By Ahmad Deedat Zakari.
Professor of Journalism and Emerging Media at Kennesaw State University, Farooq Kperogi, has faulted the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s interest in partisan politics.
Kperogi expressed his disdain regarding the church decision on his verified Facebook account on February 10, 2022, in an article titled “RCCG’s Dangerous Foray into Politics for Osinbajo.”
He said he was not surprised at the church’s sudden interest in partisan politics.
“This isn’t really surprising, frankly, because Pentecostal Christians see Osinbajo as their representative in government and think he is the fulfilment of Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s oft-quoted prediction that one of them would become Nigeria’s president during his lifetime.”
Kperogi also threw a subtle jab at President Muhammadu Buhari, faulting Osinbajo’s rise to the presidency as a ploy to burn the notion that the president is a fanatical Muslim.
He also described Osinbajo as a pentecostalist whose inner circle are his fellow pastors and churchgoers.
“Osinbajo himself defines his role in government in the narrow terms that his co-pentecostalists see it: as the materialization of a Pentecostal Christian theocratic dream. That’s why his inner political circle is almost entirely made of Yoruba RCCG members,” he wrote.
Kperogi further argued that Osinbajo is not fit to be president.
“There’s no Christian in government in Nigeria’s history who has ever been as narrow-minded, as culturally clueless, and as insular as Osinbajo, which was why, a senior Yoruba Christian professor told me recently that Osinbajo would “create greater instability as president” than Buhari has because “The Sharia folks will confront [Osinbajo’s] Christian fundamentalism with more violence” which would precipitate disabling communal upheavals.”
Several people have also reacted to the development.
Aisha Yesufu, a human rights activist, in a Tweet said there is nothing wrong with the church supporting Osinbajo
“So let’s assume RCCG is doing this for Osinbajo, what is wrong with that? Why shouldn’t RCCG support a candidate? If the candidate is good, we vote. If the candidate is bad, we do not vote! Simple! RCCG have (sic) as much right to be interested in politics as anyone else.” She tweeted
Also reacting to the news on the Daily Reality Facebook page is Mallam Muktar, who condemned RCCG’s political move, said that “religious leaders participation in politics will lead to divided allegiance”.
“It will be devastating to hand over Nigeria presidency to religionists/extremists whether pastor or Imam because their first allegiance will invariably go to their faith. They are the propelling force behind the clamour for religious configuration of contesting persons and religious blackmail of our electoral process. Who knows, they might also be behind the continuous blackmail of that notable SW Muslim presidential aspirant and political benefactor of their man, who may be perceived as their major obstacle to the presidential ticket.
“Nigeria doesn’t need such leaders. Nigeria needs [a] liberal Muslim and Christian who only fear God but [is] not bound by a non-displaceable religious creed or allegiance. We should resist and shake off religious politics in 2023 by demystifying religion configuration ticket and by voting for liberal candidates with total disregard to their faith,” he concluded.