One reason why there is so much ethnic and religious strife in Nigeria today is because cleric dominate the thinking of the masses kind of like Grigori Rasputin, the Russian mystic monk did in the early 20th century
 Rasputin was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Tsar Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia and gained considerable influence in imperial Russia. At one stage, Rasputin was dictating military strategy during World War One, saying he was receiving instructions directly from God
 In late 1906, Rasputin began acting as a healer for Alexei, the Tsar and his wife Alexandra’s only son, who suffered from hemophilia. After he cured the boy, he became untouchable in Russia. Even ministers were overruled in favour of Rasputin because his words were considered divine
 The high point of Rasputin’s power was in 1915, when Czar Nicholas II left St Petersburg to oversee Russian armies fighting World War One, increasing both Alexandra and Rasputin’s influence. Rasputin was more or less acting Czar
 In the early morning of 30 December 1916, Rasputin was assassinated by a group of conservative noblemen who opposed his influence over Alexandra and the Czar. Nobody likes a Rasputin. Just look at what happened to Peter Mandleson in the UK
 After the Russian revolution, Rasputin’s body was exhumed and burned by an attachment of soldiers shortly after the Czar abdicated the throne in March 1917 in order to prevent his burial site from becoming a rallying point for supporters of the old regime
 Spiritually, today, Nigeria is where Russia was today in 1917. Religious leaders, pastors, imams, prophets, etc have as much influence on our lives as Rasputin had in Czarist Russia
 We hear all sorts of stories or rape, women being abused, people being asked to hand over their life savings, people eating grass, clergymen trampling on their followers, etc in Nigeria today. How have these clergymen been able to brainwash our people so?
 As soon as Russia got rid of Czarism and the mysticism of the likes of Rasputin, the country began an unprecedented journey of industrial development. In Nigeria, we still live with the delusion that a messiah is coming from beyond the skies to lead us to the Promised Land
 Until we are ready to throw our own Rasputins into the River Niger as the Russians threw Gregory into the River Danube, we are going nowhere as a people. It is the human spirit which develops a nation and nothing else!