Religion

Pentecostal leaders risk revolt over APC Muslim-Muslim ticket

By Gabriel Omonhinmin

The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, allegedly met with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye at the Redemption Camp on Sunday, July 17, 2022.

Tinubu, a Yoruba Muslim and Adeboye were alleged to have met in connection with the APC’s decision to pick the former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, a Northern Muslim as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.

Tinubu and Shettima

It was gathered that the APC presidential candidate has already set up a team of prominent persons with whom he was scheduled to meet the Christian leaders within the party and faith-based organizations like the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and the Catholic Church to appeal to them and secure their support ahead of the 2023 polls.

RCCG on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, clarified the purported meeting. They said in a press statement, that contrary to the reports that Pastor Adeboye met with Asiwaju Tinubu over the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, the meeting between the duo never took place.

“It has come to our notice that some news outlets are reporting that a meeting between Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Worldwide and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, was held a few days back at the Redemption Camp where our esteemed father in the Lord was said to have supported the preferred candidature of the party of the former Governor.

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“Pastor E.A. Adeboye and RCCG have not and will not endorse any candidate for the 2023 general election in Nigeria.”

At the official unavailing of Shettima in Abuja, the alleged hiring of miscreants who posed as Christians Bishops and clergymen further complicated matters.

Trumpet Religious Desk Editor decided to dig into this matter to find out whether or not a meeting did take place between Tinubu’s group and Pastor Adeboye. In an effort to further confirm the veracity of these claims and counterclaims, we reached out to Tinubu’s Media Adviser, Alhaji Tunde Rahman. But he did not pick his calls.

Meanwhile, Prophet Gabriel Onaolapo, who is the Founder of one of the fast-growing Pentecostal Church in Nigeria, known as the Christ The Kings Rescue Global Ministry based in Ogun State, has warned that some of the General Overseers of the big Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria, need to exercise a lot of caution and restraints over the way and manner they handle this Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC.

He said, “As an active member of most of the Christian bodies in the country, I know that most younger pastors of churches across board, call it the new generation or orthodox Churches in Nigeria, are very angry over what the APC Flag bearer did when he decided to pick a fellow Northern Muslim as his running mate.”

He stressed that Tinubu, attempted to trivialize this matter, claiming that he considered competence above religion in picking his running mate is unacceptable to most Christians as it is a deliberate attempt to hoodwink the Christian Communities.

He added that because of this insult younger Pastors from all the dominations have decided to ignore the older Pastor and form a movement.  He asked, “is Bola Tinubu saying there are not competent Christians in the whole of the Northern region to be his V.P?”

Onaolapo explained that “Justice Aniagolu’s Deputy in the 1988 Constituent Assembly meeting who was then the Chief Judge of former Gongola State, died suddenly in 1991, two years after that Assembly completed its work. While Justice Aniagolu was a Christian, Ardo his Deputy was a Muslim.

While the Secretary to that Constituent Assembly was then Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, whom the country has since then gotten to know a lot more eloquently, he is a Muslim from Borno State. Kingibe’s assistant at the Assembly was a Christian lady from Rivers State, Ms Amal Inyingiala Pepple, who retired from the Federal Civil Service as a Permanent Secretary. This was the time Nigeria only had 21 states.”

Onaolapo added that “it was this same Assembly that negotiated the terms of a constitution which we now operate on the basis of which the Babangida regime claimed it would hand over power to an elected government at the end of its transition programme.

This is the same Constituent Assembly that got into a very animated debate in October 1998 over this very irrelevant issue of religion as the All Progressive Congress (APC) would want Nigerians to believe. Centred in this heated debate are religion in Nigeria and the role it plays in the civic and constitutional life of the country.

In that quarrel that lasted for months, the Muslim and Christian members of that Assembly then, neither gave nor took a quarter from each side of the divide. Yet the APC and Tinubu in the year 2022, want Nigerians to believe that religion should not be of any importance to them.”

He warned Christian leaders, who might want to compromise and sell the Christian faith out for a pot of portage, over this matter that a huge surprise awaits them.

Onaolapo said the recent revelations he got indicate that, except there is divine intervention, the way things are currently going in Nigeria today, there might not be elections.

He added that, although he is not in a position to say what will happen and the shape things will take in the days ahead, that will prevent the 2023 general elections from holding, he said he foresees an interim government that will eventually midwife a fresh election that will lead to a democratic transition in the country.

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