From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Oyo State chapter, has cautioned thousands of church denominations under the religious bloc against allowing political parties or politicians to manipulate them to vote against the will of God.
The caution was given by Oyo PFN Chairman Reverend Samson Ajetomobi, who is the President of Men of Issachar Vision Inc, in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of a programme with the tagline, “Oyo PFN Prays 2021”, held at the Leadership and Mission Centre of the Men of Issachar Vision Inc., Olororo, Ojoo, Ibadan.
He specifically enjoined the Pentecostal churches to reject offers from politicians that have contributed to the state and Nigeria’s socio-economic and political challenges.
Hundreds of church denominations drawn from all the 33 local government areas of the state, on the platform of the PFN, met during the programme on Monday and prayed fervently to God to grant the state governor, Seyi Makinde, divine wisdom to administer the state in 2021.
The four-hour prayer sessions featured supplications, prophetic declarations and thanksgivings. Apart from praying for Governor Seyi Makinde, as well as politics and good governance in the state, they also prayed for youth in the state; Christian families; and church leaders. They also prayed against insecurity in the country.
Some of the leading clerics in attendance are the immediate past PFN chairman in the state, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun, who is the presiding bishop of Victory International Church; President, Kingdom Life Global Christian Ministries Church, Bishop Matthew Olubusuyi; and the founding overseer of Bible Based Church, Ibadan, Apostle Joel Iyiola.
Rev Ajetomobi noted that clerics and churches that are not deeply rooted in God could easily be manipulated by politicians and political groups that would ask them to mobilise their followers to support them before and during the elections. He stated that the PFN would be committed to guiding members of the bloc to be forthright and reject offers from wicked politicians.
‘The church leadership can be manipulated. Now that political era is building up, it can be manipulated by different political groups, if we are not deep enough in God. There is a need to have a very good root in God, such that we can tell a wicked man to go away with his offer because it will not be to the benefit of the people of the state. So, our commitment to all church leadership is to stand forthright and to be very objective, and be very clear in their minds what they want. We trust, God will help us,’ he said.
The PFN chairman advised Governor Makinde ‘to move closer to God in 2021. God is the helper of all men. Even, President Muhammadu Buhari has said the security is now in the hand of God, no longer in his own hand. This is to tell you how much we all need God. So, my counsel to him is to move closer to God and be more personally committed to God. Of course, he should treat everybody in the land with fairness and justice. It makes all the difference anywhere.’
On the significance of the programme, Rev Ajetomobi stated that the purpose of the meeting was to raise an altar of prayers. He said: ‘As important as physical planning is and structural planning is, much more important is spiritual preparation and planning. What we have done is to raise an altar of prayers for Oyo State, the governor and the government, and of course the church leadership, and economic issues in the state. God will help us this year to have a great state with a lot of economic improvement, as well as the safety of lives and property.’