From Giant of Africa to Give Me Oduduwa Or Let Me Die
There is a saying that goes thus: Nigeria is not a country but a continent.
Nigeria is a continent consisting of multiple and often times contrasting nations with conflicting national ideologies. It is a nation with over 250 ethnic groups, has the largest economy in Africa and is largely termed the Giant of Africa. As resounding and roaring as the title Giant of Africa sounds, it irrefutably is just that – a mere title. It is a title that sanitises the British Empire’s failed experiment. It is a title that exonerates the Native’s conscience from the indictment of genocide against the fellow Native. It is a conceited and fraudulent risible title that honours not indigenous identity thus can only proceed without honour for the self. Ancestral pride succumbs, that the shame of pretentious grandeur may prevail. Giant of Africa is a title that does not reflect the realities on ground for the present day common men or women, who live feed and walk like ants in a country allegedly inhabited by ‘giants’!
My people are going to learn the principles of democracy.
“My people are going to learn the principles of democracy the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will, every man can follow his own conscience provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men.”
~ Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable.
“Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight.”
~ Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
The United Kingdom is today known and equally lauded for defending and upholding values of women’s rights. The U.K however wasn’t always this way. England, which is the eco-demographic hub of the U.K (housing 100 of Europe’s 500 largest corporations, accounting for 84% of the combined total of the U.K’s population, and upon whose legal system, developed over centuries, is the basis of Common Law the world over) at one point promoted laws that persecuted women simply for being women!
Women were burt alive for killing their husbands (even when done in self-defence), practicing “witchcraft”, defying orthodox status quo by seeking academic pursuits and independence, demanding the rights to sue and to own property. Uncannily, men who did the same or similar were vindicated by order of the very same cumulation of ancestral and fundamentalist religious tradition!
Below is an article that proffers a definition of what Secularism is and differentiates it from what it isn’t. Secularism is often touted as a space purely for Atheistic congregation, but Secularism, in truth, does not merely mean freedom from religion. Secularism is both freedom from religion and freedom of religion. Secularism is important in any civilisation because it creates a space for both the religious and irreligious to relate in a common language that both understand. This space does not inevitably culminate in persecution – as the theocratic space does – just because one does not speak in the same tongue as another’s deity. While Secularism is respectful of pluralism, a Theocracy sees the world only through the authority and the lens of a chosen deity.
The piece below was written by a Nigerian Author Ify Otuya. It was reblogged from http://www.werunthings.net/secularism-101-what-is-secularism/