By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar

Former Senate Leader and former chairman of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has expressed worry over the involvement of churches and clerics in partisan politics.

Ndoma-Egba condemned the use of altars as platforms for political campaigns during a breakfast prayer session organized by the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Calabar yesterday.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, decried that churches are fast becoming political parties rather than performing their spiritual role of soul winning for Christ and fishing out sinners for heaven.

He recalled the extreme partisan role of some prominent church leaders in the run up to the recent presidential election, held two Saturdays ago, making reference to the recent purported endorsement of a certain governorship candidate in Cross River State by a faction of the state chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, as another unwelcome development, which has dragged the good image of the church into the murky waters of partisan politics.

Insisting that before the God Almighty, all men are equal, Ndoma-Egba stressed that that should translate to equality of political aspirations, wondering why the clergy, who should be God’s messengers, suddenly become active in promoting divisive tendencies, fanning the embers of disunity amongst God’s people using the platform of the church to select persons of thier choice.

He wondered why the opposition party should resorted to destructive politics of ethnicity and religion as the anchor points of its campaign, stressing that same persons who in the past championed ethnic and religious politics of Atam Congress in the Central and Northern senatorial districts between 1999 and 2003, when Governor Donald Duke was leading the state are same persons opposing the ‘back to South’ agenda.

Also speaking at the event, which was attended by a wide array of the clergy in Cross River State, the APC candidate, Senator Prince Bassey Otu, reiterated the fact that he is running the election on his established and incontrovertible record of service to the people.

He restated that it is only those who do not have anything to offer that are resorting to ethnicity and religion to create division.

Thanking the clergy for their overwhelming presence at the event, as well as their godly admonitions as custodians of the state’s spiritual wellbeing, Otu promised to be a servant-leader to all Cross Riverians, irrespective of ethnic and religious leaning.

In his homily during the event, the General Overseer of the Christian Central Chapel International, CCCI, and the National Publicity Secretary of the PFN, Bishop Emmah Isong, preached on the need for the clergy to be circumspect with getting too involved in partisan politics.

He prayed for the Holy Spirit to grant the clergy the power of discernment, tolerance and commitment to the general good of the people.

He took his text from 1 Kings chapter 3, verses 16 to 28, which dwelt on the judgment of King Solomon when two women came to the King with two young babies – one alive and one dead, with both claiming to be the mother of the living infant; while in actual fact one of the women was actually pretending.

Bishop Isong averred that the lesson here is that any leader, whether religious or political, who will rather see Cross River State go up in flames as a result of division, is not a person who can be trusted to provide the love and nurture, the safety and refueling that the state is currently in dire need of.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Fr. Bob Etta told the gathering that the clergy present at the event represents all the five blocs that make up the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, which are: the Christian Council of Nigeria, CCN; the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN; the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, CPFN/PFN; Organization of African Instituted Churches, OAIC; and TEKAN and ECWA Fellowship.

He added that the PFN was a subset of the CPFN/PFN bloc of CAN, and as such cannot speak the position of all Christians in Cross River State; even as he decried what he described as the antics of a section of the PFN leaders in the state in endorsing a candidate of one party, instead of leaving their doors open and playing a fatherly and advisory role to all the candidates across partisan divides.

He assured that the majority of Christian leaders in Cross River State are more interested in helping to enthrone a God-fearing leader who will take Cross River State to higher levels of all round development.

The state Deputy Chairman of the PFN, Apostle Trinity Ogar, led the other clergy in a prayer session for Senator Otu, Cross River State, Nigeria, as well as the sick, aged and weak.

The event, which held at the Channel View Hotel, was well attended by Christian leaders and their members.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here