The bad and unjust covenant between some Nigerian Pastors and politicians is a burden, which often plays itself up in critical moments in the life of the country. Because the religious, and the spiritual are correctly taken for granted as part of what Christ means, when we hear the name of Christ, the ethical meaning of the Body Of Christ and Christian ethics often become more visible in the daily narrative and expected practice of the Christian faith.
This is because it is assumed that for Christians, Christian ethics is or ought to be derived from the religious as we are urged by Christ to live and proclaim such religious and ethical life with joy. This is at the heart of the meaning of the Gospel. Thus, in actual life situation and daily living the practicing Christian must face the question: should you not be moral?
So last year when Major Hamzat Al Mustapha was judicially and politically released from jail under ethically questionable condition and his first port of call, was the “Synagogue” of the “Christian” ‘Pastor” TB Joshua in company of the Lagos Hotelier and business man Mr. Frederick Fasehun, I asked the same moral question: based on our Christian faith should a Christian not also be ethical. Therefore, if TB Joshua is truly a practicing Christian, should he carouse in his “synagogue” with an unrepentant alleged murderer who allegedly has the blood of Nigerians on his head?
Why? Major Hamzat Al Mustapha was the confirmed head of the death and killing squad under the murderous and corrupt military regime of General Sani Abacha. Therefore, Al Mustapha is allegedly an accomplice in the death of Nigerians under Sani Abacha’s regime. But straight from his release from prison which was obviously influenced by the regime of President Jonathan, Al Mustapha, a Muslim went straight to the “Christian” Pastor TB Joshua to “pray” and pay homage, an obvious dubious act in interfaith dialogue!
So reflecting on the connection between the commercialization, politicization and the trading of the Body of Christ by some Pastors and the Nigerian presidency towards the 2015 elections, I was morally alarmed. Therefore, then in 2013, I wrote about the complicit of Nigerian politician in this trading of the Body of Christ in Nigeria:
“…though his relationship with TB Joshua is unconfirmed, we know that our President-Goodluck Jonathan- who is an Anglican-visits other churches and “miracle centers” like most Nigerian politicians. Furthermore, we know that TB Joshua claims to perform “miracles” especially with his Shamanic fingers. Nigerian politicians do take advantage of this.
“Rather than serve the people they govern as a condition to get re-elected Nigerian politicians do not do this. They love miracles and love to win miraculously. So given President Jonathan’s love to visit many churches and “miracle centers” in search of “miracles”, Nigerian citizens will like to know if he also visits TB Joshua the Shaman, the “miracle” worker. Messers Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe President Jonathan’s media men will be of help here.”
Of “Pastor” TB Joshua, I concluded then that:
“As our nation waits, our environment is pregnant with foreboding meaning. Shamanism is ruling our land. We wait for the next Shamanic act. With a regime surrounded by shamanic forces and practices, this may be the gradual beginning of an end. (Seehttps://www.premiumtimesng.com/opinion/141782-hamzat-al-mustapha-tb-joshua-shamanism-and-2015-elections-by-adeolu-ademoyo.html)
Fast forward, in 2014, when 116 human beings lost their lives under TB Joshua’s watch, curling and swirling “miracle” fingers in his “synagogue”, President Jonathan visited the “synagogue”. He called in solidarity at the unholy and death ground of TB Joshua’s synagogue. Though, President Jonathan described the deaths at TB Joshua’s synagogue as “very sad, very sad incident…” but perhaps gazing at 2015 elections and in desperate need of “Christian” votes, President Jonathan’s call at the death and unholy ground of TB Joshua’s synagogue was another political photo-op for 2015 elections.
Characteristic of Nigerian politicians who are complicit in the trading of the Body of Christ, the accompanied pauperization and death of Nigerians and Southern Africans in the “synagogue” in search of miracles, President Jonathan did not ask “Pastor” TB Joshua a simple question: “Given this massive deaths in your “synagogue” did you get an official permit and approval to raise this building?”
That was the most relevant question at that time and now. But apparently he did not ask the earthly owner of his “synagogue” perhaps because of the photo-op for 2015 elections and the “Christian” votes needed for the elections are more important to a Nigerian politician such as President Jonathan on the unholy ground of the “synagogue”.
But the good Nigerian people are very patient people. They waited and piled the pressure from the homeland to the Diaspora back to the homeland, all over every one wrote, called and asked questions all in the name of the moral in us-that which remains eternal regardless of our beliefs and faiths. Answering to the call of the people, the law quaked through the Lagos coroner.
From the Lagos coroner we learnt that TB Joshua the alleged “Christian” and earthly owner of the ground in which 116 people were sent to their graves did not register the building that collapsed. (See: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/170380-collapsed-synagogue-building-not-registered-approved-by-lagos-govt.html). This is the law. We wait for its implementation under the eyes of same Nigerian politicians and ruling elites who are pilgrims to synagogues, and miracle lands, and who are complicit in the past, present and continuous murder and pauperization of Nigerian people.
The trading, commercialization and politicization of the Body of Christ take different dimension; oftentimes polished and sometimes downright crude in the example of the covenant between the Shaman TB Joshua and members of Nigerian elites and political class.
Pastor Ayo Oristejafor, president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and counselor to the president falls within this context. This is why given the “residual interest” (the words from the mouth of his own church) Pastor Oritsejafor has in the company that was involved in the criminality and illegality of $9.3m cash transfer to South Africa, same President Jonathan who never asked TB Joshua straight questions did not ask Pastor Oristejafor questions about his vicarious responsibility in the illegality and criminality of the $9.3m money transfer.
Hence, while the Israeli citizen who was involved in the $9.3m illegal transfer was named–Mr. Eyal Mesika-the identities of the two Nigerians involved remain hidden shrouded in evil mystery under a dubious alliance between bad faith and bad politics. Given that Pastor Oritsejafor and President Jonathan went together on another pilgrimage to Israel to pray, it is important to note if President Jonathan asked Pastor Oritsejafor the identities of the two unnamed Nigerians who were involved in the illegal money transfer during this pilgrimage. And if Ayo Oritsejafor does not know, it is important to ask if both President Goodluck Jonathan and Pastor Ayo Oristejafor during their pilgrimage in Israel met with Eyal Mesika the Israeli who was involved in the criminal transfer of $9.3m from Nigerians borders to ask for the identities of his two Nigerian collaborators.
For Nigerians and Pastors such as Pastor Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria, who sadly, uncritically and unsuccessfully defended Pastor Oristejafor on this matter, the question is: Given the alliance of business and state in Nigeria where only political party card carrying members get government contracts, given the political nature and government dependent nature of Nigerian business, can it honestly be said that Pastor Oritsejafor was not aware of the criminal and illegal $9.3m deal by a company his church said he has “residual interest” in as both the Nigerian presidency and Pastor Adeboye recently claimed?
This is why this trading of the Body of Christ by Nigerian politicians and Nigerian Pastors reached a tragic, frightening, bad and very sad proportion when the ordinarily reserved, and yes respected Pastor Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God stood out in London to naively defend his brother Pastor Oritsejafor in the illegality and criminality of the Pastor’s company in the $9.3m cash for arms deal.
Pastor Adeboye’s defense of Pastor Oritsejafor whose image on this matter is more of a government contractor must go down as one of the major naivety of the century and a major betrayal of Nigerian working people who Pastors minister to.
So, given the un-Godly alliance between Pastors and Imams and Nigerian politicians, does this un-holy alliance forebode anything for 2015 elections? Will these Pastors and Imams again help the un-ethical and immoral Nigerian politicians to again muddle the Nigerian elections?
This is because it is the same pilgrim Nigerian politicians who go on pilgrimage to the Shamanic grounds of TB Joshua Synagogue who also go on pilgrimage to other miracle centers, camps, grounds, walls, lands and territories both within and outside Nigeria in Saudi Arabia and Israel searching for miracles, looking for miraculous votes and for the miraculous to happen in the 2015 elections in a complete ethical violation of the sovereignty of the votes of the Nigerian peoples. We ponder on this as we wait with great foreboding for 2015 elections.
Adeolu Ademoyo email@example.com Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY he is also a member of the editorial board of Premium Times.