Source: thewillnigeria.com
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The crises of government today, across sub-Saharan Africa must be honesty identified and faced.

For instance: the lack of transparency and persistence corruption characterized government in many parts of Africa and strong, stable government have increasingly become pressured by powerful economic special interests, from within and beyond their borders; these governments struggle to maintain the social contracts they have honored in the past.

Throughout the world, government continues to be important players, expected to protect and further the common good.

Yet their ability to do so has waned significantly due to policies of economy globalization, such as privatization, deregulation and debt restructuring.

Government face multiple, conflicting obligations.
They have a responsibility to protect and further the well-being and security of their people and natural resources.

They are also under increased pressure to adhere to the requirement of international financial investors and trading partners.

The concept of good governance surfaced in 1989 in the World Bank report on sub-Saharan Africa, which characterized the crisis in the region as a 'crisis of governance' (World Bank, 1989).

Since then, governance whether good or bad has become a major conditionality for donor funds.

The Bible does not definitively mention good governance, but Genesis 1:28 and 2:15-17 describe the situation where God instructed MAN to take care of creation which involves decision making (stewardship).

World Bank defines good governance as the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country's economic and social resources for development.

  According to Prof.
John Wimberley, Governance means the setting and maintaining of law and order; this may apply at family level but is usually in the contest of civil society.

Good governance is comprehensive as to issues it affect and considers but not intrusive in seeking to control people's lives in details, as in totalitarian state found both in the extreme left-wing case of communism and the extreme right-wing case of dictatorships; indeed communism in practice and socialism in some cases amount to dictatorship and 'control freakily' by a small oligarchy and this can even reduce to one dominant leader.

Governance, effective responsible leadership thrives in the midst of effective opposition.

Without effective opposition governance lead to dictatorship.

Governance and leadership in such situation become ineffective and lost legitimacy or authority to function effectively.

The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his books Voice of Wisdom and Path to Nigerian Greatness noted that the evils of foreign rule may be far less than the evils which may be perpetrated under self-governance by the affluent natives or the local moguls who, if left to their own devices may constitute themselves into class oligarchy and secure the supreme power for themselves in the form of tyranny and arbitrary dictatorship.

He stated further that native tyranny and oppression will become more pronounced when a cabal or group of feudal lords seize political power and refuse to hand over to others outside his own hierarchy.

For Chief Awolowo, the inability of a regime - civilian or military - to extricate itself from the 'sweet uses and chuckles' of power breeds tenacity of office.

He defined this as a 'political monstrosity whose characteristics are inordinate and shameless love of power for its own sake.

' Chief Awolowo must be turning in his grave now because of the political situation in the country.

As preparations for the 2015 national general elections take shape, one thing seems almost certain - the political entrepreneurs that produced Dr.

Goodluck Jonathan as the President of the country in 2011 and produced Rt.

RotimiAmaechi would most likely produce the next president and Governor of Rivers State.

Should this happen again, it would be most unfortunate for the people of the country and Rivers State who work day and night only to feed themselves and yet were unable to earn enough to provide for at least two decent meals per day.

My concern is that absence of a virile opposition has reduced governance to dictatorship.

That anyone with alternate view is demonized to be anti government.

My aim therefore, is to present the Christian Community in Rivers State stand on those angling to be elected as our political leaders especially governorship candidates.

Reason for Christian view and stand cannot be overemphasized.

Christians are important segment of society that is endowed and empowered by God to enthrone righteous leadership and give direction to politics, politicians and the polity in issue of governance as seen from the Bible, history and contemporary political examples in Rivers State(see Prov.

29:2 cp Matt.
The place of Christians praying and church involvement to enthrone and sustain righteous leadership cannot be overemphasized.

Over the years and in history, Christian's prayers and political involvement had enthroned and sustained righteous leadership and liberate citizenry from bad leadership in some cases.

This importance of praying for good government is stressed by Derek Prince in his book 'Shaping history through prayer and fasting' said he, 'The truth is that Christians are not held responsible to criticize their government, but they are held responsible to pray for it.

So long as they fail to pray, Christian has no right to criticize .

This applies with double force to Christians in such a democracy who, in addition to the normal political machinery, have also available to them the God-given power of prayer by which to bring about the changes which they believe desirable, either in the personnel or in the policy of the government'.

In Kenya, Great Britain, United States of America had experience the power of praying Christians to bring changes in government and affairs of mankind in society.

In Rivers State years back Bishop Elkannah Hanson led praying team to enthrone and sustains the government of Chief Rufus Ada George.

In 1998/99, Rivers State Christian Elders Forum initiated by Rev.

Mosy Madugba and headed by Elder Sam Mbata with me as the Publicity Coordinator in concert with the Military Administrator, Group Captain Ewang by prayers and political involvement brought about the government of Dr.

Peter Odili.
In 2003, it was all comers' affairs Christians and different religious groups were falling over to be noticed as praying for the re-election of Dr.

Peter Odili to the extent that it caused division among Christian's groups.

Prior to the emergence of Sir Celestine Omehia as Governor and thereafter, the problem is not lack of praying Christians but the extent it has degenerated.

In the case of Governor Rotimi Amaechi he only consult and use the Church and political pastors/prophets as and when he need them to the extent that he abuse, deride pastors and hypocritically claim God being behind his enthronement in one hand and on the other hands denigrate the Church institution and priests that are divine custodian/voice of that enthronement.

Hence the confusion he is today as predicted in some of my features.

Why will th Christian Community in Rivers State vote PDP and not APC, Governor Amaechi new party? I am concerned and interested party to the advancement and common good of Rivers people as Servant of the Most High God and the Media and Strategy Coordinator of Rivers State Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and the President of Concerned Gospel Ministers' Association which started in 2006 by concerned Christian leaders, Ministers of the Gospel and Church workers drawn from Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and Christian Association of Nigeria and other independent Churches to enthrone righteous leadership assist Christians in politics and to give direction to politicians and politics.

The need to put in place a platform to advocate the Christian perspective in leadership and politics arose due to lack of transparency and accountability in the Church and the larger Society.

In recent times governance has taken back stage while politicking has taken over on account of who become President or Governor come 2015.

Not how well the people are being governed.
  The motif is providing democracy's dividends or to make our roads motorable, provide health care, food on our table and shelter for the downtrodden but how a few dishonest and self serving politicians' interest are sustained beyond 2015.

It is not only the seven renegade PDP Governors and Atiku.

They are in APC and other mushroom political parties, all clamouring for their selfish political interest not the wellbeing of Nigerians and Nigeria.

Think of it why the increasing agitation and opposition against the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan? Remember when Gen.

Buhari lost in 2011, he threatened to make the country ungovernable.

Apart from immediate violent protest that claimed the lives and properties, this was followed by well organized insurgence under cover of Boko Haram.

The killings of Christians and Southerners have not stopped in the North of Nigeria.

Could this have happened under IBB, Buhari, Abubakar and all other former Northern Presidents? Take a critical look, how many of these past leaders except Gen.

Gowon had condemned the type of well planned security challenges being created for President Jonathan or have offered to curtailed it? In 1998/99, as insider and player we did more than pray, the Christian Community in Rivers State under Rivers State Christian Elders Forum.

From the deception being orchestrated by some in the name of fighting for the interest of Rivers people, the Christian Community in Rivers State shall use its divine endowed grace and authority to frustrate and thwart the enthronement of surrogates and cronies of these derailed and demon backed politicians seeking to be elected into any office come 2015.

Like in 1998/99, we shall not sit in the fence and watch, rather we shall take necessary steps to get God-fearing, righteous and kingdom committed Children of God in politics into office.

Candidates of PDP qualifies for this honour because PDP is the party God spoke to us about in 1998/99 with manifestoes and programmes tailored to meet the yearning and aspirations of Rivers State.

The directive from God has not changed but it has changed for all those who has derailed, jumped ship, betrayed the interest of Rivers people and those whose antecedents in PDP does not line up with the betterment of Rivers people and are agents of Satan, violence, corruption and bad governance.

Whereas Candidates of PDP will be supported but those of governorship from Ikwerre axis are not qualified for equity, fairplay and justice as they have served eight years as Governor of the State under Rotimi Amaechi.

Hence, the Christian Community shall exclude Chief/Barr.

Nyesom Wike if he plan to contest for Governorship.

The candidates of APC and cronies of Gov.
Amaechi are disqualified.
The numbers of days he fasts and pastors/prophets he hired or the services of marabout he secured shall not save or give him and his political allies and political office again.

It is not about me but about the divine order already in place to be executed by the Christian Community in Rivers State.

It was under PDP Government right from Dr.
Peter Odili, Bar.
Celestine Omehia, and Gov.
Amaechi until he derailed that we have seen a measure of development in Rivers State.

When Gov.
Amaechi in his first term performed l sang his praise, wrote extensively.

After leading pastors of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria around to inspect some projects that his government carried out in 2011, when he was seeking second term l told PFN leadership that Gov.

Amaechi will derailed and after using the Church to grow his support base he will deride the pastors and insult the institution of the Church.

It is public knowledge how far he has derailed and deride pastors publicly.

Hence l stopped my wife from participating in the political outfit called El Maddon prayer group led by Her Excellency Judith Amaechi.

APC which in other words means Amaechi Problems Continue has no programmes or manifestoes.

It is a product of rebellion, betrayal and self-serving ambition not for the good people of Rivers State.

Arigbabu Ayodeji in Max Siollun's Website write: 'Until we have leaders like President F.

D Roosevelt of US who learnt to separate politics from Governance, we are really not going anywhere in Nigeria.

The office of a President or Governor is not just a political one it is a Government post and these offices constitute the top civil service positions in our country and it must be sensitive to the plight of their supporters, opposition and the people in general.

We are in a democracy and it is Government of the people by the people and for the people not government of a selected few party members and supporters of the ruling party let our leaders cross party and tribal lines and explore the 'AUDACITY OF UNITY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE' let the change begin with you.

Let us play Governance when holding public office and not Politics.

The problem with this nation is that of change.
It is time for us to change the way we think, the way we talk and the way we treat each other.

The common man on the street would say leadership is our greatest problem even a past leader (Head of state) once gave a lecture on leadership in Nigeria and he cited leadership as one of the problems of this country, the question is who exactly is the leader there is a need to change our mentality and do the right thing in our capacity as leaders and followers respectively.

We are the collective problem, let us be the change we desire it starts with little things like showing love and giving hope.

You are the Hope of Nigeria.
Be the Change' And l agree.
You wonder why the Church and Christians get involved in partisan politics? I reproduce herein perspective from our published view under Concerned Gospel Ministers' Association.

'Our Concerns: The Association patterned after the defunct Rivers State Christian Elders Forum who in 1998/1999 was involved in mobilizing Christians to enthrone the Government of Sir.

Peter Odili.
We are concerned and involved because the Church has been indifferent in the past to the challenges posed by political leadership.

We have rather towed the line of praying to change things for the better after they had gone out of hand.

As God's Servants, Ministers of the Gospel and custodians of God's message to the Nation, we are concerned about the situation of our nation.

Among many concerns is the quality of leaders who serve in different positions of governance.

Our involvement in giving direction to our State and Nation in politics is based on the Biblical injunction that we, Christians are 'light' and 'salt' (Mt, 5:13-16) and that 'when the righteous (those who have personal and intimate relationship with God) are in authority, the people rejoice' (Proverbs 29:2).

How the righteous does comes into authority? Christians must be involved in electoral and political process.

Hence we are involved.
First, we are called to be involved in government but not to depend upon it for solutions.

When the Christians cares about their neighbours in practical ways, participation at the polls must be a part of that caring.

Secondly, we are called to be involved not only by implication but by Christ directly.

When he said, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's' (Mtt.

He was telling us to respond to governments' request of us.

Our government requests participation of all citizens and special interest groups - and make no mistake about it, Christianity is a special interest group - for a specific reason.

Our founding fathers envisioned a balance of power through healthy competition.

They believed what would control each segment of society and advance society as a whole was the dynamic of the segment vying for dominance.

If Christian does not participate with their perspective and power, they rob the Nigeria system.

They also rob the Nigeria people of exposure to and the influence of the Christian perspective.

Nigerian politics are competitive and complicatedly but politics provides one of God's ways of maturing our thinking and testing our commitment.

Philosophy: Man is a social animal; he lives his life in society and finds fulfillment in the company of his fellows.

Man's social life needs a structure to organize and regulate the complex relationship between him and his fellows.

The science of this complex structure of social relationships is the science of politics.

Tim LaHaye, President of a large politic evangelical umbrella group in America, the America Coalition for Traditional Values is quoted as saying: 'At this crucial time in history, every Christian should do one or the other run for office or help someone else run'.

But if Christians are to run for office, they need other qualifications than holiness.

To better the Society, Christians need to be involved and a platform-a structure to run.

We are to be the preserving 'salt of the earth' as much as to be the evangelizing 'light of the world' (Matt.

Being God's people relocate in a community of need as reconciled to Him and to one another, we need to devise plan that will ensure a more equitable distribution of goods and services within our own fellowship and for community.

By this process of redistribution, we must show the world that we are sharing the love of God not only in terms of a verbal testimony but also in a sharing of resources with our new family.

In taking active part in politics, the Church is being faithful to her roots in biblical revelation.

Politics is a vast arena of human relationships and contacts which unites all others into a complete whole: the economic, the social as well as the cultural.

Nothing indeed is alien to politics.
It is in this vast melting pot of human relationship, the matrix of everyday life, that God revealed himself to man.

Biblical Rationale: God used Joseph, Moses, Esther, Mordicai, Daniel, Meshach, Shedrach and Abednego as political instruments.

They went through a political process to liberate their people from oppressive regimes and brought them to a place of abundance (Psalm 66:12).

Samuel and David were priest, prophet and king that through the structures of society brought the fulfillment of God's purposes and plans in their generation.

The early Christian as the church of Jesus pooled their resources together to advance the cause of Christ in civil society.

The scriptures exhort us: 'Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's' (Matt.

'All the believers were one in heart and mind.
No one claimed that any of his possession was his own, but they shared everything they had.

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

There were no needy persons among them.
For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostle's feet and it was distributed to anyone as he had need' (Acts 4:32-35).

Concerned Gospel Ministers' Association was established as non-governmental organization (NGO) for the express purpose of 'sharing the gospel and help our people find equality, justice and economic independence through self-help co-operative efforts and political involvement'.

Watch out for the fulfillment of these prophecies.
You are blessed for life.
Written By Dr.
Lewis Akpogena

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