Sunday, 24 June 2012

Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

 It has indeed been enlightening as well as fun anchoring, participating and watching on the Nigerian Atheists group page, the reality drama triggered by the controversial minutes of the first and only meeting of this group ‘Nigerian Atheists’.

It has provided me with a good story line. This juicy story is not a book full of lies, deceits and a bloodthirsty God character like the Bible or Quran but it has surely been inspired by a minutes of a meeting, with as much credibility as the Bible or Quran, ironically, the group’s name is, wait for it,  Nigerian Atheists!

THE MINUTES OF THIS GROUP MEETING WAS WRITTEN BY PROPHET KUNLE OGUNYEMI AND WITNESSED BY HIS APOSTLES namely, the plagiarizing Apostle GAMBO aka Gambagate, the Lily livered Apostle ANDREW and on the fence sitter, Apostle LEKE!

People wondered why I didn’t just leave the Nigerian Atheists group since they were obviously up to no good. Many of the group members still do not understand that they have been gathered together as evidence for the Nigerian Atheist prophet of scammers, Prophet Kunle, who wanted to show the group to the world as evidence of a congregation he needs to feed. Since he cannot do so through miracles as supposedly done by dear lord Jesus, who allegedly fed a multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Prophet Kunle thought it would be great to appeal to international atheists organisations to help fund  ‘his" organization.

Unfortunately, the “Nigerian factor” reared its ugly head in this fledgling organization. The dollar signs became a temptation for some atheists who logically or illogically but definitely unethically have set off to defraud the larger Atheists community.

I just sit back and laugh when some members of this group whine that I am set out to destroy this new organization. I laugh because I truly wonder if they cannot understand that their own very words and action is what is destroying or to put it more aptly, has destroyed the Nigerian Atheists group?

All I did was put up a valid objection document with facts and evidence and what do I get in return from those who claim to be members of a rational group that value logic and want to spread human rights principles? Well, I got a ton of abuses, insults, deceits, name-calling and a flagrant show of bigotry, sexism, homophobia and loads of bullshit. Thank goodness I wear my bullshit proof vest all the time because I am allergic to ignorance especially when packaged as bullshit intelligence!

I laughed because every word they uttered, every move they made, every posts and comments exposed their personality to the world. Considering that they yearn to be considered legitimate members of rational thinkers, their every comment was a nail in the coffin of their dream to be accepted as rational thinkers. BTW, THEY HAVE NOW CHANGED THE SETTING OF THE NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP PAGE FROM OPEN TO CLOSED GROUP!

I have always had an avid interest in studying human personality and human nature. It is always interesting to see people play out human traits that have been in existence from time immemorial. Deceits, betrayals, back stabbing, ego, bigotry as well as kindness, understanding, rationality are all part of human nature, however it is always interesting to see how particular individuals play out these traits unconsciously.

 In the past few days of this imbroglio surrounding the pathetic book of lies AKA ‘Minutes of the meeting of Nigerian Atheists’, some interesting characters have emerged that would definitely make good character for my book. Peep into the trailer below for snippets of these interesting characters-

Mr. K – The Nigerian Atheists Prince of Scammers who saw the dollar sign and immediately jumped at the opportunity of making money off unsuspecting rational thinkers. Unfortunately this character has a big crush (his Achilles heels, a dream which when crushed brought out the ‘devils’ in him).

He also has an ego that could not be supported by a brain, a thirst for atheist recognition and a greed for international funding that led him to begging an American atheist he met on Facebook to publish the minutes of “his” organization in an American blog, even when the minutes has not been made available on “his” organization’s page , not even available to the 166 Nigerian Atheists group members (95% of whom had been randomly added to the group to boost online membership).

Mr K had a crush and it became a dream crushed. He could not take responsibility for his own actions and feelings, so he turned vindictive and malicious towards the object of his crush, a case that proves that even ‘Hell hath no fury like a ‘man’ scorned’!

However, the interesting part has been the unfolding of two faced lies and deceits, backdoor dirty phone calls, mudslinging, no back bone to publicly state his case and a quick retreat backstabbing behind closed door to malign his perceived enemy who was once his dream.

Mr. G- He is the Plagiarizing Apostle who could not for the life of him string together an original statement. 99% of the posts he made on the Nigerian Atheists group page have been proved beyond any reasonable doubts to be words, statements and blog posts of other bloggers. Who steals comments of other people to make a post? Mr G does! Incredible but very true!

He flagrantly made posts and comments that were not his original words, and passed these off as his original thoughts. When he was caught red handed, he did not even have the decency to apologize or at least admit that it was wrong of him to have flagrantly plagiarized other people’s works. I was not surprised that the 1% of his comments on the group page that are original to him has been irrational, incoherent, stack of lies!

Mr G tried to woo a foreign, atheist damsel with his plagiarized intelligence but ended up in the GAMBAGATE expose!

Mr. A-  He is the lily livered, sheepish one who kiss the ass of his benefactors. He would happily bash religion and baby Jesus in a closed online Atheists group but once the group became an open online group, he kept his running, bejeseus bashing mouth shut! What a chicken!

He is like the typical religious believer who needs a shepherd for direction. Yes, these kinds of sheep can also be found in the atheists’ community as Mr. A’s actions have clearly shown! He would do and believe whatever his shepherd commands of him. Yes, he is that sheepish.

Mr L- He is the character who can’t make up his mind whether to stand up for the truth or just go with the flow of the majority. He conveniently sits on the fence to avoid standing up! He sometimes speaks up but would retreat when confronted.

He is your typical Nigerian, they know the truth, they know the government stinks but they would rather not rock the boat!

Mr. H- The furtive foreigner who wants to make some cash via another country. He is most likely a persona non grata in his homeland therefore he seeks to attach himself like a leech to greedy and gullible people outside his state. He is not a very bright person but often fancy himself as having a brain.

Mr D. Who fancies himself as a champion of human rights, and confers upon himself the title of ‘elderly person with wisdom’ but whose every action and words speaks to the contrary. He loves using the ‘Freedom for all, human rights language’ but cannot be seen to practice what he preaches. He screams to sell a product he actually does not have!

Ms K- What is a script without a foreign damsel? Lol! Well, Ms K is the foreign damsel who led Mr. G to commit GAMBAGATE. Of course even after it was revealed that her knight in shining armor has been posing with stolen, not so shining armor, she still acts the screen stereotype part of a woman who would cease the use of her thinking faculty and chose instead to follow blindly the words of a thieving man!

Ms L. – This character highlights the main problem in Nigeria. It is a trite fact that whenever student unions and labour movement call for a general strike to address a bad situation caused by school overlords, bad employers, politicians or general bad governance, the likes of Ms L would want to sabotage it.

She knows a wrong has been done but as far as the wrong was not done to her, she does not care.  She would complain because her enjoyment of the public playground has been affected by students or workers who are protesting an injustice. She would call strikers and protesters selfish for occupying a public playground even when she recognizes that they have a just cause to protest.

 She would even give ‘advice’ that the aggrieved take the grievance to court instead of spoiling her fun, an insincere advice which anyone with half a brain would know was not given with good intention.  Yes, that is the typical selfish attitude of many Nigerians, even when the wrong affects them, they’d rather be suffering and smiling cos they always want to play.

Also, Ms L strikingly exemplifies the fact that no matter how well anyone loves to visit the library, intelligence cannot be bought on the shelves! Rational thinking is a process and just like principles, you cannot buy it off bookshelves.

 There are also the occasional clowns like Mr E who cuts a funnily pitiable figure everytime he opens his mouth, the vulgar gangster wannabe Mr. J, the ghetto speaking, no manners, vulgarity spewing Ms L and a host of other characters who right now are hoping they would at least get a mention in this story! Losers, go get a life! lol!

Of course in every storyline, there are always the heroes and heroines, in this case there were the ones who showed courage, spoke out and yes, they rekindled hope in humanity and established that, traits like honesty, fairness, kindness are still part of human nature which some human beings are capable of exhibiting!

And of course there is the protagonist/antagonist, whose role was to bring out the good or evil in all these characters. All she did was tender some valid objection and let the story play out!
  Wow! What an experience, what a story with incredible characters! It is made even all the more interesting because they were test cases who did not know they were been tested which makes the findings much more credible!

Every worthwhile experience needs to be documented and this forms the plot of the story ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP: THE GENESIS AND REVELATION OF ITS BIGOTRY, SEXISM AND PATRIARCHAL TENDENCIES!’

NOLLYWOOD, WATCH OUT FOR THIS BLOCKBUSTER! You should grab a copy of this TRILOGY, now available online!


Nigerian Atheists Group: Genesis and Revelation of its Patriarchal Tendencies!


Nigerian Atheists Group: Genesis and Revelation of its Patriarchal Tendencies!

How does one begin to address strong issues of great importance delicately?

How does one point out to a fledgling organization that it does not practice what it seeks to preach to others without being termed a killer of dreams?

How does one get redress for a wrong done by a minority organization without being termed as malicious and vindictive?

How do we get people to understand that being a minority organization or a member of a minority group does not excuse you from objective criticism?

Bigotry, sexism, censorship, lack of regards for facts, misrepresentation, bullying should not rear its ugly head in a progressive organization, certainly not in an ATHEISTS organization, and if it reared its ugly head, this should not be welcomed or swept under the carpet.

No organization should claim a free pass from objective criticism because it is a minority, fledgling organization. If you want to preach reason and logic to the world as a group, be ready to practice what you preach starting from within your group.

As a woman who has been actively engaged in activism over the decades as a student union leader, full time career trade unionist and human right activist, I have had many encounters with bigotry, sexism, censorship, harassment and bullying amongst so many called “comrades’ but I must confess I was really shocked to be confronted with these ‘uglies’ in an Atheists group!

 I have never held the opinion that Atheists are better people just because they do not believe in the existence of any God or because they  don’t have imaginary Sky daddies and Water mummies, but I always thought that every atheist would AT LEAST GIVE RATIONAL THINKING a chance in every debate, how wrong I was!

This was forcefully made apparent to me when I raised valid objections to the minutes of Nigerian Atheists group first ever meeting and what came out was an exposure of the true characters of people who wanted to camouflage as atheists! The revelation stinks to high heavens!

It is a pity that some group members were of the opinion that because the person who raised the objection to the minutes is a woman and the one who wrote the minutes is a man, therefore it is a Boy Vs Girl issue, this is a great disservice to our evolved brain. This is an OBJECTION with facts, why should the focus be on gender?

In an effort to trivialize legitimate, valid concerns of members of this group, some have referred to our concerns as “Women rantings” and “Girls doing their thing” , also bullying has been employed to try and censor some female members who dared to raise their voice. How do we even begin to explain some chauvinist and misogynist language used by some members of this group without caution?

Female members were called “bitches” and “motherfuckas”, homophobic comments were used against a member of this group and his home address posted online, thereby endangering his life especially in the highly volatile, homophobic Northern part of Nigeria! There were threats to rape women and ram dicks up their mothers’ ass and yet, the admin members of this group ‘Nigerian Atheists’ (who BTW added these people to the group) did not deem it fit to caution on the use of offensive language, in fact one member actually said he found the contribution of a misogynist to be Intelligent!

 How does Nigerian Atheists even begin to move on as a group without addressing these important issues? Nigerian Atheists claim to want to ‘preach’ the use of common sense to the world, but pray, how do you give what you do not have?

Atheists do not get to have a free pass from criticism just because they are a minority group or because I identify as an Atheist. Atheists worth their salt should not be afraid of scrutiny; they should welcome objective, critical scrutiny of any Atheists organization and its mode of operandi.

This is where I read for the first time, this mysterious MINUTES of the meeting as this MINUTES of the meeting was NEVER posted on the Nigerian Atheists group page, but FIRST ended up in a FOREIGN BLOG!  Majority of the comments on the blog post are deriding NIGERIAN ATHEISTS as a possible SCAM GROUP looking for INTERNATIONAL FUNDING! If proper advised had been sourced by Kunle Ogunyemi before making the UNILATERAL decision to ask Phil Ferguson to post the unapproved minutes of Nigerian Atheists meeting on his blog, we would at least have thought of a better way to introduce this group to the world, but NO, he had to do it all alone.

BTW, why should the minutes of the meeting be what was posted in a foreign blog as promotional stuff? And that again is one of the major issues I raised in my objection to the minutes of the meeting.

Here is a link on the Nigerian Atheists meeting's minutes on REDDIT, not a good promotional strategy I would say, that sure backfired, the comments are killing!

For all anyone knows, Kunle Ogunyemi could have also begged other "foreigners' that he has suddenly befriended on facebook to help promote "HIS NEW GROUP".  Ethically Phil Ferguson could withdraw his earlier post of the minutes of the meeting from his blog, or he could do a follow up bringing the attention of his readers to the controversy surrounding the Group and its controversial minutes, however he is not obliged to. KUNLE OGUNYEMI should ask Phil and all others he had sent the minute of the meeting, to cease from publishing it until all clearance has been given by the group.

KUNLE OGUNYEMI needs to understand that even though he was appointed Secretary of Nigerian Atheists group, HE is not the Group.  An argument or disagreement with KUNLE OGUNYEMI is not the same as a disagreement with NIGERIAN ATHEISTS group. This African dictator WARLORD mentality must stop. You cannot seek to take out the speck in your religious brothers and sisters eyes when you have a LOG in your own eyes!

 BTW, what is “atheistic values” that Kunle Ogunyemi referred to in this controversial minute … gawd, I bet the more enlightened atheists reading the minutes would be convulsing over in a fit of laughter!
 He wrote in the minutes of the meeting-

 “Yemisi Ilesanmi complained that the mission is too broad... Ogunyemi Adekunle disagreed with this position, pointing it out that; atheistic values go beyond the mere defense of atheists’ liberty….”

Atheism is simply the rebuttal of the belief in theism, a god, a deity, spiritual beings etc. There is NO ATHEIST(IC) VALUES. You can have Christian values, Muslim values, Hindu values, HUMANIST values…but you cannot have ATHEISTIC VALUE because atheism is not a religion or philosophy. Atheism is simply reasonable noises that reasonable people make when told that there is a GOD. I would be embarrassed to have that statement associated with me or with a minutes my name appeared on!

The minutes of the meeting needs to be amended or references to my name in any way taken off it. Although the minutes was written by the secretary of the group, as long as my name appears on the minutes of the meeting under the group name ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’, my objection and disclaimer will continue to be directed at the group ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

I again state categorically that-

- I, Yemisi Ilesanmi has been misrepresented and misquoted in the MINUTES of the meeting of Nigerian Atheists held on February 12, 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria.

-I was appointed Director of the group at the meeting, yet the minutes was not sent to me for amendments or approval, infact the first I saw  of this controversial minutes was on a foreign blog, the minutes was not even posted on ‘Nigerian Atheists’ group page.

- I made a request on the group page to know why I was misquoted and portrayed in the minutes as "Yemisi complained" Yemis disagreed" especially considering that it was a group discussion on matters arising at the meeting and all that needed to be made public was the decisions unanimously arrived at the end of the meeting.

- I believe the minute of the meeting was ill motivated especially since it portrays me as a dissident having a constant argument with Kunle Ogunyemi rather than someone sharing her views like other members present at the meeting, my request was called "women rantings"!

-  I stated on the Nigerian Atheists group page and categorically in the Objection document I posted on the page that the minutes of the meeting was never sent to me as someone present at the meeting and as a director of the organization.

- I made several requests on the Nigerian Atheists group page that if I must be quoted at all in the minutes of the meeting, that I should be accurately represented and quoted.

These requests has so far been ignored by the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi, who wrote the minutes and sent it out for promotion without following due procedures.

The co-director of the group, Dr Tunde Arogundade who was also present at the meeting made several call on Kunle Ogunyemi to amend the controversial minutes to no avail. When the co-director asked Kunle Ogunyemii to recall the controversial minutes of the meeting, Kunle  Ogunyemi claimed that this would cause TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES because it is posted online and amendments can’t be done online.

 Now, an educated, IT savvy person would know Kunle Ogunyemi just told a blatant lie. Dr Tunde Arogundade is an elderly gentleman who is not IT savvy therefore it was easy for Kunle Ogunyemi to make him believe it was impossible to edit an online document. DR TUNDE AROGUNDADE  HAS NOW RESIGNED AS DIRECTOR OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP.


What  Kunle Ogunyemi needs to do to amend the minutes of the meeting is-

1- Amend/edit the original document if  saved on his PC

2- Rewrite the minutes if it was not saved, although he can do a copy and paste of the minutes from the foreign blog he sent it to.

3- He should send the amended version to ALL members present at the meeting and POST the approved  version on the NIGERIAN ATHEISTS group page.

4- He should call for a RECALL of the controversial minutes from whatever blogs or bloggers he already sent the minutes of the meeting.

5- If it is the wish of the Nigerian Atheists group to promote the MINUTES of their meeting in foreign blogs, he can then send the AMENDED version to wherever he wants to.

All I ask for is that IF AT ALL MY NAME MUST APPEAR ON THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING , I SHOULD AT LEAST BE CORRECTLY QUOTED AND REPRESENTED. However, I see no reason why individuals should be quoted, a public minutes of a meeting should contain what a group unanimously agreed on, not what individuals say or didn’t say.

I am again flabbergasted by these immoral, unethical, two faced lies spurned by Kunle Ogunyemi all in an attempt to satisfy whatever it is that is making him behave in such an irrational manner. I am all for LOGIC, REASON and FACTS and his action so far and that of his supporters have done nothing but proved a total disregard for TRUTH, HONESTY, EQUITY and JUSTICE. CHARACTER IS INDEED WHAT WE DO WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING.

I am aware that every other person that attended the meeting was invited by Kunle Ogunyemi, however this should not justify their support of his irrational and malicious action.  When you say "THE MINUTES IS CORRECT BECAUSE Kunle Ogunyemi, Gamba Joel, Leke Adepoju and Andrew Nandip, say so “ ,  this is basically the same thing as a Christian saying.. “GOD EXISTS BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO” or “THE BIBLE IS CORRECT BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO!” As we as ATHEISTS should know, this is not a valid argument.



Dear Nigerian Atheists members,
I am obliged to make some clarifications pertaining to the minutes of the 1st ever meeting of Nigerian Atheists group posted by the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi.

The minutes of the meeting should have been sent round to all members present at the meeting and at least to all officials for amendments and approval before being made public. This to the best of my knowledge was not done, if done, it was certainly not sent to me,  I actually just read the minutes of the meeting for the first time on  this blog link-

The minutes of the meeting was NEVER posted on the Nigerian Atheists group page, but FIRST ended up in a FOREIGN BLOG! BTW, why should the minutes of the meeting be posted in a foreign blog as promotional stuff?

The Co-Director of the group Nigerian Atheists, Dr Tunde Arogundade also confirmed that the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi, did not consult with him before asking foreign bloggers to publish the minutes of the meeting.

This is not good practice.

I am not aware if other members that attended the meeting was sent this minutes for amendment and approval  but I do know the minutes was never sent to me.

 First and foremost, I am raising the objection that this minutes does not in any way accurately represent my views during the meeting. Infact this minutes seems to have been written in bad faith and smirks of an attempt to portray me as a dissident without accurately representing why I dissented and where I dissented. The two places I was mentioned in the minutes of the meeting state and I quote-

“Yemisi Ilesanmi talked about her personal effort in promoting reason and combating religious fundamentalism through her blog and facebook page; however, she opposed the clarion call that atheists should work to convince religionists to give up their religion for reason. Defending her argument, she asked if there is any standard to prove that atheistic views are the right or the superior ones and added that being atheist does not interpret as being intelligent or super intelligent. This position resorted into an argument between Ogunyemi Adekunle and Yemisi Ilesanmi but Prof. Tunde was able to put the argument to rest and urge the meeting to move to the next item.”

My Objection-
As I recalled, I strongly and still strongly hold the view that ATHEISM is not about CONVERTING religious believers to give up their religion but about promoting Logic and Reason to religious and non religious believers.   The statement “she asked if there is any standard to prove that atheistic views are the right or the superior ones and added that being atheist does not interpret as being intelligent or super intelligent”  has nothing to do with the reason I objected to the opinion that Atheism is a ‘Conversion Tool’  to preach the gospel of atheism to believers. I was quoted out of context.

Also, I remember using the statement about atheists not necessarily being intelligent than others when talking about my experience with African homophobic atheists and also during a particular heated debate when one of the Nigerian Atheists members present said he would circumcise his female child, because it is part of culture. Yes, I spoke out against circumcision and indeed reiterated in that heated debate that being an atheist does not automatically mean you are more intelligent, just that you are intelligent enough not to belief in the existence of a god or spiritual being. However, I have been grossly misrepresented in the minutes of the meeting and quoted out of context.

The second line where I was mentioned states and I quote

“Yemisi Ilesanmi complained that the mission is too broad and called for it to be cut down to cover only atheists rights; explaining that Nigerian Atheists Organization should have a singular focus of fighting for atheists’ rights in Nigeria rather than all encompassing rights activism.Ogunyemi Adekunle disagreed with this position, pointing it out that; atheistic values go beyond the mere defense of atheists’ liberty….”

My objection-
Now, I strongly object to the words “Yemisi Ilesanmi COMPLAINED”, I recollect us having a discussion around this issue, we all had our opinions on whether it should be called a manifesto or a mission statement, it was not a complaint, it was an expression of opinions.

Also, I have once again being gravely misrepresented because at no point did I say  “Nigerian Atheists Organization should have a singular focus of fighting for atheists’ rights in Nigeria rather than all encompassing rights activism”.

 I am known for my human rights activism which is all encompassing and include workers rights, lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transsexual rights (LGBT), sex workers rights campaigns , gender and youth issues. I basically try to include all progressive organisations in my various campaigns for human rights, so why should I be wrongly quoted as saying “Nigerian Atheists Organization should have a singular focus of fighting for atheists’ rights in Nigeria rather than all encompassing rights activism”.

What are atheists rights? Are these “atheists’ rights” divorced from major fundamental human rights like FREEDOM OF RELIGION that are guaranteed in Nigerian constitution and various international laws that Nigeria is a signatory to?

Seeing that this minutes flagrantly misrepresent all that I stand for and blatantly misquote me, I am demanding that the minutes be recalled from wherever it has been sent to and amended to reflect my true contributions. I would hate to have to post on every website page this minutes appears on, a correction of what I allegedly said and please I do not like to be so misrepresented and would want this corrected as soon as possible.

Also, I am using this opportunity to formally tender my resignation of the post of Director of the group. It is sad that it has to come to this junction again. I recollect that I protested at the meeting that I did not want to be made a director especially following the way I was appointed director without any consultation with me. I only read about my being a director of Nigerian Atheists group on a post made by Hotem Dajenid in conjunction with Kunle Ogunyemi on my facebook page. I did speak to kunle Ogunyemi to register my thought that I should at least have been consulted before such a decision was made on my behalf and also made public, however, I was told by Kunle Ogunyemi that I should infact consider myself lucky to have the position because there were others who would gladly love to have it.

It was at this junction that I made it clear that, it was not my business to speculate about what others would gladly want or not, but the important thing is how I feel about not been consulted before my name was publicly posted in relation to a position I was not aware of. I guessed this did not go down well with Kunle Ogunyemi as he misinterpreted my protest more as a sign of egoism rather than the real issue of non consultation.

 I brought up this issue at the meeting in Abuja where I made it clear that I did not feel like taking up the post but was prevailed upon by ALL the other members present at the meeting to accept the position of Director of Nigerian Atheists group,  which I did on the condition that another person be nominated as a co-director, at which point Dr Tunde Arogundade was elected a co director.

I did have some disagreements with Kunle ogunyemi on what the mission of the Nigeria Atheists was supposed to be but it was all aired during the meeting and everybody contributed their views. However, this minutes has been written as if I was a lone dissident complaining about everything at that meeting. We all did not agree, I wonder why I had to be misquoted and the fact that I disagreed with some of the points was made a subject matter everywhere my name appeared in the body of the meeting’s minutes. I was not the only one who disagreed with some issues at the meeting, why was “Yemisi Ilesanmi complained”, “Yemisi Ilesanmi disagreed with Kunle Ogunyemi” the main points wherever my name appeared in the minutes of the meeting?

Also, is a public minutes of a meeting not supposed to be about what was unanimously agreed upon and general conclusion reached rather than who agreed or disagreed on issues?

I hope this long but much needed explanation would help clear the air. I do wish the group success, but I can no longer associate with it. I would however appreciate if the minutes where I was misquoted was withdrawn and proper amendment made. Thank you.

Following the refusal of  the Secretary of Nigeria Atheists group, Kunle Ogunyemi to amend the minutes of the meeting as necessary and follow due process in seeking approval for publication, the co director of the Nigerian Atheists group Dr Tunde Arogundade has also tendered his resignation.I have also resigned as Director of Nigerian Atheists group.


 Related articles on the subject of Nigerian Atheists group and its controversial minutes and conduct-

Nigerian Atheists Group: Genesis and Revelation of its Patriarchal Tendencies! 
Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

Monday, 11 June 2012

My Personal Tour of Corfe Castle!

Corfe Castle in Dorset, UK was built in the year 1295. The castle has a rich history of Romance, Betrayal, Kidnappings, Wars, Beheadings, Trapped princesses and Ghosts! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Why “Thank God I survived” or “God knows best” is a terrible thing to say in the aftermath of a fatal disaster.

The aftermath of a tragedy always see many people praising ‘God’ for how they managed to escape and survive the tragedy. From natural disasters like the fatal earthquake in Haiti, Tsunami in Japan to the very avoidable road accidents and man-made plane crashes in Nigeria, many always come up with the “Thank God I survived” and “God knows best” supplication.

Truly—Thank God? Really... God knows best?

Do people ever paused to really comprehend how selfish and distasteful this statement is? There you are, staring at the burnt remains of humans from a fire accident, grossly twisted bodies of innocent children from a car accident, pieces of charred human flesh scattered at a bomb blast scene and all you could say is ‘Thank God it wasn’t you’? Really? 

Yes, you might be glad that you are not one of the burnt persons, that your child is not the grossly twisted child who groaned and screamed in agony but should you not save your ‘Thank God’ supplications for the privacy of your room when only you and your ‘God’ is present?

How do you think it seems to the family of those bereaved when for example:-
  • You hold a ‘Thank God I survived’ thanksgiving in your church?
  • You gleefully give a testimony of how God saved you from the wreck of a burning building even though your neighbors and their innocent children all perished in that wreckage?
  • You claim that you survived because God loves you therefore implying that your God didn’t love the dead victims enough to make them survive or even prevent the accident?

 You say that it is not your portion, but then whose portion is it? Did your God gleefully assign the portion of death by fire, air crash, burning buildings to others while this God anointed YOU with the portion of ‘You shall be part of it but shall not die so that you can live to testify to my goodwill’ ? Oh…save me the breath, do you really think of your God as a childish, bigoted, selfish, egoist being who  kill people just so you should come and thank him and appreciate his glory the more? Is this really the image of the God you want to sell to me? Hmm... actually, Yes, that is the image of the bloodthirsty Abrahamic God as portrayed in the Holy Bible and Holy Quran, but really, do you still want to keep making Gods in your own sadistic image?

I am often astounded by the reasoning of my people. The recent National tragedy of Dana Air 992 that crashed in Lagos on Sunday 3 July 2012 brings it all up again. A pastor was amongst the 153 onboard passengers of the crashed plane and a few members of the congregation raised the question of why God should deem it necessary to take away their beloved pastor in such a gruesome manner, as usual the responses were admonitions like:-“Don’t question God”, “You are going too far”, “God knows best” …

 What is it about my country people that make them so afraid of questions and confrontations? They are afraid of every authority whether real or imaginary! Does their precious bible  not say something about ‘Seek ye the Truth and the Truth shall set you Free’? Why are we so afraid to open the Pandora ’s Box even if it contained unpalatable truth that could set us free? Why should the truth box be a ‘no go area’ especially when religion is concerned?

Now, if I had any superpower that would have allowed me to prevent such a terrible accident, of course I would use my superpowers even if it cost me the last reserve of my superpower.. I mean is that not the stuff heroes are made of? Always ready to help humanity, anyone in need even if it means going that very extra length? Isn’t that why we love Spider man, Superman, Bat man, Voltron, Wonder woman and all great action heroes and heroines?  Why can’t we expect same of God?  Is God not a hero or is there a double standard for heroes?

This leads me to Epicurus age old unanswered question:-
”Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

Now if we say there is a God and we claim this God is-
Omnipotent- He could have stopped the accident from happening.
Omniscient- He knew that plane was faulty and could even have rectified the fault if he wanted.
Omnipresent- He was present during those agonising minutes and heard the heart wrenching cries of the people; definitely many would have called out to him in their desperate hour of need while that plane dived to its death, and could he have stopped the disaster but chose not to?

  • Did he simply turn a deaf ear to the pleas?
  •  Did he feel half the sorrow we all feel now when he was listening to the anguished cries of everyone on board but chose not to do anything about it?
  • Did this god choose not to help because of Freewill?
  • If everything was part of God’s plan, was this accident also part of his plan?
  • If God refused to help because the ‘Wages of Sin is death’ and ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ as the bible claims…why not just wipe out the human race?
  • Why are the animals also suffering, did they sin too?
  •  Why won’t this God just switch off whatever engine is keeping humans alive and then make a new set of humans, after all, scientists and inventors improve on their inventions all the time, maybe it is time for this Creationist God to improve on his human invention rather than make people die slow agonising death on earth while he stokes the flames of hell fire for his faulty creations!       

 Please, do not say it is because of an original sin committed by a woman  made from the rib of a man, who was tempted by a talking snake to eat a forbidden fruit planted by the Creator aka God, in the garden of Eden! That is an absurdly ridiculous story for adult bedtimes! And nope, God works in mysterious ways does not cover this and actually covers NOTHING! Saying “You can’t understand because your eyes are blind to the truth”  is also a terrible cop-out, it is not an argument just a sad way of avoiding a logical debate.

Really God Knows best? And that is a comforting statement? God knows best, that is why he allows so much suffering, air crashes, cancers, famine, natural disaster etc, yeah, God knows best. I truly will never understand how that can be a comforting statement. Saying God knows best in the face of disaster is itself admitting that this God knows nothing, is bigoted, is evil or just plain don’t exist. If your neighbor set your child on fire, you don’t stand there and say God knows best… that would be sick! It is just another way of saying   “I have given up on understanding this nonsense!”

When next you say God knows best, you are practically depriving yourself of the power to make a change.
  • When you imagine your dead Pastor sitting at the right hand of God , you console yourself that he is in a better place and you therefore lose the urge to demand that his killers be brought to book.
  •   When you imagine your precious child who died in that plane crash, floating with angels in the bosom of the Lord, you lose the will power to demand that the killers be tried in a court of law.
  •  When you console yourself with the image of your oxford bound sister who lost her promising life in that plane crash with the idea that God had a better plan for her, you lose the ability to be angry enough to demand that justice be done.

God knows best is itself a calamity statement. Whether you believe or do not believe in the existence of a God, God knows best is a statement that robs you of your power to make a change. If we truly desire a change, a positive change in the fortune of our country, we have to start thinking of making that change ourselves and not leave it up to a deity, real or imagined to make that change on our behalf.

Why do you think this Deity/God would change His/Her/Its plan just to suit you anyway? Why not take your own destiny into your own hands and mold it? Why not challenge authorities that imprison you physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally? The greatest prison is our minds, the most difficult chains to let go is the chains of mental slavery and we are never truly free until we let go of the prison of our minds. Be not afraid to question, your question is not a doubt of your faith but the truth slowly emerging to set you free! 

BTW, next time you exclaimed “Thank God I survived” remember that god had no business allowing that disaster to happen in the first place, if your God had no control over the disaster, why call him God? Why assume God saved you? Why rub it in the faces of others whom your God didn't love enough to save from the disaster?