From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Bishop of Ibadan Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev’d Joseph Akinfenwa, on Monday gave practical reasons that will not make the kite of Muslim-Muslim ticket being flown in some quarters to fly in Nigeria for the 2023 presidential election.
He made the observation when he fielded questions from journalists during a press conference held at Bodija, Ibadan to herald the 70th anniversary of the Ibadan Diocese of the church, with the theme: ‘God With Us, As With Our Fathers’, which will hold from January 24 to 30, 2022 in Ibadan.
The Senior Pastor of Trinity House Church, Lagos, Ituah Ighodalo; former Dean of the Church of Nigeria and ex-Bishop of Ondo Province, Prof George Latunji Lasebikan; and the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev’d Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba; are expected to minister on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday respectively, during the weeklong activities.
According to Akinfenwa, who stated that the Ibadan Diocese within the past 70 years has grown and has given birth to 25 daughter dioceses, “The society we are in, this generation is a sensitive one. That’s why political parties must be careful. They don’t have to do anything that will cause more havoc for this nation. If it were to be other societies and time, it will be safe and easy. Nigeria has gone down than before. There was a time it was acceptable, but not now. Different groups and tribes have suffered so much that there is no trust again.
“Look at what has happened in terms of security and distribution of the wealth of this nation. It will be wise of any political party that wants to have the votes of the people, especially Christians not to consider a single-religion ticket for both presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Let the two go together pari-passu because this society is sensitive now as we suspect ourselves so much. Maybe one day will come, when we will be more mature, more educated and more understanding, not to consider religion factor in our choice.
“What the politicians are doing now does not make us trust them. We can’t trust a Muslim-Muslim ticket at the moment. What Nigeria needs now is healing. We have been battered and injured. To the glory of God, we have Christians and Muslims in a family without any problem, but when it gets to political terrain, honestly the more you look, the less you see and understand.”
Akinfenwa further noted that “before 2023, God has been showing us that He is in control. We are always disappointed seeing people running after what God has not destined them for. For instance, if people have been running around canvassing and campaigning for years they haven’t lived to, we can’t even count the number of people that have gone in the last 16 days we started this year on sudden death.
“I think the important thing is to seek for the direction of the Lord. It would be wise of those running around now to start doing something for us to see even before they get there. They should begin to take care of the poor and the downtrodden. Only God knows how many people will get to 2023 and that is very fundamental. Let’s trust God and work towards getting to that year.”