and actions on a daily
basis will advance or retard tradition. If only the Palace is
celebrating “Igue” it would not make much sense. Fortunately, our
villages still do. If language/tradition is not actively practiced
(as you recognized), it merely becomes an item of historical
interest. If we do not know our history, there would be nothing to
defend. The British knew this. In spite of all the late Jacob
Egharevba did to lobby for his historical books to be part of the
primary educational curriculum, the British refused. Even now our
history is not being formally taught during the formative years of our
youth.
Lastly, I want to point out that as “reasonable” and “centrist” as
your take is regarding the “coexistence” of christianity and
tradition, there are many “pastors” and “believers” and “born again”
persons out there who see it as a zero sum game. There is a faction
of the “christian” movement that regards the complete destruction of
our traditions as a goal for which God has mandated them. Tina has
identified one such faction. There are others. Just two weeks ago
some Pastor in Benin was exhorting his congregation to go home and
destroy all their family and village shrines – as occurred in Imo
State.
It would seem, therefore, that even the benign examples
of “coexistent” traditional practices you have projected are not
acceptable to some of these elements.
I thank you, again, for the outstanding contribution to the discourse.
Regards
NAO
You said it all Sir, Well explained and thank you.
.ona@sbcglobal.net
Dear Dr. Stephen E. O. Ogbonmwan,
God bless you mightily in Jesus name. I thank God for your
posting for you have brought the clarity that is the most meaningful since I became involved in the
debate on this issue. I agree with you totally. There has always been one Almighty God that our
fathers believed in and He is also the father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Just as He, Jesus
took part in all the festivals and ceremonies (customs and traditions) of His people the Israelites, We
can also enjoy our wonderful customs and traditions and still be the best followers of the Way, the
Truth and the Life that we are called to be.All I ask is for all Edo people to intensify their intercessory praying to the Almighty God for His
mercy and forgiveness on Edo land and its people in particular and Nigeria in general.
If we shall humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, He will
hear our prayers from heaven, and will forgive our sins and heal our land. This is a promise that He
has made and He is a faithful God.
Pray in any way that your belief dictates, just pray and continue to pray until our desires are
granted.
Once more I thank God for your God given wisdom in Jesus name.
Pastor Paul O. Evbuoma New Orleans, LA
Dear Pastor
I thank you for your pastoral and fatherly wisdom. You cannot
imagine how profound your words are.
There can be no doubt that there is ‘center’ where, as children of
God, we can all meet.
Regards
NAO
Dear ALL,
We all believe in God. That is no religion. But how you go about serving
God is religion. That makes all the difference in the world. Some people
are so fanatical about this that they can kill to prove their loyalty to their
religion. No doubt religious clashes between opposing groups have caused
more wars and destructions around the world more than all other causes
combined.
The people, who serve those gods like Ogun, Oromila, Olukun, etc, know quite well there is a
higher God. They merely use those gods to communicate with a higher God. However, the
Jews believe it is better to communicate with God directly. They are very fanatical about it.
As a result, the Jews are religious in their beliefs because they use religion to enforce their
laws. Jesus oppositions to the Jewish fanatical beliefs soon got him in trouble with the
religious people. The rest is history.
However, the ways Jesus lived and died brought him more sympathies and fame than he
could have ever imagined. So much so that people are fanatical about him… and believing in
Jesus is now a religion of it own. But remember Jesus was against religious fanaticisms.During his life, Jesus seized every opportunity he got to openly criticize the Jews fanaticisms and religious propagandas. He used several parables to emphasis his authority to make religious changes. In desperate attempts to convince his people (Jews) to honour his authority to make changes, Jesus said to the religious Jews, “I am the way, I am the light, and no one goes to MY FATHER accept through me.” The Jews would rather deal with God directly and not go through Jesus to God. To the religious Jews, Jesus was asking for too much.
When Jesus realized how difficult the job before him was, he warmed his followers: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in-law against her mother in-law … [Matthew 10, 34..]
At the end, accept for the Jews who prefer to deal directly with God Himself, the rest of us have to go through a middle god to plead our case before our Heavenly Father. Which of the several gods you choose to go through is your prerogative. Whichever of the gods your father or your forefather chose/served, as their counsel, should not influence you. We are individuals before God — not as the son of one Dr. Nowa, or the daughter of one Honourable Iguade.
After all, Joshua said it better: “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: put away the gods which your fathers served ….. and serve ye the Lord. And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose which gods ye will serve. ….. but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24: 15…]
FG Final Comments,
We all can live together in peace and harmony sharing God’s love an accepting each other’s way of life and worship as there is enough room in the inn for everyone. No one religion or way of worship is better than the other. It is a matter of faith and the personal relationship of the individual with his/her God.
Stay Blessed my brothers and Sisters