SUMMARY OF THE MEDIA CHAT ON THE FORTHCOMING 2019 GENERAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA BY THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF RHEMA CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND TOWER, BISHOP TAIWO AKINOLA, DURING THE GRAND FINALE OF THE CHURCH’S ANNUAL BETHEL PRAYER AND FASTING PROGRAM, THIS 27TH JANUARY 2019, AT CHAMPION PEACE CATHEDRAL, RHEMA CHRISTIAN CHURCH, SANGO-OTA, NIGERIA.
I heartily welcome you all to this year's Bethel Day Peace Service, the Grand-Finale of our annual new year prayer and fasting program. We continually offer our immense thanks to God Almighty for His goodness and tender mercies over our beloved nation, Nigeria, and indeed over all of us as individual illustrious citizens.
May I, please, use this medium to specially commend the personal commitment, devotion and discipline which members of Rhema Christian Church, worldwide, have shown during the entire Bethel period, in praying for peace and progress in families, in the Church and the entire nation. And again, with Christ’s love, I also humbly welcome you, gentlemen and women of the press, to this very important media chat. I pray that God's loving kindness towards us all will never cease. This year 2019, we all shall receive greater grace for Supernatural Magnification in all areas of our lives and destinies, in Jesus name. Amen.
We consider it a moral necessity to speak to the Nigerian electorates at this crucial period when our great nation gets set to prepare for another chapter in her history. In a few weeks from now, hopefully, the elections will begin and leaders will emerge at all levels of governance. Certainly, as it should be expected, dynamics will change and whether we like it or not, the changes will be apparent even in the tiniest details of our national life.
LET’S ALL PREPARE AND CHOOSE TO VOTE RIGHT
As the Nigerian teeming electorates decide who will rule them from May 29 2019 by February 16, the electorates must ponder very well on their individual decisions as to who and who should lead them for another period of four years!
I hereby appeal to all Nigerians who are qualified to do so to endeavor to fully participate in these forthcoming elections. The time for indifference is past. Ignorance is tantamount to suicide, hence we should bring ourselves to a level of critical consciousness of people and occurrences that are related to the elections. Our involvement should take us to the point of voting physically on the election days. Please let nothing prevent you from being patient enough to cast your vote properly.
Meanwhile, we’re fully aware that political propaganda is usually at its apogee during election seasons such as these, with accusations and counter-accusations flying across the entire political space. Even then, as far as I am concerned, we know that almost all political gladiators live in glass houses, and I honestly wonder why they’re always quick in throwing stones.
Fellow Nigerians, friends and brethren, the responsibility is ours to remain focused, unperturbed and clear-headed to make the right choices, knowing that the impacts of our choices today can be far reaching on our destiny and that of our children tomorrow. And, just like Aristotle said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. We don’t really have to be swayed by any sugar-coated mouth of any party apologetic, but should stand firm to uphold what is true, right and fair to all.
As hinted earlier on, and as lawful citizens of this blessed country, Nigeria, our choices are very crucial to our destinies. Hence, we must get actively involved in acquiring facts that can help us in making informed choices. See, our choices will either make or mar us sooner or later, thus we must be very wise in all our dealings, especially in our choices of political leadership.
The truth is that many of the contestants take the election as a matter of life and death, while the generality of the people trivialize it. We should not look the other way while such an important event that will determine our present and future is being planned. And, I plead with us all to take the forthcoming election serious. I repeat, it is indeed a serious matter of destiny for us, for our children and our nation.
VOTE FOR MEN OF GODLY CHARACTER AND REQUIRED COMPETENCES
At this stage, I feel like reminding us of an English maxim which says, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” In agreement with this maxim, George Horne also wrote, “When a man deceives me once, it is his fault; when twice, it is mine.” Simply put: after being tricked once, one should learn from one's mistakes and avoid being tricked in the same way again. You must sit back and ponder well on the character traits of the people you wish to give your votes to.
Meanwhile, I find the following golden scriptural passages as necessary and important guidelines to follow in choosing the right candidates:
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
My counsel here is that we all should remember that leopards don’t change their spots, just like the Ethiopian cannot change his skin. Even when bleaching agents are applied, the dark pigmentations of their native colours will still remain here and there.
Yes, by the actions we take at this time, we can ameliorate the consequences of the errors of the past and chart a new course for our great nation. Remember that an opportunity like this will come again only in the next four years, and to shock you, it may never even come for a long time if we make a set of wrong choices now.
ON PARTY POLITICS
In our well considered opinion, party politics as currently practiced in Nigeria must no longer be our strict and primary focus because party membership is actually too fluid, and hopping from one party to another has become too rampant in the Nigerian context today. Hence, there are no clear-cut ideological or behavioral differences between many of the registered parties in Nigeria today.
Besides, I have keenly observed that party politics nowadays seems to blind the eyes of many card-carrying members of the respective political parties, and also deaden their consciences. Therefore, it is our opinion that people of goodwill should lay it to their hearts to vote for the candidate of their choices based on individual merits, irrespective of political leanings. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated or manipulated by forces that are evil, wicked or greedy, as are notorious in party politics in Nigeria today. Rather, based on our clear and right consciences, we should vote for men/women of godly characters, competence and track records of justice, fairness, trustworthiness, sensitivity to the plight of the citizens, sense of accountability and an innate propensity for keeping promises.
DON’T SELL YOUR VOTES
In this manner, I must advise that no one should be careless, blind or blinded by vote-selling in considering issues that are pointers to a future that could rubbish the sovereignty of the nation, the diverse interests of the indestructible units and inalienable rights of the individual.
Those who sell their votes should know they are not only mortgaging their consciences, but also selling their future and the future of their children. In fact, they are also selling their moral rights to demand accountability from the political class whenever they derail and disappoint the electorates as they often do.
On this note, I both counsel and tirelessly appeal to the Nigerian electorates to wake up, wise up and do not allow themselves to be deceived or deluded by any politician. Please make your decisions based on clear and right consciences, not on consciences colored with personal interests or pecuniary gains only.
I have a note of warning for all who may want to be tangled or are already involved in evil transactions on the soul of this great nation, those who are intent on diverting the course of this nation through voodoos, ballot- snatching, and terror. Our God will not permit His honour and interest to be rubbished. He will rise and defend to the utmost the integrity of the nation in the interest of the elect. He will turn their wisdom backward, overnight. Let no one join them through hooliganism, thuggery and rigging because the fall of the unrighteous shall be great indeed.
Finally, dear brethren, I confirm that Nigeria is a blessed nation endowed by God with a corporate wealth that is not given to many nations. God has destined us to be at the top among the comity of nations. I pray that the era of thieves in the garbs of leadership will end unceasingly, and shepherds who feed the sheep to the lions will be eternally judged, in Jesus name. Amen.
I appreciate our partners in the media for always amplifying our views. I know that you will do it right this time again. May the blessings of the Lord be upon you and yours. Amen. Nigeria is a great nation in God’s plan. We will cooperate with Him to bring His thoughts to pass. Amen.
- Bishop Taiwo Akinola,
Presiding Bishop, RCC&T., Worldwide.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
God bless Rhema Christian Church & Towers Int’l
God bless you all indeed, in Jesus Name. Amen.