I recently wrote an article titled Worship Can Be Dangerous To Your Health! In it, I enjoined us to avoid getting carried away by Religious Exuberance, religious practices that could be deleterious to our health. Now, it is becoming clear that Religion Can Also Be Fatal To Our Lives in more dramatic ways reminiscent of the Stampede As Thousands Of Jobless Youths Struggle For Immigration Service Job.
Now, we have this international calamity of hundreds or More Than 700 Being Trampled To Death In Saudi Hajj stampede, and 900 getting injured. The actual figure of the dead and injured varies somewhat, but the number of people is not the focal point here (Wikipedia actually lists deaths at 1,100).
The authorities are clearly to blame for this unfortunate incident. As always, in things religion, we get carried away with emotion, rather than pragmatism. It is amazing the stress, risks and dangers people would expose themselves and others to, on the altar of worship. People get attacked, robbed or raped during, or while going to, or coming from Night Vigils. The regular monthly bedlam you have on a major ExpressWay like the Lagos-Ibadan one, because Worship Centers have taken over major portions of adjoining parcels of land is simply irresponsible.
Any gathering of people as large as we have at the Holy Pilgrimage ground makes it imperative for people in Authority to have adequate precautions in place, and the Saudi Arabians, being yearly hosts to pilgrims need to be unequivocally condemned for this apparent apparently laxity. There is absolutely no tenable extenuating excuse!
Several people needlessly died, including some prominent Nigerians in this Hajj mishap. This is of course not the first time avoidable accidents like this are happening.
It is imperative when we practise religion to always remember that the safety of human lives is very important. God would not come down to preserve lives for us, or take care of basic precautions when we organize religious events.
The collapse of the building at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations in Lagos is another example of a case of trifling with serious issues affecting lives because religious considerations are taking preeminence over pragmatism.
I am of the opinion that practising religion doesn’t mean that we should throw propriety to the dogs, or our thinking caps to the lion or keep breaking the rules of the land with impunity.
Let us learn salient lessons, and be wiser, to prevent future reoccurrence of such avoidable tragedy!