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If Ambode’s story is true, it is a warning to Nigerian Christianity. You wrote the script. You created the class apartheid in Church. Live with the monster you created. Depart from the script and a coconut will be cracked on your head.


Ambode versus Chaplain…

The media is reporting that Ogbeni Ambode fired a Chaplain for not anointing his wife first or something to that effect. I haven’t seen Ambode’s denial or clarification. I haven’t heard his own side of the story. We also haven’t heard from Mrs. Ambode.

If the available and, as yet, uncontested version of this story is true, it is a case of Gambari pa Fulani. I don’t see why ordinary Nigerians should be unduly exercised, expending valuable energy on a family affair between Nigerian Christendom and power. Go and spend your energy on coping with recession and stop trying to take sides between Ambode and a Pastor.

What exactly does Nigerian Christendom expect from a Frankenstein she has created and nursed since the 80s? I’ve been criticised for writing that Christianity died in Nigeria somewhere before the mid-80s.

The beginning of polygamy for Nigerian Christendom. Unable to divorce from the Bible, Nigerian Christianity took a second wife: the politician, the man of power.

First wife – the Bible.

Second wife – the politician.

Well, you know how the new wife is treated and how the old wife is treated in polygamy. Nigerian Christianity has been pampering this new wife since they got married, completely neglecting the old wife.

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Growing up, the sight of specially-designed Italian leather sofas in the front row, reserved for Daddy GO, Mommy GO, politicians, and rich men of power was unthinkable!

The closest that my generation and those older knew about special seating arrangements in the Nigerian church was on ojo ikore, Thanksgiving Day, when the “alaga” of the day sat on a special chair.

Today, sofa apartheid is standard in the church, the quality of your front row sofa determined by the size and regularity of your tithe and the importance of your position in power.

When a politician cracks a coconut on the head of a Nigerian pastor, I have no dog in the fight. It is a family affair. I have never been invited to their sharing of the spoils of the Nigerian state. Why should their quarrel be my headache?


Nigerian Christendom has been grooming the new bride with privileges, preferential treatment, and spatial apartheid in the church. Nigerian Christendom has been stopping in the middle of sermons and ministration to “recognise the presence of Senator Lagbaja and Governor Tamedun.”
Nigerian Christendom has made a colossal contribution to deepening class apartheid in Nigeria by separating rich and powerful men from the masses in Church.

It has been give and take, this relationship.

Nigerian Christendom has received import waivers.

Nigerian Christendom has received its own share of the looted commonwealth in the shape of tithes and other donations.

I used to even think that the rot in Nigerian Christianity was limited to prosperity Pentecostal Churches until Senator Ike Ekweremadu built a church in his state and donated it to the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Church accepted the expensive gift without bothering about the source of the riches of that member of the filthy National Assembly.

When, as Christianity, you have spent nearly three decades grooming Nigerian big men and their wives as special and different from the rest in the context of a class apartheid you created, what exactly do you expect if you depart from the script?

The slighted politician will take a coconut and crack it on your head.

If Ambode’s story is true, it is a warning to Nigerian Christianity. You wrote the script. You created the class apartheid in Church. Live with the monster you created. Depart from the script and a coconut will be cracked on your head.

When a politician cracks a coconut on the head of a Nigerian pastor, I have no dog in the fight. It is a family affair. I have never been invited to their sharing of the spoils of the Nigerian state. Why should their quarrel be my headache?

It is ordinary people taking sides between politician and pastor that I pity. The politician and the chaplain will kiss and make up eventually.

The tithing of the Pastor will resume.

The privileged sitting arrangements of the politician and his wife will resume.

You will be told that God will answer your own prayer by fire one day.

Aduraaaaaa!!!

Pius Adesanmi, a professor of English, is Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada.