There is this swizel chair I wanted to give out. I had used the chair well (if you get my drift). It still looks good but times are changing....so I was torn between making it available to whomever may still find it useful....and casting it to the dump site. A teenage barber in my neighbourhood immediately came to mind. He should find it much more modern and more useful than the good old "chair barber"......those contraptions built on car rims we used to know as kids!
So I sent word to this teenager to come inspect the chair to see if he liked it. But the guy kept procrastinating. After endless postponements of his visit, someone told me my prospect was unlikely to keep the appointment. And why? "Don't you know the boy might grow suspicious because of the way the country is?" In short, I was made to understand that "people are afraid to receive gifts nowadays for fear of juju"!
I also recall a recent Sunday when an elderly relative returned from church and warned me not to receive gifts from "people". Reason? Someone just gave a testimony in her church in which he recounted his experience in the hands of "juju people" who according to him, nearly used him for such diabolical reasons! And how did his pastor react?....he simply reinforced the warning...."a word is enough for the wise".
But Biblical teachings are essentially premised on love of neighbour as self. The noise level in chorused "amens" when pastors deliver prayers on "favour" is awesome! So what becomes of such favours borne out of love if brethren are no less afraid to do than receive it?!
There is so much superstition in the land. It might not have been so bad had the poverty level been lower. And the band of political thugs who rule us have not helped matters as their kleptomanic tendencies perpetuate the communal poverty than assuage it....

Dr Tosin Akindele is a Lagos-based Medical Practitioner, a former Secretary of AGPMPN Ikorodu zone , a former Secretary of the Quackery Committee of AGPMPN Lagos State Branch, founder of Analytical Minds, a good health advocate and social critic.

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Articles by Tosin Akindele