For a while now, Nigeria has been subsidizing religious activities even though it is not a religion-based nation:
Nigeria is a secular nation under the constitution, but the government nevertheless pays about 25 percent of the cost for over 100 000 Muslim and Christian pilgrims to travel to their holy sites every year.
It also provides free pilgrimages for thousands of government officials and politicians.
As of 2008, those subsidies are no longer in effect. They have been withdrawn by the government in a surprisingly good move.
Leo Igwe of the Nigerian Humanist Movement had this to say:
Humanists welcome the decision by the Nigerian government to withdraw the subsidies of religious pilgrimages from 2008.
“This decision is long over due and represents a bold step in upholding the constitutional wall separating religion and state, which past governments flagrantly violated”
Hence humanists call upon the government of President Musa Yar’dua to scrap other policies, legislations, programs and institutions that violate the secular character of the Nigerian nation and the principle of separation of church (mosque) and state.
Long live free, democratic and secular Nigeria
(Thanks to Bjorn for the link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, pilgrimage[/tags]