Sunday, December 29, 2019

CAN replies Sultan of Sokoto, says monarch got it wrong on Christians

CAN replies Sultan of Sokoto, says monarch got it wrong on Christians 

11 hours ago 11074 views by  Eromosele Ebhomele -

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) replies Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, over alleged persecution of some religious faithful, especially in the north - CAN names some states in the northern part of Nigeria that have experienced attacks on Christians and their property confiscated - 

The Christian body describes Sultan Abubakar's comment as an insult when victims of such attacks are known The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, got his comment wrong on the alleged persecution of some Nigerians based on their religion, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has claimed. 

Leadership reports that CAN made its position known through a statement by Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel, its national director. The body said it respects Sultan Abubakar, but that there was need to respond to his reaction on the issue of alleged attacks on Christians. “It was painful reading from the media the sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar saying that there was no case of Christian persecution in the country where Christians are being killed on daily basis and their landed property confiscated. 

“It would have been better if the sultan had remained quiet the way he did when those killings were taking place," CAN said.

 The association argued that hundreds of citizens of the country have been killed by herdsmen in the southern part of Kaduna, Benue, Plateau, Adamwa and Taraba and that the areas mostly affected are those with Christian populations. "It is an insult and insensitivity for anyone to be claiming that the unprecedented persecution which victims are well known did not occur," CAN said. earlier reported that Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar had faulted the claim of CAN that Christians were being persecuted in the country. 

Speaking at the closing ceremony of 77th annual Islamic vacation course (IVC) organised by the Muslim Society of Nigeria (MSSN) at Bayero University, Kano, Abubakar had said: “If such persecution really exist, such is supposed to be tabled at the Interfaith Forum where Muslims and Christians leaders meet periodically to discuss issues that would promote harmonious coexistence between the two religions." 
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Friday, December 13, 2019


Denominations are like scaffoldings needed to build the Body of Christ
Picture credit: Internet ( /

With the numerous myopic excesses of even established godly Church denominations, not to talk of unprintable practices in numerous one-branch “international” brands operated by charismatic all-in-all G.O.s, it is understandable that “denominational Christianity” has come under much castigation from diverse quarters in recent times.   However, caution needs to be exercised that such legitimate frustration is not carried to unhelpful extremes.  With present trends in the country, the “non-denominational” movement stands the risk of becoming another denomination on its own: a bitter anti-denominations denomination that ironically sees nothing good at all in denominations!  At the same time, undue demonization can drive godly denominations struggling with unavoidable end-time challenges into further isolation, thus compounding the problem at hand.

 Lines of Demarcation, very thin

Perhaps we should start by stating the obvious, that the denominations of today were the independent “non-denominationals” of yesterday.  In fact the only difference between denominational and non-denominational congregations is in their sizes, and perhaps ages.  But for some notable exceptions, a new upcoming Church-based ministry touts itself as non-denominational, drawing participants from different existing Church denominations.  When membership burgeons and stabilizes somewhat, it goes on to define her own set of liturgy, formal structures, and doctrines. And pronto, another denomination has been born!

The root cause of the problem with denominations, especially in these end times, can be gleaned when we put them into two broad categories: the ungodly and the godly.

The first category would comprise of the numerous “churches” established obviously as commercial (“419”) enterprises with very little spirituality at all.  Also in the same category, but with heavy spiritual flavour, are the occult or cult centres masquerading as “churches.”  Unfortunately, multitudes find these centres irresistible, ensnared by charismatic sweet talks that soothe emotional aches; or raw manifestations of “power” that promise speedy reliefs from various spiritual - cum socio-economic  burdens  the world is currently inundated with. 

In the second category are godly institutions, some with decades of sacrificial and fruitful services, who increasingly feel compelled to take extra-ordinary, even if questionable, measures to protect the flock from the poachers in the first category. Many times, these “desperate” responses only provide fuel for elements in the ungodly category to further thrive, leading to an ever-worsening vicious cycle! 

The major end result of this unsavoury situation is increasing incapacitation of the Body of Christ from fulfilling Her primary calling of being Salt and Light in society.  In particular, the umbrella body for Christianity in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has become practically helpless in defining her role in the polity, or charting any purposeful course of actions anymore -  what with the abounding centrifugal forces and inherent divided loyalties! Consequently, the Islamists continue to ride roughshod over the entire nation, with hardly a whimper from the Church.  For instance, that young heroine of our faith, Leah Sharibu continues to languish in jihadist captivity, even to the present time, without that being a major point on Christian agenda in Nigeria any more. 

God’s Scaffolding for building the Church

One beautiful story frequently rehashed is the tour of heaven and hell reportedly given to John Wesley. Wesley was shocked to find that while several Methodists were in hell, none was found in heaven!  And the explanation he was given, as the story goes, was that all the saints in heaven identify simply as members of the Church, and not as members of the denominations they associated with while on earth.  However, the “whole truth” in this story is that while there are indeed no needs for denominations in heaven, they are very much needed here on earth!  That is precisely why the Lord raised them up and works through them.  In a paradigm promoted by many Bible teachers, including Fuchsia Prickett, denominations are God’s scaffolding for building the one glorious Church.  After the Building is complete, the scaffolding would have completed its assignment and must be discarded. But not before - that would probably not happen till just before the Rapture!

It is a simple fact of history that specialized uniquely identified Units under a central Command are God’s way of working through the ages.  In the “church” in the wilderness, the tribes were instructed to pitch around the one Tabernacle each “by his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house” (Numbers 2:2).  At the promised land, whether in the matter of searching out the land (Numbers 13:2), going out into battles to possess the inheritance (Judges 1:1-3), or in national projects such as the re-building of the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3), the major moves were conducted through clearly identified tribes, clans, and families. Regular services in the Temple also followed the same pattern, in courses, based on families and clearly defined Units (1 Chronicles 23:6, 2 Chronicles 8:14, Luke 1:5,8)

The benefits of such a model are self-evident.  It provides the extra motivation to get the job done; and affords sweet celebrations and sense of achievement thereafter.  It is the spirit behind such statements from the Apostle Paul as: “inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office” (Rom. 11:13), or ”provoking others to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). It is what gives meaning to the concept of “healthy competition”!  Denominations provide ideal opportunities and logistics for training, development, discipline, monitoring, and evaluation of the individual. They are also uniquely invaluable in times of personal challenges and losses.

In a nutshell, it is simply impractical, unrealistic, and unfruitful for one to claim to be engaged in building the universal Church without contributing to the local Church.  Even in the cases of the few individuals called to direct ministry to the universal Church (whether in evangelism like recently departed beloved Reinhard Bonke; or in prayer – as in Nigeria Prays; or teaching – as in Bro Gbile Akanni); they are known to actively liaise with the local Church and denominations.  And of course, they invariably have their own local church arms for training, financing, and other functions previously highlighted. 

The expectation or suggestion that the body of Christ should operate as an undifferentiated homogeneous monolithic entity is not only unrealistic and unhelpful, it is also unscriptural (1 Cor. 12:12-20).  Modern management experts can surely write tomes on why specialized diverse organs all working harmoniously under a central command, provides a formidable resilient overall body.  Suffice to note here that the Internet arose from the need to have a resilient communication framework (that can keep key infrastructure and communication going in the event of sabotage, war, and natural calamities). And the result is the TCP/IP protocol that allows new paths to be spontaneously available in the event of collapse in one pathway.  Simply put, putting all one’s eggs in a single basket is not a very smart idea, and it makes for increased vulnerability. Our diversity, if scripturally harnessed, is a major source of strength and resilience for the Church, not something to lament!

An Illustrative Example: Spiritual Activities at Police Formations

This author can personally recall discussions with several well-meaning and respected Christians who passionately believe that the fundamental (and perhaps the only) problem with the Church in today’s Nigeria is simply denominationalism!  The unwholesome fruits resulting from this kind of stop-the-denominations-by-all-means outcry are real, even if sometimes subtle.  We think one very appropriate illustration of this has to do with spiritual activities on Police formations in the country.

By way of background, it should be mentioned that the Police Force touts itself as a people-friendly organization. Indeed, its uniqueness and strength as a security outfit is rooted in its ability to win confidence and cooperation of the general public.  It is therefore not surprising to find the Force promoting outfits such as the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), or overtly reaching out to religious entities. To this end, the Police provides at her major units, physical spaces for the PCRC as well as for Christian and Moslem chapels.  It is understood that intelligence, propaganda, and human relations aside, the spiritual values of these chapels are unquantifiable. 

By the efforts of some hardworking Christian folks no doubt, Christians actually have two spaces allocated in principle for catholic and protestant ministries. But walk into these formations, while shouts of Allahu Akbar consistently rent the air at least three times a day from mosques operating seemingly seamlessly, only few units can boast of functional Christian prayer altars. The long and short of the story is that while the Police chaplaincy would gladly welcome Church denominations coming to erect befitting chapels within her formations, such are not welcome to operate units of their ministries in those chapels. Now, this could have been perfectly okay if the chaplaincy could muster members of the Police force to spearhead consistent spiritual activities at these facilities. Alas, this is hardly ever the case!  Incredibly, the chaplaincy hopes that after putting up the structure, the denominations should also assist in manning them under the authority of the Police Chaplaincy.  This idea, justified with an explanation of not wanting to promote denominationalism, is simply unworkable.  Indeed, it only shows that the chaplaincy itself is on its way to becoming a formal “denomination” on its own!  At the end of the day, the unappreciated “civilian denomination” might simply opt to plant a branch of her own somewhere outside the Police formation (if the neighbourhood is considered strategic and conducive enough) leaving the Islamic altar as the sole and supreme operator within!

Thus, we can see how the gross misunderstanding of the place of “denominations” is crippling the Church and robbing it of its natural advantages over other competing ideologies in this important institution.  In reality, encouraging ministries to develop and operate facilities approved by the Police authority into centres of worship, intercession, and discipleship according to their peculiar denominational tradition is the exact equivalence of the Concession culture that is widely practiced in most government institutions in Nigeria – including the Police Force.  (Afterall Police Canteens are not all operated by police officers, to cite an obvious trivial example).  Of course the Police Fellowship, would have prime access to the chapel facilities, but two or three willing “denominations” could also be registered to maximize the use of the facilities on shared basis.  Sad to note that in several formations, the plots allocated for Christian chapels (necessarily located in some rather obscure corners) serve conveniently as the dump yard! 

Some Suggested General Solutions

The same ugly story of advantages turning into disadvantages as a result of poor understanding of the roles of denominations can be repeated in other sectors and public institutions in Nigeria – for example on Institutions of Higher Learning in the nation.  God forbid the moslems or traditionalists should have our number and resources!  There can be no harm even if every dozen Christian students on Campus decide to meet for regular prayers and study of the Word as is convenient for them.  The big deal is harnessing such various fellowships via periodic Kingdom-centred meetings hosted on a central platform.  They can further be encouraged to share physical facilities to further facilitate stronger bonding. For example, the early Church met as numerous resilient small “koinonia groups”, from house to house; yet they also participated regularly in central meetings held in the Temple.  (The Temple by the way, was a massive complex that took 46 years to complete (John 2:20) and various denominations /sects take part in servicing the altar therein.)  With such operations, the early Christians succeeded in turning their world right side up!

What is needed is a working model, and a central body committed to implementing it.  Invariably, this is the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). To function effectively and harness the great opportunities present within Church denominations, the CAN urgently needs two key changes: a slight restructuring, and more realistic funding by her components to allow for effective operations.

At the present time, there are several Church groups that have blatantly refused to subscribe to the authorities of the CAN or support her operations.  Yet these continue to enjoy larger-than-life status and influence as major Christian organizations in the country.  The CAN certainly should device means to redress this and make her endorsement and membership a sought-after commodity by those who would want to be taken as serious Christian stakeholders in Nigeria.  On the other hand, several other Christian organizations which are willing to contribute invaluable services and finances for a virile CAN are currently cut off from membership simply because they are not Church-based.  In as much as the letter “C” in CAN stands for “Christians” and not “Churches,” organizations like the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, Intercessors for Nigeria, CAPRO (missionaries), the Preacher (teaching) to mention just a few, ought to be given opportunity to contribute to the operations of a virile CAN as full members. For instance, they could be accommodated in a new Bloc to be incorporated into the CAN structure.

Finally, with or without the CAN, godly inter-denominational activities should be celebrated and endorsed by all Kingdom-minded Christians. In our 2007 article celebrating the annual inter-denominational Holy Ghost Congress hosted by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, we pointed out that traditionalists (think of FESTAC) or Moslems (through the annual Hajj) desperately wished such an event would be to celebrate their own gods and values!  Incidentally, the 22nd straight edition of the Holy Ghost Congress is currently ongoing, while a similar interdenominational event with international participation, Shiloh, organized by the Living Faith Church, successfully held a week ago.


The many flaws visible in denominations do not invalidate their scriptural role in building the Church of God and moving forward Kingdom agenda. We should not forget that sometimes, the spirit of unhealthy competition and rivalry within the same denomination is even worse than that between different denominations!  Conflicts and separatism are inevitable end time phenomena that should be carefully and prayerfully addressed rather than used as justification to throw away a potent tool.

The strength of the position advocated in this article lies mainly in the central coordinating Body.  In the real sense, this is the Holy Spirit, Who is very much alive and well on the planet at this time.  And He is well able to deal with malignant cancerous tissues who would not abide under His central control. As bad and as threatening as things look, the Church is not in any mortal danger (Mathew 16:18).  The call here is for individual elements in the sleeping Church to arise and respond to whatever strategies the Living LORD will be inspiring them with.  This article is our own contribution in that wise, and we humbly put it forward for the consideration of members of the Body of Christ in Nigeria.


Joshua Ojo
Redemption Camp, 13th December, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Last Hours of the Last Days - By Daymond Duck -

The world has been in the last days since Peter preached his sermon on the first Pentecost following the ascension of Jesus (Acts 2:17), and current events seem to indicate that it is now down to the last hours of the last days.
First, in early Nov. 2019, Pres. Trump notified the UN that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change agreement.
Pres. Trump said the agreement was less about changing the climate and more about redistributing the wealth of the U.S. (In addition to that, in my opinion, Climate Change is also a scam and a scare tactic to bring in a world government).
America's withdrawal will go into effect in one year.
Second, Qatar gives the PA and Hamas 30 million dollars a month, but Qatar recently told the PA and Hamas that Qatar will probably stop giving them the money at the end of 2019.
This will come on top of the massive cuts Pres. Trump has made, and it will increase the pressure on the PA and Hamas to accept the economic benefits of Pres. Trump's "Deal of the Century" and make a peace treaty more likely.
Third, Israel's two main parties are in a standoff on creating a new government, but there is one thing that both agree on: Israel should annex the Jordan Valley and declare Israeli sovereignty over it.
This will cause the Fig Tree (Israel) to put on leaves (grow; Matt. 24:32).
Fourth, Israel will be wealthy in the latter years and latter days (Ezek. 38:11-12).
Large deposits of oil and natural gas have been discovered off the coast of Israel.
It has taken a while, but Israel has finally started pumping, processing and selling product from one of those large deposits.
Pres. Trump has convinced the EU to stop buying their oil and natural gas from Russia and to start buying it from Israel, and that has Vladimir Putin upset.
This will hurt Russia financially and make Israel richer.
On top of this, an international oil company called Energean recently announced that they had greatly underestimated the amount of oil and natural gas that they have discovered off the coast of Israel.
According to a business-oriented newspaper in Israel called Calcalist, Israel's currency is now the strongest currency in the world.
Imagine that: Israel has gone from a wasteland in 1948 to the strongest currency in the world (should I add with cattle and goods, silver and gold).
Fifth, according to several Scriptures, all of the Jews will return to the Promised Land when Messiah comes (I think this refers to the Second Coming; Matt. 24:21).
Several prominent rabbis have signed a document saying that all of the Jews on earth are commanded by Scripture (a mitzvah) to return to the Promised Land.
One rabbi said, "It is clear that we are quickly approaching a watershed point in Jewish history when everything concerning the Jewish people will change."
I don't know how the Jews will respond, but I suspect that most secular or non-religious Jews will ignore this command, but some religious Jews will take it seriously and soon start making preparations to move to the Promised Land.
Sixth, the Jews have already built a railroad, they are now building hotels and restaurants, and they just voted to build a cable car to move 3,000 visitors per hour to the Wailing Wall below the Temple Mount.
3,000 visitors per hour is 30,000 visitors in a 10-hour day, and that doesn't include the visitors that will arrive by vehicles, buses, etc.
Opponents will try to stop it, but it is clear that Israel is preparing to accommodate multitudes of visitors to the Temple Mount (and likely to a rebuilt Temple).
Seventh, on Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center Towers in New York. Pres. Bush could have pointed out that Islam divides the world into two parts: The Domain of the Faithful (Muslims) and the Domain of Those that Islam is at War With (all non-Muslims), but Pres. Bush chose to appease Islam, refer to Islam as a religion of peace, etc., because he didn't want to alienate all Muslims.
Pres. Obama followed by removing terms like "Islamic terrorists," "jihad," etc., from military training manuals; and he ordered the State Dept., Intelligence agencies and the FBI not to use those terms.
Dogs are considered to be unclean animals in Islam; and Pres. Trump said Al-Baghdadi died like a dog, like a coward, whimpering and crying.
Instead of trying to appease Islam, Pres. Trump called it like it is.
The man that murdered people, raped women, and enslaved women and children died like the unclean animal that he was.
It is an understatement to say that Pres. Trump is not the most tactful person on earth, but his language was more truthful than Bush or Obama; and it is important to face up to what some Muslims want to do (establish a global Islamic caliphate).
Eighth, Iran is seeking nuclear weapons because Iran wants to establish an Islamic caliphate.
Iran has stepped up her enrichment of nuclear materials and could have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb in two to three months (one year at the most).
It is important to have someone (even if he lacks tact) in the White House that knows what a dog is when he sees one because Iran calls the U.S. the great Satan, and time is running out on this issue.
By the way, it was recently reported that the U.S. and Russia are both building up their forces in Syria.
The Battle of Gog and Magog appears to be getting close.
Ninth, it is my opinion that world leaders will form ten regions or ten trading blocks of nations and eventually merge them into ten political blocks of nations with a leader over each one that will become the Ten kings, horns, toes, etc.
The EU and USMCA are examples of regional trading blocks.
A regional group of nations called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN regional group) has just concluded a treaty with China and five other nations that covers one-third of the trade on earth.
Understand that ten kings or ten horns will rise, and then the eleventh or little horn (the Antichrist) will rise.
God can speed this up or slow it down as he sees fit.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck

Monday, September 30, 2019


The 5th edition of the Summit for Christians in Nigeria’s Tertiary Institutions holds  Thursday October 10 -  Saturday October 12 at the Redemption Camp.  It is a highly recommended meeting, convened by the distinguished Christian educator, Mrs Adun Akinyemiju.  A copy of the official invite with the required details, is pasted below.

Please be the guest of Church Arise! at this meeting, highly relevant for our times and clime.

Joshua Ojo

30th September, 2019.


We bring you greetings and blessings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We write to invite you to the fifth edition of the Summit for Christians in Nigeria’s Tertiary Institutions called CHRISTIANS IN HIGHER EDUCATION SPIRITUAL SUMMIT (CHESS).
The theme of the Summit is: SEE JESUS LIFTED
The overall aim of this Summit is to stir up the fire of revival among Christian Academic and non-academic staff as well as Students in tertiary institutions, leading to total transformation of our campuses and ultimately, our nation Nigeria.
The 3-day Summit is open to all Christians in higher institutions in Nigeria. These include: Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Registrars, Provosts, Lecturers, Student Union Leaders, and Student Fellowship Coordinators among others.
 Our specific objectives are to:
·                Promote increased cooperation among Christians, various denominations and Fellowships on Campuses.
·                Build capacity to effectively work together to impact campuses with the Light of God and Work of service.
·                Challenge Christian students to be strong in standing for their faith and serving as mentors and role models to other students on campuses
·                Restore the hunger for God’s kingdom values as we demand for fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to empower us for greater end-time harvest.
·                Propel Christian Universities to run effectively and raise disciples for the Kingdom of God

Details of the Summit are as follows:
Date: 10th -12th October, 2019.
Venue: Redemption Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
God is depending on you to spread the word, pray and plan to attend this Summit

For further inquiry, please contact us by mail;, click REGISTER  OR call Olajide on 08142312824 to register.

Attached is the E-flier for the programme.

Thank you.

Adun Akinyemiju (Mrs.)
Chairperson, ACSI Nigeria,
Convener CHESS

Monday, September 23, 2019


  A bold, incisive and indepth article by Dele Momodu in his weekly column in the This Day newspaper (here).  We say Amen to his concluding prayers that the Almighty God show Himself mighty in Nigeria and cause His will to be revealed and done in the country.
This article needs to be shared widely to keep Nigerians alert to the cheap deep machinations of agents of darkness and confusion.


Fellow Nigerians, please allow me to quickly apologise for not concluding the series I started last week on the importance of celebrity journalism, the basis of my Fellowship at The African Studies Centre, University of Oxford. The reason for this change of plan must be pretty obvious, and predictable. A subject of pressing, and urgent, importance, and necessity, has presented itself. And it has to do with the systematic and instalmental, harassment, intimidation, degradation and denudation of our dear beloved Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. He is being shorn of most of his statutory and constitutional powers with veiled and unsubstantiated insinuations that he has not been following due process when he clearly has been doing a stickler for such due process. Such inferences are at best rich when one considers that we are talking about a Presidency in which the President is famed for delegating powers and trying not to engage as demonstrated by the much publicised stripping of his constitutional powers in favour of a Chief of Staff who has no constitutional or statutory governmental authority. The contradiction and irony are stark and makes a mockery of what is being done. The situation is aptly captured by the Yorubas when they say, “ejo l’owo ninu” (the snake has hands in its stomach)! There is certainly more to the recent events than meets the eye!

Let the dramatis personae deny there is nothing of such and claim this is only a figment of our fertile imagination, or even call it a false alarm, or whatever nomenclature catches their fancy. However, no matter the denials, what is unfolding, before our very eyes is more than a storm in a teacup. It is a stuff of a multi-billion-dollar box office thriller and the suspenseful drama and twists would make Alfred Hitchcock green with envy. Not even Samuel Beckett could have scripted this sort of absurdist drama.

We can now start from the beginning, if you like, call it genesis. A cerebral technocrat, thoroughbred professional, a teacher who is an accomplished Professor of Law for that matter, and a preacher of values and morals as a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to boot, Yemi Osinbajo, was selected by retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari as Vice Presidential candidate sometime in 2014. The selection was applauded by many onlookers as a counterbalance to a Presidential candidate who was accused, and being pummelled, for not possessing the minimum educational requirement for the job applied, and also as a reassurance to those who regarded the APC candidate as a Muslim fundamentalist. Beyond religion, Osinbajo also represented a much younger segment of our society who saw Buhari as being too old, too conservative, too out of tune with modern trends and much more. Osinbajo was thus a seemingly perfect choice, and those of us who were Buharists, once upon a time, rejoiced and dreamt of a new Nigeria, clothed in tranquillity and unity. How wrong we were. Little did we realise that this was not a one-part story but one of which we were only seeing the prequel, without the benefit that there would be a sequel and possibly even a serialisation! We foolishly thought that this was a story that could not have a Part 2.

Please, let’s move forward, slowly and steadily. Osinbajo soon threw himself into his assignment and campaigned much more than any deputy would be expected to do. It was a forerunner of what we wished for and hoped would occur when eventually their team won the election. He crisscrossed Nigeria and navigated his ways across the seas, to far flung places, preaching the gospel of Saint Buhari and the good news of his imminent kingdom. Osinbajo is not just a lawyer and preacher, he is an orator, and he sold his boss to the world at a premium. They won the 2015 Presidential election and we were mostly thankful to God that we had succeeded in getting rid of the profligate and pernicious PDP behemoth, after 16 years.

The duo was elected and President Buhari made it clear that he had put his trust and faith in his able lieutenant and Vice President, Professor Osinbajo. He quickly made him the head of his economic team, and Osinbajo did the rest. He quietly and unassumingly took charge without seeking to upstage his boss, the President. He was a deputy who knew his place and although a little-known cabal at the time was hurling brickbats at him behind the scene, he handled all with his unusual equanimity and charm. I am sure that his famed tolerance and rectitude comes from the fantastic combination of lawyer, teacher and priest.

Man proposes but God disposes. Like all mortals, especially at that advance age, President Buhari took Ill. The sickness was so massive and scary that we nearly had another Umaru Yar’Adua situation on our hands. It will be recalled that Yar’Adua was the penultimate President before Buhari, and he had died in office, in 2010, before the expiration of his first term. His Vice President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, had to complete that term before seeking and winning his own full term. Had anything happened to Buhari then, God forbid, Pastor Professor Osinbajo, constitutionally, would have stepped in, gingerly, to claim power as President and Commander-in-Chief. But, God so loved Buhari, and as he acknowledged himself, the prayers of Nigerians, and their intercession, intervened on his behalf, and healed him greatly. 

It was during that interlude in governance that mutual mistrust and distrust which had been germinating for some time began to spring to the surface. Some members of the President’s inner caucus who were not used to taking orders from anyone suddenly found themselves reporting to one man with what they called “avuncular attitude”. They were angry and livid, but according to James Hadley Chase in his book titled, “The Vulture is a Patient Bird” they waited quietly. Osinbajo took decisions that they considered inimical to their interests, but they kept their arms akimbo knowing that their time would come, and they would bare their fangs. Their ire and fury were greatly stoked by the success and popularity that Osinbajo was attracting, without realising that the ultimate beneficiary was a government which had previously been seen as slow, inept and incapable.

Slowly, but surely, the fake news started spreading, clandestinely, that he wanted Buhari dead. The conspiracy theory was rife, but subdued. Osinbajo’s cardinal sin was committed and his fate probably sealed the day he summarily sacked the Director General of the Department of State Security, Lawan Daura, after the invasion of the National Assembly by hooded and gun-toting secret agents. Osinbajo had denied approving such dare-devilry by the executive against the legislature and till this day no one has owned up to what nearly became a coup against the legislative tier of government. Daura was seen as a sacred cow with friends in the ruling cabal, but Osinbajo by a masterstroke had him smitten and the head of one of the gargoyles had been severed by one deft blow! He would not be forgiven and plot after plot were conceived but could not be carried out before the election as Osinbajo was the Joker in the pack, the face of the Buhari Presidency!

Permit me to interject that Osinbajo actually brought stability to the nation by reaching out to every nook and cranny, cementing bonds of friendship across party lines. He visited the Niger-Delta and was able to put a stop to the militancy that was once again threatening to engulf that region of our country. In doing so he improved our economic fortunes by ensuring an increase in production of our main income earner, crude oil. In addition, he brought greater positive image to the Buhari government. Many silently prayed Buhari would give him more responsibilities, and a freer hand to handle the complexities of Nigeria. Again, we were wrong. Any respite for Osinbajo was actually simply for the purpose of navigating the electoral quagmire that the Buhari Presidency had found itself in.

Going back to our narrative, mercifully, Buhari returned after a miraculous rejuvenation. If his mind had been poisoned against his deputy, his straight poker face betrayed nothing. They continued to work harmoniously, at least, in public. As noted, Osinbajo became even more visible, and voluble, as their second term election drew nearer. Osinbajo became their star actor and harbinger of Tradermoni, a popular moniker for feverish distribution of cash in strategic locations, such as markets and similar trading places, for the emancipation of impoverished majority, which traducers suggested was nothing more than an act preparatory to buying votes. Osinbajo took all the savage attacks for Buhari in his stride. He calmly and eloquently defused and debunked all the sordid allegations of incompetence, inability and incapability levelled at his principal. His energy was extraordinary. He did house to house, and door to door campaigns. He made town hall meetings popular and the people trooped out to see and discuss the nation with him.  The use of the hustings as the primary focus of the politician to rabble rouse and appeal to voters became a less favourable option as Osinbajo demonstrated that it was important to feel the pulse of the people by personal engagement. He even cheated death on two occasions the second being in Kogi State, after his chopper spectacularly crashed in a haze of dust, but thankfully, not in a burst of flames and everyone onboard survived without as much as a scratch. It was obvious that this was an anointed man of God and that God was with him and his house.

Elections came and APC candidate Buhari was declared victorious. I congratulated them, as normal Democrats would. When there were compelling reasons to do so shortly afterwards, I admonished the APC by adding the proviso that the Party should not over-rejoice but offer an olive branch to the supposed losers.

In a succinct letter I penned to Professor Osinbajo, I took time to explain how to restore sanity to the polity. My letter was misconstrued and instantly rebuffed as an attempt to divide the “one indivisible Presidency…”  I was brutally attacked by some people in the office of the Vice President, but I understood their predicament. They were jittery about how the hawks would view my innocuous intervention and genuine intentions. I read panic in their response to me. But I knew today will come, eventually, like it has. 

I’m a good student of Nigeria’s political history and trajectory. I’m familiar with the African mythology that witches don’t forgive. What is worse, witches don’t spare anyone, they eat and devour their own children, when in need of flesh. Osinbajo is the latest victim in the vicious cycle of power games in our country. He is being stripped of the last vestiges of relevance and importance, as typified by how the appurtenances of his relatively powerful office have been whittled down and almost totally degraded. His enemies are working overtime and overdrive by spreading spiteful rumours about one of the finest gentlemen in government. He may not be perfect, but Prof is a good man who loves his job and respects his boss, without doubt.

There are already speculations that all the theatre and spectacle that we are witnessing is a prelude to a more devastating attack. The aim is to try and make his position so tenuous untenable that he is forced to resign. If he does not bite the bullet or fall on his sword, my understanding is that he will be pushed. My candid advice and word of caution to the President is that he should resist such temptation. He should not listen to those who do not have any patriotic bone in their body. They are selfish, fearful and also weak. In Osinbajo they see their nemesis. He is everything that they are not. He has achieved outstanding and amazing success in every sphere that he has touched. He is a teacher of international renown and repute, a foremost legal mind, a pastor of great intellect, compassion and suasion. Worse still for them, he has come to their turf and shone as bright as the stars of the constellation to become a consummate politician.   

If this game that we are all witnessing is all about who becomes what in 2023, it is complete balderdash. The reason I say so is very simple. Only God gives fortune and power. And only God can take it. No matter how hard man may try, he can never be God, he can only play God. With time such actor will see that he is nothing more than that thespian who must quit the stage at some time or the other. On the other hand, the consecrated vicegerent of God can never be too much honoured and adored. At my age, I have known and met enough men and women of power. Many of them are alive and must be wondering what the fuss was all about in those years gone by. APC has butchered some of its finest people. Do they need more to prove their virility? They should spare Nigeria this endless charade.

Let it be on record that I pleaded.

May God’s will be done.

Monday, September 2, 2019

CAN president, Adeboye, others ask Buhari to scrap Ruga (Punch Newspaper Report)

We paste below the Report from the Punch newspaper, with the above headline.
We are excited at how the Holy Spirit is moving to rid our nation of the Fulani herdsmen heinous rampages all over the land.  This long-awaited Statement indicates the timing is now; and we at Church Arise! earnestly look forward to this snowballing to ushering in the new righteous nation Nigeria the LORD has promised the Christian fathers who prayed, toiled and laboured in this land decades ago.

Strangely, many usual vocal advocates for Christian activism seem not to be particularly excited about these developments.  Eerie resemblance to military officers not wanting the Boko Haram conflict to end. Not helpful at all!


Published September 1, 2019
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CAN president, Dr. Samson Ayokunle; President Muhammadu Buhari
…demand Miyetti Allah’s ban at security summit
•FG budgets N12bn for controversial scheme



The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Supo Ayokunle, as well as top members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and  other Christian bodies, including the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Saturday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “completely scrap” the suspended Rural Grazing Area scheme, popularly known as Ruga.

This was disclosed at the Church leaders stakeholders’ summit, themed, ‘RUGA: The church’s response in the 21st century,’ which held at the ShepherdHill Baptist Church, in Lagos on Saturday.
Other church leaders present at the summit included the President of the Christian Council of Nigeria, Most Rev Benebo Fubara-Manuel; President of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Dr Napo Emuchey; Vice-President of CAN, Rev Caleb Ahima, and the acting General Secretary, CAN, Mr Joseph Daramola.

However, the President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rev Felix Omobude; the Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr David Oyedepo; and the President, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, were billed to attend the summit, according to the programme of the event, but they were absent.

But the spokesperson for CAN, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, said all the blocs of the Christian body were represented at the meeting.

Reacting to observations that Omobude was not in attendance, Oladeji said the cleric was out of the country.

He added, “Though he could not make it to the meeting because he is out of the country, he sent a representative. All the blocs making up CAN were fully represented at the meeting and they all endorsed the decisions and resolutions.”

Speaking at the summit, which centred on insecurity in the country, the CAN president said the association’s involvement in the debate was needed as CAN, which is the umbrella body for all Christians in the country, could not fold its arms when the church was “hurting very badly at the hands of Fulani herdsmen.”

A one-minute silence was observed at the event in honour of Rev Fr David Tank, who was ambushed and brutally killed by bandits at Kufai Amadu in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State on August 29.

The slain cleric, who was set ablaze in his vehicle, was said to be on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv/Jukun crisis.
Many Nigerians have been killed as a result of clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the past months and years.

In its report for 2018, Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organisation, said communal conflict between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in the Middle Belt intensified in 2018 and that at least 1,600 persons were killed while about 300,000 persons were displaced.

The Federal Government, in finding a solution to the clashes, designed the Ruga scheme to settle the Fulani and their cattle on acquired land across states of the federation.

The scheme however attracted severe criticism, forcing the Federal Government to “suspend” the scheme on July 3, 2019, even though some states in the North, like Zamfara and Kano, decided to continue with its implementation.

Presidential aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, had tweeted, “The Federal Government after consultations with stakeholders has suspended the RUGA Settlement Project, for now, Kebbi State Governor disclosed that after a meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.”

But speaking at the stakeholders’ summit on Saturday, Ayokunle while commending the President for suspending the Ruga scheme, said, “We believe Ruga was just an unnecessary impediment in the wheel of the nation’s progress. We urge President Muhammadu Buhari that he must summon courage to go further by scrapping it completely.”

CAN asks Buhari to scrap Ruga, ban Miyetti Allah

In his earlier special address on the theme, Ayokunle said the association took painstaking approach to set up a committee to dig deep into the issue of Ruga before coming up with recommendations.
He added, “Anything that smacks of mutual suspicion should be avoided in the interest of national unity. The Federal Government should immediately disarm and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen terrorists that have been recorded as one of the deadliest terrorists groups in the world.

“The group of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association which openly supported the activities of the murderous Fulani herdsmen be identified and banned immediately.

“President Buhari should suspend his membership and patronage of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association until he leaves office to reduce tension.”

Ayokunle, who also spoke with journalists shortly after the meeting, stated that insecurity in the country had become an embarrassment.

He said, “Enough is enough about insecurity in the country. It is totally embarrassing and people are having sleepless nights over it. There is no free movement anymore. Even military officers can no longer travel without heavy military escort; it is as bad as that. It is happening on a daily basis, it is no longer propaganda, neither is it political opposition talks.

“Our relatives are constantly being kidnapped and we are being compelled to look for money to pay ransoms. There are no other persons we can call upon than the government because that is why they are there. They should be able to mop up the guns which these criminals are using to threaten others and also arrest them.”

Ayokunle said it was clear that there were facts about Ruga which the government had not cleared or refuted.

For instance, he pointed out, “Large expanse of land will be delineated and taken from indigenous people in all the 774 local government areas for use by Fulani herdsmen. The Federal Government will deep its hand into the commonwealth of the nation to develop this programme for the interest of just one out of the 250 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

“As perceived, these settlements will over time metamorphose into politico-religious entities within host communities, thereby reconfiguring the political, religious and cultural status of the environment. This is capable of becoming a landmine for future crisis that will be to the advantage of the settlers. The situations in Plateau and Southern Kaduna are very instructive.

“The Ruga programme is a contradiction to the modern-day livestock production system that centres on ranching and feedlots.”

The CAN president also said investigations had shown that there was no nexus between Ruga and the National Livestock Transformation Programme that was being pursued by the Federal Government.

 “What we see is a surreptitious insertion and speedy implementation of selfishly concocted programme into a robust and holistically articulated national livestock transformation programme approved by the National Economic Council,” he added.

Ayokunle said CAN would present its recommendations and advice to the Federal Government for consideration.

He added, “We are going to send our position to the Federal Government in black and white because we know that we are part and parcel of this nation and it is our own duty also to help government as the few of them in government cannot know everything. So, they should be prepared to listen.

“We have consulted experts, so government should be very brave in listening and meditating over recommendations coming from us because we are closer to the market people more than them and we are the ones that their policies have direct impact on. So, when they (government) think they are helping us and we are feeling pains through this help, anyone in government should be wise enough to think twice before continuing with such a policy.

“We are convinced that Nigeria can operate a rancour-free agro-allied business where all stakeholders can contribute to the transformation of agriculture for the needed food sustenance of the nation and job creation, rather than the present situation where agriculture has become an avenue for cheap death for Nigerian citizens.”

Adeboye speaks on Ruga

Meanwhile, Adeboye, who urged the stakeholders to listen with anointed ears to his rather proverbial address at the event. He said he would relay an encounter he had with a close, mathematician friend of his, whom he said advised Christians to reduce or stop the consumption of beef.

He said, “Please, do not quote me, quote my friend. Listen with anointed ears. I have a friend who is a mathematician and he is very funny. My mathematician friend told me a story that a cattle rearer kills your brother and your brother’s blood spilled on the grass and the cow eats from the grass, directly or indirectly, you are also participating in the killing of that your brother.

“Someone cannot be killing your brother and you are eating his cow meat. My friend said if you begin to allow them to rear cow at your backyard, very soon, they will send you out of your house. My friend also said that even the scientists have said that red meat is not good for our health and we are buying cow meat, why can’t we eat fish which has been confirmed to be the best for us. My friend said if we stop eating cow meat for a while, the man who sells it will come and renegotiate the terms.”

When contacted on the call for the scrapping of Ruga by CAN and other church leaders, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, re-directed one of our correspondents to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

“We now have a Minister of Information. Please, can you speak to him?” he said.

Meanwhile, efforts to get the response of the minister were not successful as he did not answer his calls neither did he reply the text message sent to his phone as of press time.

Meanwhile, a top source at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Friday that the Ruga settlement initiative was now being managed by the presidency and is no longer under the full control of the ministry.

FG budgets N12bn for controversial scheme – Report

In another development, SUNDAY PUNCH investigations revealed that the Federal Government planned to spend N12.11bn for the establishment of eight Ruga settlements in each of the eleven frontline states in the federation, including Adamawa, Benue, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara.

A document by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, ‘Intervention for resolving farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria through establishment of Ruga model settlement, which was sighted by one of our correspondents, indicated that the Federal Executive Council had approved the funds in the 2018 before Ruga scheme suffered setback.

However, a source at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development told one of our correspondents that the proposed budget of N12.117bn had been released to enable the Federal Government to end the clashes swiftly through the implementation of the project.

The immediate past Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate) to the President, Senator Ita Enang, had disclosed that N2.258bn was provided for the implementation of the Ruga programme in the 2019 budget.

Meanwhile, before the 2019 budget for the scheme was unveiled, the source in the ministry alleged that the Ministry of Interior, under the former minister, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), had proposed that operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps would provide security in each of the 88 Ruga settlements.

The source said, “The former minister proposed a sum of N1bn to provide security at the Ruga settlements. The money was released to the ministry before the controversies around the project started.”

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