304 views | David Ayo Akerele | March 19, 2021
First, I write to congratulate you for this honorable appointment that to many of us had been long overdue, considering your decades of immense sacrifice for Nigeria. I cannot forget in a hurry how you criss-crossed the entire 36 states of Nigeria by road, as instructed by God, praying and anointing every state capital. Your appointment could not have come at a much better time sir. I have been advocating for many years that the Nigerian church takes a more central and strategic role in shaping the political destiny of Nigeria. My advocacy stems from the strategic positioning of the Nigerian church—in terms of our numbers; our financial muscle; and our intellectual assets.
This approach seems to be a non-negotiable option for rescuing Nigeria from her imminent collapse, or disintegration—given the failure of most of Nigeria’s past and current political leaders. Being the church of our Lord Jesus, our mandate as the light of the world is not just limited to the preaching of the gospel, and the establishment of church branches across Nigeria, and around the world. But it also includes a very visible and active role of stamping excellence, engendering transformational solutions, and establishing positive values on every sphere of influence in the larger society—as exemplified by the mandate, “you are the light of the world”.
Being the light of the world, and not the “light of the church”, I feel very strongly motivated to suggest to our new PFN president, his lordship, Bishop Francis Wale Oke to consider and imagine what would happen if the Nigerian church can for once unite, to develop, and sponsor the emergence of a new political party—jointly bankrolled by all mainstream churches and ministries. Statistically, the Nigerian Christian community comprises of at least one hundred million people, out of whom, on the balance of probabilities, there would be at least 50 million adherents to Pentecostal churches such as—RCCG, Winners Chapel, Christ Embassy, MFM, Christ Life Church, Dunamis, Word of Life Bible Church, COZA, Daystar and Salvation Ministries, among others. If his Lordship, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, with his decades of experience at evangelizing Nigeria, uniting ministers, and building ministerial bridges locally and internationally, can garner support for this urgent political intervention strategy, the following would likely be the outcome.
1. Given his very strong relationship management prowess and his astute dexterity at engaging spiritual and political leaders at all levels, I am suggesting that his Lordship, Bishop Francis Wale Oke should consider the possibility of hitting the ground running, by building bridges across Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal churches and ministries in Nigeria. Despite our numerous doctrinal differences, this should include at the barest minimum, the establishment and entrenching of “unity” among General Overseers of the largest churches and ministries in Nigeria such as RCCG, Winners Chapel, Christ Embassy, MFM, Christ Life Church, Dunamis, Word of Life Bible Church, COZA, Daystar and Salvation Ministries, among others.
Given the success of this bridge-building engagements and alliances, I am also recommending that his Lordship, Bishop Francis Wale Oke should push for the launching of a Nigeria Rescue Fund (NRS)–which is an initiative to raise a whooping N100billion, being the funds needed to bankroll the successful creation and launching of a new political party that I call, “KINGDOM LIFE DEMOCRATIC PARTY”. At the end of this phase, Bishop Francis Wale Oke and his team would have achieved three major things—a considerable level of unity among church leaders; the flagging off the Nigeria Rescue Fund (NRS); and the raising of the actual N100 billion funds.
2. Based on the success of the above phase of work, I am suggesting to his Lordship, Bishop Francis Wale Oke that he works with the leadership of the PFN and other parallel bodies in the Christian community to set up a team of highly credible ministers of the gospel and technocrats who can manage the disbursement of this fund to bankroll the political ambitions of highly credible Christian men and women. By setting up several working committees, Bishop Francis Wale Oke can transfer this phase of responsibilities to these unique committees whose terms of reference, for the most part, will be to draw a list of extremely credible pastors in Nigeria—chosen across all geo-political zones to manage the disbursement of these funds.
Second, these committees should also be saddled with the responsibility of working with churches across Nigeria to draw a list of God-fearing Christian technocrats, scattered across Nigeria and abroad who have got the reputation, pedigree, and experience to occupy various political offices at local government, state government and federal government levels. The goal here is not to turn pastors to politicians, but to get them to come together to leverage on our numbers and wealth to create the platform for credible Christian technocrats with the political experience and pedigree to emerge in our nation and take up strategic political positions at all levels of governance.
Your lordship sir, do not forget that at the very minimum, we have got a very reserved estimate of 50 million Pentecostals in Nigeria. So, we have got the number and we have also got the money. You can only rig elections when the number is not there. Can you imagine if 30million people out of our 50 million Pentecostal population can unite behind a presidential candidate? We will shut down the system. However, for the post part, many of us are apolitical—as in, “we are not interested in politics”. Yet we complain that criminals have taken out our nation. At the end of this stage, Bishop Francis Wale Oke and the entire working committee would have achieved the following: an inventory of potential local government chairmen and chairwomen; an inventory of potential governors; an inventory of potential senators or house of rep members, and an inventory of potential presidents.
3. Now, we have the money; we have the numbers; and we have drawn a pool of potential political office holders. At certain stages, another committee would emerge whose primary function is to screen the list of potential political office holders in conformance with our strategic kingdom values; experience; capacity; integrity and other key factors of success that will be defined by our manifesto. The next stage I will be drawing the attention of the PFN president to is the need to draw out our political manifesto by leveraging on our in-house talents of technocrats. We have got plenty of PhDs from Harvard and Yale, and plenty from Nigeria as well. Men and women who have contributed to the transformation of cities and nations in the western world. The New PFN leadership could also leverage on all the skills and capacities in the list we have drawn to develop various national intercessory committees to birth this vision; various risk assessment and risk management approaches to curtail election rigging, banditry; and militarization of election by the corrupt ruling class. The PFN leadership at this stage could also draw on our in-house expertise to create all necessary frameworks, advertising platforms; branding platforms; public orientation and re-orientation and massive grass-root advocacies and mobilizations to remote cities and villages across Nigeria’s 774 local governments where elections would potentially be held. If we start today, by the end of 2021, we would have covered a lot of milestones. Sir, do not forget that we have the skilled manpower (many of whom are currently unemployed) in the church to do all the above without turning pastors to politicians and advertising agents.
4. I can now imagine what will happen if our new PFN president, known for his incredible capacity to traverse Nigeria to build bridges, can bring most, if not all, of the main church leaders together to push this vision? I can imagine what will happen if the Nigerian church leaders can cast away the garment of segregation and competition, and pursue with uncommon focus, and with unparalleled dexterity, the success of this new party. A revolution will certainly happen in Nigeria. Now imagine what will happen if we so much organize ourselves in the spirit of unity—such that as some people are working on the political front, others are praying and fasting. We will certainly take over this nation from the criminals that are shedding blood daily. If Pastor E.A Adeboye announces to the RCCG family that he is going this direction, more than 70% of RCCG members will follow him. Why? Nigerian Christians would for the most part submit to the recommendations of their pastors that they love. All that Nigeria is lacking is a large pool of Christian leaders, adorned with a kingdom mindset, and not with a “membership and branch expansion” mindset who would sacrifice some of their resources on this rescue mission. Sir, we have the finance and the numbers to bring the crises in Nigeria to a halt.
5. There are countless numbers of brilliant people in the church—scattered across Nigeria and internationally who can lead local governments, state governments, and even the country in the right direction. But for the most part, a large proportion of us do not have the kingdom mindset. We have not been taught that part of our role as a church is to transform our nation. On the contrary, we have been taught that the expansion of God’s kingdom is all about growing church membership, opening of as many branches as possible, locally, and internationally, and building 20,000; 30,000-seater auditoriums etc. Nothing is sinful in all of these if they do not cripple our ability to preach the truth and influence our societies for God. But they become covetousness, idolatry, and distractions as soon as all our resources; focus; attention; efforts; are poured on buildings, branch expansion, at the expense of shining our lights on the darkness on strategic areas of darkness in our land—such as politics.
6. Prayers and fasting are critical to subduing the powers of darkness, and for shaping the destiny of nations. But prayers and fasting alone do not change nations. Some of the most successful nations today are led by atheists. Our spirituality should not be a liability but an asset to us. National transformation is deeply rooted in the emergence of the right leadership who will in turn make the right policies to chart the right direction for a nation in terms of the development of policies, structures, institutions, and value systems—all of which are lacking in Nigeria—but all of which are achievable when political power is in the hands of the right leaders.
Bishop Francis Wale Oke sir, I have always known you to be a man of multiple capacities—heavily anointed as a prophet of God; astute with words, large at heart; lover of God; and a builder of bridges. Even if God has determined that Nigeria will break apart along ethnic and regional lines in another fifty years, the remaining fifty years can still be heaven on earth for Nigeria, if the church, under your leadership recognizes that we are not the light of the church, but the light of the world. I will not end this article without telling his Lordship, Bishop Francis Wale Oke about what befell the church of God in Germany in the days of Adolf Hitler.
“Hitler had just kickstarted his reign of terror. It was still at the infancy stage in Germany. Hitler befriended the church—and corrupted them. One day, he made an announcement, “I do not have any problem with churches and pastors, as long as they don’t bring their influence on the larger German society but keeps it within their church walls. I won’t trouble them if they don’t trouble me”. As long as your values and principles are locked up within your church walls, I will be happy with you. Consequently, the church leaders in Germany concentrated their efforts and influences within their church walls—except for very few of them like the famed Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller who stoop up against Hitler’s reign of terror. In fact, when Hitler summoned some of the church leaders in the German church to his office—to ridicule them, he met a fierce resistance from Martin Niemoller. After the short meeting, Hitler said to the church leaders, “You confine yourself to the Church, and I’ll take care of the German people”. According to a detailed account of this meeting given by Dr Erwin Lutzer,
“When it was time for the pastors to leave Hitler’s office, Hitler shook hands with them and Martin Niemoller realized this would be his last opportunity to speak his mind said to Hitler—”You said that ‘I will take care of the German people.’ But we too as Christians and churchmen, have a responsibility towards the German people. That responsibility was entrusted to us by God, and neither you nor anyone in this world has the power to take it from us”. Sadly, that same night—as reported by Dr Lutzer, Hitler’s SS squad—the Gestapo—visited Martin Niemoller, and set his house ablaze. He was later shipped to one the concentration camps.
Following these intense persecutions against the German church, the larger hierarchy of church leadership in Germany demonstrated brazen disconnection from the events in the larger society, while focusing on preaching very beautiful sermons in their churches. Then, Hitler began to load people into trains for onward transportation to concentration camps—killing more than eight hundred pastors in that process. Still, most of the church leaders said or did nothing—for fear of victimization, and possible arrest by the notorious SS-squad.
Then, these trains would drive past churches on Sundays—loaded with people to concentration camps. As these trains blasted past the church buildings, the occupants would scream on top of their voices to attract the attention of the churches, but the churches—under the leadership of tons of compromising pastors remained defiant. One day, one of the pastors in Germany was asked why they ignored the screaming voices of the captives in Hitler’s trains who drove past their churches. This pastor arrogantly replied like this, “these trains drove past us when we were singing hymns, and when the occupants screamed louder to attract our attention, we sang louder to suppress their voices”. How did the church in Germany end? Most of them were Nazified by Hitler. They lost their voices, together with the influence they traded for a direct confrontation with the evil in their land.
Your lordship sir, you have been elected for a time like this. You are the seventh PFN president. This is not an accident, but a divine arrangement. Nigeria is bleeding and gasping for breath. Since the politicians have failed, the baton is now in the hands of the church—the light of the world to make a difference. We have the population and finances to steer this Nigerian ship in the right direction. Dr Lutzer once said that, “the experience of Germany reminds us that whoever controls a nation’s laws also controls a nation’s agenda and its values”.
In fact, R.J Rushdoony stretches this further when he said that, “If the source of law is the individual, then the individual is the god of that system, and when you choose your authority, you choose your god”. The question here is this: Who is behind our laws in Nigeria? Who is behind our government? That is the person in charge of our values. Conversely, if the Nigerian church wakes up—and casts away her current garment of apathy—and begins to play very active roles in the destiny of the nation, our light will shine beyond all obscurity. It is still possible for Nigeria to disintegrate along different ethnic or regional lines. But before we reach this stage, the remaining caricature of the Nigerian state—which presently lies in the emergency room of crises can still be rescued—if truly, we are the light of the world.
Sir, we are praying for you, and will continue to trust God to use you and your team to rescue this sinking ship back to harbour—by considering practical intervention strategies like the one I have shared with you in this article.
Ayo Akerele holds a doctorate degree in employee turnover, human capital development and organizational tacit knowledge from the prestigious Edinburgh Business School, and has worked extensively for more than twenty years as a consultant for multinational corporations in Africa, Europe, and North America before answering the call to ministry. Pastor Ayo as he is fondly called is a passionate & foremost teacher of the word by the grace of God with prolific insight into scriptures. He is a public speaker, an intercessor, a leadership expert, and a national transformation proponent with immense impact on the body of Christ worldwide.
His itinerant prayer, teaching and speaking ministry under different Christian organisations has lasted for many years since he met the lord as a young boy in the early 1980s. With a contagious passion for knowledge and truth in the word of God, his deepest desire is to see the body of Christ take her proper position in God through the teaching of the undiluted word of God; the demonstration of valid and authentic signs and wonders; the dissemination of kingdom values within and outside of the four walls of churches and the raising of sound disciples of Christ across the nations of the world. He is the author of twelve books; the founder of the Rhema For Living Assembly ministry in Toronto, Canada, and the host of Rhema Hour on 32fm—a radio ministry to a network of five million people in South West Nigeria. He is also an entrepreneur, as well as a leadership and national transformation consultant. Ayo Akerele is married to Omolara and they are blessed with three great sons, Enoch, John, and Daniel.
Dr David Ayo Akerele
Director, Flock Keepers International (a leadership & value system development organization) www.flockkeepers.com; www.larenj.ca
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