Publisher of Ovation Magazine and PDP’s Presidential aspirant, Dele Momodu has warned that the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) creation of a directorate of politics and governance will cause moral crisis in Nigeria.
Gatekeepers News reports that Momodu in a statement personally signed by him said combining religion with politics was one way to ignite trouble in Nigeria, especially when the church chose a preferred candidate and party.
Earlier, In a leaked memo addressed to all regions, provinces, zones and other levels of the church, the mission said the directorate was created for political education of its members.
The memo dated February 28, 2022, and titled, ‘Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance’ has the reference number: RCCG/AGO/ADM/AA/MEMO/20/01/2022.
It was signed by the Assistant General Overseer in charge of Administration and Personnel, Pastor John Odesola.
The memo partly read, “We write to formally notify you that the mission authority has created the Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance in the RCCG. Further to this, Pastor Timothy Olaniyan (PICP Lagos Province 12) has been appointed to lead the Office.
“You are kindly requested to appoint with immediate effect a Provincial Officer for your province and also ensure that the same is done at all levels of the church – zone, area and parish. The essence of this directorate is to help coordinate the engagement of our people who are willing to be involved in politics as well as mobilize support for them when required.”
RCCG, therefore, asked that its parishes to send the details of its nominated coordinators for the office to Odesola within two weeks of receipt of the letter.
The letter has generated controversies signaling that it was purportedly written to galvanize support for the rumored Presidential ambition of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in 2023.
RCCG denied that the directorate was Inaugurated for Osinbajo’s campaign.
The church said the directorate wasn’t created for Osinbajo but rather the politics directorate of the church was created to sensitise members of the church for active political participation including getting their Permanent Voter Cards.
Momodu in the statement noted that although the church said the directorate was established to support its members in the next election, there are general conspiracy theory that RCCG was setting up an ‘extensive network’ for the Presidential ambition of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.lk
Momodu warned that RCCG supporting Osinbajo on religious grounds alone was simply not right or proper as it demonstrated blatant and flagrant partisanship.
Momodu wondered if the church will ask its members to vote for one party knowing fully well he’s also a presidential aspirant like Osinbajo and Tinubu’s wife is also amember.
He warned that it is the job of the church to seek out and promote the best candidates and then pray for them rather than have a preferred candidate.
The statement read in part, “Fellow Nigerians, let me state clearly that I consider myself a bonafide member of RCCG even if I don’t attend church services often due to my absence from home arising from my enforced itinerant lifestyle as an international journalist.
“I’ve been a son of RCCG General Overseer Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye and his very selfless wife, Mummy G O, Mrs Foluke Adenike Adeboye for many years.
“Naturally, I feel that I owe it a duty to tell our Church leaders, and our Church in general, the Gospel truth.
“Nothing must be done to inadvertently cause a cataclysmic storm in the House of God and the easiest way to create trouble in Nigeria today is any attempt to mix religion with politics.
“As soon as I read the memo by RCCG establishing a political arm of our Church, I realised this was nothing but an invitation to Armageddon, if true.
“It’s like combining some highly combustible ingredients together in a chemical laboratory. It’s not just that the effect may not be too pleasant, it is that the result and consequences will be catastrophic. God forbid.
“Personally, that theory did not jell with me. To the best of my knowledge, Professor Osinbajo is not the only member of the church contesting the 2023 Presidential election. And it was not RCCG that nominated him as running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Osinbajo got the job primarily because of his closeness to his former Principal, then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and also because of his admirable credentials, ability and capacity. His religion was necessarily a factor, because a Northern Muslim must pick a Southern Christian as his running mate in the current Nigerian clime.
“That’s the only reason religion came into it, I believe. It had nothing to do with the fact that he’s a senior pastor of the RCCG.
“Even if Osinbajo has decided to have his own father’s name by dropping that of his godfather, RCCG will still face a moral crisis if it wishes to jump on the bandwagon by drumming up support for Professor Osinbajo on religious grounds alone for many reasons, some of which I will now highlight.
“Although Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a Muslim, his dear wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu is a staunch member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and one of the leading lights of the Church. Asiwaju, her husband, is a frontline Presidential aspirant on the platform of APC, just like his godson, Osinbajo.
“Even if the church has a preference in Professor Osinbajo, mainly because of his status in the Church and his current position in Government, I expect the RCCG to “pretend” a little and behave as if it is not so.
“if RCCG goes ahead to support Osinbajo that’s like choosing a child out of one’s children and say, ‘this is my favourite!’ It’s simply not right or proper for the RCCG to demonstrate such blatant and flagrant partisanship.
“As if that’s not a tough cookie to handle, there’s the fact that there is a third contender, yours truly, Dele Momodu, who’s also a member of the RCCG and the youngest of the contending Church aspirants so far. I’m also the only member of the RCCG aspiring on the platform of PDP, as far as I know.
“Would RCCG then ask its members to vote for one party over the other merely because it has decided to support one candidate in preference to the other regardless of the strong points one may have over the other? What a conundrum and crisis this portends for the Church and its unity and peace.
“The church can’t even afford to ostracise any aspirant on the basis of religious persuasion or denomination.
“I also imagine that there is some degree of unconstitutionality to this attempt by the church to descend into the political arena. Nigeria is a secular state as the constitution provides.
“To suggest that one candidate is the preferred candidate of a particular church or religious group and is being effectively sponsored by that church will breach not just the morality and ethos of the Church but also the deeply enshrined principles and grundnorm of our constitution, which are embedded and engraved for good reason.”