President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev. Samuel Ayokunle and ex-President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Dr. Mike Okonkwo have reacted to the accusation made by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo that rather than preach against corruption, clerics preached on prosperity.
Osinbajo, at an event on Saturday, admonished gospel preachers for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.
Speaking at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students’ Christian Movement of Nigeria holding in Enugu, the acting president noted that preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.
The CAN president said although the acting president might have exclusive information for him to make the claim, the church had however, been speaking against the manifestation of corruption for a while, to no avail.
The Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, who spoke on behalf of his boss, said: “Being a pastor, the acting president may know what we don’t know and he has a right to correct those whose teaching or preaching contradicts the scripture. What we know is that the church must speak against evil in the land, corruption inclusive. The church has been speaking against the perceived genocide in the country, insecurity of life and property, hypocrisy, nepotism, greediness, tribalism, favourism, treasury lootings, lopsided appointments, etc.”
“These are all manifestation of corruption. Corruption goes beyond greed and diversion of public money into personal hands. Whether our leaders, politicians and civil servants are listening is another thing entirely.”
“Those who have not been preaching against the evil in the country should heed the counsel of the acting president and the leadership of CAN in turn tasks those in the position of authority to be sensitive to the yearning of the church for peace, security, job opportunities, good roads, affordable medical care, and an end to every form of hardship in the land.”
Okonkwo, the presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), said Osinbajo must have had a reason for his statement accusing clerics for not supporting the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The cleric, who spoke yesterday at the end of the 2018 Leading Edge Conference of TREM in Abuja, said:
“The acting president must have a reason for saying what he said. I don’t want to speak for him, probably there’s something he knows I don’t know. He’s the acting president; he has the security issues on his table. If he says so as a pastor, not just a nominal pastor, a spirit-filled, born-again, if the acting president said that, then, there must be some iota of truth in it that the church has not played the role it should play.”
On the alleged yet-to-be-confirmed allegation of huge sums being found in the home of the sacked Director-General of DSS, Lawal Daura, he said it was a wrong thing to say the government was not fighting corruption because an appointee was alleged to have erred.
“There is an Igbo proverb that says I can only trust the child in my womb, not the one at my back. That somebody is in the government, who had decided to follow a different agenda…if I had a different agenda, I will plan towards it, so anything I’m doing would be towards getting the money. But it’s wrong. They’re not God to know everything; they can only know the one He shows to them.”
“That’s it, but when the person’s cup is full, boom, it blows up…that’s what has happened. The man could have still been there amassing wealth, and no one will know until Buhari’s tenure is finished and he carries the money and goes. I believe things are unfolding, many more will still happen.”