The 2015 Nigerian election will come and go. But what will remain in the minds of Nigerians is the alliance between the corrupt forces in Nigerian polity and some clergymen. When the clergy worship other gods, the faith, religious, spiritual and moral injury inflicted on the Body of Christ is incalculable even though HIS words remain divine, eternal and the unity of HIS Body endures forever.
It is in the context of this un-holy alliance that we examined the visit of President Jonathan two weeks before the then February 2015 election to Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, Ota western Nigeria. This falls in the context of President Jonathan’s now regular campaign strategy of using select clergymen as his campaign foot soldiers through the office of the CAN President-Mr. Oritsejafor.
This history led to the two critical questions we asked Bishop David Oyedepo. But in the responses to our critical voice, it is not surprising to see an unholy fusion between members of the well funded 20 Billion-Naira Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team and defenders of Mr. David Oyedepo.
However, what is sad but not surprising is the exhibition of a lack of critical capacity by members of this unholy fusion. This is because as it is well known in the Nigerian public domain, President Jonathan’s campaign strategy of using select clergymen as part of his campaign foot soldiers date back to 2011 election. And participating clergymen have been duly rewarded through the usual corrupt Nigerian informal sector and business procedure, which are also deliberately made fuzzy to realize goals of graft and corruption. Therefore, soundly and legitimately, critical questions are derived from this obvious history.
In a highly corrupt Nigerian environment under President Jonathan which operates informally through a corrupt lineage of 10th parties (not just 3rd party), to ask for physical and documented evidence as if the alliance of the select clergy and the corrupt Jonathan government is a legitimate transaction which is made open to formal best practices in documentation is to be blunt dishonest and unserious.
For anyone who is looking for evidence of how participating clergymen may be being rewarded must insist that Mr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency must be more forthright with clear and lucid information with regard to some questionable and dubious business deals.
This is because for example we do not have sufficient information in the public domain with regard to the cash for arms South African deal in which the company of the CAN president Mr. Ayo Oritsejafor was clearly implicated in a criminal business deal.
The stark truth is that No Nigerian company can get any contract from the Nigerian authority under President Jonathan if the company is not politically connected. That is part of our un-ethical and un-professional business environment under Jonathan. And Mr. Ayo Oritsejafor is not only politically connected with Mr. Jonathan’s presidency he is one of the contact persons of the religious wing of President Jonathan’s campaign using CAN platform.
So? Something has to give. Until the contrary is proved and until the government gives sufficient and convincing information, and until we get our money back, Mr. Ayo Oritsejafor of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) will remain connected with the criminal cash for arms South African deal through his company.
And Mr. Bosun Emmanuel the Pastor. Let Bosun Emmanuel disclose the basis of his nomination to the recently concluded National Conference and the source of his Hate Speech in his audio CD. Who did Bosun Emmanuel represent and how? Nigerian Christians? With the Hate Speech in Bosun Emmanuel CD too?
So, in view of what is known before now –for example Pastor Bakare’s prognostications- to think that what Nigerian voters are talking about is limited to the one day of Mr. Jonathan’s campaign trip to Winners Chapel on January 25 is fallacious. It is red herring. It is disingenuous and an instance of deliberate poor thinking- to knowingly divert.
Made arrogant and delusory by the sheer amount of oily cash it has nocturnally accumulated over time (20 billion Naira as at the last official disclosure) for campaign which includes bribing all kinds of constituency from the religious, to the ethnic, to electoral officials, to security agencies, President Goodluck Jonathan simply forgot the intensity of his potential and actual rejection at the polls by Nigerian voters based on the fact that he wasted the time of virtually all Nigerians for six years, while he and his coterie of inner kitchen cabinet in Abuja played games and toyed with the fate of over 170 million people.
Hence, selling himself as the “candidate of Christians” as he did in 2011 in this regard is a major plank of his subtle campaign strategy in 2015.
But for the sake of argument suppose the issue of the “candidate of Christians” as constructed by President Jonathan and his handlers is a sound and legitimate proposition the question that has never been asked is: Did President Goodluck Jonathan ever tell anyone that he is a Christian? And what type of Christian? Does his action and body language show that he is one?
This is because it is very strange that the body language of a Christian will be supportive of corruption and terrorism both of the Boko Haram type and of the Dokubo-Asari (Muslim), Victor Ben Ebikabowei a.k.a Boy Loaf(Christian?); Government Ekpudomenowei, a.k.a Tompolo (Christian?) Type.
And given that cults such as the Egbesu cult, Ombatse cult (Nasarawa) had figured very strongly in militia politics and terrorism, the bothering question is: what exactly is the pact -secret or open- between President Jonathan and these three militia terrorists (C, Tompolo, boyloaf) which border on the inexplicable if President Jonathan is indeed a “Christian” deserving the support of Christians?
Now for the purpose of argument suppose we concede that the talk about “Christian candidate/Muslim candidate” makes sense (I do not think it does because we should focus on issues) it is sound and legitimate to ask how Nigerian Christian community miss the fact that an anointed Pastor-Tunde Bakare- was the Vice presidential candidate to Mr. Buhari in 2011? What happened then that we did not know?
This argument is NOT a gesturing towards turning Nigerian election into a “theocratic” one where voters uncritically line behind so-called “religious” candidates regardless of the real issues and what candidates have to offer as it was wrongly and opportunistically done for Mr. Jonathan in 2011 by some known and unknown Pastors who we have it on record mobilized for Goodluck Jonathan via church bulletins and emails.
Rather this argument is a critical gesturing towards a probe and interrogation of the possible alliance between the leadership of some Pastors, the core of theology of questionable and immoral material (not religious or spiritual) prosperity in Nigeria and the morally questionable, corrupt and sinful forces in the nation’s polity as represented by the Jonathan presidency.
And the failure of the Nigerian Christian community then to see a Tunde Bakare for who he is-a true born again Christian in favor of someone-President Jonathan- who never said he is a Christian gives us the critical template to fall back on this critical interrogative introspection.
So in 2011, did these select Nigerian Pastors serve other gods and we did not know? And now are they serving other gods and we do not know? And this is the point at which President Jonathan’s planned visits to churches just about two weeks before the then February election is significant.
Incidentally, a few hands in Winners Chapel / members of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team (both have merged and become morally and politically indistinguishable) have rallied not only to openly threaten critical voices with evil but to spin President Jonathan’s campaign trip to Winners Chapel in Ota, western Nigeria.
The threat from this quarter against critical voices only shows desperation and so much of the hidden forbidden fruit (hidden from the Nigerian public), which is at stake.
It is laughable when this un-critical, un-patriotic and un-ethical fusion of defenders of President Jonathan’s campaign trip to Winners Chapel and churches fallaciously point to a video as evidence of their innocence when the issue is an un-Godly dated historical alliance between some select clergy and the corrupt Mr. Jonathan’s presidency.
Hence, before reason, rationality, history of the un-Godly alliance, the editing power of technology the so called Winners Chapel video must be treated with contempt and a cynical chuckle and flushed down the sewage as red herring to divert from a deep and covert history of an un-Godly alliance between some Nigerian clergy and the corrupt Jonathan presidency that dates back to President Jonathan’s wasted tenure in office since 2011.
Against this fraudulent historical background of an unholy alliance between select Nigerian pastors and the un-ethical Mr. Jonathan’s presidency which predates the January 25 subtle campaign trip to Winners Chapel, Ota western Nigeria, we posed questions which included whether Bishop David Oyedepo pray for the success of Mr. Jonathan at the polls.
So, rather than answer these questions, the PDP, members of the “20 billion Naira Funded Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team/few defenders of Winners Chapel diverted attention into a red herring. They want to deny the obvious in President Jonathan’s campaign trip to Ota.
But sadly for them, a Pastor of the Winners Chapel, one of their own-Mr. Ubong Ntia- unwittingly confirmed one of our questions, which is that Mr. David Oyedepo, Winners Chapel Bishop through a prayer point prayed for the success of candidate Jonathan at the polls. And if a Winners Chapel Pastor, Mr. Ubong Ntia unwittingly confirmed a piece of information about prayer point what else do we need?
This is what Mr. Ntia said. We give full details though long so that readers can come to their own critical conclusion. Ntia said:
Ntia: “The event of Sunday, January 25, 2015, in which President Jonathan visited the church, was obviously not out of place… the president and his entourage arrived at the church for the third service at about 9.30am and were ushered in to occupy the front seats alongside the resident pastor and other senior pastors …Thereafter, in honour of the President, Bishop Oyedepo invited President Jonathan to ‘bring a word of greeting’ to the congregation….
Ntia: …President Jonathan spent approximately six minutes in his address, clearly stating that he would be careful not to sound political so that his visit and intentions would not be construed as campaign….In his brief speech, he adulated the ministry and person of Bishop for the mighty works of faith, prayer for Nigeria and educational milestones the Living Faith Church has engendered for national development…
Ntia: …He then expressed his belief that the elections of 2015 would go peacefully, while also asking for the people of God to pray more…The President neither covertly asked for votes, nor overtly impressed the congregation with any unsolicited advertorial to win their electoral minds,”
Pastor Ntia added that Bishop Oyedepo, said at the service:
“I like us to be on our feet and lift the President up to God. Whatever you desire to see God bring about in his life, bring about in our nation. “Release unusual grace in increasing dimensions, to match the demands of his office. Cause your face to shine upon him. Lord, grant the desires of his heart. Grant Nigeria peace! Under him, grant Nigeria greater advancement. Thank you, Father; in Jesus’ Name we pray.”(my emphasis)
Pastor Ntia maintained that Bishop Oyedepo then closed the prayer thus with the remarks:
“This entire church proclaims the President blessed today; blessed with divine wisdom to match the demands of his office; and blessed with peace to see the miraculous in his life.” (my emphasis).
Because Ntia and other defenders rest their failed defence on what is clearly a coded language two analogies will show the real intention of the trip to Ota.
In a situation of date rape, in carrying out his evil, will a date rapist tell his victim that he hates her or will the date rapist not become syrupy and choreograph his action in deceptive and seductive terms in order to attract and lure his victim? Will he not choreograph and code his language? Yes he will because he will not achieve his goal if he does not choreograph his intentions and code his language. Why will you scare off someone you need for a purpose?
Coded language and delicate choreography is what we see in the prepared “call and response” mode as revealed by Pastor Ntia between candidate Jonathan and Pastor David Oyedepo on January 25 in Winners Chapel, Ota.
Second take the relationship between a 419 kingpin and his potential victim. To be able to successfully defraud his victim, the 419 kingpin must speak in coded, sweet and syrupy language to lure his victim to a false sense of security, and then attack.
Anybody with disposition to the rational in thinking would understand what is called coded language. And those who are disposed to theater will also understand what is called “call and response” dramatic act and choreography. So we need the rational and the artistic (choreography) in our lives to see through the contrived political campaign package between Mr. David Oyedepo and candidate Goodluck Jonathan on January 25 that is being presented as a “mere” “church” visit in “national” interest!
Contrary to Pastor Ntia’s explanation, two weeks to the then February election he is not sure he could win, President Goodluck Jonathan came to Winners Chapel as candidate Jonathan in the 2015 elections and not as President Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mr. David Oyedepo, the Pastor and Bishop of Winners Chapel Ota, cannot hide that-though he is free to continue to act and play the ostrich.
Mr. David Oyedepo, Mr. Ubong Ntia both Pastors of Winners Chapel and Mr. Goodluck Jonathan are taking Nigerians for a ride. To see this, the following questions are relevant.
(1) In an election year, two weeks before the then February election, is Mr. Jonathan’s visit to Winners Chapel Ota about 12 hours away by road from Abuja a state visit or the visit of a candidate in the election?
(2) Two weeks to an election candidate Jonathan is not sure he can win(which he has now used the security agencies to postpone!), what is the “miraculous” (as prayed by Mr. Oyedepo, Pastor of Winners Chapel, Ota western Nigeria) in candidate Jonathan’s life?
(3) Two weeks to an election he is struggling in, what can be the great “heart desires” (as prayed by Pastor David Oyedepo) of candidate Jonathan?
(4) Two weeks to an election candidate Goodluck Jonathan desires to win “miraculously” what did Bishop David Oyedepo “proclaim”? What is the substantive content of his “proclamation? Is it different from the “miraculous” in (1) and candidate Goodluck Jonathan’s “heart desires” in (3)?
(5) Given that there are geopolitical calculations for votes was candidate Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Winners Chapel Ota influenced by geo-political calculation and hunting for geo-political goodwill and votes? In other words, if all candidate Goodluck Jonathan was seeking is the face of God, why Ota and not Abuja, Portharcourt, Aba, Kaduna, Kano, etc? Are there no churches in these cities?
(7) Since candidate Goodluck Jonathan has again been cited at the revival service of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement at its headquarters in Ijesha, Lagos, it means candidate Goodluck Jonathan is now abandoning state duties for touring churches in western Nigeria for votes, is it not obvious that the Ota visit was a planned campaign visit because of candidate Jonathan’s perceived electoral weakness in western Nigeria? In other words what is candidate Jonathan balancing and why are Pastors David Oyedepo and Ntia playing along and helping in this balancing act?
(8) Finally and more importantly, who visited? Did President Jonathan visit as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Or did candidate Jonathan visit as a PDP politician for geo-political calculation and search for goodwill and then votes?
It is obvious that candidate Goodluck Jonathan (and not President Jonathan) visited Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel. The reasons are not difficult to see which include planned tours of churches in western Nigeria. Two had happened after Ota.
These reasons are derived from the private mutual relationship between candidate Goodluck Jonathan and Bishop David Oyedepo which dates back to the regular deployment of select Pastors by President Jonathan for his campaign. And that personal mutual relationship which has nothing to do with our country and God- is expressed in the nature of the prayer of Pastor David Oyedepo for candidate Jonathan, a candidate in the 2015 election.
And there is no problem with Pastor David Oyedepo showcasing his candidate before his church. What is problematic is the use of the name of the Body of Christ as a decoy, as a hunting ground for votes for a candidate who stands antithetical to the Body of Christ and to the Nigerian poor. That is the challenge David Oyedepo, Ubong Ntia and members of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign must answer.
And this is why members of the 20 Billion Naira funded Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team in alliance with Winner Chapel Ota, who defended Mr. Oyedepo lied that there was no prayer point during candidate Jonathan’s trip to Ota.
The prayer points are well coded as contained in Ubong Ntia’s presentation, which unwittingly exposed the prayer points! In the use of coded language, the user creates a paragraph as a decoy and inserts his real point/sentence in a loaded paragraph! So? the question is: Is this a prayer point or not? Let us elicit some of the prayer points.
Mr. Oyedepo prayed :
“Cause your face to shine upon him. Lord, grant the desires of his heart…”.
What do we call this? What is a prayer point if not the verbalization or otherwise (just in case we use other human communication facility including body language if we are unable to speak) of the desire of our divine heart and the request that this desire be powered to realization by the collective Amen of the faithful in a congregation?
So? After calling on Lord to “grant the desires of his heart…” (which is what coming all the way from Abuja to Ota two weeks to election?) Mr. Oyedepo concluded with a proclamation:
“This entire church proclaims the President blessed today; blessed with divine wisdom to match the demands of his office; and blessed with peace to see the miraculous in his life”
Again, what is the “miraculous in his (a politician facing an election) life” coming all the way from Abuja, central Nigeria to Ota, western Nigeria two weeks to election?
The denial by Winners Chapel/Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team that Mr. David Oyedepo, the Bishop of Winners Chapel made a prayer point for candidate Goodluck Jonathan, have done great damage to reason, thought and language in desperate defense of the indefensible.
This is because what can be a greater “desire” in “the heart” of candidate Goodluck Jonathan, a politician who legitimately is looking for votes for his campaign two weeks to election if not the election itself and his “heart desire” to win at all cost? Can any politician who is contesting an election have a heart desire to lose?
If this prayer point is so obvious on behalf of candidate Goodluck Jonathan why do the Winners Chapel defenders including Ubong Ntia and the other ones behind the façade of online technology threaten this truth with their manipulations and lie that there was no prayer point from Mr. David Oyedepo to candidate Goodluck Jonathan?
Why do these “Christians” lie when our God says “Thou Shall not lie”? What do these “Christians” teach our children at Sunday schools if they lie so shamelessly? Isn’t this lying ethics and immorality at the root of the Jonathanian corruption at the national level?
I am sure this barefaced lying and immorality are possible only at the Altar of the theology of the crude and un-ethical material prosperity, a theology that has falsely redefined the core religious values and roots of the Christian faith, emptied it of its religious content, distorted it and consigned it to a mere social network, a mere Sunday Sunday social visitation act in pursuit of immoral business transactions, flesh, transient, material, bodily, earthly and monetary leisure and satisfaction.
But the reason for their-Winners Chapel/Goodluck Jonathan Campaign- threat and resistance against truth and reason and their lie can be found in Pastor Bakare’s 7th sign post which is tied to their worship on Mount corruption and service of other gods.
This is Pastor Bakare’s reflection of the 2011 election and his prognostication for 2015 election.
Sign 7: Potential Religious Confusion, Betrayals, Scandals and Persecution. Pastor Bakare warmly enthused introspectively:
Pastor Bakare: In 2011, when I was selected by General Buhari as running mate, there was a gang-up against that ticket by a substantial section of the church which preferred the candidate that was perceived as Christian, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Not only was the church not convinced about General Buhari’s non-fundamentalist stance, it also refused to give support to the running mate who, in its perception, is controversial and non-conformist.
At that time, the mantra amongst many men of God was that a pastor had nothing to do with politics. Reports also have it that Christian clergy received financial inducement from their preferred candidate who is again contesting against the same General Buhari in 2015.(emphasis mine).
Pastor Bakare continued: To compound the matter, General Buhari’s running mate is another pastor who should ordinarily have the support of his home church, a very influential denomination in and outside the country and whose head is highly respected in the Christian establishment.
Pastor Bakare: Therefore, ordinarily, for those to whom religion means a lot in the making of electoral decisions, the current running mate of the APC should be tiwa n tiwa, that is, “our own” and should be massively supported by the church. But it is not going to be that easy. What would be the implication of turning away from the incumbent who was massively supported in 2011 by the church establishment? (my emphasis)
Pastor Bakare: How about those for whom the president has done one favour or another, such as waivers, contracts, soft landings, protection of vested interests in one form or another, or even outright monetary gifts – not necessarily bribery, just a ‘harmless’ gift? (my emphasis)
Pastor Bakare: Would these pastors, priests and prophets now turn against their benefactor, the president, to give support to “our own”? What will be the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), organizations that have been massively behind the president and who are likely biased against APC as PFN’s 2015 round-the-clock circulated prayer bulletin reveals? (my emphasis)
Pastor Bakare: Would there be reminders that this same incumbent has knelt before us at our conventions where we laid hands on him and supposedly endorsed him? Or, would we make a u-turn now that this is “our own”? Would such a u-turn not come with dire consequences reminiscent of the Abimelech experience with the men of Shechem in Judges 9:22-24 (NKJV)?
Those who want to rebut Pastor Bakare and my proposition that some Nigerian Pastors worship at the Mount of Corruption during elections must do so with reason, rationality and empirical fact and not sentiments, curses and threats. Nigeria is at a point where the truth has to be told. Six solid years of waste under President Jonathan is sufficient to say NO Never Again. Six years of waste is candidate Goodluck Jonathan’s “heart desires…” We Nigerian voters reject it peacefully and democratically through our votes and in Jesus name.
There is nothing wrong for Mr. Ayo Oritsejafor and Mr. Oyedepo to work for their friend-candidate Jonathan- in the 2015 election. But to present that help as a national call and as a Godly call is disingenuous and un-Godly. They are Oritsejafor and Oyedepo’s personal calls. Given six years of waste under President Goodluck Jonathan, they cannot be Godly or national call.
Rather than hide under the guise of the Body of Christ, I think it is more gracious and honorable for Mr. Oyedepo, Bishop of Winners Chapel, Ota western Nigeria to come out openly in the public domain and inform Nigerians why Nigerian voters should accept the prayer, the “heart desires” of his candidate, candidate Goodluck Jonathan to win the 2015 election after six years of tragic waste, sickening corruption under candidate Jonathan.
Finally, Mr. David Oyedepo is a Bishop of Winners Chapel. Let him mount his pulpit and look his church members in the face and tell them whether or not he is a member of a Pastors group who clandestinely are mobilizing for Mr. Jonathan.
His church members should be bold enough to ask him what transpired in such mobilization PDP/Goodluck Jonathan efforts. It is the right of Pastors who are contacted to do what they do behind the scene but it is not their right not to say the truth publicly if they are true Christians. Nigerians leave Mr. David Oyedepo to his conscience. Let him deal with it. It is between him and his God.
And this is the final word. Nigerian voters are resisting Mr. David Oyedepo’s prayer point, which he called candidate Jonathan’s “heart desires” and the “miraculous” in his life for the following reasons.
President Jonathan failed woefully to defend this country as our Commander in Chief. We lost territories to terrorists. It is a disgrace that multinational force has to be formed over Nigeria under the watch of President Jonathan. This is Nigeria and not some banana country. We need our pride, honor and dignity back. We must bring them back through our votes.
President Jonathan leads the most corrupt system ever in the history of the country, corrupting every national institution including the military. The audiotape of how the PDP under the watch of President Jonathan used the military to rig in the last Ekiti state election is an evidence until the Jonathan presidency disprove that audiotape factually and scientifically. Buying the military and bringing directly into politics as President Jonathan has done repeatedly is too, too dangerous.
President Jonathan led us back into poverty. Today we are one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Most of the country’s 173 million people live on less than $2 a day and only receive a paltry supply of electricity. The facts and statistics are verifiable World Bank statistics.
Since these are results of candidate Goodluck Jonathan “heart desires” then and now-it is morally shocking for any Nigerian that a clergy will support these kind of “heart desires”. And where a clergy has done so in the case of Pastor David Oyedepo, Bishop of Winners Chapel, and Ota western Nigeria we have legitimate grounds to ask such clergy critical questions no matter how uncomfortable those questions are.
This is what you get when you bring the incorruptible Body of Christ close to the symbol of corruption in the land. It is first a faith responsibility for it is about the true incorruptible roots of our faith. Then it is also a moral, social and national responsibility.
Adeolu Ademoyo email@example.com Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. A previous week’s article was mistakenly published in place of this. This correction makes right the error with deep regrets to Mr. Ademoyo and his many readers.