The Church in Nigeria has been blessed by God with multitudes, money and miracles but unfortunately, these blessings have not translated into political governance and relevance. It is painful seeing the church wailing over misdeeds, misdemeanors and misgovernance in the nation without being empowered politically to change the narratives.
It is time for the Church in Nigeria to awake from her slumber and strategise for political governance and relevance. The way the church was treated with ignominy, disdain, levity and contempt during the covid 19 pandemic induced lockdown should be a clarion call for the church to be aroused from slumber.
At a certain time in Nigeria, the Church was shouting to high heavens about an Islamic agenda in the nation. However, one would ask, what is the agenda of the church?
The problem is that the Nigerian Church has never really had an agenda for political governance. Unfortunately, politics and economy are like the two sides of a coin. The politics of a nation affects the economy of the nation, either positively or negatively.
I ask again, What is the agenda of the Nigerian Church as regards political governance in the nation? The Church can no longer fold its arms and watch agents of Satan destroy the nation at various levels.
One of the greatest mistakes of the Nigerian Church was assuming that anybody that claims to be a Christian in politics will favour the interest of the Church. Hence, wolves came in sheep’s clothing and deceived the very elect. The truth is that a lot of supposed Christians in politics are not born again and have no history and testimony of salvation, conversion and discipleship. The church did not really raise people for politics, hence, since we did not raise David, we have no choice but to adopt Saul.
I suggest the Nigerian Church can adopt the template laid by by Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus(IURD), otherwise called, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God(UCKG) founded by Bishop Edir Macedo in Sao Paulo in 1977.
Bishop Macedo kept working on the vision of political governance and began to organise special training sessions to raise politicians. When the Church felt it was time to implement the vision, the set the ball rolling by sponsoring one of their Bishops by name Marcello Crivella for Senate, on the platform of Liberal Party in the year 2002. Having properly sensitized and mobilized the members, UCKG members voted enmasse and Bishop Marcello Crivella became a senator.
At this time, the Church had grown to over 5,000 branches in Brazil, about 7 million members worldwide, with probably about 4 million in Brazil. The church owned a bank, television stations, radio stations and a leading national daily.
On 25th August, 2005, the Church launched their own political party, called Brazilian Republican Party and made Bishop Senator Marcelo Crivella the National Party Chairman. Prior to the formation of the party, the leadership of the Church had taken time to indoctrinate the members of UCKG on the need to become active members of the political party. As elections approached, the Church sponsored a lot of her Bishops and pastors whom they trained in their political leadership School and they started winning elections.
As the party began to grow in number and by winning lots of political positions, UCKG leadership reached out to Assemblies of God leadership in Brazil to join the party. AG being the largest Pentecostal denomination in Brazil and UCKG being the second largest. The two churches resolved whatever differences they had an AG subscribed to the vision.
Brazilian Republican Party fast became the party of the Pentecostals and Evangelicals with AG, UCKG and a host of other churches, denominations and Christian groups aligning and joining. UCKG used its wealth and media power to sponsor and promote lots of Church based candidates to contest and they won.
At the moment, the party has 2 Senators; 4 Mercosur Parliament members; 42 State House of Assembly members; 106 Mayors or Local Government Chairmen; 1,606 Councillors of Council and 32 Chamber of Deputies members.
The current President of Brazil, Jair Boloronso, a born again Christian, though not a member of UCKG or Brazilian Republican Party, was largely sponsored by UCKG and the party adopted him as their candidate. Having block votes from AG and UCKG, in the millions, emerged as president.
Having studied the Brazilian template, if Assemblies of God; Living Faith Church; Redeemed Christian Church of God; Deeper Life Bible Church; Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry; Christ Embassy; Omega Fire Ministry; Salvation Ministry; Dunamis International Gospel Centre, The Apostolic Church; Mount Zion Lighthouse Full Gospel Church and other churches too numerous to mention, come together to float a political party or adopt Rev. Chris Okotie’s already existing Fresh Democratic Party; start a political leadership training institute or adopt Prof. Vincent Onigbogu’s already existing leadership institute and sponsor the candidates financially, evil politicians will be practically afraid and the church will literally take over.
The truth of the matter is that the Nigerian Church should not expect People’s Democratic Party(PDP) or All Progressives Congress(APC) to favour her, as the founders of these parties are not church based. Also, if the church does not train and sponsor candidates, the church should not expect accountability and responsibility from such people. Truth remains that, he that pays the piper dictates the tune.
Conclusively, it’s time for the Nigerian Church to be united. United we stand but divided we fall. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
Let’s make hay while the sun shines and start planning and working today. According to a Chinese proverb, “the best time to plant your tree was 10 years ago and the next best time is today”.
The Church in Nigeria is marching on and the gates of Hell shall not prevail.
Pastor, Prophet, Accountant.