• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Nigeria can’t build anything meaningful on uncertainty and falsity – Pastor Akinyemi

Nigeria can’t build anything meaningful on uncertainty and falsity – Pastor Akinyemi

Bolaji Akinyemi, the senior pastor of Voice of the Word Ministries, spoke about the one-year anniversary of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the state of the nation. He pointed out what the Church must do to intervene in the political sphere. Excerpts by John Salau:

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC in 2023; what will you say the Church got wrong?

Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is the structure. CAN has five blocs. Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is one of the blocs in CAN. Last year 2023, PFN established what it called the Directorate for Politics & Governance (DPG). After the 2023 election, what has the DPG been doing since then to promote the political and general interests of Christians in Nigeria under the government of President Tinubu in the first year of his administration? The DPG is supposed to be giving us monthly reviews of the activities of the government. The interests of the Church cannot be served by people that are running errands for the government. There are so many things wrong with the Church in Nigeria vis-à-vis the structure we call CAN. Before the last election, there was a directorate at the national level which was managed by Bishop STV Adegbite. He was also the unofficial campaign spokesperson for Asiwaju during the election campaigns. We, the Church, really don’t understand politics and those that do are taking advantage of the structure to fester their personal interests, and they are getting away with it. The offices are there but with poor supervision and the naivety of those who sit on top of CAN’s structure. They can’t speak to those who are erring and beat them to shape. That’s why we are where we are.

Is the DPG still relevant considering all that happened in the polity in the last one year?

The truth is, with the body language of the people who were involved, that portfolio was created to serve the presidential interests and ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and as soon as he became the president, there was no need for the platform again. We have seen the turn of the man (Emilokan). It is time to see the turn of God if we want to achieve real hope and positive changes in Nigeria. God is not religious. He’s the one who ordains leadership. So, if a leadership is failing, we have to take it back to God.

Is it possible for PFN to leverage DPG to benefit the Church in Nigeria instead of individuals?

You can’t build any meaningful thing on uncertainty and falsity. The foundation of the DPG is faulty. We have to pull it down and rebuild it from the scratch if we really want it to be useful for the collective interests of the body of Christ in Nigeria.

What is your view on President Tinubu’s appointment so far; has he done enough for the Church in the last one year?

It is unfortunate that these two leading Christian bodies in Nigeria; CAN and PFN, do not understand politics. The wisdom of democracy demands that majority will have their way and the minority will have their say. Within the context of Nigeria’s structure today, Christians in Nigeria better accept the fact that we are the minority and as the minority our responsibility is to be in the opposition. So, we should be talking because that is what we are left with. We cannot be part of the table where things are divided or shared. How many of the appointees in this government got their appointment on the basis that they are representing the Christian community. It was convenient for them to tell us that the President of the Senate, Godwin Akpabio is a Christian. But Akpabio as a person will serve the interests of the President, the APC caucus and the political class. These are the dynamics in politics that the Church in Nigeria is sadly and unfortunately ignorant of.

That said; the Tinubu administration celebrated its first anniversary recently, what is your take on this?

First, I want to appreciate you and other media professionals who give us the privilege of expressing ourselves and putting us in the hands of Nigerians and beyond; because when we write or talk and no one is publishing us we wouldn’t be where we are today. There are several people whose thoughts and opinions might be richer and better than ours, because they don’t have the platforms for their expressions nobody hears about them. But our voice is being heard, and it is you our media friends that make this happen. Now, to the question, when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu came in as Nigeria’s President a year ago, expectations were high but not for me because I knew that the eight years of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was the most terrible Nigerians have ever experienced.

Was that a pointer to the current struggles of the Tinubu’s administration?

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was one of the people who drafted General Muhammadu Buhari into the race for Nigeria’s presidency in 2015; basically, because he needed to succeed Buhari as Nigeria’s president. The best President Asiwaju could have succeeded was no other person than General Buhari. Asiwaju needed someone whose pedigree would be for him a stepping stone into the presidency. But Asiwaju himself never expected the eight years of General Buhari’s presidency would be as terrible as it was. Of course, all Nigerians know how terrible the Buhari administration was; it was a colossal disaster.

What is your view on the various events that happened in the country leading to Tinubu’s emergence as president in 2023?

Most Nigerians know the events that happened towards Asiwaju’s ascension as Nigeria’s president last year May 29, 2023. One was the drama in Abeokuta where Asiwaju said, ‘Egbe kini yi wa. Emilokan.’ You don’t make such a statement except there have been some discussions and agreements. People may ignore that statement as may be one of his many political jabs but those of us who know Asiwaju as a strategic communicator knew that there were quite a number of things fishing behind the stage. We saw all the other dramas surrounding the election. I took a position before the election against the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket. Today, I will say we stand justified by the many things happening across the country in the one year of Tinubu administration. The killings in Benue, the killings in Plateau and the killings in Southern Kaduna are the effects of the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket. All these places are predominately Christian areas. The most embarrassing aspect of the spate of killings is the silence of the Church. Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is not talking about it. Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is not talking about the killings in these predominantly Christian areas in the first year of President Tinubu’s government.