In THe Name OF God Politicians By Aremu Lateef Olalekan
Any person familiar with Ibadan very well will know the Christ Apostolic Cathedral, Ita Bale Olugbode Ibadan .My fond memories of this church was my regular attendance with mama Iyabo (a woman I still don’t know where to place her on my family tree but she is a family according to my grandmother) every Sunday. Those were days when religion was never seen beyond worship and the moral teachings that comes with mosque and church attendance, but how time changes, we never knew before, we now know better.
Religion today has been taken out of our churches and mosques to political fields. It is no longer surprising to see a Reverend Father or an Islamic cleric campaigning or advocating for a certain politician all in the name of being a Muslim or a Christian without even bothering to ascertain his or her preparedness to serve the polity. Ours has become a society where politics is now been played along religious divide. The society has sunk deep into full ignorance that it is now a case of us against them (i.e Christians against Muslims) only the traditionalists seems to be free from the syndrome.
Evidences are abounding that politicians having noticed these loopholes now utilise religion to further their political gains. It is a known fact that most southerners voted Good luck Jonathan on the flimsy excuse that he is a Christian from the south and they don’t want a Muslim in power again (I wonder how much the Christian faith has gained from his administration).The Lagos state CAN seems to be beating the same tune against 2015 elections in the state.
The utterances and the comments of religious leaders on political matters in recent time are not encouraging as well. Although as spiritual fathers, it is their duty to offer advice to the politicians and also call them to order where necessary. But what is disturbing is when religious leaders denigrate so low into making instigating comments, it makes me wonder if they are actually men of God or politicians in disguise
In my candid opinion, I think religious leaders should be looking and speaking of peace but recent vituperations of the CAN leader pastor Oritsejeafor had been otherwise. If pastor Oritsejeafor does not care about the Muslims in the north (it’s northerners killing northerners like he would say), he should at least for the sake of the dying Christians in the north support any move by the government to end the Boko Haram menace instead of fanning ember of enmity with his comments. Religious leaders should be careful of their utterances as this go a long way in determining the psyche of their followers.
On the contrary, I believe what the polity needs at this moment is not spiritual fathers turned politicians but those that can actually take a stand against our corrupt leaders (Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie is a very good example) . These religious leaders should desist from making comments that can further disintegrate the polity. Instead, they should focus on more pressing issues of guiding our leaders onto the right path and helping our youths the truth to know. I think ensuring this prayer becomes a reality should be the preoccupation of our religious leaders, not trying to play politics in the name of God (my sentiment though)
Aremu Lateef Olalekan is a serving Corp member in Gombe state Nigeria
@aremulateef1 on twitter
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