Yesterday night, I was humbled by malaria and I unusually found myself lazing in bed. Before then, I’d been editing the most painful unpublished memoir I have ever come across in my life. The book is about a married woman who went through all sort of patriarchal abuse in her marriage in the name of being a good Christian. I took a break from it when I couldn’t decide if it was the book messing with my head or the malaria. In the last three days I’d begun editing the book, my disdain for Christianity and religion in general had quadrupled. I was desperately trying to distract myself and keep my sanity by viewing some of my mobile contacts’ Whatsapp status when I stumbled upon the very image that prompted this article.

On the status of a friend and renowned sinner was a graphics design of a prominent pentecostal church in the country. As a public relations enthusiast and brand manager, I was awed by the neatness of the design. It was eye catching and would persuade any target audience. But the content of the design nauseated me to high heaven. Let me paraphrase what I saw.

Two days to go. Fasting and Prayer from January 11 to Feb 28. Nigeria: Prayer for Mercy.

In retrospect, I now admit this was the kind of stuff I’d see on a good day and smile at everyone’s moral right to folly. Just that last night wasn’t a good day. There was the malaria and the book about a woman who suffered abuse all in the name of religion.

I practically flew into rage.

Whoever did this to us as a people has done an everlasting psychological damage to us. I doubt if we can ever collectively outgrow this mental enslavement. Why would any fairly educated person in their right senses want to fast and pray for the most misgoverned country in the world? For fifty days? And do so with the conviction that it will yield the kind of result that’d put the nation back on track? What brand of folly is that one? One somebody high on anointing oil just decided people should starve for 50 days! Well I’d be damned if offerings are not collected daily during the 50 days mishap.

Let’s bring this home and personal. A reader might wish to join this spiritual voyage of fasting as their inalienable right. I have just few questions. Are you aware that while you starve your stomach of good nourishment for fifty days, the people that will still determine what becomes of you in the country are somewhere in the Federal Capital Territory aka Abuja living large? Come to think of it, despite last year’s prayer and fasting of similar proportion, how come Boko Haram and herdsmen became more brutal and deadly?

One of the worst havoc that can befall a man is to be born and raised in this part of the world. The basic infrastructure and fair living conditions you fast and pray for is what people dumber than you are entitled to in developed countries. Because they have a working government and fairly responsible followers. Charlatans masquerading as men of God should stop giving the misconception that God is angry with us as a people hence our predicament. Fat lies. We are learners when it comes to sin compared to these developed countries. We are just irresponsible as people and it is evidenced by our fantasy of praying and fasting for fifty days to God for mercy on the country. Like I asked on my subsequent outburst after seeing the unfortunate graphics design, which mad man of God will ask a Swiss citizen to fast and pray for fifty days in Switzerland ? For what exactly?

Before I slept last night , I asked two of my friends staying in Europe what exactly they’d need to pray and fast for fifty days for in Spain and France respectively. After having a good laugh because they’d been following my rants on same issue on my Whatsapp status, they both replied, “sincerely nothing”.

There you go!

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