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By: Che Oyinatumba

Published September 17th, 2010

Will I ever come to terms with the directive given by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to its members to come out and join the rented crowd at the expected declaration of President Goodluck Jonathanís intension to continue rudderlessly ruling the country beyond 2011? The rude announcement was made in most Anglican churches on Sunday 12th September 2010.

The presiding priest of St Andrews Anglican Church Kubwa asked those willing among the congregation to join the President Goodluck Jonathanís campaign train to write down their names to enable in the adequate provision of ďlogisticsĒ, as free transportation to Eagle Square would be provided. Also promised, were meal tickets and T-shirts. My findings also showed that the same announcement was made in other Anglican churches in Kubwa Diocese.

My fear about the use of the pulpit as a political platform is that it would balkanise the faithful and itís umbrella body CAN. What happens to the unity of the faithful should a Catholic or a member of another wing of the Christendom emerges as a running mate to any other presidential candidate? With the commercial way the Church has been giving out Knighthood, are there no Anglicans in the campaign team of Buhari, Atiku and IBB? There is no scientific enquiry that all Anglicans are supporters of Goodluck Jonathan. Before this sudden romance by the Church, how many people knew that Goodluck Jonathan is an Anglican?

What becomes of the Anglican Church, should Goodluck fail to win the 2011 Presidential Elections?  The Bible is clear on the relationship between the Church and political office holders. The Church while on the watchtower should warn the leaders of impending doom due to their bad leadership style, does not get involved in the manipulation of who becomes King. In as much as it is the duty of the church to be socially relevant by grooming citizens that will obey the laws of the land, it is evangelically suicidal to pitch their tent with a politician. They should have taken the part of voters education and encourage their members to vote for only credible candidates with a well defined programme to enable the people eat the fruits of the land. Even if Goodluck is running on evangelical platform, what are the programmes that he intend to make paramount that will make evangelically minded people and liberals to support him?

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What happens to the unconverted in other politiciansí camp? Will they respond positively to an evangelism team from the Anglican Church pointing the way to Christ? When Samuel wanted to interfere in the selection of David to replace Saul that died (no mischief intended or reference to how we got here), Samuel first settled for Eliab based on the political/leadership hereditary culture of the Jews wherein the eldest son automatically qualifies for the mantle of leadership. But God rejected this arrangement and went for the unthinkable.

 Because the Prophets didnít soil their hands with the processes of who becomes a King, they could fearlessly denounce the King whenever he erred from the Constitution (Godís Words). With this support by the Anglican Church, can they call Goodluck Jonathan to order should he win the 2011 General Election and refuse to guarantee basic rights to people? Was Obasanjo not a self proclaimed Born Again Christian? What did Nigerians get in return?

My heart bleeds for my generation over the kind of spiritual leaders we have been plagued with. Those we turn to for succour are giving us poisoned Chalice.  If it is not those telling us we are poor because we are sinners instead of challenging the bad leadership that makes us paupers in the land of milk and honey, we are confronted with those that can not differentiate between seeking the face of the Lord and the crumbs from stained pockets of politicians.

The books of Hosea and Amos to mention but a few have a comparable political-economy to Nigeria under the leadership of Goodluck Jonathan. Had the Anglican Church called Jonathan to order in the face of social and economic injustice in the land? By promising meal ticket to those who would go, it was obvious that the Church had agreed that there was hunger in the land. If these Anglicans were going out based on religious/political conviction, they would have found their way sacrificially to Eagle Square. But the Church knew that Nigerians are hungry and jobless hence the bribe and like Rebecca, they are aiding in the sale of birthright.

What Nigerians want is a credible leader who may be a worshiper of anything, so long as he has a defined workable roadmap to get us out of the woods of underdevelopment and give us a visible voice in the comity of technologically advanced nations. After all, when the chips are down your relationship with God is a personal affair.

©Che Oyinatumba

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