This opinion piece is in response to the recent remarks made by Abubakar Usman Almajiri concerning President Muhammadu Buhari‘s appointment of Aisha Ahmad (pictured above) as deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Almajiri, on his Facebook page, claimed the appointment of Ahmad is a disservice to Muslims because she does not cover her head, dresses like a prostitute and is therefore not considered a true ambassador of Islam.
One of the strongest point/focus of religion is the control of women. The guardians and custodians of these religious tenets are not concerned with your welfare as a woman, or personal accomplishments or contributions to the society, etc. Their concern includes; does she fit into this mold we’ve created for her, is she living as we have asked her to, is she acting like we want her to, is she aware of her place underneath/beneath everyone else?…
Here is the other thing. When you don’t fit into their expectations of you, you are castigated and fought against. You’re labeled everything evil, wrong and dangerous on earth. Their inability to control you or exert power over your actions, kill them and drives them insane.
Religion puts women under the bus. We take the blame for everything. I mean, you’re the reason a man cannot control himself. You’re why inflation occurs. You’re the cause of recession. You’re why families are breaking apart. You are the reason for every single evil occurrence on earth.
For two days now, I’ve been following the conversations about the newly appointed CBN Deputy Governor, Aisha Ahmed, and it is saddening that the bulk of conversation is not about “her competence or suitability for the role entrusted to her (something I have reservations about) but rather grown adults are making her dressing the most important thing to talk about because of religion.
I love to ask questions. Why do we think it is our place to dictate to another human, especially an adult what to do, wear and behave? I will never understand why a deity or some ‘supreme being’ will be so bothered with my dressing or the lack of it. Such pettiness is beyond me. Why are you so concerned with what I do with my body? But I sense the scam in it. These custodians cloak their need for control and power as a commandment from an unseen being.
The day I came to the realization that a woman’s body and life is one of the greatest battleground on earth, everything changed for me. As a woman, everything about you is policed, from what you should wear, to how you should speak, to what you should do and what you should say, etc. But you know what else? The day I gave a middle finger to all of that, I started experiencing something beautiful.
My greatest liberation came when I removed myself from the shackles of religion, especially that which is practiced here.
I remember many years ago when an elder asked me never to stand up and speak again in church because as a woman, I was not to be heard or listened to. I went home really burdened and ready to denounce my faith but I still recall a conversation I had with a family friend. I remember telling him, ‘I will not pay allegiance to any supreme being who sees me unworthy and inferior”. He told me, “Go and study about Jesus again, then decide if you want to be his follower”.
One of my strongest identification with the person of Jesus was the scene he encountered the woman and the men who wanted to stone her. I make bed with Christianity because of the person of Jesus. If you’re close to me, you’ve probably heard me say this over and over. This is not a post about why I am a Christian.
I did study about Jesus, believe me I did, and when I did, I had to always tell myself, “look, Enwongo, Jesus would never have asked you not to speak. The Jesus I know had the entirety of his ministry built and fostered by women. Don’t let these people masking their hate and insecurity as Christianity make you feel less”. That changed everything for me. When I read my Bible, when I read about the life of Jesus, I become confident that this man, Jesus, put women at the forefront and I dare add, would have identified as a feminist in today’s world. I know this will make you uncomfortable but I don’t care about your discomfort. I’m talking about Jesus not you. Thank you.
It amuses me that the people attempting to dictate what I as a woman should do, be or say don’t come out and say it out plainly. No they don’t. Religion gives them the perfect excuse to perpetuate their ignorance, hate, bile and need for control. And if that fails, they run to the other line, ‘it’s not our culture’ to continue their control. Be gone!
Anything that attempts to place a shackle on my mind, body and life especially as a woman, and especially when it is induced by religion, I kick it in the balls. Go tell your God(s) to get busy doing other things. My body and life is not your battleground or slaughterhouse.
This article was written by: Enwongo C. Cleopas/Facebook