Glory to the Almighty and only-wise God as He calmly continues to unfold His agenda in the affairs of men. Over all, we can thank the LORD for the relative peace in the gubernatorial elections in Osun State, even though there were reports of a few casualties and several hospitalizations. The election of 22nd September, and the re-run on the 27th brought out some facts, dispelled certain myths, and hold valuable lessons for the Church.
One of the stark revelations was the utter desperation demonstrated by the APC government to win the election. Despite several documented manipulations of the electoral process and actual fiddling with the results in the initial election, the ruling party still lost. Thereafter came the bare-faced resort to technicalities (currently being challenged) resulting in the election being declared inconclusive and the call for a re-run during which every attempt at civility or camouflage was thrown aside as the will of the people was rudely trampled over. It is clear that the duel is far from over, as the other party is already heading for the courts. A joint statement by observers from the EU, UK, and the US affirms that many things were indeed wrong and that they are keenly watching the developments.
The efforts and resources deployed, and the brazenness displayed made it absolutely clear that what is at stake is not just who controls the modest resources of Osun state for the next four years, but what happens in Nigeria come February 2019 and possibly into the foreseeable future. Now that the desperate Islamists have been forced to reveal their hand, hopefully thinking men and women, especially of the Church, would realize that what is going on is no tea party. Even if this were the only gain from the Osun gubernatorial elections, it is a significant one.
Senator Omisore’s surprising capitulation was another major lesson. The Church barely stopped short of formally declaring him her anointed candidate, and the Senator’s last minute campaign line was that Christians should contend for the faith and refuse to sell their votes. Many Christian folks proudly heeded the charge, boasting how they refused the tempting cash being offered to any who would agree – accompanied by a self-placed curse in the event of any betrayal - to vote for the designated party. Alas, Senator Omisore, without regard for the interests of the faith he had only recently appealed to, nor even his party at the national level, declared that he now believes the APC government he had stridently criticized is now better-placed to provide the good governance he yearned for his “beloved” people of Osun state.
Now, considering our current situation, what would the Church have lost had she endorsed one of the new breed candidates with excellent Christian and professional credentials who had boldly come out to contest the election? As we wrote before the election, sensitizing and mobilizing Christians towards well-defined Kingdom issues would have been the winning step for the Church, irrespective of who eventually occupies the government house at Osogbo.
This situation remains valid even at the present time. It matters little how the coming Court cases would end, as long as the Church can use the opportunity of the heightened interests and awareness in political issues to define Christian positions and rally her constituency round these as we seek to build our nation. The Church should endeavor to build a formidable bloc transcending ethnic and other divides, which no government can ignore or trifle with. As a first step, the new breed Christian candidates who contested in the recent elections should be rallied together to constitute the nucleus of the political strategy group for the Christian Association of Nigeria in Osun State.
It was at Osogbo that the original Islam-laced fulanization agenda of Usman dan Fodio was check-mated, in 1840. History could yet repeat itself again. The PDP is heading for the courts and the whole world is keenly watching. The battle, not just for the control of Osun State but for the soul of Nigeria, is just beginning. The Church is not supposed to be a mere passive observer. While we are at this side of the Rapture awaiting the Trump, our job description is clearly set out for us: ensuring by all means possible, that God’s will is known and done on earth as is in Heaven. By giving the unbelievers a glimpse of God’s kingdom, many blind eyes may yet be opened and many prisoners set free from satanic yokes and oppression even in these dying minutes of the endtimes. Would the Church ever grasp this understanding and rise to the occasion?