BISHOP OKONKWO SLAMS EX-PRESIDENT FOR DRAGGING JESUS INTO POLITICS
The presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Bishop Mike Okonkwo has lambasted former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over statement credited to him that it is not possible to have an undisputed election in Nigeria even if Jesus Christ was the electoral umpire.
The former president reportedly made the remark last week in the United States of America, while speaking as a guest at Leon Sullivan Dialogue on Nigeria.
At the forum, which took place in New York, Obasanjo had told the gathering that it would be an uphill task to conduct an undisputed election in Nigeria even with Jesus Christ in charge as the umpire.
Describing Obasanjo's statement as reckless and unacceptable, Okonkwo lampooned the former president for dragging Christianity in the mud. According to him, it is unfortunate that somebody of Obasanjo's calibre who professed to be a Christian has made it a pastime to ridicule Christians and Christianity.
'That statement Obasanjo made about Jesus Christ and election in Nigeria is not acceptable. I take strong exception to it. Why does Obasanjo find it convenient at every opportunity to disrespect Christianity? The last time he called a pastor an idiot. He also derided Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) when he said CAN my foot. Is Obasanjo a true Christian? I doubt. Is he saved? Even if he is saved, he must be a baby Christian. Obasanjo's comment on Jesus Christ is an insult which is not acceptable to Christians in this country,' he declared
While urging CAN to take up the matter, Okonkwo said Obasanjo should be made to tender an unreserved apology to Christians.
'Obasanjo should apologise publicly that he was misquoted or that the statement dropped from his mouth, and that he didn't think before he uttered it,' he said. The cleric also expressed surprise that the Baptist Church where Obasanjo is a member has never deemed it fit to call him to order whenever he brings Christianity to ridicule.
'It is unfortunate that most church leaders today lack the courage to say the truth especially when members that have case to answer or misbehave are powerful people like Obasanjo. The Bapist Church may not have the courage to deal with him because he is a former president, but the church leaders are forgetting that Obasanjo is not God. He is a human being, but Jesus Christ is our Lord, so I don't see why they should lack the courage to call him to order. Is Obasanjo superior to the church or Christ? Never. He is an ordinary mortal,' he stated.
Calling on Obasanjo to seek God's forgiveness, the cleric wondered what type of Bible College the former president attended saying: 'I wonder what kind of Bible College Obasanjo attended? What did he go to Bible school to do? Bible College is a sacred holy place where they train people for higher service in the vineyard of the Lord.
Obasanjo is still a baby Christian. He is not yet ripe for Bible College. He should have first received elementary training in spiritual matters at the Sunday school. This is elementary class, this is where he belongs. People that took him to the Bible College were just trying to massage his ego. If he were to be a member of my church, we would teach him from the foundation class so that he will know what salvation is all about, because if he truly has salvation, he wouldn't be making this kind of reckless and unguarded statement about Jesus Christ,' he said.
While saying that it was not impossible to have credible elections in Nigeria, Okonkwo said the most important thing was to ensure that the people of integrity were saddled with the task.
'I don't see any impossibility. Election in any nation may not be 100 per cent perfect, but that does not give Obasanjo the liberty to make that careless statement. All hope is not lost for Nigeria. We will get the desired result if we put the right people in charge,' he said.
Accusing Obasanjo of hypocrisy, Okonkwo wondered why Obasanjo didn't deem it fit to carry out political reforms when he was in power for eight years. 'Obasanjo is a hypocrite. He was in power for eight years, he didn't carry out any political reform. Suddenly, he is now gallivanting all over the place on the need for political reforms in Nigeria. When he had the opportunity to do it he refused to carry it out, instead he was looking for a third term in office. When has he now become an apostle of political reforms? He is only playing to the gallery,' he declared.