When a Nations Chooses to Misuse and Abuse God’s Name
Lying, stealing, begging and doing acts of dishonesty are cultural and part and parcel of the Sierra Leonean society that has been plagued by evil fabricated and imposed on the country by the people themselves.
We don’t need rocket science and rigorous research to prove that Sierra Leone is the country where God’s name is misused the most. For every single lie and for every single act of dishonesty, it is very common for the Sierra Leonean to swear: ‘Ar sweh to God’.
For instance, when the Leone Stars players were stranded and starving at the Gbessia International Airport in Conakry, they sent out recorded video messages swearing to God that they were well accommodated in a 5 Star hotel in which they ate three meals a day even though their physical conditions portrayed hungry and depressed people.
According to sociologists, the world has journeyed through three stages of human development: a) the Primitive Stage, b) the Metaphysical stage, and c) the Scientific Stage.
In the Primitive stage, also known as the religious stage, human reasoning was dominated by superstition and people lived in perpetual fear that all complex and unexplained natural phenomena were caused by God or some supernatural powers. Humans lived in this stage of limited thinking for thousands of years before and after the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. If flooding occurred during this stage, it was just attributed to God. Full stop.
The Primitive Stage was followed by the Metaphysical Stage in which Mathematics and Logic were used to analyze and interpret complex natural and social phenomena. For instance, during this stage, if a man eats a banana and dies shortly after, the death would be attributed to the eating of the banana without any substantiated proof. As human minds became more analytical and critical, this quality of reasoning was later scrapped as a ‘post hoc ego proptha hoc’ which is the fallacy of using the first incident as being responsible for the second incident without any empirical evidence.
The two stages of human reasoning could not provide much needed substantiated evidence to provide answers to the numerous critical questions raised by thinkers and were scrapped altogether. The third and final stage that emerged is the current scientific stage defined as “the systematic study of nature through experiments and observations.” In the civilized world, if a man eats a banana and dies shortly after, the death would not be attributed to the banana. A postmortem is performed on the corpse with blood samples taken for rigorous laboratory examinations.
The point needs not belabored to prove that Sierra Leone is still entrenched in the primitive stage in which everything was attributed to God. The current failure of the Government to plan our cities and provide proper accommodation for our people is attributed to God. God doesn’t build cities. He doesn’t plan cities and has anything to do with their managements including collecting and managing garbage. He doesn’t govern people.
Every nation is the master of its own destiny. Every nation is constructed in the image of its people. Sierra Leone has been constructed according our collective intelligence and according to the quality of our leadership.
The authorities in Sierra Leone knew that flooding would occur this year with devastating consequences. The World Bank knew this and wrote a letter to the Government to send a warning signal. The SLPP administration under Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay as minister of Lands, Plan and Country Planning had embarked upon removing squatters from protected areas and dangerous settlements but the exercise was stoutly resisted by squatters who captured and viciously and wantonly murdered Mr. Keneth Moore who was the head of the demolition exercise. Moore was dismembered: His eyes were plucked off, his private parts removed and other body parts were missing when his body was later recovered in the bush.
Today, over 600 people have been killed and over 3,000 victims have been rendered homeless by floods and landslides in the areas where Moore and his colleagues had fought tooth and nail to remove squatters but to no avail.
But since Sierra Leone is the country where God’s name is misused and abused the most, everywhere, people only say “na God”. Accusing God falsely for our bad governance and extremely poor leadership is a serious sin to God. City planning, managing garbage and preserving nature are human responsibilities. When people want to hide behind their idleness and lack of foresight, they attribute the consequences of their actions to God. This is really unfair.
I heard in tape sent by one Pastor Fanta in London who keeps lamenting over the fact that she was not allowed to hold a crusade in the national stadium where she had wanted to offer prayers in order to avert the natural catastrophe. This is not religion. It is taking us back to the stone age era that was dominated by superstition and primitive thinking. Floods and landslides are mitigated through proper planning and the preservation of nature. How do prayers manage and preserve deforestation and the rampant land grabbing activities that have paralysed the city?
Sierra Leone is a land plagued by evil. People just pray for the sake of praying but our actions speak volumes about our lack of faith in God.
We all know that a minister cannot even make $50,000 per year but he builds a mansion that cost over $1 million dollars, in a prohibited area for that matter, but we keep quiet out of stone age tribal and political loyalty. What a nation of sorrowful people? How do we claim to be believers in God when even war funds, Ebola funds and cholera epidemic funds were all stolen and eaten by politicians? There is strong fear that the conditions of the victims would not improve as most of the funds being provided by the international community and local actors would be misappropriated!
Sierra Leone is the only country in the world where corrupt people who become rich overnight are admired as being smart but when the economy collapsed and the government could hardly pay salaries and imposed austerity measures, we also cried “na God”. Will our workers especially teachers ask God for their salaries or to improve their conditions of service?
More than 90% of people who build mansions especially those in public office obtain their monies through stolen public funds. People marry out of stolen money. They dress out of stolen money and when they die, their coffins are even bought out of stolen funds. What a nation of rogues and crooks!
It is my sincere hope and prayer that one day, we will get a great leadership that will ban the “fiti fata” swearing to God’s name.
The name of the man whose leadership has failed to remove the squatters from the slums and hilltops is Ernest Bai Koroma, and not God. God is not responsible of the administration of any country. Our destiny is in our hands. We ought to know better. Begging for handouts and being the permanent recipient of humanitarian aid is not a durable solution to our present poor leadership and years of bad governance and corruption.
Sierra Leone must liberate itself from stone age tribal and partisan loyalty to match with other countries like Senegal, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Kenya, Mali, among others.
Idrissa Conteh aka Atomic Pen
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