Opinion

2023: Nothing wrong with same faith candidacy

A Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket is not a new thing in Nigeria. When it was attempted in 1993 with Chief MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe, Christians were hypocritically civil about it. They concentrated more on what they referred to as national interest than religious gameplan.

They refused to understand it as a seed sown towards a time like this. They refused to understand that power is about planning. They concentrated on the myopic understanding that their kingdom is not of this world but of heaven. They refused to understand that politics is about focus, doggedness and forthrightness.

They saw politics as a dirty game and did nothing to position the church in the political equation of Nigeria. And within the period, the Muslims have been committing so much energy, resources and planning towards political power-control while they extended hand of fellowship to Christians just to pacify them. Within this period, the so-called big wigs of the Christian faith who now cry foul over marginalisation of Christians in politics were busy amassing wealth to open private universities, television stations and ministerial empires without learning from history on how some of such institutions were taken over by successive governments in the past.

They failed to invest in training and sponsorship of their members for political power grab to which all other state apparatus including religious, political and socioeconomic apparatus must as a matter of cost be eventually answerable per time, per time. Within the period, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) leadership engaged in empty leadership contention on the avenues of wealth acquisition and who should access Aso Rock Chaplaincy without understanding that access to the wealth of Ask Rock Chaplaincy has only been a distraction. My dear Christian friends never forget that politics is an investment. Nobody wants to invest and fail.

Christians must not wish to reap where they fail to sow. No matter how well a team plays a football match, if the team does not score, its efforts are not reckoned with. Politics is about winning elections and not about fielding one armchair Christian who cannot pull a crowd. Vice President Osinbajo did not pull a crowd on his own merits; he did, on the wings of his sponsor, Bola Tinubu who presented him to Buhari as a substitute to himself.

I hear a lot of Christians retorting that it is inconceivable that there is no viable Christian politician in the North that APC could have fielded as running mate but such agitation only smacks of political ignorance. Investigate some of those Christian politicians and you will be surprised that none of them, as of now, can win council elections in their states because they have hardly made any impact on their constituencies while in office. But the hard truth that hurts us is that neither CAN nor PFN could present any candidate for an assignment of such scale. Some of the Christian big wigs that make pronouncements threatening God are going to do nothing to nurture any politician for a time like this.

The Christian leaders, no doubt have failed God and instead of going back to God in repentance, they are busy condemning a party that is working for its own success. These leaders look away from politics and expect armchair treatment for Christians when Muslims invest, plan and direct affairs of their party to fruition; and then demand that their Christian constituency should have a major share. No sane person does that. If Christians have sold their birth rights, they should return to God in repentance instead of blaming a Jacob that has decided to play a fast one towards grabbing power.

The big wigs of Christian faith, who now cry foul, must answer to us where they were, when the APC-led government Islamized the Armed Forces, Civil service and all political appointments or they want to pretend that those measures were not for a time like this. They should explain to us why they didn’t deem it fit to invest in some upcoming politicians in their churches from the Northern part of Nigeria to become strong contenders even for the presidency.

They should stop covering their show of shame with empty threats and prophesies that God will not honour because we failed God. I want to believe that they are now shouting and crying foul because they are about to lose their great investment.

And I must warn that if they don’t repent to begin to invest in the body of Christ to raise a strong kingdom army, America and Europe will not be a safe haven for them in the days of judgment that will soon befall Christians in Nigeria. Needless to recall, some of these Christian leaders lent their pulpits to campaigners against Goodluck Jonathan in the 2014 general elections.

 

Indeed, some of them were part of the prayer teams in Jos, Kaduna and Abuja that held prayer rallies towards the removal of Goodluck Jonathan for the man they considered as anti-corruption crusader. They insisted that God must remove the so-called corrupt government of Goodluck Jonathan for a man they reckoned as a messiah.

A few years later, they are now engaging in all forms of prophetic ranting and balderdash, asking God to thwart every plan to Islamize Nigeria. They make pronouncements in God’s name as if God is responsible to them. No. Spiritual matters do not work that way. If our leaders have deselected, particularly CAN and PFN, they must return to God in genuine repentance and then cry for mercy for restoration.

That is the example we find in scriptures (Judg.6:1-16). To resort to empty claims of what God can do before congregations we are not in the position to influence in the electoral process is mere hypocrisy and a measure adapted to exposing the body of Christ in Nigeria to unnecessary scorn and hatred before the APC government that will retain the presidency, come 2023. For now, the Church must learn from its past and plan beyond 2023 if we genuinely feel hurt about how our failure as Christians has affected this nation. If you feel hurt about what is happening to the body of Christ in Nigeria, forward this Clarion position to as many as you can.

 

●Prof Igonoh is the Senior Pastor, Christian Liberty

 

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