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Nigerians more religious than godly – Ishaq Oloyede

The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has described Nigerians as religious people, who are not necessarily godly.

According to him, many Nigerians shun hard work but turn to prayers, thinking being religious will guarantee them results.

Oloyede called on Nigerians to harness the vast endowment of the country to turn its situation around.

He said Nigerians should, for instance, exploit the country’s agricultural potential, noting that Nigeria was endowed with vast arable land, water and weather suitable for different crops across different regions.

The JAMB Registrar made the call in a lecture, titled, “Duties of Muslim Citizens in National Development,” which he delivered on Saturday in Ikole Ekiti, Ekiti State during the First Aare Sulaiman Afolabi Ogunlayi Ramadan Lecture organised by a House of Representatives member, Akin Rotimi.

Oloyede, who was represented by the Provost, Federal College of Education, Iwo, Osun State, Prof. Rafiu Adebayo,  said, “Religion if used as it is, we can solve our problems.

“We are too religious and we are not that godly. We are in love with prayer but we don’t know the difference between prayer and hard work.

“Too many prayers without work is part of our problems in Nigeria. Let us make the best use of our endowments.”

Oloyede, while noting the South-West’s endowment with and the North with groundnut pyramid, said it was lamentable that “Nigeria abandoned our endowments and relied on oil as a source of income after the discovery of oil.”

The don, however, said religion had had a positive impact on the nation’s socio-economic development.

He said, “It is until we unite and bury ethnic bitterness, that is when we will get it right. Religion would have solved our problems properly but we did not utilise it very well,” he asserted.

The lecture organiser, Rotimi, said it was to celebrate Ogunlayi, who is the National Vice President, Ansar-ur-Deen Society of Nigeria, for his contributions to the growth and development of religion and politics in the state and country.

The lawmaker called on political actors across the country to honour and celebrate patriotic citizens while they are still alive.

In his reaction, the honouree, Ogunlayi, praised the lawmaker for the gesture, saying, “In most cases, people are recognised only when they are no more, but we thank God that this recognition is coming when I’m still alive.”

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