Oyedepo, Oyakhilome, Ashimolowo, Others Come Under Attack At Humanist Forum in Abuja; Sheila Solarin Urges Nigerians To Fight for A Better Society

Bishop David Oyedepo
By SaharaReporters, New York

Stupendously wealthy Nigerian Pentecostal preachers and clerics have come under serious attack at the two-day national convention of the   Nigerian Humanist Movement (NHM), which ended Saturday afternoon in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The forum brought together students, children, scholars, government officials, atheists, sceptics, rationalists, agnostics, freethinkers and professionals from different fields to discuss Humanism as the next step in Nigeria.

Declaring open the forum which marked the 15th anniversary of the birth of  the NHM, Leo Igwe, the administrative secretary of the Oyo State –NHM,  told  participants that many people  across  Nigeria and the world  were looking up to them. “Meetings like this should spread message of reason, science and free inquiry, and usher in an era  of positive  and progressive change, hope and light,” he charged.

Speakers and participants after one another slammed the various rulers of the Nigerian state, past and present, as well as citizens for allowing  a great  nation like Nigeria to tumble into a chaotic religious jungle with poverty, disease, ignorance, corruption and crime to rule.

In the first paper, “Invitation To Humanism? What’s On Offer ? Dr. Tunde  Arogundade,  a  UK-based  politician scientist and  humanist, revealed that he had obtained information about the forum on June 8, 2011 from SaharaReporters, which he declared to be his church. He advised all to always visit the online site, which he described as, an “authoritative, reliable news source.”
According to Dr. Arogundade, “Youths instead of going to church should befriend it. We need change that will bring good, peace for us all.”

Expressing shock that there were humanists in Nigeria, he said, “Evangelists  in Nigeria have developed  serious business acumen  that is the envy of many  non-spiritual  entrepreneurs. The trick of business diversification has not been lost to the likes of David Oyedepo, Chris Oyakhilome, Chris Okotie  and Mattew Ashimolowo etc.”

He noted that in combination, their  churches have cornered  a significant percentage of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “Super pastors own  a variety of businesses,” he stressed.  “The sheer opulence of some of the most successful churches has given rise to the calls that the churches be taxed  like a company, a money making enterprise.”

Steve O. Okecha, a  distinguished  Professor of Chemistry  at the office of the Minister of Education, Federal secretariat, Abuja, also presented a paper entitled, “ Science and Superstition in Nigeria; A Lop-Sided Partnership “

Okecha attributed the slow pace of development in the country largely to superstition and ignorance, arguing that Nigerians over the years have not lived up to scientific ideas.
The Delta State born scientist described superstition as a national cancer in Nigeria. In his view, “Most Nigerians of all age-grades and different levels of education  and exposure are superstitious.  You can have a  degree in any of the science subjects. That doesn’t make one a scientist. But one without any science degree can be scientific. A scientist must ask critical questions”.

Also at the forum, 86-year-old Sheila Solarin, widow  of Dr. Tai Solarin, the popular Nigerian civil rights campaigner, writer  and atheist, sent a strong  and well-written solidarity message to participants.

The unapologetic British atheist, who could not appear on account of health problems, challenged Nigerians to reject religion, stating that it has done more harm than good to Nigerians  and the nation.  He called upon young people, in particular, to pursue good knowledge, science and reason, to doubt, and to criticize.

Like Mrs Solarin, many people around the world also extended their solidarity to the NH  on its 15th birthday. They included Norman Allen, secretary of the Institute of Science and Human Values; Tanya Smith, President of Atheist Alliance International, a global network of atheists and free-thought groups and individuals committed to promoting atheism, secularism and related issues; Dr. Bill Cooke, Director of international programs of the Centre  for Inquiry; and John Dowdle Mafrsa, President  of Watford Area Humanists

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I don't blame the Nigerian

I don't blame the Nigerian Humanist Movement, the church has failed in her mandate. Its really unfortunate when people in the world should come to the church to find refuge but its not like that, people instead are exploited and are not pointed to the author of life (Jesus Christ), they point people to themselves. The gullible people too will not study to know God by themselves but will be waiting for "my pastor said" to tell them what they are supposed to do. So why won't the so called pastors take advantage of them? Those pastors should know that God's standard has not changed, at the appropriate time if they don't repent he will deal with them.

this is a good development. i

this is a good development. i will like to be part of this. a country's level of development is proportional to the percentage of atheists in it's population. the reason why Nigeria is so backward is because there are almost no atheists among us.
atheists have the advantage of open-mindedness, which makes them more ready to explore and discover new knowledge. also atheists know that heaven is not real the only life they have is this one. so they try to make this world a better place.
we can not eliminate religion, but we can reduce it's harmful effects by diluting the percentage of believers. imagine what will happen to culture and science if everyone in the world was a believer!!

Nigerian and superstiion

Nigerians have not learnt from history or rather have not acqiured the relevant lessons from the history of great and emerging nations.Countries like Russia,india,Brazil,Malaysia were known for there strong superstitious beliefs but no sooner than they embraced science,development came.We must have the ability to question and get answers, instead of conclusively rely on the beliefs of our forefathers.until we change our mindset we cannot truly grow as a nation.

Only idiot can be ruled by

Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!
Only idiot can be ruled by fools for over 40years!!!

I beg i beg to disagree!

Religion does not cause poverty, people do. If you dont believe in God it does not make you superior or more scientific than me.
Well, let us, all together - religious and atheist, squarely face the root cause of poverty and under-development in Nigeria and the authors of this scourge are the vagabonds in power and their associates. They may pretend to subscribe to a particular faith, but I can tell you many of these rats don't believe in a god.
So, please stop patronizing us. It is a free world after all.

Churches are set up to have followers just like twitter

Churches are set up to have followers just like twitter,facebook and other social media with the ultimate and hidden intention of making money. This is the plain and simple fact. Until Nigerians realises this, people will continue to put their lives in the hands of pastors. Blacks/African tends to be the victims of miraclisation;if you live in the west you will understand what I am taking about,
Another factor is poverty;people want to know their future in a society ridden with corruption and nepotism.

Get use to it!

The humanists have again showed their cowardice by leaving out the very threat in our society-Islam because it is very convenient to attack peaceful Christianity that encourages freedom of expressions. Aha! Where is their condemnation of the recent UN bombing by Islamist Boko Haram or the rampant marriages/enslavements to minors in Islamic Northern Nigeria (INN) as shamelessly popularized by Yerima Zamafa? The menace of child marriage has led to a major health epidemic (Vesico-Vaginal Fistula-VVF) amongst thousands of women in the INN. A visit to any hospital in INN will leave you with an eyesore; there are special wards dedicated to treatment of young girls with the dreadful VVF disease, a direct impact of Islam. We have witnessed amputation of limbs and hands in INN i.e. Zamfara, as administered by Sharia law, so this deserve no mention by the humanists? Nigeria is in a dire state almost akin to Afghanistan, it citizens need the message of hope, faith and of course prosperity.

Only FOOLS still say there is

Only FOOLS still say there is no God. How free are the thoughts of the so-called free thinkers? You all have limited time to give your lives to Jesus Christ. The great men of God especially Bishop David Oyedepo has touched many lives and destinies across the globe. Pls start thinking Christ. The time is now.

Letting Them Know The Truth.

This type of convention has been long overdue in Nigeria.
Its time to let people know that religion in any form is facade. Atheism and Humanism are the way forward.
Christianity, Islam and all other religions are man-made.
There is no super being who controls people lives in the heaven.

ON SCIENCE AND SUPERSTITIONS

There is a difference between godliness and religion. The two hardly go together. Even an atheist can be godly and vice versa. We are mainly religionists in Nigeria and very few are godly. That is why we are in the mess we are. As for superstitions,that is another of our main problem. Religion thrives in such an environment and science is naturally relegated to the background. Only a few days ago, Nigerians were circulating certain phone numbers that would harm or kill anyone who receives a call from them. Even people who were supposedly intellectuals believed this and were warning friends and relatives about these numbers.

Crime, corruption and poverty.

Crime increase in Nigeria is as a result of crime friendly judicial system while corruption is extremely difficult to tame for same reason. A situation where police men and women scramble for money in broad day light shows that we do not have a reliable policing system. The nation's wealth is not evenly distributed while the constitution's provisions for peoples welfare had been jetisioned for selfish constituency allowances and security fund. Those charged with the security of life are always claiming to be on top of the situation despite the ever increasing violent crimes against the people. I am sure that the government can overcome these problems through strategic thinking and action coupled with the fear of God.

Endtime indeed!

This is it.....the world's finally coming to an end I suppose. Live right people!!