The Bile and Its Religion

The Bile and Its Religion

I was in Iwo, Osun state in 1999.
I was staying with a friend with 
whom I had spent several years 
while we were in the boarding house 
together as secondary schoolmates.
He had become like a brother.
His father even gave me a 
Muslim name, Akeem and a copy 
of the Holy Quran.

I was born into a Christian home 
but I had not met the Lord 
at the time so all the religious 
whatever sounded the same to me.
There is a God and people from 
different tribes, tongues and nations 
found a name for him and devised a 
means of worshiping this God.
That was my belief at the time.
I learned how to pray the Muslim 
way and even read a bit of 
Arabic while I was with this family.

This friend of mine would probably 
read this and understand why I broke 
away from him and his family 
that year. I was an undergraduate 
at the University of Ibadan at this time
while he was still seeking admission 
into higher institution. We were on strike 
and I didn't feel like going home 
to morning devotion and die by fire prayers
He was my escape...
Whenever I was with him I had 
the freedom to do whatever I wanted 
within reasonable limits. His father
had four wives and many children
If you don't sleep at home, 
nobody would pay attention and if you 
bring a babe home nobody would notice.
I think you get the gist.

One evening we were coming from 
the mosque when we heard some 
Christians holding a meeting inside 
Olode Cinema!
This cinema house was no longer 
in operation but a fuji musician from 
Iwo, called Ciroma had taken over 
the top floor for his offices.
We sometimes hang around this 
musician's office for free cigarettes 
and the company of other fans of 
this musician and his band.

Suddenly, my friend said I hate 
these Christians. Let us go to that 
cinema and kill the pastor and rape 
the girls (I AM NOT KIDDING)
The other guys with us (we were 
like six coming from the mosque 
after the 7 pm prayers) said 
"Yes, let's do it. We will get 
a lot of blessings for killing those 
infidels. This conversation took place 
in Yoruba language.
I began to tremble in my slippers
They had forgotten that I am 
from a Christian family and the people 
they were talking about are "my people"
The next thing they did was ask 
where they could get weapons.
One took a stick,
Another took some stones.

My friend, the one I had known 
since SS1 said "I have some machetes 
at home, let us go and get those 
otherwise most of them will run away"
We went to his house.
When we got there, I went to 
his room and started packing my clothes.
My friend asked me where I 
was going and I couldn't speak.
I was so afraid but I didn't want
them to know it was because of the 
Christians. I felt they could kill me,
So I told them I wanted to return 
to Ibadan, I lied that I had a 
premonition that something bad was 
happening to my family at home.

They became concerned because it 
was late and tried to dissuade me from 
leaving. Eventually, my friend said 
"Let us go and drink a little at Blue Room"
That was a beer joint we used to 
frequent in Iwo along the main market.
I said okay and we left for the 
beer joint. We drank until they 
forgot about their plan and the church 
service closed. We got back home 
very late and slept. They were still 
sleeping when I left as early 
as 6 am the following morning.
I never went back to that house 
or that family. My friend didn't know 
what went wrong
He came to see me in Ibadan 
several times before he left for Belgium 
in 2002. I couldn't tell him the truth 
because I was still scared.

Religious spirit is a powerful spirit, 
I have known these people for many 
years and I can swear they were not 
themselves that day. As I later 
came to know the Lord and
many things about life beyond the mundane, 
I realized what happened 
that day was very spiritual.
It was a demon at work.
A religious demon. It possesses fanatics 
of every religion and weaponizes their 
devotion by fueling it with hatred and 
a bloodthirst like no other.

Kabiru, this is why our friendship 
died till today, sir. When you call 
me and I don't pick or refuse 
to let you know my address and 
all till today. It is because I saw 
what you and others are capable of 
in the name of religion
I hope you see this and understand.
Religion kills, Christ saves!