I had the most amazing life anyone could ask for. I and my siblings come from a lineage of affluent aristocrats. We reside in a prosperous suburban neighborhood in Nigeria and had the best of everything. Life was indeed beautiful…until we let the devil in and gave him the greatest weapon with which he destroyed our perfect lives – TRUST.

My younger sister was ten years old when my Father hired Gida as the security guard for the mansion. We trusted him with securing our house, properties, and our lives. Hiring more than one security guard wasn’t really a necessity then since our estate was properly maintained and protected.

I had just finished my high school education in the most prestigious boarding schools in the country and was back home to prepare for another stage of my life, a University Education abroad – both of my elder brothers were already studying in the UK, and I was to follow suit.

On my return home I realized our previous gateman Ahmed, had resigned. Ahmed was really close to us, he was like family and has been with us for as long as I can remember – Mum told me he had gone back to the village to be with his growing family.

Nevertheless, on my return home, the new gateman Gida, welcomed me with enthusiasm and it warmed my heart towards him instantly. He had a huge smile plastered on his face while he helped with my luggages. Although he had never met me, he was genuinely excited about my arrival.

“Small Madam welcome! I hear about you long long! I happy to see you well well!” He said excitedly with a grin akin to the Joker’s plastered on his face – Men! How I hated that chary grin of his.

Gradually I began to warm up to him like my family had done. Sometimes my mother would give me or the maid some food to take to Gida – breakfast, lunch and dinner was a guarantee for our employees, my mother made sure of it.

We treated him like a part of our family, paid him more than the normal salary rate for security guards and made sure he lacked nothing – Well, I will proudly tell anyone willing to listen that my parents are one of the few good folks I know, they believe in treating everyone with love and affection, irrespective of who they are or where they come from – If only they could see me now.

Even as a young adult I saw their desire to be kind to humanity, but in their benign need to be magnanimous they ignored one of the rules of TRUST my high school class teacher always hammered on – for every fraction of trust handed out to a stranger guard the heart with which you trusted – Even Jesus learnt that the hard way he would say. Apparently, so did my parent.

During these traumatizing three months of my life, I have come to the realization that a concept as sacred as religion and belief has become a weapon of oppression, subjugation and exploitation for humans to use against themselves. These set of humans have let themselves be bullied into a destructive idea of religion – this is the reason religious extremism exist today.

The humans in these category have embraced presumptuous religious doctrines/tenets aimed at ignorant religious faithfuls. They adopt man’s ideology of religion and protect these beliefs by any means necessary.

These group of people would scream to anyone willing to listen that they do the will of their God, but I believe the devil sits at a corner whispering softly in their ears – destroy, destroy. These men then try to play God by seeking to control religious belief and practices, forgetting that the central basis that unites all religion is humanity and without humans religion would be non-existent, but then without religion morals would be foreign to man – the reason we are all not animals is because some of us actually fear a higher power.

To be continued.


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