By Bolaji O Akinyemi
That they may be one as we are one, was the prayer of Christ for his church, the intent of his prayer was clear, “that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou has sent me“. How well God has answered this prayer is yet to be seen through the Nigerian Church!
The Lordship of Christ and fulfillment of His mandate today is tied to the unity of Christians. That the world may know that thou has sent me!
Sent to do what?
Luk 4:18 & 19 (KJV).
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
- To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
If the primary purpose of Christ church is to declare good news to the poor, little wonder why our country, made the global capital of corruption being inept in administration continues to daily drag citizens into abject poverty, is a fertile ground for the growth of the gospel of the kingdom, from which our churches are growing (denominations) instead of the gospel of the kingdom. Nigeria, our God given talent for global evangelization, has been hidden in the dust of our flesh.
One of the prophetic purposes of Jesus revealed in the old testament book of Isaiah is that Government will be upon his shoulders and consequently he shall be the Prince who shall broker peace.
If North and South are in need of anything today, it is peace in our nation and prosperity of our people. Both, are within the purview of church leadership, who are too manipulated to lead us out of the tunnel for this not too distant light we all can see!
Emmanuel! God with us!! Though we are visible and seen; in dramas and dialogues, but the Wonderful Counselor is yet to be revealed through us. How can we be the breed of a Counselor whose counsel are wonderful and we have no counsel to work with? No! His hands are not shorten to save. We are so consumed by greed that his counsel we have traded for personal consumption, ever eating and never satisfied. We must repent now!
Christ of course is the head of the church and the church, the body of Christ. What exactly is the Bible saying when it says Government shall be upon the shoulders of our Emmanuel being Christ? The shoulder being the first part of the body after the head which Christ is, is figurative of the place of burden! Christ once said, come onto me all you who are weary and our heavy laden (burden), take my yoke!
One requirement at yoking animals together for a common task is the need to be of same height, and having close body weight to balance the yoke and consequently the plough on which the energy generated will be centralized to accomplish a common task.
Neither of the animals can lay claim to the success of the task done!
Our need is for bigger churches to come down to the level of smaller ones, and the smaller, to be humbled by the sacrifice made by the bigger to be yoked together, for the all important common task that we must attend to in unity for the deliverance of our nation and the advancement of God’s kingdom!
The Church, whether directly in Government or indirectly, must be yoked together to carry the burden of good governance. This has been pretty difficult to achieve with Nigerian Christians!
From the very first time I had the privilege of leading the Prayers on Chief MKO Abiola’s birthday on the 24th of August 1994, for his family and Nigeria at his residence in Ikeja, while he was incarcerated for the June 12 elections by the Babangida Junta!
I was launched into the realm of public participation at creating civic consciousness in the church through different platforms. Later I will officially become part of New Dawn Prayer Group, during President Obasanjo. The church is still living in the hope of a delayed dawn!
My passion to see victory on the side of the masses became a divine vision when God stepped down into my bedroom on the 10th of January 2018 and mandated a change of order! This spiritual intercourse led to the conception of Project Victory Call Initiatives, also known as
PVC-NAIJA, and I became her Chairman, Board Of Trustees and founding President. I later fraternized with Legacy Initiatives International, and became her 1st President, but soon realized that it was not a place where the vision of peoples’ victory could be birthed.
Now, Convener, Apostolic Round Table (ART), a project of Voice of His Word Ministries. On ART Platform, we championed a partnership with PVC-Naija and CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) in Edo State. We made success of Community Ambassadors for Peaceful Elections (CAPE) in the last Governorship election. To God be all the glory!
Back at my base in Lagos, I have oversight of The LAGOSIANS, another project of ART, a movement pushing for equity and justice in leadership. Through interactions and engagements, I can authoritatively say that the church knows so much about everything except politics! This might be difficult for self seeking church leaders to accept, whose understanding of good governance is interpreted in benefits to their members; given contracts by, or appointed to serve in Government and consequently how it advances their denominations!
Worse however is the class, who, in the name of the Lord and in the “interest” of the church have set up political platforms for nothing but gain, though, there are some genuine people in both classes. Avarice for mundane things has made it difficult to get the church to focus on seeking the kingdom and her interests first in our leadership challenges!
I will like to substantiate my position and leave our leaders to their consciences to ponder on things and trust that the needful will be done.
Let’s begin with the ignorance of the church in the field of politics.
How in the world are the Northern Oligarchy able to find the formula of political calculations and the strategy to always outwit the people, with the church’s claims to intelligence and spirituality?
What was the carrot dangled before the church that brought us under this present rod of affliction?
Vice Presidency! How well has this served our interest or the greater good of the country?
Would Nigerians have faired better with someone else as the Vice President?
Or the “spare tyre” constitutional roles of the office of the VP makes it in function, that of an Executive Office Assistant?
Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the North will continue to lead as they have always led, either as President or Vice President, he gave affirmation to their born to rule status, when he said leadership is their heritage, but we need to ask him, is it the heritage his father met in Nigeria or the one they brought from Libya?
Six years after castrating of the office of the Vice President, El-Rufai stepped out as Surgeon General of Nigeria political power to undo what was done, substantiating Baba-Ahmed, he called for the need to return the supervisory role of the office of the Vice President over the economy as it was done under Obasanjo that gave Atiku access and influence to and on the Governors. Indeed whether as the President or Vice President, the North is prepared to lead!
Nigeria doesn’t have a choice now than to look up to the church as a component of the North and the South as the bridge to the leadership we desired.
When Baba-Ahmed said the North, was he talking about the millions, the Oligarchy has chained in illiteracy and poverty through its feudal system? Who are yearning for good governance, or the privilege foreign few of his class, trading the number of their political slaves in the North to perpetuate themselves in power?
Time has come when the church must unmask the Oligarchy as the Masquerade dancing the dance of religions and tribes in our political space to keep the people divided and oppressed!
The church is the binding component of both the North and the South, even of all tribes. Peace is the mission of the church, not in lip service but essence, but justice, equity and security are precursors for peace! We must therefore champion justice, equity and security for us to arrive at that “Peace land” which is the dream of every Nigerian!
What difference will a Christian President make in 2023, other than our experiences under Obasanjo and Jonathan? The Oligarchy infused ideology of Sharia in the Nigerian Constitution must be exposed for what it is, the invincible President through which elected Presidents will forever be unwillingly harassed, or willingly compromised and the country rendered ungovernable under.
This and many more questions must be sincerely discussed among our leaders and decisions must be taken in the overall interest of our country for a lasting solution!
I have received invitations directly and in proxy from credible Aspirants in the 2023 race, sad to say that even Christians in the race will rather worship at the shrine of the idol of northern oligarchy for their 11 millions voters enslaved through a feudal system which oversees mass illiteracy and poverty of her own people.
I am a steward of the church and the Nigerian people, constituency is key in the practice of politics, the church is mine, and it should be for all who names the name of the Lord! If politics is about interests. What is then is our interest in politics?
The answer to this must lead us to the casting off of our garment of political begging and cry to the Lord, thou son of David have mercy on us, so that our political blindness can be healed!
We must structure for values for us to be trusted by all, a Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim in 2023 is a possibility if productivity will come ahead of religion, it will not matter where the bests are from if the process transparently shows that they are the best. Peoples’ interests will be secured through uncompromising drive for peace. An investment in a candidate that will help this country to maximize her potentials will be embarrassed by most Nigerians!
The choice of Pastor Yemi Osibajo as the running mate to Buhari, for no fault of his did damage to the unity of the church in 2014 and the Oligarchy succeeded in using the Church to present darkness as light, only to put the light Osibajo represented under the brussel at the Villa. What lessons have we learnt from the Osibajo engagement?
How all of these were achieved with our eyes opened, calls for a critical study. Such that our most revered fathers of faith who should know Buhari better than us and should have warned us, believed that he would be a better leader than others in the race!
The Church is lazy politically. This is noticeable in our patronage of the 2 leading political parties. As me and my team move around, what we hear from the church is the limitations of our choices to two political parties. How?
Our failure to build a bond of kingdom interests and deploy same to a structure of leadership salvation for our dear country, has left us at the mercy of politicians’ coin of affliction. Head or tail, they win and we loose!
Let me be very clear without ambiguity! Nothing good can come out of those big parties, PDP and APC as presently constituted and focused!
The Church should wake up out of her slumbering. If she doesn’t know what to do, there are stewards that God has planted in her midst to help her through this season. I have met a couple of passionate breed without greed whose commitments are purely to God and his kingdom!
APC and PDP membership put together is not up to half the size of adult membership of the Catholic church who are of voting age! The church must see herself as the needed third force, not because one of her own should become the President, but to do justice and ensure equity! These are the basis upon which we can earn respect for leadership in the political space and not by subscribing to partisan ideology!
Attention and self seeking attitude of individuals in the body of Christ who are floating all manners of platforms of political liberation must be checked.
The need for the church to set up a political institute is sacrosanct! This will help the church to achieve the Daniel model of preparation for leadership before presentation. A lot of time we respond to vacancies with persons who are least prepared, this is what has accounted majorly for failure of Christians in public leadership!
Leadership is a field of specialization. This, the church must accept. How come Christians have done pretty well in church leadership, with Nigerian churches providing some of the best leadership in church and ministry in the world today?
How come Christians are leading many of the best corporate global conglomerates in Nigeria and beyond but failing in public leadership? The answer is simple, training and mentoring!
There is no way APC and PDP training and mentoring will produce a result better than what we are seeing!
This however will be challenged particularly by the pentecostal churches whose weaknesses are, every GO is a god! May God have mercy on us and humble us to accept the need to share yoke for this common task that we must do together!
Catholic Mission has a depth of understanding of the art and science of politics globally that we can’t ignore. Whatever structure that will serve the church must respect their experience and take advantage of it. The pentecostal stream to which I belong is very shallow when it comes to knowledge, yet, are so noisy!
CAN Presidential election will possibly take place before 2023 general elections, and this leadership is key to how we are going to engage and what will be made out of the elections!
We must evaluate CAN leadership before 2015 elections and how it affects our interests. The dynamics of the present CAN leadership and its impact on 2019 elections must be appraised. Let me state here that this serial writing is with no intention to insult any of our fathers and leaders, but until we seek the truth and know it, we can not live in hope of our freedom, for the scriptures can not be broken, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!
Let it be clear, Adam’s leadership in the garden was lost the day he aggrandized self! Same God can’t entrust the world He created to a self seeking church, a church who is passionate about the goods of all will remain the toast of God for leadership; global, Africa or country.
We, as the church must move away from prioritizing politics over principles, our stand must be on kingdom indices! The good of all through good governance must not be traded for personal gain or denominational advancement!
We have just 6 months to show how much we have learnt from 2015 till date, if by March 2022 the church is not desperately working together to rescue Nigeria. Then we can as well say welcome to Afghanistan!
Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi, an Apostle, focusing on revival in the church and spiritual revolution in the nation, the BID, as he is fondly called is also a communications strategist.
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