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Chat with Nandip Andrew — Executive Committee Member, Western African Regional Representative. African Working Group AFWG International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization IHEYO

2022-12-14

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/03/27

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How did you find the humanist movement in Nigeria?

Nandip Andrew: The humanist movement in Nigeria for now, is moving at a snail’s pace, compared when the founder Dr Leo Igwe was in Nigeria, there was always meetings or conference been organized. but now, nothing like that, we only have one conference organized by one of our humanist chapter, the Humanist Assembly of Lagos. and most recently the African Humanist Youth Day AFHD 2017, host again by Humanist Assembly of Lagos. we have also some humanist group in Nigeria, like the Humanist Society of Nigeria etc, the chapter also have their meetings in Abuja the Nigerian Capital. i was invited last year, because of a very tie schedule i could not attend. people are really coming out to identify with humanism, but the humanist organization at the national level is very weak. I wish to encourage the various chapters to keep propagating humanism, freethought and critical thinking.

Jacobsen: What seem like the bigger threat to the practice of humanism freely in Nigeria?

Andrew: The biggest threat to the practice of humanism in Nigeria is fear… in fact fear causes members not to show themselves physically, but on the social media, members at the comfort of their homes, in their rooms express their disbelief, but call up a meeting or conference only few would attend. another aspect again is discriminations, when the community or society a humanist member is leaving, people tend to look at the member as dangerous or some kind of an immoral person, sometimes led to physical attack.

Jacobsen: Who is a personal hero for you there? Have they written any books? If not, who is a Nigerian who writes on religion your books that you like?

Andrew: My personal hero is Dr Tunde Arogundade, is my former part time lecturer, he helped me out in the late 2009 into the light of humanism from the darkness of dogma, provide books from his private library, books on atheism/humanism, the other person is Dr Leo Igwe, his commitment in the propagation of humanism in Nigeria and Africa as at large. yes, Dr Tunde is writing a book about the religion crisis between Christians and Muslims, Boko Haram, (Boko Haram are Islamic terrorists in northern Nigeria, that bomb and kill thousands of innocent children, women and men and adopted hundreds in the name of propagating islam) and the Nigerian politics. The Nigerian that writes on religion the book i like is Mr Adebowale Ojowuro, the tittle of the book is The Crisis Of Religion.

Jacobsen: Does your professional life impact your activist life?

Andrew: Yes, may professional life impact on my activist life. in my office i am identify as an atheist, in my home life i am call an atheist, in my local community i am call an atheist, my wife was nickname “MATA BA ALLAH” in Hausa language, (meaning MATA is wife, BA no, ALLAH god. a wife of a person that don’t believe in God). I feel very comfortable to identify as an atheist.

Jacobsen: What makes a good humanist?

Andrew: A good humanist, is one that does not discriminate based on religion or race, a good humanist is a peace loving person, a good humanist tries to make the world better and safer place for us to leave and our children, because this is the only place we got

Jacobsen: What are some positives of religion in your perspective?

Andrew: Some positives aspect of religion is allowing me to know the truth, through the reading of the bible and it led to my freedom. is very good that every humanist should study or read others religious books.

Jacobsen: How do you hope humanism develops in Nigeria for the next 10 years, at a minimum?

Andrew: There hope for the growth of humanism in Nigeria for the next 10 years, if only the majority of youths in Nigeria who are humanist should remove fear and replace it with courage. we have started seeing that happening, if it continues Nigeria will leave Uganda and Ghana far behind in 10 years to come, but i know they too will make sure they are not left behind.

Jacobsen: Any final feelings or thoughts?

Andrew: My final feeling is being unhappy that others like me in the Nigerian Humanist Movement have not made any impacts for the past few years. Hopefully, we will make sure we try our best.

Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Nandip.

Andrew: Thank you for the interview Scott Jacobsen.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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