NIGERIANS’ belief in seeking spiritual solutions to challenges confronting them is in no doubt a major and complex issue as it manifests in high number of clerics that have suddenly sprung up in the society. Previously many Nigerians grew up with the tradition of seeking spiritual solutions to all their challenges, even when evidences point to the contrary. They bombard the homes of clerics and witch doctors for answers to their challenges.
THE belief in some quarters that in the past, many got succour over their problems, without being exploited. The situation has however changed with the emergence of criminal clerics who take advantage of Nigerians seeking for solutions to their troubles. We frown at the antics of such criminal-minded clerics, who because of the love for money and material acquisitions compound the challenges of ordinary Nigerians by taking undue advantage of them.
REPORTS have it that many Nigerians fall now easily fall into the hands of criminally minded clerics due to the crushing economy which has battered than over the last few years.
ALSO, lots of Nigerians inculcate the get-rich-quick mentality into their psyche, and feel that the only way of achieving this objective rests on the prayers and blessings of clerics.
DUE to the humbling condition, criminal-minded clerics pretend to have answers to the problems of Nigerians, but instead of giving a succour, they exploit them, even those without jobs.
Government seems to have failed in its responsibilities to protect Nigerians from the hands of these fraudsters. All manner of persons claim to be clerics and they go scot free of the authorities, even though the so-called clerics lack the training or experience to solve people’s challenges. In some churches for instance, the clerics exploit the unfortunate situation in the country by focusing their sermons on the get-rich-quick and prosperity messages, leading millions of gullible Nigerians astray. The criminal minded clerics. exploit government’s lukewarmness by twisting ideas about public morality through advertisements reinforcing the activities of people such as Yahoo boys, fraudsters and other operators who thrive on corruption .
IN this kind of confusing scenario, criminal-minded clerics grab as much property and money as they can from innocent Nigerians, not minding the consequences. To make matters worse, they sometimes break the peaceful home of their followers, through false doctrines, or physically inducing the separation of couples, thereby complicating the state of the society.
IN some extreme situations, the clerics, not bothering about the laws of the land, use their innocent followers for rituals to boost the growth of their religious establishments.
THEREFORE, many are not surprised when government agents jail a few of these criminal clerics for appropriating the properties of members or causing marital mayhem in the homes of their followers.
THE Hope condemns the activities of these clerics, and demand that sanity be brought to the sector. We converse that there must be a measure to prevent this downturn in the nation’s moral compass. For sanity to prevail, we encourage governments to institute policies towards the economic recovery of the nation, as youths tend not to visit the clerics when they have a source of sustenance through jobs. In addition, the Federal Government should institute a council akin to the British Charity Commission to regulate the activities of the religious institutions in the country and if such council exist, it must be encouraged to carry out its functions with efficiency.
FURTHERMORE, we call on members of the public to show vigilance when they come into contact with clerics, by carrying out background checks on the so-called ‘Men of God’ so as not to prey to criminals.
Parents should endeavor to give their children sound moral education, since this would teach them to apply practical solutions to challenges at adulthood, instead of looking for spiritual breakthroughs to everything. Finally, members of the public should ask questions about clerics they meet before integrating them into their lives.