Heathrow Expansion: British churches might be empty but their boardrooms are full


Today, there was ground breaking news that the Heathrow expansion had hit another milestone. The British government has approved a third runway at the airport to expand UK airport capacity. This has been an ongoing debate for years; there are many who feel that it is unnecessary and will cause more harm than good. There are fears over noise pollution, capacity use, and housing displacement.

Even now that the decision has been reached, there are many who feel the bulldozers will never arrive. Indeed, the MP for the areas that will be most affected had this to say: “The day when the bulldozers appear is a long way off, if indeed they ever materialise.”

Everyone has an opinion – all of which will be fully considered before the very first brick is laid.

In the greater scheme of things, this is not particularly important to me or indeed to other Nigerians who live here. My papa no be bricklayer, and I no bid for the contract. I’ve never wanted to travel someplace only to be told that I couldn’t go because there was no runway to take me there. This decision makes no difference to me one way or the other.

“It Is Well” – Except It Is Not

I am pointing out this fact because the news came minutes after I had finished debating the role of God/religion/prayer in governance and the public sector. My friend argued that only prayers could save Nigeria. I argued that prayer and hypocrisy have got us here in the first place. I am not sure that I am 100% right; there is certainly a place for prayer, but I think that place is within an individual’s heart. Not in a board room, and certainly not as a governing tool.

The only time oyinbo have ever used religion in government is when it is required as a means of manipulation. It is very handy for getting people to toe the line; to lose their personal sense of pride and moral compass, and follow the path you please. if in doubt, ask the slave owners. Jesus can be good for subservience, not just salvation.

They have never needed Him for building roads, providing electricity or going into space. There are no hymns sung before medical breakthroughs are reached. There are no prayers screamed ad nauseam before negotiations are made or deals are struck.

All of this…and we’re still the way we are.

Jehovah is not responsible for the strong pound; neither is Allah the reason behind constant electricity. Sango and Sonpona know nothing about this Heathrow expansion or a third runway.

One of the reasons why I despise the Nigerianism “It is well” is because it is usually said at a time when all is decidedly not well.

We need to do better. Less night vigils, more effort on building a nation we can truly be proud of.


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