Sunday, July 28, 2019

Nigeria: The obsessive call for Pastor Adeboye’s media comment on public issues

“And ... the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:   Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. “ Luke 11:53-54

Barely 48 hours after his passing a scriptures-coated comment on the COZA rape saga (Saturday July 6), elements of the Hypergrace (once-saved-always-saved) movement launched a vicious counter-attack on the revered Pastor E.A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (Monday July 8).  Mobilizing substantial resources, and garnering considerable media presence at very short notice, some motley crowd staged a protest outside the Redemption Camp demanding that Pastor Enoch Adeboye must plainly speak out against President Buhari!
As comical as this show ought to be, a good number of Christian folks, especially on social media, betrayed their inner grouse against the man of God with the way they celebrated this railing, with some even hailing it as the beginning of revival and purification of the Church!  This sad reality alone would be a good reason for a discerning Adeboye to mind what he says publicly!

Adeboye’s positions on national issues have always been clear to any of his followers both within and outside the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), however.  Right from the build-up to the Church’s 2018 Convention themed “Dominion” (which theme Pastor Adeboye introduced with the so-called herdsmen-farmers “clashes,” citing Gideon and his countrymen as farmers being impoverished by ravaging Midianites herdsmen – Judges 6:5); to the explosive 3-hour prayer for the nation, broadcast live throughout the whole world in February 2018; as well as regular public prayers at each Holy Ghost service asking for speedy Divine judgement on those persecuting the Church in Nigeria and those bent on disrupting God’s agenda for the nation at large; Adeboye’s position on the marauding herdsmen in Nigeria is certainly clear to those who care to know.  

And without any iota of doubt, the federal government is most certainly acquainted with this position!

Adeboye’s prescription on the way out of the dire situation is also very clear and without any ambiguity.  His position is that the problem confronting the nation is unprecedented and utterly hopeless to the extent that only God’s mercy can save the nation.  To underscore this position, all parishes of the RCCG were mandated to add to their regular schedules, formal DAILY prayers requesting God’s mercy for Nigeria.  In plain terms, that amounts to putting troops under his command at maximum state of alert possible!

Unfolding revelations and developments are showing very clearly how bad indeed the situation in Nigeria is. With the news now in the public domain that over a thousand cells of foreign Fulani mercenaries, wielding sophisticated military-grade weapons, are already ensconced in various forests in Yorubaland (alone!) in the guise of being herdsmen; several in-depth analyses and commentaries have concluded that war is simply inevitable in Nigeria. One commentary by Basil Okoh, and another – attributed to the respectable Nuhu Ribadu, himself a Fulani, convincingly argued that even the Nigerian masterminds and paymasters might not be able to call these foreign mercenaries to order or request them to back-up from their mission to replicate down south the ravages being inflicted on communities in the middle belt region of Nigeria. It is clear these desperate homeless foreign mercenaries would rather see Nigeria burn than return to the Mali, Chad, CAR, or wherever they came from now that they are already at the borders of their promised lebenstraum. (see our write-up on the drivers of the herdsmen-farmers clashes here).

As the various ethnic groups publicly announce their counter-mobilization for war to preserve their own nationalities, what other hope for corporate Nigeria except God’s mercy and intervention? What other word should come out from a revered man of God, of the stature of Pastor E.A. Adeboye, than to call for and lead prayers for God’s mercy?

Even then, it is open knowledge that the two key arrow-heads of the opposition against General Buhari’s fundamental agenda of establishing the infamous Fulani Rugas (now deceptively being portrayed as mere Cattle Ranches) in the country are the executive governors or Benue (Samuel Ortom) and Akwa Ibom (Udom Emmanuel) states.   Very publicly these two-some affirm that it is Adeboye’s counsel, prayers, and encouragements that is providing them strength to withstand the enormous pressures they constantly have to bear. (see here, for example).  This is not to mention ex-Governor Ambode of Lagos, a Worker in the RCCG, who so demonstrated his independent-mindedness that despite being lauded as one of the best-performing governors of his time, his party chieftains bluntly refused him a second-term!  

Similarly, outside of government, arguably the most outspoken and extremely influential duo who are confronting the federal government today on issues of governance are retired Generals Olusegun Obasanjo (former President) and T.Y. Danjuma (former Defence Minister).  It is an open secret that these are long-time confidantes and associates of Pastor Adeboye. 

Can two walk together unless they agree?

Yet all the opponents point out is the nation’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who is a senior Pastor in the RCCG.  Would they he share his dissenting opinions (if he has some) against his boss through the open media?  What makes this expectation most nauseating is the fact that, considering the desperation with which many of these critics (or their associates) lobby even for ministerial or lesser appointments with the government of the day, they would certainly be happy to replace the Vice President in that office!  The precarious office of the Vice President is like a dormant volcano, and there could be little doubts the Islamists currently at the helm of affairs in the country would feel more comfortable with a fellow Islamist in that space. 

As a sad example of these realities, Femi Gbajabiamila, an elder in a well-respected Pentecostal Church in Nigeria shamefully converted to Islam and went on Hajj to Mecca in order to be considered for the position of Speaker of the Junior Legislative Chamber. By the way, nobody is holding his eminent Pastor responsible for this action!

It is clear that a media quote from Pastor Adeboye, as being irrationally demanded by this motley crowd, would only be reflected onto the Vice President for whatever nefarious agenda they had in mind. And the timing of this rabble-rousing coming on the heels of the comments by Adeboye on the deadly hypergrace doctrine is surely not coincidental.

Even more astonishing is the fact that the man chosen to lead the “protest” against Pastor Adeboye was none other than the controversial Charly Boy who lays no pretension to being a Christian, nor care about basic integrity. Why, only a few weeks earlier, Charly Boy was forced to admit in the media that he collected an unnamed “nine figures” amount (that is 100 million naira at the least) from Buhari Campaign team for the “proprietary right” to use his song in Buhari’s campaign.  While this was unknown to the public, he was also leading the highly publicized “Our Mumu don do” protests against the same Buhari!  And this same man is taking to the streets with no other gripe against Pastor Adeboye other than to demand the man of God should engage in such public stunts himself! 

It is a sad reflection on the state of the Church in Nigeria, that any Christian at all will for a moment give heed to this charade of a protest, talk less of gleefully hailing it.  Ouch!

We close this piece by pointing out what is now public knowledge. How the late dictator Sanni Abacha felt compelled to order the arrest of Pastor Enoch Adeboye early June 1997 ( .  As the story goes, Abacha was pointedly advised by his marabouts that as long as Pastor Adeboye is praying in “that bush” in the Redemption Camp, Abacha could forget the idea of successfully transmuting to a civilian president!  It’s much like the case of another power-drunk leader, Queen Mary of Scotland who a couple centuries ago publicly lamented concerning another praying Christian: “I fear the prayers of John Knox than all the assembled armies of Europe!”.

CA! enjoins all Christians of good conscience to join in the prayers for God’s mercy for our nation.  Of course, from the Biblical injunction to Watch and Pray, this does not suggest at  all that other options for self-defense should be neglected.

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