Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says Sango, despite being the god of lightning and thunder, does not have the capacity to generate a single kilowatt of electricity.
Delivering the convocation lecture at the University of Benin on Friday, Fashola urged the graduands to free their minds from fear, and stop deifying resources that can be harnessed for the good of the society.
“Traditional medicine, from herbs, roots, and other endowments of nature have their place of pre-eminence in the assurance of our well-being and good health. I cannot say the same thing about divination and sacrifices,” he said.
“We must choose to work our iron ore to produce steel and build skyscrapers, machines and tools like others do instead of worshipping the god of Iron.We must use engineering to manage and control flooding and erosion.
“We must probe the treasures of our forests and depths of our oceans as bastions of possibilities that we must manage and dominate instead of worshipping the god of the sea.
“If we continue to fear the sea, oceans and waters we will perpetuate the practice of sacrifice, instead of undertaking the enterprise of understanding; and dominating them for energy and transport.
“We must approach our rock formations as treasure troves of building materials like marble, tiles and granite rather than treat them as totems of salvation that require animal sacrifice.
“We should stop deifying the moon and stratosphere beyond the visibility of our eyes out of fear. Instead we should develop the courage and resolve to send men and women to land a space craft there.”
He said prayer is good when combined with hard work. He added that all the divination and sacrifices made to Sango, the god of lightning, has not generated a single kilowatt of power.
“I urge you to free your mind from fear, reach for the skies, choose by conviction and not by fear; trust in your abilities and God given talent, take responsibility, work hard and pray if you believe.
“Yes, Sango is the god of lightning and thunder, but all the sacrifices made to Sango has not generated 1 (ONE) kilowatt of electric power.
“Electricity is produced by using nature’s gifts , such as gas, water, solar and wind, harnessing their capacity through turbines made from steel to serve our energy needs, not by making animal sacrifices.”
Fashola also urged his audience to “look for the book titled ‘Start Up Nation’ by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, saying: “It would provoke your thinking as it did mine.”