Presidential aspirant, Dele Momodu has warned that the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) creation of a directorate of politics and governance wil cause moral crisis in Nigeria.
RCCG, in a memo signed by its Assistant General Overseer (Admin/Personnel) Pastor J. F. Odesola, confirmed the creation of the directorate for politics and governance ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The RCCG stated that the newly-created directorate was set up to coordinate the affairs and activities of members interested in seeking political positions in 2023.
Reacting, Momodu said combining religion with politics was one way to ignite trouble in Nigeria, especially when the church chose a preferred candidate and party.
Part of the statement read, “Fellow Nigerians, let me state clearly that I consider myself a bonafide member of RCCG even if I don’t attend church services often due to my absence from home arising from my enforced itinerant lifestyle as an international journalist.
I’ve been a son of RCCG General Overseer Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye and his very selfless wife, Mummy G O, Mrs Foluke Adenike Adeboye for many years.
Naturally, I feel that I owe it a duty to tell our Church leaders, and our Church in general, the Gospel truth.
Nothing must be done to inadvertently cause a cataclysmic storm in the House of God and the easiest way to create trouble in Nigeria today is any attempt to mix religion with politics.
As soon as I read the memo by RCCG establishing a political arm of our Church, I realised this was nothing but an invitation to Armageddon, if true.
It’s like combining some highly combustible ingredients together in a chemical laboratory. It’s not just that the effect may not be too pleasant, it is that the result and consequences will be catastrophic. God forbid.”
Momodu noted that although the church said the directorate was established tio support its members in the next election, there are general conspiracy theory that RCCG was setting up an ‘extensive network’ for the Presidential ambition of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Personally, that theory did not jell with me. To the best of my knowledge, Professor Osinbajo is not the only member of the church contesting the 2023 Presidential election. And it was not RCCG that nominated him as running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Osinbajo got the job primarily because of his closeness to his former Principal, then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and also because of his admirable credentials, ability and capacity. His religion was necessarily a factor, because a Northern Muslim must pick a Southern Christian as his running mate in the current Nigerian clime.
That’s the only reason religion came into it, I believe. It had nothing to do with the fact that he’s a senior pastor of the RCCG,” he said.
Momodu warned that RCCG supporting Osinbajo on religious grounds alone was simply not right or proper as it demonstrated blatant and flagrant partisanship.
Even if Osinbajo has decided to have his own father’s name by dropping that of his godfather, RCCG will still face a moral crisis if it wishes to jump on the bandwagon by drumming up support for Professor Osinbajo on religious grounds alone for many reasons, some of which I will now highlight.
Although Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a Muslim, his dear wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu is a staunch member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and one of the leading lights of the Church. Asiwaju, her husband, is a frontline Presidential aspirant on the platform of APC, just like his godson, Osinbajo.
Even if the church has a preference in Professor Osinbajo, mainly because of his status in the Church and his current position in Government, I expect the RCCG to “pretend” a little and behave as if it is not so,” he added.
According to him, “if RCCG goes ahead to support Osinbajo that’s like choosing a child out of one’s children and say, ‘this is my favourite!’ It’s simply not right or proper for the RCCG to demonstrate such blatant and flagrant partisanship.
As if that’s not a tough cookie to handle, there’s the fact that that there is a third contender, yours truly, Dele Momodu, who’s also a member of the RCCG and the youngest of the contending Church aspirants so far. I’m also the only member of the RCCG aspiring on the platform of PDP, as far as I know.”
Momodu wondeered if the church will ask its members to vote for one party knowing fully well he’s also a presidential aspirant like Osinbajo and Tinubu’s wife is also a member.
Would RCCG then ask its members to vote for one party over the other merely because it has decided to support one candidate in preference to the other regardless of the strong points one may have over the other? What a conundrum and crisis this portends for the Church and its unity and peace.
The church can’t even afford to ostracise any aspirant on the basis of religious persuasion or denomination,” Momodu said.
He warned that it is the job of the church to seek out and promote the best candidates and then pray for them rather than have a preferred candidate.
I also imagine that there is some degree of unconstitutionality to this attempt by the church to descend into the political arena. Nigeria is a secular state as the constitution provides.
To suggest that one candidate is the preferred candidate of a particular church or religious group and is being effectively sponsored by that church will breach not just the morality and ethos of the Church but also the deeply enshrined principles and grundnorm of our constitution, which are embedded and engraved for good reason,” he said.
He proposed that Churches should work towards identifying the best materials in different political parties and support them spiritually and materially from the humongous resources it had pleased God to bless them with.
Momodu concluded by warning that Nigeria will end up with a Babel of voices and a cacophony of noises if other churches or other religions decide to support their own members only.
It would be palpable anarchy in the making which would not augur well for the wellbeing of Nigerians but only cause misery and upheaal,” the statement read.