The Cure for Religious Mindset in Nigeria: A Call for Citizens Active Engagement

Nigeria, a nation endowed with abundant natural resources and a vibrant populace, has often been stymied by its deeply ingrained religious mindset. While religion can be a source of moral guidance and community, it has, unfortunately, also been wielded as a tool to cage Nigerians, preventing them from achieving transformational leadership and harnessing the country’s vast potentials. This article explores how the religious mindset has been used to manipulate Nigerians and offers a call to action for active engagement in nation-building.

Religion, in its purest form, is undeniably good. It provides ethical frameworks, fosters community bonds, and offers solace in times of distress. However, in Nigeria, religion has often been misappropriated by those in power to maintain the status quo. Instead of empowering the populace to demand accountability and pursue progress, it has been used to keep people passive and resigned. Many Nigerians are encouraged to pray fervently for change, while practical steps to address issues are neglected.

Imagine sitting in a house during a heavy rainstorm and noticing that the roof is leaking. The rational response would be to call a carpenter to fix the leak. However, in the Nigerian context, it often seems that the preferred response is to pray for the rain to stop or for the leak to miraculously seal itself. This metaphor encapsulates a broader issue: the over-reliance on prayer and religious rituals in situations that require practical, tangible solutions.

Prayer Is Important!

This is not to say that prayer is unimportant. On the contrary, prayer can provide strength, hope, and a sense of purpose. However, when it comes to nation-building, practical action is indispensable. Our roads are in disrepair and our power infrastructure is unreliable (to mention a few of the things not working), not because of lack of prayer, but because some of our leaders lack the will power and courage to pursue development in order to better the lives of the people they serve. Our leaders need to invest substantially and deploy skilled and qualified technicians in the energy sector.

Moreover, the religious mindset has often been exploited to manipulate political allegiances. Nigerians are sometimes encouraged to support leaders based on shared religious affiliations rather than their competency or integrity. This leads to a cycle where corrupt leaders are continuously hailed and re-elected, perpetuating poor governance and widespread poverty. Religion becomes a tool for these leaders to mask their inadequacies and maintain their grip on power.

Breaking The Cycle

For Nigeria to break free from this cycle, there needs to be a fundamental shift in how religion and leadership are perceived. Religious leaders have a crucial role to play in this transformation. Instead of merely urging their congregations to pray for change, they should also encourage them to take active steps towards achieving it. This includes advocating for education, civic engagement, and holding leaders accountable.

We need effective transformational leaders who are passionate about nation building to contract skilled engineers to fix our roads and to stabilize electricity and not just prayers. We need soldiers and security personnel to combat insecurity, not just prayers. We need educators to enlighten our citizens, healthcare workers to care for the sick, and policymakers to implement effective governance. Prayer should be the foundation that supports these efforts, not a substitute for action.

Fostering Prosperity

To foster a prosperous and just Nigeria, we must cultivate a mindset of active engagement and responsibility. This involves recognizing that while faith can inspire and guide us, it is through practical, concerted efforts that we can effect real change. Nigerians must be encouraged to question leadership, demand accountability, and participate in the political process. It is not enough to hope for divine intervention; we must be willing to work for the future we envision.


In conclusion, the cure for the religious mindset that has hindered Nigeria’s progress lies in balancing faith with action. By shifting our focus from passive prayer to active engagement, we can harness the collective potential of the Nigerian people to build a nation that is just, prosperous, and thriving. Let us rise up, take responsibility, and work together to fix our nation.

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A few of my friends are also studying, not at the same university or even the same course, but having other friends who I can ‘study buddy’ with or check in, keeps us all determined and on track. Scheduling in catch-up time can give much needed respite without panic. This keeps your goals realistic and manageable.

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