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Preacher warn others of party endorsement

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Religious leader loses their reputation once their supported party fails.

Nigerian religious leaders have been warned that showing support for a political party or a candidate running for office could damage their reputation. On Thursday, Rev. Sam Oye, founder and lead pastor of The Transforming Church, issued the warning during a media briefing in Abuja, Nigeria, in advance of the church’s 1000 Days of the Prophetic Prayer Hour programme celebration on June 19. He warned that ministers who get involved in electoral politics run the risk of having their reputations damaged if the person or party they backed is subsequently found to have been incompetent in office.

He asserts that the danger of promoting a political party from the pulpit is that once that party fails to succeed, history won’t forget. The pastor, religious leader, or Imam who supported that party would be discredited when that party failed the nation, he warned. The PPH programme, typically held online, was created to reignite believers’ love for prayer by giving them a platform on which to intercede for the things that really matter to Christians all over the world.

There are many members with various political viewpoints in each gathering.

Explaining further, he stated that since a typical religious leader has in his gathering many people with a variety of political views and preferences, he, therefore, urged the religious leaders that they should be aware and should not unduly involve themselves in the people’s political life. Thus, it is absolutely necessary for religious leaders to avoid giving the impression that a specific political group has the support of an overwhelming majority of the religious community.

This is due to the fact that others in the same assembly who have particular expressions or affiliations to different political parties would be alienated and restricted of their voting freedoms if something like this were to occur. Therefore, they tell religious leaders that they should have their own political party they wish to vote for, but they shouldn’t use their platform, which is intended to benefit the general populace, to advance the objectives of a political party.

The country needs a transformational and not transactional one.

Lately, some religious leaders had endorsed a certain party, saying that they were the Saviour, only to have people bring back footage of what these leaders had stated when the party failed to deliver. Therefore, religious leaders in Nigeria should tell it like it is, convey the ideas of their people, and unite the country as a whole, because PPH values national harmony. They believe that when they work together, they can do more and that no single region of the nation is superior to the whole.

Expressing disappointment, he noted that transactional leaders rather than transformational ones had been running Nigeria up until this point. As a result, he urged President Bola Tinubu to put the country’s economic affairs and infrastructural development at the top of his agenda. Rev. Oye said that Nigeria had had business leadership up until now. The key is a mutual concession. They shouldn’t have to struggle for everything. To convert from a developing nation to a developed one, transformational leaders are required, not transactional ones.

Each community should have health care and other basic infrastructure.

If only the current administration would prioritise investing in fundamental infrastructure, things would improve. Each community needs to have a fully operational healthcare system so that people don’t have to risk their lives making a journey to the city for treatment. The same was applicable to the roads, the schools, and everything else. They are able to act in this manner because they possess the necessary authority and resources. He encouraged Nigerians to take the opportunity of the PPH program to make positive changes in their lives and the country.

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