A Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence at the University of Lagos, Akin Oyebode, Barrister Darlington Agbale and Nollywood’s most iconic thespian, Chief Pete Edochie have all voiced the same opinion in suggesting that the use of fetish gods in oath-taking by leaders will checkmate abuse of public trust in Nigeria.
According to the Prof. Oyebode who spoke on Wednesday, African leaders does not fear the use of Bible and the Qur’an as much as the god of iron (Ogun) or thunder (Sango). Hence, he suggested Nigeria and all African nations should dump the foreign Supreme God and embrace her root which is more traditional.
“Christianity and Islam originated from outside Nigeria. We should change the procedure for oath taking by using pieces of iron, Sopona and other traditional items.
“We as Africans are very traditional, we may put on western clothing but when a real African has problems, he runs to the native doctor in the village.
“As for the Bible and the Qur’an, Africans do not fear those books but if a piece of iron is used to take an oath by the god of iron or thunder by the god of Sango, African people will abide by their oaths.
“There is a lot of merit in this view that we have to take a fresh look at the ceremony of oath taking by not relying on the Bible or the Qur’an.”
Using the Okija Shrine as an instance, the professor said people are more scared of an oath taken there due to its devastating effect. Oyebode continued:
“Even though, we speak good English, we are not English people. There are problems with our psyche, the white man removed our values and replaced them with his own values.
“Nigerians have become “Afro-saxtons”. We are neither African nor British, we are in between, and the lawyer who is involved in the procedures of oath taking is the finest example of this.
“There are no legal consequences of violation of oaths because the oaths via the Bible and the Quran is between him and God, the violation of which is only heretical.
“However, traditional oaths sworn to Gods like Obatala, Sango, Sopona and Aiyelala are feared because of the grave sanctions visited on the violators.”
He insisted that the failure by Nigeria’s public office holders to hold themselves bound by their oaths of office needs to be deprecated and severely criticised, adding that Nigeria’s level of tolerance is too elastic for those who desecrate their oaths.
In the same vein, Bar. Darlington Agbale who said that traditional gods are more vicious and fierce with zero tolerance for violations of their laws. And therefore, it is high time the nation reverted to the traditional practices for efficiency.
Agbale believes that any person found guilty should be struck down immediately because courts protract issues with long legal arguments, hence Nigeria should revert to the old practices since the modern ways do not yield results.
The renowned Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie also hold same opinion when he suggested that officials should be sworn into office with smaller gods. Chief Edochie said during his visit to the former president of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings:
“God forgives easily, so these officials do not take the oath serious whenever they hold the Bible to swear. But the smaller gods are not merciful like the Almighty God who created heaven and earth.
“They should swear with gods so that it will put fear in these corrupt leaders to distance themselves from corruption.”