Even before the second term of the APC government attains full-throttle in serious governance activities –the nation is already being threatened by a familiar bug. This time , the actors and their proxies are desperate and poised to drag the nation into an entertainment chamber with slices of exaggerated spectacle of the shape of things to come in the 2023 election which is still years away .The injuries afflicted by dashed hopes over the failed projections of the 2019 election may have soured the patience of many victims and as such, early preparations via plugging of identified loopholes, avoiding angles of deviation in political calculations must begin in earnest. Such activities like laying the right structures in size and strength –identifying the right platform and associating with like minds to begin a fresh quest for political position are already in the air even by veiled references in public speeches. Rather prematurely, the ambience of the Nigeria public space is being deliberately fined tuned to be super sensitive to 2023 political permutations. Clearly, unintended actions and utterances of government officials and their political affiliates are not spared curious inspection and exaggerated interpretation to identify presumed properties of 2023 political ambition. To be sure of the extent of this nasty trend –even the APC regime that is just setting its legs on the levers of power for the second term has been alleged to be nursing a third term plan. The deputy in the hierarchy of political authority has also been alleged to be nursing presidential ambition, leading to allegations that certain actions taken recently by the central government are meant to clip his wing- the story goes on in viral progression of unrelenting intensity.
But, this is by far, should not be our immediate worry let the politicians keep themselves occupied with their usual stock in trade of being more concerned with the next election even at the expense of pre-election campaign promises .
However, the nation should have serious cause to worry on the the spate of clairvoyant forays of clergy men in the nation’s political space. Religion is largely associated with purity, sanity and godliness whilst the leading lights – clergy men in this case – are saddled with reforming , developing and molding of the human character for better service to God and humanity. The gross deficit of democratic dividends in the nation’s 20 years of democracy as evident in collapsing infrastructure- decrepit healthcare facilities , bad roads, epileptic power and wobbly economy are sufficient indication that the political class have not been at their best in selfless service which their office demands. In fact, in serious ranking of performance, the political class can be adjudged to have failed the nation if their records in the last 20 years are reviewed. This being the situation –what is expected of our clergy men is to apply the full rigor of their calling as character molders and soul purifiers in nudging our political class to the best of conduct and performance in office via preaching and exemplifying the virtues of selfless sacrifice –shunning materialism and less appetite for political razzmatazz. Far from what should have been, lately – clergy men are manifesting worrisome tendencies of a desire to plunge into the murky waters of politics- a game that has been defined as war without weapons. With the way we play our crude politics in this clime –it’s most unsuitable for clergy men- their long robes and admirable public image stand the risk of being defiled.
Just recently a quit notice was issued by Kaduna state government through its agency – KASUPDA to the cathedral Anglican Church in Sabon gari Zaria, stating that the area encroached on government’s developmental plans. No sooner had this noticed been issued than some people took over the matter, whipping up potentially dangerous sentiments in the social and conventional media. For a matter that could easily have been resolved peacefully with the government –these zealots preferred the option of cashing on moments like this to ignite religious tensions in a state that is already grappling with security challenges .
Later, the state government rescinded its decision with explanation that the Church building is not affected only the attached shops which are for business purposes. Having sorted this out – the Archbishop of Kaduna Province, Anglican Diocese, Buba Lamido seized the opportunity to smoothen the edges of understanding and calm frayed nerves after the initial storm generated over the issue by paying a courtesy visit to the governor in the government house Commendable as this action is –but a leading clergy man in Zaria Diocese issued a disclaimer to the visit which was carried by prominent news media. Rather than restrict himself to the issue, he went overboard and nudged himself to an embarrassing overdrive of undue meddling in 2023 politics that is clearly not the nations’ priority.
“The Diocese of Zaria is disassociating herself completely from the humiliating visit and the apologies therein. The Governor should stop embarrassing himself with demolition of churches in any part of Kaduna state. Any attempt by el Rufai to demolish any of our properties in that market will be a direct assault on the church in the whole of Nigeria. All these visits and apologies is planned by Lamido and Fearon to score a political point for the Governor because he is being prepared for 2023 elections. “The Governor should know that he will never be President of Nigeria’’.
For a start, not a few will agree that el-Rufai is no stranger to controversy. In the line of duty –his tongue and invading bulldozers are blind to religion, tribe and color, position and influence. His stint as FCT minister bears eloquent testimony to this.
For a clergy man, such excessively forward outburst and brutal invasion into the affairs of the unseen which is the exclusive sovereignty of God is most unfortunate, cheap and a disguised attempt to cleverly maneuver religious institution into the arena of partisan politics. Although the clergy man struggled with effusive vigor to convince his listeners that his outburst carries the weight of prophetic vision but the tone of finality in his outburst was grossly misplaced, colossally unfit for the occasion and the issue at stake –it smacks of an explosion of anger but dressed in prophetic vision. For a brief moments the clergy man lost sight of the fact that he has veered off the track by very embarrassing margin, held hostage by seething anger and inexorably plunged into the murky water of politics.
Few years back, a certain clergyman – on the strength of a purported claim of super human vision passed a death sentence on el-Rufai for daring to regulate religious teachings in the state on security ground. When Albert Einstein stated in his famous quotes that ‘’ God does not play dice’’ –the world saluted his knowledge of the fact that God does not make mistakes. Before now, plethora of visions almost drowned the candidacy of a seating president- some with claims that God said if he contested the election he will die. el-Rufai would surely comfort himself with a glass of water and a smile- going by opposite direction of most visions in recent times.
Mohammed Yakubu .Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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