By Owei Lakemfa
The politicians are in bloom with the 2019 General Elections knocking. One colourful politician I am yet to hear from is Pastor Chris Okotie, the Founder and Head Pastor of Household of God Church International Ministries. In almost all contemporary elections, he tells Nigerians that God had instructed him to run for the Presidency as he has been anointed the next the President of the Blackman’s most populous country. In 2003, he ran against President Olusegun Obasanjo, and failed. Four years later, he ran against President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and floundered. In 2015 when he decided to run against President Goodluck Jonathan, some reminded him that he had used the name of God twice, and failed, perhaps it was not The Almighty that was telling him to run because God does not promise and fail.
Pastor Okotie responded: “God spoke to me about my participation in the political process, which was why I took the step in the first place. He has not said anything contrary” So if in truth God is the one instructing him, why does he not even come close to winning one of the thirty six states? Okotie explained: “If they didn’t rig, then I could have won. Apart from election malpractices, the duty of a servant of God is to obey his master when he gives him instructions.” Maybe the pastor truly experienced the Call and Promise of the Lord, but destiny changers were at work, so thrice he was called, thrice he has failed. Praise be to God in the Highest.
I am convinced that Pastor Okotie is still waiting on the Lord. But one man of God who claims to have received God’s instructions to run in the 2019 elections is the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare. He had been Running Mate to General Mohammadu Buhari in the 2011 elections on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) The CPC team had lost to President Jonathan.
Now, Pastor Bakare has come out to publicly proclaim that God has chosen him to be our President next year. The fiery cleric told the media : “It may draw excitement or condemnation. I have tried my best to keep it (to myself) but the Holy Spirit will not allow me to do so… God told me ‘you cannot bring your political career to a close; there is still more to do. Run for the Presidency. I will do it at the appointed time”
Perhaps with the experience of Pastor Okotie in mind, Bakare said once God had spoken to him, it was left for the Lord to make him the President of Nigeria. Not taking chances with the voters, the pastor is seeking divine intervention: “Joseph (in the Bible) did not contest an election; yet, he became the Prime Minister of Egypt. Why must I worry myself about where to get the resources for the task? Your own duty in this assignment is to pray along with me. When it is the appointed time, He (God) will do it. When He tells me the time, you will hear about it”
Having delivered the message of his impending beautification as Nigeria’s next President, the Pastor turned to heavyweight politicians who he said will crumble at the feet of women: “In 1998, I told you that I saw your President dying between two women. Did it happen? I’m telling you again: some of these political juggernauts will fall at the feet of women and you will see it happen”
Another politician- priest, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry who has the gift of Tomorrow, sees President Buhari failing in the 2019 elections. So he has cautioned him not to seek re-election. Conversely, he sees, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo climbing the Aso Rock.
These men of God must be quite strong; I must admit that one of the most difficult vocations in Nigeria is partisan politics principally because the votes virtually do not count. Little pretentions are made to democratic principles. Some months ago, I met a friend who was a Local Government Chairmanship aspirant in the Delta State Local Government elections that was held this January. He seemed too quiet and gentlemanly for the race. But he persevered, campaigned vigorously and had quite a team working for him. He was quite confident he would win the elections but only feared that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) primaries may not be free and fair. So he worked hard campaigning for free primaries. When the time came, rather than all aspirants having access to the party’s interest form which would set the stage for the primaries, only one form was made available, and it was given to the preferred candidate. So there was no issue of primaries or anybody challenging the process of picking a candidate. It was a done deed.
Now, any serious student of Nigerian politics knows that Local Government elections is mainly a charade; the culture is that the ruling party in the state no matter how dismal its performance, sweeps the polls. Or to be more precise, the governor usually picks who wins. So was it in Delta State where the ruling PDP ‘won’ all the twenty five Local Government Chairmanship seats.
Lakemfa writes from Lagos. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org