A friend of mine captured some ironic Nigerian scenarios in his blog here, while another touched on it here (with a funny story of a would-be-marriage counselor), and others also dwelt on the pervasive irony of Nigerians here and here. Irony is a way of life in Nigeria, it is hardly noticed. And if you didn’t spot the irony in that statement you’re a Nigerian. You can barely walk a few metres out of your house without spotting it hanging around. Even street traders have gotten into the irony game.
I don’t know if this ironic lifestyle has always been the case historically; but in modern times, I gladly lay some of the blame at the door of the Nigerian religion. Just take a look at the abundant religious irony: well-fed pastors and their hungry congregations; church mansions where the homeless are not allowed to sleep; church members that profess the Beatitudes yet some come to church in the latest vehicles while others walk; deacons in Italian suits and hawkers in local wrappers; pastors who teach God’s protection but walk around with bodyguards; bishops who gladly denounce the sins of the masses but keep silent about the crimes of the leaders; Sunday-school teachers who tell the story of Ananias and Sapphira–but have never shared out their own salaries; divorce prone pastors who preach marital sacredness; “God-fearing” religious leaders who anoint corrupt political leaders; political leaders who call on God at every disaster…
But even more to blame are the people who accept this ironic lifestyle as a way of life, especially the Christians who claim to go to church “because of God and not because of the pastor“. Such people will be damned as well in the lakes of fire (if any such fabulous place exists) for they are worse than the perpetrators. These are the people who, in places of worship and out of it, through their submissive silence and acceptance of the “order of things”, allow injustice and oppression to continue. They claim to be in church for Christ, but Christ didn’t tolerate irony.
Modern religious leaders are known for the brigands, cowards, hypocrites, spiritually snobs, looters and Italian-suited dishonest businessmen that they are, but even worse are their devoted followers, who turn a blind eye to the inconsistencies of their faith.
The end result is a system where irony reigns supreme, from local markets to sophisticated churches to legislative houses. We’re all allowed to say one thing and do another.