BY AJIBOLA M. SALAMI

First things first. I believe there’s a Supreme Being who’s responsible for most things we can NOT explain, and that he lives in EVERYONE. This, for me, is a PERSONAL DECISION, & has NOTHING to do with U that is reading this post. It is what I’ve CHOSEN to believe. End of…

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me continue …

There’s this old man, Mr Harouni, who lives in one of the luxury apartments managed by my firm. He’s BY FAR my favourite resident. A lover of books, with a very extensive personal library from which I ALWAYS borrow rare, hard-to-get publications. He is a VERY generous Multi-Millionaire Retired Businessman (He gives me a tangible amount of money whenever he sees me (“Have a drink on me, young man”) & last year when he was confined to a wheelchair, he gave me his Jaguar Car (“I don’t need it anymore”) … which I politely refused. I mean the car, but I always collect the money sha, bcos I grew up in Lagos … we all know the answer to this question: “Wetin Spoil Lagos?!” 🙂 )

He is also an Israeli Jew.

We usually have very deep, enlightening & rewarding conversations (for me, mostly) … & thanks to him, my view of life has been extensively broadened. When I told him I’m originally from Nigeria, he laughed & said “Those People That Spends Billions Yearly On Pilgrimage To Holy Sites In Israel … Places That We Israelis Don’t Even Visit “. When I asked why, he said “Because Most Israelis Don’t Believe In Them!”

Interesting.

I discovered that 75% of the population of Israel practice Judaism, & these majority do NOT accept or believe Jesus is the Son Of God. They ONLY accept him as a “Prophet Worthy Of Emulation”. I tried to argue, but he just smiled with a calm assurance. I reminded him that Jesus Is The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah. He said “I am from the Tribe of Judah…A Chief of my Clan. Lion begets Lion. We are ALL Lions. That’s our identity. The originator of that title is King Dafide (David), from whom Yeshua (Jesus) is a descendant. So yes, Jesus Is Also A Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah … like every Israeli from the Tribe of Judah. That is why we have the Star Of David on the Flag of Israel, & NOT The Star Of Jesus.” How can I argue with that?!

It gets more confusing.

Like I mentioned earlier, three quarters of Israeli practice Judaism. Their Bible does NOT contain the New Testament. They do NOT partake in any of the Christian Celebrations like Christmas, Easter, Lent etc … neither do they believe in ANY of them. Its NON existent to the MAJORITY of people in the country where we Nigerians spend billions to go on pilgrimages, most times sponsored by our government.

It gets worse.

Only 2% of the population of Israel are Christians! … Two Percent!! TWO!!!. Anyways, another 2% are Muslims (equal representation). 4% are, wait for it … Atheists!!! (the number of Christians + Muslims combined). Oh yes, more people in Israel does NOT believe God exists than the Christians on one hand, & the Muslims on the other hand.

Conclusively, Mr Harouni wonders why people, especially Blacks from poor countries (he didn’t say shitholes, thank God!), spend so much time, money & efforts traveling for the purpose of pilgrimages to “Holy Lands” … when the God they seek is present EVERYWHERE?! He said “The ultimate pilgrimage is the one that begins the moment we die. We Jews have been conditioned to await that moment when we become ‘Three Scores Ten’ …”. I did a quick calculation: A Score = 20. Therefore 3 Scores is 3 x 20 = 60 … and 60 + 10 = 70. So I understand that to be 70 years old, the same age King David died. Wow!!! When I asked if he’s NOT afraid of going to Hell, he brought out his Bible, & said “Show me where God created Hell in the 6 days of creation before He rested on the 7th day”. Now, I am even avoiding the old man sef …

My own conclusion is that we, Black People, are incapable of thinking for ourselves. Everything & Anything foreign is believed to be better than our own (I must confess I am also guilty of this, mostly). All these Religion that we are fighting & killing each other over are brought to our lands by foreigners, but the nations where these Religions originated from (Israel & Saudi Arabia) are FRIENDS with each other OFFICIALLY. If Nigeria had been colonised by India, most of us will be, by now, practising Hinduism … & going on pilgrimages to Bombay + New Delhi. If the Jihadists had originally come from China (instead of Arabia), some of us will be, by now, practising Buddhism … & going on pilgrimage to Shanghai & Guangzhou.

Religion is a PERSONAL CHOICE … just as Salvation is PERSONAL. So is there ANY need for our government to be sponsoring pilgrimages???!!!************I know people will want to argue or disagree with some parts of this post … that’s VERY OK with me. But your contrary views or opinions does NOT change the facts, demography & social statistics on ground in Israel. Most importantly, this post has NOTHING to do with ANY individual, just addressing the issue of the government of a Secular Nation like Nigeria budgeting billions of PUBLIC funds for PERSONAL pilgrimages.