Dear Pastor Adeboye,
With due respect, I am writing to you during the continuation of this Easter season based on your Christian ministry and because by acts of commission or omission you have participated in the pre-birth and life of the presidency under President Goodluck Jonathan. As Christians and servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will permit my making the letter to you public because there is nothing secret in the eyes of God. We all came to this world naked and naked shall we depart.
Just before the election, when President Goodluck Jonathan was seeking for votes he came to you at the Redeemed Christian Church’s Redemption Camp in Lagos for blessing. The image of Mr. Jonathan kneeling down meekly before you the highly spiritually disciplined, deep, profound and respected Pastor Adeboye was electric.
For the election and from the Redemption camp’s image of the President on his knees, we got the image of a meek, innocent, harmless, humble servant of the Lord who would serve Nigerians faithfully, talk and walk the faith free of corruption like our Lord Jesus Christ. Given that ethics and spirituality are inseparable for one cannot be a Christian and be corrupt, I do not know what you Pastor Adeboye will be thinking now of Mr. Jonathan who you allowed in the hallowed ground of the Redemption Camp during the election season.
Sir, did you think it was right to have given the head of a palpable corrupt regime the space to create the image of a meek and humble servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in the age of visual learning virtually hoodwinked Nigerians and their votes at least the Christians during the last election?
Sir, I am aware that the vineyard of our Lord is an open one. Therefore, I sincerely believe and accept the teaching that no one has the right –both spiritual and secular to judge and turn anyone away from seeking the face of Lord. However, I need to say this because we all know that a sitting president’s public visit to a place cannot be impromptu. And sir, the Redemption Camp under your shepherd is not any place. So sir, you must have known that our president, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan was coming to visit the Redemption Camp.
But given that the Nigerian presidency under Mr. Jonathan is now a cesspool of moral corruption and pollution, what do you think now of Mr. Jonathan’s public visit to you at the Redemption Camp just before the election?
Have you ever privately called his attention to the contradiction between a corruption free Christian ethics, which Jesus represents, and the corruption seething ethics, which has defined Mr. Jonathan’s presidency? If you did call him, what did you tell him? Did you remind him of his visit to the Redemption camp and the false image that created? If you have not called him, why have you not called him privately as a servant of God especially given that you allowed him to visit you at the Redemption Camp just before the election?
Sir, you will kindly recall one of your faith songs. It is titled “Holiness Ewi” (Holy Poetry) on YouTube. It is a heavenly piece not only for its spiritual depth, but also for its lyricism. In one of the lines in the “Holiness Ewi”, you showed how God is the infinite source of the infinite resources of the world and how because of this, these resources should be democratically accessed by all humans and for the benefit of all humans. Sir, in giving everything and every glory back to God, you will recall that you said in “Holiness Ewi” “no farmer planted the earthly salt.” By implication, you mean in the song that no one should privatize and corner those resources for themselves. This line in the song is an antitheft, anti-privatization of commonly owned resources and anti corruption ethics.
But contrary to your homely in “Holiness Ewi” you know sir that the Nigerian political elites under Mr. Jonathan have looted, stolen and privatized Nigerian resources and are holding them in estate for their children and unborn children. This goes against the progressive ethics of your spiritual song “no farmer plants the salt…” because God is the source of all earthly resources and thus it belongs to all. This is the source of my worry and moral pain. Did you tell Mr. Jonathan this moral truth when he came to the Redemption Camp just before the election? Given that Mr. Jonathan is presumably a Christian did you tell him to live and govern by this Christian ethics?
I need to ask you this and begin to call on our Christian leaders as servants of God to take a public moral stand on behalf of their suffering flock. This is because weeks ago as we commenced the Easter season, Mr. Jonathan was again host to another group of Christian prayer warriors-General Gowon and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, president of Christian Association of Nigeria. This time around, the call to prayer did not happen at the hallowed ground of the Redemption Camp, rather it happened right there at the corruption ridden ground of the presidency. If anything it is this new strange call to prayer that has finally woken me up to commence this series of letters to Nigerian Christian Pastors who by act of omission or commission are beginning to be complicit of the moral crime being daily committed by this regime on poor Nigerians.
Sir, I know you are a former Mathematics professor in a Nigerian University. And those who are close to you, say you are a-political possibly because of your deep spirituality. They also vouch for your humility and modesty before God. I believe them. But sir, the church to the extent that it is an open space is part of the public sphere. To that extent when the church goes near the symbols of state and corruption it opens itself to public scrutiny.
So even though you are a-political, the president’s visit to you at the Redemption Camp just before the election was not. The visit was political. This is why you and other Nigerian Pastors who the president might have visited and will still visit for the purpose of the coming election have the moral obligation to speak out on behalf of poor Nigerians who the corruption under Mr. president kills every day. Sir, have you done this recently? Will Mr. Jonathan and other thieving politician be allowed again at the hallowed ground of the Redemption Camp? Will you yourself visit the corrupt ridden ground of Mr. Jonathan’s presidency as some Christian Pastors are already doing? These are my questions. Next week, I will call your attention to my next letter to General Gowon and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who recently conducted a Christian prayer visit to the presidency and the president. They need to tell us what they saw during their visit to the presidency, and their response to what they saw.
Thank you sir.
Adeolu Ademoyo, firstname.lastname@example.org, is of the Africana Studies Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.