The reported plan of some notable Nigerian pastors to gather 25,000 pastors and evangelists in the South-West for a special prayer session for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, and his running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, is in the least displeasing.
According to the Vanguard Newspaper (Nigeria), the coordinator of the programme, Bishop Kayode Williams, says the ministers of God will come together to seek divine support for Buhari and Osinbajo.
Kayode Williams, who revealed that the spiritual exercise, tagged “Divine Restoration of Nigeria Glory”, is being organized to disabuse the minds of Nigerians about the wrong impression being created about Buhari. “We are four spearheading this prayer session: My humble self, Rev. Moses Iloh, Archbishop Magnus Atilade and Deacon Ayo Opadokun. We are against wrong information being fed members of the public about Buhari.”
What Nigerians need is untainted intercession, not the politicization of it and the church.
I have known Bishop Kayode Williams to be a passionate and eloquent crusader of prison reforms. A lot of Nigerian prisoners have been blessed through his ministry. Also, Rev Moses Iloh and Deacon Opadokun I know to combine ministry and politics, passionately. But Archbishop Magnus Atilade, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, South West Zone? Just as it was WRONG and THOROUGHLY UNJUST for the national body of the Christian Association of Nigeria and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to have expressed official favoritism for the incumbent, it is unethical for Archbishop Magnus Atilade to be involved in this one-sided prayer project in the name of the church.
If there is going to be a gathering of pastors (though I DOUBT THEY CAN GARNER 26,000 PASTORS AT ONE SITTING), it should not be to pray for Buhari alone but to pray for all the political contenders. With all humility, I find this prayer project not well thought-out.
WHERE IS THE LOVE IN IT, WHERE IS THE PATRIOTISM, WHERE IS FAIRNESS, WHERE IS NEUTRALITY, and WHERE, REALLY, IS GOD?
No matter my personal displeasure with the President’s general performance and recent displays in prayer houses (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, traditional worship), Goodluck Jonathan needs our prayers more so he could have the ability, will, and boldness to discern aright from the cacophony of counsels he receives daily from his aides.
Rev Iloh and co should please call out the faithfuls to prayers for these contenders, without prejudice, and for the nation. While they may be entitled to their personal opinions, they should please stop being partisan while on the pulpit! Preach the truth (not campaign for), and leave the worshipers to decide where they must go.
The president should also face his HUGE task of re-winning our confidence and stop jumping from one prayer house to the another. If truly he has served well, and his works are there to be seen by all, then he needs fear no foe, but to keep flaunting his PERFORMANCE CARD, not the dollars, or a multifaceted piety.